Stripping down the Raleigh

Finally, I’ve got my ass into gear and began work on the road bike. My XC bike is painfully slow on the road so hopefully I’ll complete this before the summer ands and get some rides under my belt. I’ve tried to do a bit of research into this bike but I’ve found nothing yet. It has the Raleigh badge on the front and stickers reading “Predator” and “Fuzion” but I can’t track down any info on it. The only thing I know for sure about this bike is it’s old (and it didn’t cost me a lot of money). It certainly shows it’s age too.

While stripping it down I found it needs plenty of work if I’m going to restore it (that’s a big IF). The rims are corroded, a few spokes are broken, nearly every bearing is loose or noisy, the brakes and gears all need reworking and the paint is scratched to death. So that’s left me with a bit of a dilemma. I have three options whirling round my head; restore it keeping as much of the original parts as possible, upgrade it using some new fancy parts or convert it to a fixed gear bike. While I’d like to restore it back to it’s original glory I think tracking down replacement parts and getting everything re-chromed is going to cost me a bit of money. The same goes for upgrading it, but at the same time, if I’m going to fit a few upgrades I might as well use a modern frame and do a proper job. The third option, turn it into a fixed gear bike, came about last night when I posted a photo on Facebook. It was suggested to me and I have to say I’m about 90% convinced. I need to do a bit of research into it first but it looks possible.

Anyway, the teardown. Old and very worn parts.

A slightly wider wheel on the rear and the worst, condition wise of the two. Very corroded and pitted, snapped and bent spokes and a worn hub. I couldn’t find any brand markings on the wheel or hub unfortunately. The front wheel is in slightly better shape but the hub is a lot noisier. The rim has Van Schothorst stamped on it and the hub has Nakano so hopefully with a bit of research I can find some info on these parts.

The rear cassette doesn’t look too worn, it may be good with a clean up. It’s a 5 speed cassette with 14/16/18/20 & 22 teeth but again, no brand name. The freewheel on the other hand clearly states T.C.& Sons and seems to work freely.

The bottom bracket is still well and truly stuck in the frame. It’s going to take a fair bit of soaking in penetration fluid to free it up but hopefully I can get it out as it sounds pretty rough. The crank set is 165mm and is in a fair condition but the peddle bearings a little worn and it was a fight to remove them. It’s only a 2 speed chainring set, worn, but possibly useable. 40 & 48 teeth on the chainrings.

The bike comes fitted with Wellman brakes which really need some work. The cables are slack, the pads are pretty much non existent and the levers themselves are fairly loose.

Shifter and derailleur wise. The shifter was tube mounted made by Shimano. All the cables have pretty much had it. The front derailleur is again a Shimano piece but the rear derailleur is a Sachs Huret item. All of the shifting equipment should be salvageable.

And that’s where I am at the moment. One stripped bike (almost). Plans to turn into a fixed gear and a lot of work to do!

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