Beat the scrap-men: Raleigh Ascender MTB

DCLane

Found in the Yorkshire hills ...
Having had recent purchases go wrong on me - an Orbit 531c which was rusted and seized, plus a carbon wheel which has turned out to have a broken rim - I was suffering a confidence crisis in buying used items.

So, en route to Manchester velodrome I passed two bikes with other items, did a quick U-turn and arrived 10 seconds before two scrap vans. Clearly there's honour in the scrap industry and, being first, I got first pick of some or all the items.

There were two bikes - a Raleigh and a girls MTB - along with a fire hearth, metal rack and much more. However, given the Tepee already had a track bike, rollers, spare wheels, pump and kit plus son in it there was room for one bike only:

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[Ignore the long grass - I've a 19yo who's going to cut it for me!]

It's a Raleigh Ascender (approx. 1992) which was covered in dirt and dust but missing a seatpost clamp and saddle. I left the seatpost marinating overnight and got it moving today after a lot of penetrating fluid and wiggling.

A quick clean plus lubricate and it's all original underneath apart from the saddle. It'll need new tyres and there's a rear drive-side spoke gone. Otherwise all works fine.

No plans, just rescued from being bean cans.
 
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Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
Nothing flash, but 30 or more years old and still capable of getting someone to work and back.
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
It's very original looking. It'll never be worth much, but it's a wonderful curio, a two wheeled late 80s time capsule. The more I look the more I like.
 
OP
OP
DCLane

DCLane

Found in the Yorkshire hills ...
It's very original looking. It'll never be worth much, but it's a wonderful curio, a two wheeled late 80s time capsule. The more I look the more I like.

Well me being a member of the 'pixie society' I can just fit, but in reality it's for someone 5'10-6'3. My guess is I'll fix the broken spoke and then send it on it's way working properly. The frame's officially a Large 23" size.

Any room in Drago towers? Would it fit in a Smart car I wonder?
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
It would fit om the bike rack, no probs. Alas, I'm doing little enough riding as it is at the moment due to my nacked shoulder.
 

SkipdiverJohn

Deplorable Brexiteer
Location
London
So, en route to Manchester velodrome I passed two bikes with other items, did a quick U-turn and arrived 10 seconds before two scrap vans. Clearly there's honour in the scrap industry and, being first, I got first pick of some or all the items.
View attachment 476876
It's a Raleigh Ascender (approx. 1992) which was covered in dirt and dust but missing a seatpost clamp and saddle. I
A quick clean plus lubricate and it's all original underneath apart from the saddle. It'll need new tyres and there's a rear drive-side spoke gone. Otherwise all works fine. No plans, just rescued from being bean cans.

Keep hold of it; it's way better than any of the low end junk suspension MTBs they sell nowadays! Stick on a pair of Marathon Greenguards, a £6 set of "unbreakable" plastic MTB mudguards, and some sort of rear rack and you'll have yourself a nice bomb-proof do-anything utility hack that you won't have to stress about getting stolen if you dare to leave it out of your sight. I did some fettling on one of these recently (they date from 1994/95, not 1992), and so long as the gear shift is set up right and the brakes work, they are a really comfortable runabout.

Also capable of being turned into a cheap, sturdy tourer. They've got alloy rims, 455 mm chainstays and 70 degree frame geometry. Your feet won't kick the panniers and the handling feels safe because the geometry is slack.

That's a big old frame DC.

It's no bigger than a traditional steel 23 1/2" road frame. I'm just under 6ft and I have a couple of old-school 23" Raleigh MTB frames and for everyday leisure cycling they are fine to ride and there is no problem with standover clearance.. People have just got brainwashed in recent years into thinking that you have to ride a child-sized bike if you want an MTB. These are simply adult sized bikes built for adult riders!

It's very original looking. It'll never be worth much, but it's a wonderful curio, a two wheeled late 80s time capsule. The more I look the more I like.

More than just a curio. A well-made, solid bike, built in Nottingham not Taiwan. Eminently practical and useable for a whole host of purposes, racing aside!
 
OP
OP
DCLane

DCLane

Found in the Yorkshire hills ...
Having worked on this today the rear wheels been trued without a spoke as I can't get the freewheel off. Also the rear derailleur had a pile of stuck fishing line in - that's out and it's cleaned/greased and moving freely. Everything else adjusted as needed - gears / brakes / derailleurs.

However, it's a bit too big and I've a lovely GT Timberline MTB so it's going up for sale - at £15 - which I think is a fair price for working retro MTB in almost original condition.

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SkipdiverJohn

Deplorable Brexiteer
Location
London
it's a bit too big and I've a lovely GT Timberline MTB so it's going up for sale - at £15 - which I think is a fair price for working retro MTB in almost original condition.

That's an absolute bargain for a usable working Raleigh MTB. I find those slack angled welded Raleighs surprisingly good fun to ride yet comfortable over poor surfaces and they are in another league compared with horrible modern BSO's that bounce and creak their way down the road with half the pedalling effort going into the suspension rather than generating any forward motion. Would make an ideal urban commuting or general utility bike. Just my size too! I'd snatch your arm off at that price if you were near me. It's too cheap if anything, which is something coming from me! Hope it finds an owner who will appreciate it's robust construction. Weight weenies look away now...….
 
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