Raleigh Classic Tourer upgrade

Attermire 1

New Member
Hi
A first post, so apologies if this is covering old ground-point me at the right thread please.
I've a Classic c1982/83 that has been resprayed and I now want to fit modern components-I love the frame, but I want the benefit of modern kit. I'll be keeping the old centre pull brakes, but part of the respray was a fork adjustment (and a few other changes) for 700c modern wheels.
Guidance on a good bottom bracket to fit would be welcome as well as any thoughts on a quality F/R gear components. It will be used for some long-haul road trips, so fully loaded.
Any additional thoughts welcome.
Cheers
 

Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
Hello and :welcome: to the forum.

Whats on it at the moment? You could certainly fit a Shimano Hollowtech BB and crankset As well as brifters and up to date mechs. Let’s have a few pics.
 

SkipdiverJohn

Veteran
Location
London
I really wouldn't go down the road of some modern kit, TBH. AFAIK, the Classic was built as a 15 speed, so has a triple up front as standard and a good range of gears already. I believe the frame is essentially the same as my Royal which rides lovely, so I can see why you want to keep it. 700 wheels make sense from the aspect of tyre choice, but you can still get some decent Schwalbe tyres for 27" wheels nonetheless.
Personally I would stick with square taper cranksets, and avoid fitting anything to the rear end that required narrow chains or expensive to replace cassettes. If you are going to do a lot of miles, reliability and longevity of the parts is a high priority. @Blue Hills does quite a bit of touring and has evolved tried and tested specs on his bikes that work and last well. IIRC, he has found 8-speed stuff to be optimal and is sticking to that.
 
Last edited:
Location
London
@Blue Hills does quite a bit of touring and has evolved tried and tested specs on his bikes that work and last well. IIRC, he has found 8-speed stuff to be optimal and is sticking to that.
Actually amongst my getting on for ten bikes skipdiver I only have one eight speed bike (an originally 7 speed quality steel hybrid) - the rest are nine speed apart from a 5 speed brommie and a rogue card 3x7 speed pro (7 speed rear twinned with a 3 speed hub gear) .
You basically have me right though - I have no intention at all of going above 9 speed and see no need to whatsoever.
8 speed is indeed perfectly good (there are pics of that bike on here carrying a ton of junk) - 9 speed does have the advantage of the easy availability of a cheap 12-36 cassette - you can really only have 34 on the back with 8 speed I think. I have been thankful for those extra 2 teeth at times.
But yes, I agree, keep it simple and tough and go for easy maintenance, unless you are Cav - who is tough, and has folks to do his maintenance/supply his bits.
Oh I have one 7 speed as well.
 
Location
London
Just read the original post.
I would strongly consider changing the brakes if you are going to ride fully loaded down and serious hills.
Will V brakes fit?
Folks on here can probably advise on technical side of this - position and spacing of mounts etc.
But yes, as above, no more than 9 speed at all for your intended use.
No problem getting bits for 9 speed.

ah, edit - brain still kicking into gear - this bike will be drop barred won't it?
My expertise, such as it is, is with flat bars - so much simpler in so many ways.
 

rogerzilla

Legendary Member
Dropped bars and V-brakes are a bit of a 'mare, and there won't be braze-ons anyway. Centre-pulls are fine but very hard to set up, assuming they are the (better, stiffer) plain-post type.
 
OP
A

Attermire 1

New Member
Many thanks. Plenty to think about. I will ride fully loaded, as I have before the strip down. Centre-pull brakes will remain-they're not the best, but I've done plenty of miles with them and feel happy with them. The gearing issue is one to resolve, but I like simple. After some difficult road side repairs on tour, the simpler the better.
 

SkipdiverJohn

Veteran
Location
London
The gearing issue is one to resolve, but I like simple. After some difficult road side repairs on tour, the simpler the better.
I would definitely be sticking with downtube shifters and not modernising with brifters. You won't be doing a quick roadside fix on one of those if it packs up.
The ultimate in mechanical reliability on a bike is either no gears or hub gears, but no gears is clearly not an option for touring. Hub gears can be fairly cheap (SA or Shimano) but the range relatively limited, or they can have a very wide range but be very expensive - i.e Rohloff. If I was building a cost no object touring or utility bike from a frame upwards I would seriously consider the latter option.
 

SkipdiverJohn

Veteran
Location
London
If his Raleigh has cotter pins then it would have been built when they where still using their own thread sizes. Modern cups won't fit the bottom bracket shell. The only way to upgrade the bottom bracket would be to fit a threadless one.
There isn't a hard & fast rule with Raleighs, other than the fact if it's a traditional 3-speed roadster or shopper bike it will have the Raleigh-specific threading.
If it's a derailleur geared bike; i.e. a "racer" of one sort or another it may have Raleigh's own threads on it, or it may be standard ISO threaded. My rule of thumb is generally the cheaper the model, the more likely it is to be Raleigh threaded and the more expensive (such as 531 framed bikes) the more likely to be standard. Also there's an age factor; the later Raleighs are more likely it is to have standard threads on them.

As we're talking about a Classic here, a top-of-the-range 531 tourer, I'd say there's a fair chance the BB threading could be ISO standard. But in all honesty, I see no reason why a BB needs to be "upgraded" anyway. All I ever do with any of the BB's on my bikes is take them apart, regrease the bearings, then put them back together and adjust. I would not dream of replacing a factory BB with a sealed unit one either, I like to be able to overhaul them, the same as I will not use wheels that do not have cup & cone bearings in them. I expect all bikes I own to be DIY-serviceable with just basic tools, a can of spray lube and a pot of grease.
 
Last edited:

raleighnut

Legendary Member
Location
On 3 Wheels
If his Raleigh has cotter pins then it would have been built when they where still using their own thread sizes. Modern cups won't fit the bottom bracket shell. The only way to upgrade the bottom bracket would be to fit a threadless one.
No providing the cups are OK you can fit a square taper shaft and 2 caged bearing races like I did when I rebuilt my Raleigh City 3 speed, the down side is most modern shafts are made of compressed cheese, luckily I have a stash of old salvaged shafts in good condition that came from bikes I'd changed to HT11 that are mainly case hardened CrMo (I kept them as spares for my bikes that are still rebuildable square taper cranks)
 
Top Bottom