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Thread: Raleigh Restoration Guidance Needed

  1. #1
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    Default Raleigh Restoration Guidance Needed

    My father died unexpectedly a few months back and I'm in the middle of taking care of his estate. One of the fun things I have from my father is his childhood bike. I just brought it home this weekend as I'd like to restore it to its glory from yesteryear.

    This bike has been sitting in my father's damp basement for the past 25 years and it shows it. Before that, it was actually in good condition as it was housed in my grandparents garage. I gather it was there for about 30 years. I took it out once or twice during college and rode it a handful of times during summertime visits as a kid. Aside from those brief sojourns, it's been sitting of the last 55 years. My dad was a very talented engineer/mechanic/car nut and bikes weren't really his thing. Which is fantastic because I really benefited from that.

    Here's a photo I took on a ride through Swampscott and Marblehead back in 1986:



    I don't know exactly when my father got it. I looked under the bottom bracket and can't see the serial number. Possibly it's under thick paint. I believe he got it in the early 1950s,

    I'm a bit perplexed why the front brake is connected but there's no rear brake considering there's a lever for it. The photo from 1986 shows the same thing. Kind of bummed that the pump is missing, too. Crossing my fingers I can find that.

    This all being said, I've never restored a bike before. Obviously this has tons of sentimental value so I'm a tad nervous. I'm not looking to do this myself so would love some resources as to who specialize in projects like this. Any advice about the process is also welcomed.

    Here's what it looks like now:



































    Since I took the photos this afternoon, I actually pumped the tires to about 25 PSI and they surprisingly enough held air. Not that I'm going to use them. I also applied an application of Proofide to the saddle and it looks pretty dark good!

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    Default Re: Raleigh Restoration Guidance Needed

    Nice old Raleigh...
    I'm sure that a local shop could restore that machine.
    I do similar resto jobs periodically. (Less paint work)
    Most of what you need is available.

    Good luck. Post some 'after' shots also.
    Luke
    “So this is how the world works, all energy flows according to the whims of the great magnet." - HST

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    Default Re: Raleigh Restoration Guidance Needed

    Check the hub for a manufacture date.

    Very cool that you still have this.

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    Default Re: Raleigh Restoration Guidance Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by nahtnoj View Post
    Check the hub for a manufacture date.
    You're one step ahead of me! I actually checked Sheldon Brown's website and learned that Sturmey-Archer stamps the dates on their hubs. My is stamped 52, so I gather the bike is close to that year.

    Thanks for the replies to far!

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    Default Re: Raleigh Restoration Guidance Needed

    Here are some resources:

    Classics resources

    I used Cyclemondo for Raleigh decals, and while some of the decals were not precisely the same, they were awfully close. And the quality was very high. I don't know if he has replicas of this particular model's decals, but you can certainly check.

    The repaint of my Raleigh Professional, using the Cyclemondo decals, was done by Bilenky. They did a very nice job, and the price was right.

    Most frame painters can recreate decal work from scratch through artfully applied paint and masking. I have a Pinarello that was repainted by CyclArt, and the work is super durable. Pinarello had an era in which all the decals came off their bikes, so CyclArt's paint work is way better than the original.

    Ken Anderson would be my personal choice for a high value restoration though. I've watched the things he does in the photos he has posted to Flickr, and I can honestly say some of it is unbelievable.

    Obviously you can go as crazy as you want with these things and spend a lot of money going crazy. In the end, only you know how much the bike is worth to you and how much you want to spend. There isn't a wrong answer, though some lack sanity more than others.

    BTW, sorry to hear about the loss of your father. Events in life sometimes make projects like this productive for a lot of reasons. Sanity is over-rated anyway.

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    Default Re: Raleigh Restoration Guidance Needed

    Be sure to look up instructions when overhauling that GH-6 Front Dynohub, it's fairly easy to ruin the generator bits if you don't keep the right parts together during disassembly.

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    Default Re: Raleigh Restoration Guidance Needed

    It's perfect.
    Don't change a thing.
    It embodies the story behind it.

    Making it lustrous couldn't possibly add value to it for you or your old man's memory.
    Keep it just the way it is and accept the fact that we are human.

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    Default Re: Raleigh Restoration Guidance Needed

    If this were mine with a similar story I'd just make sure it ran and stopped well, maybe new tires, and ride it. Don't overthink it. Great bike.
    steve cortez

    FNG

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    Default Re: Raleigh Restoration Guidance Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by deepsix View Post
    It's perfect.
    Don't change a thing.
    It embodies the story behind it.

    Making it lustrous couldn't possibly add value to it for you or your old man's memory.
    Keep it just the way it is and accept the fact that we are human.
    Total agreement here. If you buff that thing up and start replacing parts it becomes something different than what it is now. Remember, rust might be the only thing holding that together.

    Ride it all over town and lock it up when you park it. The only thing I'll add is a can of JP Weigle in those old tubes...maybe a brake cable or 3 speed cable if needed.

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    Default Re: Raleigh Restoration Guidance Needed

    ditto here. Take it apart. Service the bearings and lightly re-polish races etc. don't go nuts. Part of your memories include the original paint, oxidized chrome and general condition it is in.
    Hey, I actually had the same model as a hand me down from mom that I rode for yrs. Awesome stuff you keeping dads memory alive.
    Last edited by Too Tall; 07-16-2012 at 07:13 AM.

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    Default Re: Raleigh Restoration Guidance Needed

    That bike doesn't need a restoration; it needs tires, grease, oil on the hub, new cables and housing, and a good clean and polish.

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    Default Re: Raleigh Restoration Guidance Needed

    Soak the chrome parts in vinegar for a few hours, then steel wool lightly...
    service and lube, maybe add new rubber,cable, chain...etc.etc.
    Maintain that petina!
    “So this is how the world works, all energy flows according to the whims of the great magnet." - HST

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    Default Re: Raleigh Restoration Guidance Needed

    FWIIW A couple yrs. ago me neighbor tossed out a pre war Raleigh DL 1
    She was a little rough, close to what yours is. As others say, I unstuck frozen parts, new rubber, cables, lube (sturmey archer gear oil of course) and some proofhide on the saddle and wife was good to go on her cool mail run/pool/grocery getter.


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    Default Re: Raleigh Restoration Guidance Needed

    Wait, does that thing have a chainstay mounted brake? Like a Madone?

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    Default Re: Raleigh Restoration Guidance Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by christian View Post
    Wait, does that thing have a chainstay mounted brake? Like a Madone?
    Google it. Rod brakes.

    The OPs bike has some really nice parts that deserve a second chance. Let us know how this progresses.

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    Default Re: Raleigh Restoration Guidance Needed

    Joke, Toots. Joke. Once rode through southern India on a license-built copy of that. BTW, to call them brakes is to be generous.

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    Default Re: Raleigh Restoration Guidance Needed

    Either way you decide to go, its worth speaking to Noah at Velocolor. He worked with Mike Barry Sr. for many years doing restos, can source lots of old parts, and his finish work is superb.

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    Default Re: Raleigh Restoration Guidance Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by christian View Post
    That bike doesn't need a restoration; it needs tires, grease, oil on the hub, new cables and housing, and a good clean and polish.
    +1

    And I'd add a rear brake. I have an old John Bull sidepull that would not be out of place on the bike, even if a decade newer. PM and it's yours.

    Don't forget new cotters for the crank after you rebuild the BB.

    PS Rod brakes look cool, but work horribly.

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    Default Re: Raleigh Restoration Guidance Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by christian View Post
    Joke, Toots. Joke. Once rode through southern India on a license-built copy of that. BTW, to call them brakes is to be generous.
    Ouch. YOU know the deal. OMG. Any brake pad that you have to shape with a bench grinder is not going to be performance item ;)

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    Default Re: Raleigh Restoration Guidance Needed

    I agree with those that say don't repaint. That frame is is fairly good shape and most of that rust can be polished out. Frozen parts should be fairly easy to replace. Steel wool and Simichrome will have your bright parts sparkling.

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