Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Replacements (Raleigh Super Course part VII)

After completing the front wheel I decided it was time to work on a different part of the bike so I prepared the derailleurs for a bath.
dirty derailleurs

As I started chipping away at the grease loosened by a long stint in the sonic cleaner I realized something about the rear Huret Derailleur,,
something's missing..
The jockey wheel's were as toothless as an old man without his dentures.  The teeth are kind of important in the whole rotation of the chain process.  Now I do happen to have some toothy spares floating around.

In my experience, however, I have found that the modern spares and old French derailleurs are not exactly simpatico.  And finding NOS spares on ebay isn't very easy and if I did find them they would cost more than a whole new derailleur!  My first replacement was a new rear derailleur, I went with a SunRace RDM10 SGS, which I like for its modest price ($10), its vintage look and the fact that its spec'd on vintage Mixte rebuilds by the much admired ReCycle Art Aspen.
I also did a bit of work on the cockpit which required some preparation with the cork grips.

After a couple coats of Shellac I think they are ready to mount up.

The last time I used cork grips, was on the Schwinn Le Tour Mixte rebuild I did for my sister-in-law, going through two packages of grips and leaving destruction and carnage in my wake, and possibly some bad language.  In retrospect it occurred to me that I used the cork grips with the 23.8mm diameter VO Porteur handlebars which may have accounted for the difficulties.  This time I was working with a 22.2mm (grip) diameter Wald #8095 touring bars so in theory it shouldn't be such a trauma.  Just in case I went out and bought one of these bad boys.
Yes you will be going on that Handlebar!
Turns out the hammer was overkill the grips went on just fine, joining the Sunrace friction shifters and VO city brake levers.  And what kind of upright Sophisticated Gentleman's city bike doesn't have a bell?

cockpit coming together
I was also able to get the newly arrived rear derailleur mounted.

And the cleaned up front derailleur as well.

A bit of an improvement from where we started

After spending so much time in the sonic cleaner I was sure to dribble some 3in1 oil on the moving parts and springs of the front derailleur before mounting it.

So after avoiding it I finally tackled the rear wheel and after stripping off the old rubber and starting to clean it up I realized I might have a bigger job on hand than I originally thought.

The inside of the rim was rusty, mostly surface rust but still a job to clean.

After an experiment with the outside of the rim I realized that even after cleaning with steel wool I was going to be left with flaky chrome.  I did some pondering; how much time would I spend de -rusting this wheel to get a so-so result?, how sketchy are rusty spokes on a rear wheel that takes a lot weight and torque?, how much is a new set of wheels?, what is the airspeed velocity of an unladen Swallow?  In the end I came to the conclusion that it would be better all around to just get a new set of wheels so off I clicked and got my second replacement.

I have used this type of wheel set on two previous builds, for my sister-in-law and my niece and found they aren't really plug and play,  they need some attention out of the box; the hubs are too tight and they don't use enough grease on the bearings IMHO, and some folks complain they get a wheels thats out of true- all issues I can handle.  And for the price I am happy to do a bit of fine tuning.  I really like that they are exactly what would have been used 40 years ago on this bike, except that the rims and hubs are alloy not steel and the spokes are stainless steel so they shouldn't rust like the originals have.  Another part of my decision making is that I have the self imposed deadline of finishing this project up by Friday so I can take it down to Portland next weekend and get the Super Course back to my friend Joe.  More to come...

As always Ride.Smile.Repeat.


  1. Part VII !!!!!!! A journey in the making. Thanks, Ryan!

  2. Whoa, I thought this was going to be your personal bike. Joe is getting a beautiful work of art to ride!!

    1. Thanks Jim that's the plan closing in now on getting it all finished up by Friday