A Quandary - all advice welcome

General bike chat that does not fit elsewhere
TGR
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:02 pm

A Quandary - all advice welcome

Postby TGR » Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:29 pm

Having reached the grand old age of 44, i discovered that my waist line was trying to catch up with my age. In order to remedy this i have started a diet and now i need to exercise. Having ridden in TT's in my much younger days and put in a lot of miles, i decided to visit the attic and bring down my old bike. It is a Raleigh Rapide from 1983 (30yrs old next year), for those who may not know this bike it was in the same catalogue as the Road Ace. I wiped some dust away and decided to put new tyres and tubes on and see if i could get it up and running. I accomplished this after a visit to a local bike shop.

Unfortunately (maybe not), whilst at the bike shop i bought a new bike! The salesman did not have to try too hard and i am getting a good deal on everything (i need absolutely everything). I will get it next Wednesday and i am rather excited about the prospect but that leaves me with a quandry - what about my old bike?

The details are as follows - 1983 Raleigh Rapide Reynolds 531 frame and i have added parts to it - Shimano 600ax brakes (centre/parapull), Shimano 600ax Rear Mech, Shimano 600ax seat post, Concor Profil aero seat, aero gear levers (perhaps carbon - memory is fading) and the wheels are Mavic rims with Mallard hubs the rear has a helicomatic cassette (perhaps it may be called something close to that).

I have all the original parts except the seat (although it may turn up in the attic). The bike originally had Campag front and rear mechs although not top of the range, Weinmann brakes - not aero, Weinmann wheels and hubs. The paintwork requires attention as it has a few scrapes etc from the many miles the bike has travelled and strangely the touch-up paint i used on it has faded to a yellow - the bike is pearl in colour. The other problem is brake hoods - which have turned from their original skin (gum) colour to black! The black colour may be caused my a fungus type organism and will clean off with a lot of elbow grease but the hoods are starting to crack with old age (like me!) and seem difficult to source on line (unless someone knows different).

I want to keep the bike but my quandary is -
Should i restore it to its' original condition?
Should i try and complete the 600ax groupset?
Should i get it resprayed?
Should i leave it as it is? (i do not like this option)


I would like to get some use out of it - perhaps on my turbo trainer and i do not want it gathering dust.

Any advice about my quandary would be greatly appreciated.
Last edited by TGR on Sun Oct 07, 2012 06:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

estampida
Posts: 1001
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 10:35 am

Re: A Quandry - all advice welcome

Postby estampida » Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:51 pm

Turn it into a single speed

low low maintenance, keeps the weight down

and will help you build your legs back up, and has a nice clean look

gearing is very different on today's road bikes and fitting 30 year old bits from ebay would be a pain, as the parts are worn and old........

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Rolf F
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Re: A Quandry - all advice welcome

Postby Rolf F » Sat Oct 06, 2012 13:19 pm

Do NOT turn it into a single speed. Only a scoundrel would do such a thing! Besides, the SS brigade don't realise that the maintenance issue isn't much of an issue at all for old bikes! And there is no shortage of excellent condition period stuff available very cheaply on Ebay. "Worn and old indeed" :lol:

Basically, I'd fix it up as is and take it back to original spec. The hoods will clean up and if they are starting to crack, they are probably better than the Weinmann hoods on my Record Ace which once I was keen to replace but now I've got used to them I think I'm not too fussed! I cleaned some white mouldy Shimano hoods up and they came out fine. I might be inclined to source period Campag calipers though. Weinmanns are not usually that great. I just replaced the Weinmanns on the Record Ace with some Suntour Superbe brakes I found on Ebay for £20. They are excellent!

Note - you can get Cane Creek hoods in a variety of colours for Weinmann but I don't like them much myself - not that nice a design and the gum is just an opaque light brown pigment colour. They are fairly cheap though.

For the saddle - you can, for example, get Turbo saddles new now from the likes of Planet X for not too much - http://www.planet-x-bikes.co.uk/i/q/SAS ... rbo_saddle

As for paint - depends how bad it is. Again, sometimes I think I might get the Record Ace repainted but it looks smart at a few paces as is and marks on the paint is just patina. You could get a proper colour match and retouch though.

If there is still anything you need, the Retro Bikes forum should be able to help. You'll get loads of handy advice over there - particularly if you post pics!
Faster than a tent.......

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hipshot
Posts: 366
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Re: A Quandry - all advice welcome

Postby hipshot » Sat Oct 06, 2012 14:16 pm

Rolf F wrote:Do NOT turn it into a single speed. Only a scoundrel would do such a thing!


Well said. And don't respray the frame either. Preserve it's patina and history especially if you have owned the bike from new. All the other parts are fair game, recondition or replace as you see fit.

My Gitane TdF has faded paint and many battle scars, but it looks great with every thing else cleaned up and hoods replaced etc.

Simon Masterson
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Re: A Quandry - all advice welcome

Postby Simon Masterson » Sat Oct 06, 2012 15:03 pm

Rolf F and I generally come to blows when it comes to vintage bikes ( :lol:), but I largely agree with his post.

Shimano 600 is good stuff. I have it on my similar vintage Ernie Clements-era Falcon. Both derailleurs are a little worse for wear but part of that problem is that it was my dad's and he's never been into fastidious maintenance. You should be able to replace anything on there for pennies on eBay.

Personally I wouldn't put anything on the bike that I wouldn't want to use....

Eg. I happen to like 'vintage hotrod' bikes, and I've also had a number of things fail on this bike (eg. rear wheel) and replaced them with whatever I could get, but the original brakes (Shimano Tourneys) had me in various hedges and the like, and nearly saw me in front of a lorry. With that in mind the 'experienced cycling guru' in my life insisted on putting a new pair of Tektros on there, and a pair of R-400 levers. I was hugely thankful for both, and I now would not go back to non-aero levers. Being able to brake from the hoods is invaluable.

I also wouldn't put a saddle on I didn't find comfortable, but hopefully that won't be an issue. In terms of respraying, personally I see no wrong in it; my Falcon will be getting one at some point as it's in dire need. The only other thing I can think of is using parts that require consumables that are difficult to source, but that's about it.

Sounds like a great bike; do feel free to post pics! ;)

TGR
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:02 pm

Re: A Quandry - all advice welcome

Postby TGR » Sat Oct 06, 2012 15:57 pm

Thanks for the replies so far, i now have more options to consider. The scrapes to the paintwork are untidy and new Raleigh decals would have to be sourced if i wanted the bike in a mint condition. I am still pondering my options, i think, costs permitting, i would like the whole 600ax groupset but i am not sure if this the best option as i might have a nice bike to look at but then, if it is nice to look at - would i ever take it out?

My worry is that i will end up with a Road Ace copy without the tub tyres when i might be better with an original bike.

Still pondering ...

Any more advice would be welcome

NewTTer
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Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:29 am

Re: A Quandry - all advice welcome

Postby NewTTer » Sat Oct 06, 2012 21:28 pm

If you must over use a word please at least spell it correctly, it is QUANDARY

TGR
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:02 pm

Re: A Quandary - all advice welcome

Postby TGR » Sun Oct 07, 2012 06:13 am

NewTTer, apologies for the typo - my ignorance knows no bounds. I have corrected it where i can. This is a great forum - with spellcheck for free!

NewTTer
Posts: 459
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:29 am

Re: A Quandary - all advice welcome

Postby NewTTer » Sun Oct 07, 2012 17:02 pm

Well you did say "all advice welcome".

TGR
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:02 pm

Re: A Quandary - all advice welcome

Postby TGR » Mon Oct 08, 2012 18:41 pm

Fair point. Thanks for your advice although i was really wanting more bike related as oppised to spelling, but i will know for the next time!


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