Category: Raleigh “Blue Streak” – c.1964

Raleigh “Blue Streak” – Part Hunting

I’m really getting somewhere with this project now. Having started with just a bare frame I’m happy to say my shopping list is very nearly complete. It’s taken a lot of searching to find the parts I have so far and a lot of luck with the auctions but I think I’m almost there. The last few parts will be an extremely tough find though.

The aim:

The shopping list:

Pump Clips – Campagnolo
Rims – 27″ x 1 1/4″ Endrick
Tyres – Dunlop White Sprite
Handlebar – 15/16″ Steel Maes, taped and plugged
Stem – 2.5″
Brakes – G.B. Alloy
Mudguards – Britton’s Celluloid, Electric Blue
Gears – 10 Speed Benelux “Mark 7”
Chainwheel – 46/49T Double
Saddle – Brooks B15 Leather
Equipment – Polished Alloy Pump & Twin Coloral Bottles in Handlebar Carriers.

In the last post, all that time ago, I’d managed to find the original crankset, chainwheels and pedals. They’re matched exactly to the photos I’ve found and thankfully, I didn’t pay too much for them! Here’s what I’ve found since.

Frame Pump

A Bluemel’s Featherweight pump. I found this in my Grandpa’s garage along with two other pumps. For some reason I thought this bike needed a white pump but after reading that brochure again, I think I’ll swap the pump out for the polished alloy Afa pump I also found.

Handlebars

Ok, the brochure does specify steel but I must have missed that first time around. I found these alloy G.B. Maes bars on eBay for a good price so snapped them up. I’ll work on polishing the alloy up so that it shines like steel – it’ll be fine!

Stem

Now there’s no mention of a brand on the advert with regards to the stem, however, after careful studying of the photos I narrowed my choice down to a select few. The photo shows a specific style, with the handlebar clamp bolt angled on the front underside, the stem bolt should be raised and the rear of the stem should overhang. The Titan stem’s jumped out at me and after a few failed attempts to get one I came across this recently rechromed item and made sure I won it. It’s a beauty!

Saddle

Finding a Brooks saddle isn’t hard – eBay is littered with them. Finding a specific Brooks saddle in good condition becomes a little more challenging. I don’t think I paid much for this example, less than £30 and for that price I’m very happy. It is used and it does have some tiny scuffs but it’s in excellent condition and will look great on the finished bike.

Brakes

The brochure stated G.B. alloy for the brakes and that’s exactly what I’ve found. I did do a bit more research than that though. Looking through picture after picture I tried to identify the specific model. In some pictures I saw the Sprite engraving and so, found a set and bought them. They’re in good condition and will look even better after a thorough polish.

Gears

Now these are the parts I love the most and the parts I’ve had most trouble finding. Starting with the “Mark 7” rear derailleur, I looked around and found a few examples but they were either extremely high in price or poor condition. I’ve honestly searched for months until I found this specific derailleur. It only cost me £25 and all it really needs is the red filling in on the logo. After that I kept an eye out for the shifters and the front derailleur. Lots of single sided shifters were popping up but never a double. When this one made an appearance I couldn’t let it slip away so bought it straight away – I think that was another £20. The front derailleur is proving to be a very rare part. I’ve seen one in the UK and I was beaten to it. I’ve seen a few more rod shifters pop up but I need one to work with my downtube shifters. If worst, does come to worst, I do have an option in the States but at over £200, I really want to avoid that…

To get the bike working, I’m only really missing the wheels. I don’t think they’ll be too hard to find but I may need to send them off to be rechromed along with the crankset and pedals – I won’t know until I find a set. As for the hubs, the catalogue doesn’t specify a brand so I think I have free range there. The only other parts (apart from the front derailleur) that I need to source are the mudguards. The brochure states “Britton’s Celluloid” but I haven’t found anything under “Britton’s”. In terms of Celluloid, well there’s lots of them. I’ve seen lots of NOS Celluloid mudflaps pop up in all colours of the rainbow, however finding the right colour is tough. It’s hard to match what I see on eBay / Google to the exact colour I need. I think I’ve found a couple that are a near match – close – so close.

I’ll start contacting companies to see if I can get the transfers replicated next and after that, it’s strip and spray time! I’m excited!

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Raleigh Blue Streak – Restoration

You’d have to trawl back through a hundred or so posts on here to find the original post about this bike. I saw bike but it’s actually just a frame. A frame I picked up for next to nothing with a set of Reynolds forks for another fixed gear project. It hasn’t actually moved since I hung it on the wall in my garage though. Time to change that.

I’ve been doing my research into the Blue Streak. Gone are the plans for a fixed gear, instead I’m going to restore it with as any original parts as I can find. Google has been pretty helpful for this bike. In the image search you can find a few examples in varying states from various angles and if you follow the web pages you can find out even more about the bike. The most useful thing I found was this:

A catalogue page from back in the 60’s when the bike was produced. It’s listed the major components which makes it 10x easier finding them. I haven’t had to sit through endless vague eBay searches trying to compare bad listing pictures to examples on the bike. I know the exact Brooks saddle to get, the exact brand used for the gearing, brakes and handlebars. It has so much detail on it but there are one or two things I’ve had to look harder for.

One of those components is the crank and chainrings. The catalogue states “49T/46T double chainwheel” and nothing else. The only thing I had to go off was the pictures. Lady luck must be with me at the moment because in my first eBay search for something like “vintage chainset” or “cotter pin crank” I found an exact match. Spot on. Even down to the pedals and tooth count. I won the auction too, for a mere £10. It arrived at the weekend and it is indeed an exact match with the Raleigh branding. The seller couldn’t confirm the exact model of Raleigh it came off but he did tell me the bike it came off was purchased in the 60s! Age has taken it’s toll with the chrome starting to pit but I’ll see how a polish cleans it up.

I also took the chance to buy some straps and the seat post fittings.

One of the other components I’ve struck lucky with is the stem. I haven’t bought it just yet but from a eBay search for “vintage stem” and comparing the pictures I managed to find an exact match it two Titan stems. One, being brand new is a crazy price, the other is more my price range but does has a fair amount of pitting in one patch.

Talking of eBay, the list of parts I’ve found is stacking up with the calipers, levers, bars and derailleur in my watch list. The Google images have been such an amazing help pin pointing a specific model. The only thing I’m struggling with at the moment is the mudguards. I’m going to have to get really lucky to find them.

The Blue Streak was inspired by the Space Age in the early 60’s so the bike comes with some pretty awesome graphics. Replicating them is going to be tough. I doubt I could replicate them by myself but I’m hoping I can send the photos off to a graphics company to duplicate. If I can get those done right it will make the restoration first class. It’s a rare bike. Only in production for a small amount of time.

It’s all lining up to be a pretty awesome restoration.

Blue Streak – Another Fixed Gear Conversion

I did a bit of eBay sniping at the weekend…

I haven’t fully finished the first fixed gear conversion or “Project 80’s” (which was originally a Raleigh “Predator”) but I’ve gone and got myself a new project. I spent ages trawling eBay, adding a load of cheap old bikes and frames to my watch list and when the time came I popped in a 3 second bid to win a frame (and later some forks) for £1.70 (and £5.50). I was actually surprised I got it so cheap. Maybe it’s because it’s winter now nobody is interested in a bike project but I think I got a bargain!

The frame is off an old Raleigh “Blue Streak”. It’s very tatty and didn’t come with anything at all. It’s been completely stripped bar one bottom bracket cup which I guess is going to need drowning in penetration spray before it has a chance of coming out. Before buying it I had no idea how old the frame was but hitting Google I’ve managed to found out the frame is from the 1960s! The “Blue Streak” was a model named after a rocket booster program of all things and according to few sources was a short lived model. Back in their prime they looked pretty nice, but alas, I won’t be restoring it to its former glory (like the picture below). It must be a bit of a classic frame because I couldn’t find any information about the Raleigh “Predator” I turned into the first fixed gear.

The forks aren’t original to the frame, instead I bought a set of Reynolds 531 forks from the same seller. They were listed as “suitable” for the frame but at first look they look a tad tall. That may be resolved when a headset is fitted (or a few spacers) but last resort will be trimming a bit off the top. It seems Reynolds 531 are on of the top makes to use as the Wikipedia page says there were “the standard of excellence for many decades”. £5.50 bargain. If I can’t use these forks for any reason I’ve actually just sniped another set of forks for £3 so I’ll try those when they arrive 🙂

The plan is to strip both items back to bare metal, respray and rebuild into another fixie. It’ll probably a build to sell on when I’m finished but it will keep me busy over the winter and hopefully it will go to a good home when it’s done!

For now, I need a new project name so I can use it hash tags. I thinking Project: Fixed Streak? No? Yes?

Keep an eye out later in the week. I managed to bag another old Raleigh at the weekend but this time it’s almost complete.