1985 Raleigh/BSA Racer

BasilWhite

Active Member
Yesterday I dismantled my old bike I've had for 25 years... But it's ok, in a couple of weeks I'm putting it all back together :smile:

It's a Raleigh/BSA bike with serial number starting NP5 (Nottingham, Nov 1985??). Has drop bars with metallic blue brake levers(Dia Compe), the type with double levers so you can ride with hands on top of the bars and still brake, not sure what they are called.

It's a 5-speed with a gear lever mounted on the bottom tube of the frame. The derailleur brand is 'Sachs-Huret', wheel hubs are 'Maillard' with rims stamped 'Raleigh 27 x 1.25'.

Handlebars are in excellent condition, frame and forks have quite a bit of rust but I should be able to remove that, primer (zinc?) and a few coats of paint it will be fine. The caliper brakes are almost as good as new but I'll be getting some new cables. The main problem is the cranks, badly rusted and the left side pedal is fused on with rust. They came off the bike ok, the bottom bracket bearings on the right side look fine, just need a clean and some grease. The left side, well I can't get that off, has a circle with 2 flat edges bigger than any spanner I have so will have to get the right tool. I did notice looking through at the bearings on that side, one BB is missing (8 of 9).

I'm probably going to need to find some replacements unless anyone thinks they can be saved? Seen some cottered cranks on eBay but trying to keep costs down, can a modern equivalent be fitted?

The wheel rims have rust spots all over, they have a chrome/stainless steel look. I'm not sure what do with them, I guess painting is a bad idea and possibly dangerous to paint the braking surface.

So not too bad, can't wait to get back on the road, haven't ridden this bike in over 20 years. Just have to get the cranks sorted and a new chain, paint the frame (was white with stickers, will be probably be gold when I'm done) and put everything back together, then get some miles done before I get any less fit :biggrin:
 

biggs682

Smile a mile bike provider
Location
Northamptonshire
sounds just the ticket wish i had kept one of my teenage bikes
 

Teuchter

Über Member
Has drop bars with metallic blue brake levers(Dia Compe), the type with double levers so you can ride with hands on top of the bars and still brake, not sure what they are called.
Suicide levers :ohmy:

It's a 5-speed with a gear lever mounted on the bottom tube of the frame. The derailleur brand is 'Sachs-Huret', wheel hubs are 'Maillard' with rims stamped 'Raleigh 27 x 1.25'.
My Peugeot had Maillard hubs and Sachs-Huret gears. I kept the front derailleur which seems fine but the rear was broken so I replaced it (Shimano 600). Also kept the downtube friction shifters which were also Sachs-Huret and do the job perfectly well.

I replaced the wheels with new ones as I like stopping in the rain and this was intended as a commuter bike. You may be able to further date the bike from the hubs - I'm sure mine had a year stamped on them.

The main problem is the cranks, badly rusted and the left side pedal is fused on with rust.
These can be a right pain. Have you tried applying heat (as in a butane torch)? Has worked for me in the past. Also remember that the left hand pedal has a left hand thread (turn clockwise to loosen).

The left side, well I can't get that off, has a circle with 2 flat edges bigger than any spanner I have so will have to get the right tool.
I got a huge adjustable spanner for that but have also removed them gripped between the jaws of a bench vice successfully. Like pedals, make sure you're turning the correct way - one side is left hand thread and I can't remember which right now (I referred to an already removed BB last time I did it).

So not too bad, can't wait to get back on the road, haven't ridden this bike in over 20 years. Just have to get the cranks sorted and a new chain, paint the frame (was white with stickers, will be probably be gold when I'm done) and put everything back together, then get some miles done before I get any less fit :biggrin:
If you can get it all apart and sort out what to do with the cranks and BB, it sounds like a nice project.
 

Teuchter

Über Member
sounds just the ticket wish i had kept one of my teenage bikes
Likewise. My parents moved house 5 years ago and had a clear out, during which they chucked out the mid 80s Puch road bike that I'd ridden throughout my teenage years until leaving home. I was gutted... they hadn't even asked if I wanted it and at the same time I was on eBay looking for old road bikes!
 

Scilly Suffolk

Über Member
...The main problem is the cranks, badly rusted and the left side pedal is fused on with rust. They came off the bike ok, the bottom bracket bearings on the right side look fine, just need a clean and some grease. The left side, well I can't get that off, has a circle with 2 flat edges bigger than any spanner I have so will have to get the right tool. I did notice looking through at the bearings on that side, one BB is missing (8 of 9).

Even if you can find a large enough wrench, the flats on the cup aren't thick enough to get adequate purchase, especially if it's been in place for some time.

You need a large nut and bolt and too big washers: drop the bolt and one washer through the non-drive side, so the thread is outside the shell, then add the other washer and tighten the nut. The washers will grip the cup and the nut has large enough flats to get a good grip on.

Even better would be to grip the nut in a bench-mounted vice so you can turn the frame for more leverage.

I'm probably going to need to find some replacements unless anyone thinks they can be saved? Seen some cottered cranks on eBay but trying to keep costs down, can a modern equivalent be fitted?

Unless you are doing a faithful restoration or can find some cheap, it would be a good idea to upgrade to cotterless cranks and possibly also a cartridge bottom bracket (BB).

You probably have a Raleigh threaded BB: measure the shell and if it is 71mm or 76mm across (ie across the bike from the non-drive to the drive side) then it is Raleigh; if 68mm it is a conventional British threaded BB.

I'm sure someone still makes Raleigh BB or you should be able to re-use the cups with a new spindle for cotterless cranks. Another alternative is to use a threadless BB.

The wheel rims have rust spots all over, they have a chrome/stainless steel look. I'm not sure what do with them, I guess painting is a bad idea and possibly dangerous to paint the braking surface...

If the rims are steel (check with a magnet) then you would be well advised to replace them with alloy as they brake poorly, especially in the wet.
 
OP
BasilWhite

BasilWhite

Active Member
Thank you for the helpful replies. I think I'm going to replace the wheels and bottom bracket then. I'm not trying to restore it, more like giving it another life, the aim is to make it ride like almost new. And of course, I'm a 'few pounds' :blush: heavier than I used to be, bad brakes are more of an issue these days so a change of wheels sounds like a plan.

As soon as I do anything interesting will post a few pictures. Thanks again for your help.
 

Scilly Suffolk

Über Member
If you're trying to keep costs down, then this wheelset is worth a look: their 700c equivalents were used in this build and he seems happy with them and you'll struggle to find cheaper.

I would also seriously consider upgrading to dual-pivot brakes: even a budget pair like this will be noticeably better than single-pivot, not to mention easier to set-up. Do check the drop: if your bike has mudguards and clearance for big tyres, you may need long/deep drop brakes.

Have a look at the bottom bracket were you've taken the cranks off, they should state the threading. I've been stripping an 1985 Raleigh this afternoon and both cups state "1.37 x 24t", which is conventional British size. As your bike is of a similar vintage, there is a good chance yours will be the same, in which case it will be a lot easier to buy a new BB.

From what you've written, it sounds as if you have a single chainring up front: you might want to fit a double, although you'll obviously need a front derailleur too. Once you have decided on your chainset, you can then buy a suitable BB.
 

HovR

Über Member
Location
Plymouth
If you're trying to keep costs down, then this wheelset is worth a look: their 700c equivalents were used in this build and he seems happy with them and you'll struggle to find cheaper.
I can also recommend those wheels. Used the 700c versions on a build of mine and they're fine. It's worth noting that they don't come with rim tape (at least mine didn't) so you'll need to fit some.

Also, pictures? ^_^
 
OP
BasilWhite

BasilWhite

Active Member
If you're trying to keep costs down, then this wheelset is worth a look: their 700c equivalents were used in this build and he seems happy with them and you'll struggle to find cheaper.
Great, I've added them to my ever growing list of ebay items.

I would also seriously consider upgrading to dual-pivot brakes: even a budget pair like this will be noticeably better than single-pivot, not to mention easier to set-up. Do check the drop: if your bike has mudguards and clearance for big tyres, you may need long/deep drop brakes.
Perfect thanks! Good price too. It's addictive this bike building eh? I can't stop myself looking for bike parts all day.

Have a look at the bottom bracket were you've taken the cranks off, they should state the threading. I've been stripping an 1985 Raleigh this afternoon and both cups state "1.37 x 24t", which is conventional British size.... it sounds as if you have a single chainring up front: you might want to fit a double, although you'll obviously need a front derailleur too. Once you have decided on your chainset, you can then buy a suitable BB.
Yes single chainring, will probably keep it simple and replace with a single. Just checked the drive side cup(?) and all I can see on it is '6NO3', one half of it is rusty so nothing to read there but I'll try and clean it up. Outside diameter of the thread looks like 33/34mm approx and inside it's 29/30mm.The left side is still on there until I get a bigger adjustable spanner! What I do know is the shell is 68mm across so would be British threading. That doesn't mean anything to me but I'm guessing there are a lot more options for a new BB with that size.

I can also recommend those wheels. Used the 700c versions on a build of mine and they're fine. It's worth noting that they don't come with rim tape (at least mine didn't) so you'll need to fit some.
Also, pictures? ^_^
I agree, new alloy wheels are going to be a lot better (lighter, better braking, nicer to look at) than cleaning up the old steel ones. Plus I don't have to mess about taking hubs apart. Thanks for the tip about the rim tape.

And pictures will be done soon, not the whole bike just everything in bits but nice to compare with when it's all done.

Thanks again, I've never had such a friendly welcome and useful advice on forums anywhere, ever. :smile:
 

Teuchter

Über Member
If you're trying to keep costs down, then this wheelset is worth a look: their 700c equivalents were used in this build and he seems happy with them and you'll struggle to find cheaper.
I've done a few hundred miles on them now and for a cheap wheelset, am happy with them. Will see how they stand up to winter use but I expect that if I keep an eye on wheel true as an indication of spoke tension and regrease the bearings after winter, all should be fine.

I would also seriously consider upgrading to dual-pivot brakes: even a budget pair like this will be noticeably better than single-pivot, not to mention easier to set-up. Do check the drop: if your bike has mudguards and clearance for big tyres, you may need long/deep drop brakes.
These would require drilling the front fork and rear brake bridge to accomodate the recessed nuts. I've not done this myself but have heard of concerns about weakening the rear brake bridge by doing this. Has anyone who has done it got any experience of this or is it just needless worrying?

In my experience, I find traditional single pivot side pull brakes work just fine if they're clean, adjusted correctly and have smooth running cables. This is based on using Weinmann, CLB and cheap Raleigh versions.
 
OP
BasilWhite

BasilWhite

Active Member
I've done a few hundred miles on them now and for a cheap wheelset, am happy with them. Will see how they stand up to winter use but I expect that if I keep an eye on wheel true as an indication of spoke tension and regrease the bearings after winter, all should be fine.
I'm definitely going to give these wheels a try. At that price there's no reason not to, especially when my 2 options are 27 year old rusty steel wheels or these alloy ones off ebay!

These would require drilling the front fork and rear brake bridge to accomodate the recessed nuts. I've not done this myself but have heard of concerns about weakening the rear brake bridge by doing this. Has anyone who has done it got any experience of this or is it just needless worrying?

In my experience, I find traditional single pivot side pull brakes work just fine if they're clean, adjusted correctly and have smooth running cables. This is based on using Weinmann, CLB and cheap Raleigh versions.
I'd be interested in an answer to this too. I think I'm going to clean up the old calipers and see how they feel and then replace if they are not up to the job. The new wheels should make a difference anyway. The calipers I have are single pivot Weinmann type 500 and type 730. A bit of googling found the vertical reach for these.

500 = 43-57mm
730 = 53-71mm

and they went right up to 108mm!

812 = 61-79mm
1020 = 74.5-92.5mm
1080 = 84.5-108mm

But I haven't done anything on the bike yet except take it to pieces so will be a while before I can say if the brakes are still any good. Lots of parts to order, postie's going to be busy the next couple of weeks! :laugh:
 

Scilly Suffolk

Über Member
...These would require drilling the front fork and rear brake bridge to accomodate the recessed nuts. I've not done this myself but have heard of concerns about weakening the rear brake bridge by doing this. Has anyone who has done it got any experience of this or is it just needless worrying?

You're quite right, I forgot: apologies all round! Here's Sheldon's take it.

In my experience, I find traditional single pivot side pull brakes work just fine if they're clean, adjusted correctly and have smooth running cables. This is based on using Weinmann, CLB and cheap Raleigh versions.

I also agree that dual-pivot brakes aren't an essential upgrade, especially bearing in mind the extra work fitting them; however, they would be on my list.
 

HovR

Über Member
Location
Plymouth
In my experience, I find traditional single pivot side pull brakes work just fine if they're clean, adjusted correctly and have smooth running cables. This is based on using Weinmann, CLB and cheap Raleigh versions.
Agreed. My Weinmann's can and do lift the back wheel off the ground, in the wet, when braking hard on the front. I think the key is to match good brake pads to a rim with a high quality braking surface.
 

Scilly Suffolk

Über Member
Just a quick question, would something like this be ok? Says 1.37 x 24 and 68mm... http://www.wiggle.co.uk/shimano-bb-un55-bottom-bracket-british-thread/
Broadly speaking, yes. It will fit your BB shell being 68mm wide and British threading. However, until you find a pair of cranks you won't know what length spindle you need (the second measurement in the description).

Also, being Shimano it will have a JIS (Japanese Industrial Standard) taper to the end of the spindle where the pedals fit. The other standard is ISO (International Standards Organisation): JIS is used by Far Eastern manufacturers and ISO by European ones.

You can fit JIS cranks to ISO spindles (and vice versa) but this will alter the chainline and they will be damaged whenever they are removed and refitted. As you are buying new there is no reason to mix the two, so it would be best to find a crankset first and then find a suitable BB.

Best to check the availability of the needed BB, before buying a crankset as not all spindle lengths are commonly available.
 
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