Raleigh Royal (late 1980s) rebuild - advice for beginner

dmgraham8

Regular
Hi fab forum, :hello:

I am going to rebuild my dad’s Raleigh Royal (c 1986 - 90 I think), 531st frame. 23” (I am 6’3”).

However I am a novice bike mechanic.

Unfortunately I can’t post photos at the moment because I am new to the forum, but it looks like the one in the below website. I will be able to post lots of photos in due course.
http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=369163


I intend to replace almost everything except frame, forks, and brake callipers. It’s a project to learn new skills, but not a careful restoration (the frame is a bit rusty).

I am not quite sure where to start - I need to do some reading before I embark on stripping it all down.

Can people suggest a comprehensive book / website / forum that can talk me through the process in some detail? Especially for this age of Raleigh.

I saw Mr Gunk’s post(s) with lots of photos - a similar rebuild - but he obviously has lots of experience! :

https://www.cyclechat.net/threads/raleigh-royal-tourer-rebuild.262163/


Any advice very much appreciated.

Thanks,

David
 
OP
dmgraham8

dmgraham8

Regular
In case the link to photo does not work.. another similar bike:
https://www.lfgss.com/conversations/274356/
 

All uphill

I didn't recognise you but I knew your bike
Location
Somerset
Hi and welcome!

I'd suggest getting it into a usable condition and then riding it.

Make improvements one at a time until you are really happy that everything works perfectly. Then either keep riding or strip the bike completely, respray and rebuild.

Doing things gradually reduces the risk of motivation loss, ime. There are lots of boxes of bikes in bits in garages gathering dust! I'm collecting one of thos from a neighbout tomorrow!

Good luck and keep asking questions.
 

teaboy

Well-Known Member
Location
west sussex
Hi and welcome!

I'd suggest getting it into a usable condition and then riding it.

Make improvements one at a time until you are really happy that everything works perfectly. Then either keep riding or strip the bike completely, respray and rebuild.

Doing things gradually reduces the risk of motivation loss, ime. There are lots of boxes of bikes in bits in garages gathering dust! I'm collecting one of thos from a neighbout tomorrow!

Good luck and keep asking questions.
 

SkipdiverJohn

Veteran
Location
London
I've got one that dates from 1985, in regular 531, not the heavier ST tubeset, and it's the most comfortable riding frame I possess. They are nice bikes and well worth keeping.
569111


I would suggest you avoid the temptation to get too carried away, and start by assessing the condition of all the existing mechanical parts, then cleaning regreasing and refitting everything in a systematic way. There might not be that much wrong with it that needs replacing other than the normal bits that deteriorate with age or wear out like tyres, control cables and chains.
f your frame has got the same dropout spacing as mine, 120 mm, then it was designed to accept a five speed rear wheel. My wheels are also 27", not metric 700c. Don't assume you can automatically fit parts designed for a modern road bike that might have a 10 speed cassette and a wider axle spacing. If substituting more modern parts, you will find hybrid town bike wheels and transmission parts are a better match to the frame than modern road bike bits.
 

DRM

Veteran
Location
West Yorks
https://www.youtube.com/user/parktoolcompany
https://www.youtube.com/user/shyflirt1

Have a look at both You Tube channels, Park Tool are the gold standard for bike repair videos for bikes of all types & ages, they are very good at explaining exactly what you should be doing to complete a task, R J the bike guy buys old bikes and restores them, he's also very good at explaining what he does and why.
Good luck with the restoration, as others have said, make it safe & useable, ride it then think about what you would like to improve once you know it's foibles.
 

biggs682

Smile a mile bike provider
Location
Northamptonshire
@dmgraham8 welcome , I would suggest you get it mobile enough to do a few laps of a quiet road or cycle path to check everything is working or not then then fix those issues as you go along.

The first things to check are that you can adjust both the saddle and handle bar stem for height as if either of those are seized then it might not be worth doing.

Feel free to ask questions that's what we are here for.
 
OP
dmgraham8

dmgraham8

Regular
What a responsive and helpful bunch!

@All uphill and @teaboy - that sounds like a good strategy. Perhaps I will strip down a few bits and clean to start with. Manageable chunks. I will need new wheels and I think the BB needs tlc when I am brave enough.

@SkipdiverJohn - yours is beautiful and thank you for the tips re dropout spacing and compatible parts. I’ll have to put new wheels in, so will keep this in mind (and report back).

@biggs682 - thank you. It needs a few bits to make it roadworthy, but I'll get it going and work at it incrementally as you suggest. Saddle and stem seem to be ok :okay: I'll send some pics soon.

@DRM - thank you for the links, that is excellent and I will use. I have heard the Park Tools blue book is good, too.

@Gunk - thanks for posting :notworthy: . Your various threads are really useful. What is the book you are referring to on the table of tools during Royal rebuild?

@Bonefish Blues - I’ll keep one eye out for maxicars!


I will get stuck in, pace myself, and post photos to keep me motivated / accountable!


Photos and questions to follow soon

David
 

SkipdiverJohn

Veteran
Location
London
@dmgraham8 Mine looks better from a few yards away than it does up close. It won't win any beauty contests no matter how well it rides. There's a few relatively minor but visible scrapes on the frame and the headset chrome is rather unsightly. I've got a nicer Tange headset which I am intending to swap fairly soon.
When I got it, it came with a rather battered and broken pair of mudguards. a shabby chrome steel rack, and needed a saddle. I took the Touring bits off and run it as a fair weather bike, since I've got hybrids with mudguards and racks. On the plus side, it was very cheap for a bike with a 531 frame, and doesn't look to have done too many miles. The tyres in the photo I believe to be the original Michelins, now 36 years old. They are also earmarked for replacement as I will probably swap to 700c wheels and convert it to a six speed rear end. Yours may already be six speed if it has canti brakes since that would indicate a later build date.
Nothing on a conventionally engineered steel bike is too complex, and so long as you have a half decent selection of basic hand tools you should manage fine. Take plenty of pictures on your mobile phone of how things look before starting then you can refer back to how it is supposed to look when it comes to putting it back together. You don't need to be any bike mechanic to rebuild bikes, any more than you need to be a car mechanic to do your own maintenance. Most of it is about using common sense and the correct use of hand tools so you don't damage things by being ham-fisted.
Good luck with the rebuild, and put some pics up in the vintage section when the forum software allows you to post images. Those of us who ride old steel bikes always pay attention to such rebuild threads.
 
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