Thursday, May 11, 2017

Junk Bike Part 2 - The Finale, its called Junk for a reason (1983 Raleigh Record)

Well it started off ok, the binder bolt went into the seat collar, which I was a little worried about because its kind of off kilter.  And then I put the seat post in and tightened

I found that if grabbed saddle and twisted it would rotate slightly back and forth, hmm shouldn't do that if its tight. So I went a bit gorilla and really tightened the binder bolt.  Now its not moving and then when I go to loosen up the binder bolt again it all goes south.

I didn't back it off much and of course the seat post comes right out but I now I can't get the binder bolt to loosen any more, and then I realize that the keyed side of the binder bolt which, in theory, slots into the seat collar, is just turning - its not keyed anymore.  I get a hex wrenches on both sides and try to undo it and still it won't budge.   I step away and concede this ain't gonna happen, oh there are things I could do but this was a free bike I was planning to build as a junk bike in the first place so I am going to walk away.

So what am I left with?

  • A frame-set to take for scrap with what was a nice new binder bolt.  It's actually good because I have a number of other metal items that could go to scrap and who knows I might make a little money and at least I will have de-cluttered the Apartment a bit.
  • A rear Wheel of circumspect quality, and since its an old bolt on I may just put it in the scrap pile as well.

  • A box of parts that may have some value and at the very least will give me fodder for experimenting with new de-rusting process.

  • The value of listening to your gut and exploring the deal breaker issues early in the process.  I am frustrated at this fail with the seat post but I would have been in tears to have prepped everything and had this fail at the end while putting the bike back together
I also benefited from having to better organize my bike stuff while looking for the binder bolt and sealed bb, I found I didn't have to use the still in the package cable and housing set.

In going through my stuff I realized I had enough scraps and spares that I could easily field a complete housing and cable set and it wouldn't matter if it was mismatched when I was using it on a junk bike although I think and ebony and ivory combo would be fine on any bike.

What I might have done differently on this project is used my fancy digital caliper for more accurate readings on the seat tube, it needs a battery so I just went manual but it probably would have been worth having a more accurate reading.  I suspect that this bike needed a 26.0 mm seatpost -but we'll never know.  I looked on the web but couldn't find a reference, the catalog from 1983 just listed the seat posts by material i.e. alloy versus chromed steel.

I think I may have been sent the message that bikes left out for free are no bargain, especially if they are Raleighs!  The curbside Raleigh Gran Prix had a compromised frame from a front end crash and this Raleigh Record has a useless frame due to the seat tube issue, but hey at least they were free and I've harvested parts off both bikes.  Is it three strikes your out or third times a charm?  I'm dumb enough to find out some day.

A moment of silence for the Record and a salute to the bike it once was.  Ride.Smile.Repeat

psst - did someone say scrap?


  1. Oh that's a tough one! Good to see you've retained your humor...and organized your bike stuff in the process. ;)

    1. Thanks Annie, I find humor is important for my sanity and not just when it comes to bikes lol, I guess for every Schwinn Passage triumph there is a Raleigh Record epic fail. The bike stuff needs some more organizing but this project got me started.

  2. Is it possible that tightening the seat bolt has caused the binders to twist slightly? If that is the case then it is likely that this is preventing the bolt from sliding out.

    I've seen this before where an undersized seat post has been used, and seat tube has been misshapen at the top to secure the smaller seat post. A classic symptom of this is if the gap at the base of the slit is much wider than at the top. Basically the clamping force gets isolated at the top. This might work in the short term (it's also likely why a hardware store bolt was used - you can clamp it far tighter) but it results in damage to the frame.

    The good news is that you reshape the top of the seatpost tube and then put a correctly sized seat post in. I've done this on one frame, and I think RJ the Bike Guy has a video where he talks about repairing a frame similarly. There is no structural problem related to bending the metal here provided you have sufficient seat post in the tube to reinforce.

    1. Hi Unknown thanks for stopping by, the binders were a bit twisted to begin with. The issue is that the two halves of the binder bolt won't unscrew from each other not so much that they are stuck in the collar. I have watched many RJ videos so I will have to look for that one thanks for the tip! and I agree with my bet is the 25.8 seatpost was slightly undersized for this bike.