I’m really happy with how this rebuild has turned out! I didn’t want to carry out a full nut and bolt strip down, clean and polish; I just wanted to get this bike back on the road again and make it 100% mechanically perfect!
I haven’t cleaned off all the dirt, I haven’t attacked the alloy and chrome with Autosol and a polishing cloth, I have only replaced what needed to be replaced. After fitting new 1/4″ bearings in the rear hub and bottom bracket, the Suntour gears were re-fitted together with new inner gear cables. The Simplex retro friction levers work brilliantly and the gear changes are really smooth and quiet.
The previous Weinmann brake lever hoods had definitely seen better days and it was easier to source some complete replacement brake levers than hunt down usable replacement Weinmann hoods. The Dia-Compe levers I’ve used feel nice and fit in with the period look of the bike. Cloth bar tape finishes off the Cinelli handlebars. It replaces the worn out red bike ribbon that the bike came with.
I chose black outer cables for a few reasons – the bike came with bright red outer cables which I wasn’t keen on; white cables would have matched the white Raleigh transfers but I don’t like white cables; so black it was!
With just a light clean and oil, the bike and components have come up really well.
Although it didn’t come with mudguards, it has fittings and clearance for them, so I’ve fitted some new SKS mudguards with stainless fittings. The frame and forks have just enough clearance for the new Panaracer 28 mm tyres and the mudguards while still being able to use 500 mm drop brake calipers.
I’m not at all sure if the Brooks Professional saddle will stay on the bike but it did come with the bike so I’ll give it a go and see how it feels. It is date coded to 1975 and isn’t rock solid so it does have a small chance of being comfortable!
The frame is 30 years old and some of the major components are even older but I’m hoping that the sympathetic work I’ve carried out to this bike will enable it to be around for many more years.