Friday, April 18, 2014

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Bicycle
After
Today I am starting the restoration of an early 1980's Raleigh Competition.  I am so excited to start this restoration, I love race bikes from this era, I love riding them but also I love the design.  They boarder on minimalism.  Throw some chrome stays and components designed for lightness and you have a stunning design.

I love riding race bikes like this also, I just don't ride them much any more because they don't necessarily fair well in the places I like to ride.  I have a 1977 Schwinn Volare that follows this design idea but it was a little before this Raleigh Competitions time.  This Raleigh Competition takes the ideas to the next level.

The restoration will start out a little slow because I am right in the middle of the busiest part of tune up season so keep checking back for the progress.

The Raleigh Competition will get a complete restoration with new cables, cable housings, tires & tubes, saddle, brake lever hoods and handlebar tape.  The Competition is pretty rough, some of the chrome on the frame is very rough, hopefully the chrome will come back a long ways.  The paint is dirty and stained with a few chips, the staining should cut out no problem, under the chips is chrome so its nice that the whole frame was chromed not just the stays.

The tubing is Reynolds 555, the group is Suntour Cyclone, the crank is a Sugino and the hubs and other components are Raleigh.

I can't wait to get started.  I also am going to try to date the Competition.

Sorry for the quality of the photos starting out, I learned how to batch edit photos in photo shop and did not understand what was going on at first so some got double edited.


Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Bicycle Before

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Handlebars
Before

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Stem Before

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration
Head Tube - Before

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Front Brake
Before

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Front Wheel
Before

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration
Fork & Fork Decal - Before

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Shift Levers
Before

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Competition
Decal - Before

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Seat Stays
Before

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration
Crank - Before

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Front Derailleur
Before

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration
Reynolds 555 Decal - Before

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Rear Brake
Before

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration
Rear Wheel - Before
The frame is in good shape in some ways and in bad shape in others.  The main triangle of the frame is paint over chrome, the stays are just chrome.  The paint is in okay shape, some chips and scratches but with the chrome showing through from under the chips they do not stand out.  The stays chrome is pretty rough, a lot of rust and bubbling.  It is a shame such a nice frame was treated so poorly, I think the Raleigh was once used as a winter commuter and then stored dirty for many years.

I cleaned and polished the paint and it turned out way better then I was expecting, I am very happy about that.  I cleaned and removed as much rust as possible from the stays chrome, that chrome definitely did not turn out as good as I wanted, but it is a lot better then it was.  Over all I am ok with the results of the frame.

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Frame Before

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration
Frame Before - Head Tube

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration
Frame Before - Seat Tube

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration
Frame Before - 555 Decal

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Frame Before
Bottom Bracket

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration
Frame Before - Brake Bridge

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Frame Polished

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Frame Polished
Seat Lug

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Frame Polished
Bottom Bracket

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration
Frame Polished - Brake Bridge

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration
Frame Polished - Chain Stays
The Headset was also pretty rusted and rough.  I cleaned the headset in the crock pot, parts cleaner and Sonic cleaner and then hit the polisher.  The headset has a lot of pitting but it polished pretty nice, the bearings are good and with new grease the headset turns fantastic.  I added a spacer in place of the front reflector bracket, the headset is very different from normal and there is not much room for options.

The bottom bracket was very dirty but it polished very nice, I am happy with that.  A little new grease and it spins easy and smooth.

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Headset & Bottom Bracket
Before

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Headset & Bottom Bracket
Polished

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration
Headset Cups - Pressed

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Headset Bearings
New Grease

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Bottom Bracket
New Grease

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Bottom Bracket
Complete
The stem was originally painted and that paint was is horrible shape.  The only solution is to polish the paint off and use the polished alloy surfaces.  It took a lot of work to get the stem looking respectable, it is not perfect because stems that are paints are not as refined.  The stem shines fairly good but there are some spots the paint is in a low spot and just won't remove with out removing to much material.  Over all I am happy with the stem considering.

the handlebars where also a little rough, they cleaned fine and polished okay but I wish they where in slightly better condition.

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Stem & Handlebars - Before

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Stem & Handlebars
Before

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Stem - Before

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Stem - Polished

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Handlebars
Polished

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration
Handlebars & Stem - Installed

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration
Handlebars & Stem - Installed
 The crank came next.  The crank is a very nice Sugino crank that is very light.  The crank has a texture to it so polishing to a high mirror finish was not an option.  I cleaned the crank and then gave a light polishing taking care of not making the texture blotchy.  The crank chain ring bolts where very rusty but the polishing wheel removed most of it and made the bolts look good.  Over all the crank looks good, it has a very scratches and gouges but not to bad.  Over all I am pretty happy with the crank.

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Crank - Before

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Crank
Exploded

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Crank - Polished

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Crank
Complete

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration
Crank - Installed
he derailleurs where also rough, but very nice derailleurs, they are Suntour Cyclones.  The derailleurs had some rust and corrosion, after cleaning, flushing & lubricating they function great.  The derailleurs polished nice but I wish they would have polished up one more level but I think they took some salt from roads and have a little bit of a haze to them.  considering where they started they look pretty good.

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Front Derailleur
Before

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Front Derailleur
Polished

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Front Derailleur
Installed

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Rear Derailleur
Exploded

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Rear Derailleur
Polished

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Rear Derailleur
Complete

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration
Rear Derailleur - Installed
The brakes are nice, they are very nice for their day.  The rear brake lock nut was cracked and broken in half when I removed it.  I do not have that exact lock nut and its pretty rare so I replaced it with a more standard nut.  The chrome components had a lot of rust but did polish up pretty nice, the alloy caliper arms polished very nice.  I am happy with the brake caliper results.

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Brake Calipers
Before

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Brake Calipers
Exploded

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Broken & Replaced
Nuts

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Brakes - Polished

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Brake Calipers
Complete

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration
Front Brake Caliper - Installed

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration
Rear Brake Caliper - Installed
The shift levers are one of my favorites, they are very slim and refined Suntour levers, still friction but that is okay because I like good friction shifting.  I cleaned and polished the levers which turned out like little jewels, I then greased and installed the levers.  Very happy with the shift elvers.

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Shift Levers
Before

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Shift Levers
Polished

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Shift Levers
Complete

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Shift Levers
Installed
The brake levers are pretty standard but a bit rough,  hey took a lot of polishing but are not perfect but a lot better then before.  I installed new Shimano brake lever hoods and then installed he levers.  The brake lever hoods look great and the levers don't look to bad on the bike.

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Brake Levers
Before

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Brake Levers
Polished

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Brake Levers Hoods
Installed

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Brake Levers Installed

The seat post was also very rough and heavily gouged.  I cleaned and polished it the best I could but it is not perfect.  I also installed the new saddle at this time and a new seat binder bolt as the original was missing.  I like the way the saddle looks on the Raleigh.

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Seat Post - Before

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Sea Post
Exploded

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Seat Post Polished

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration
Seat Post & Saddle - Installed
I actually started with the wheels before the components but I think the flow of the post is better by going through the components first.

The wheels where very rough but the rims where not as bad as the rest.  I cleaned and polished the wheels and packed the bearings in new grease.  The wheel hubs look great even considering where they started, the rims look good with a few scuffs and scratched but I do like the rims a lot.  The spokes are a little rough but the will work.  I installed new Continental Sport tires and new tubes.  I am happy with the wheels.

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration
Rear Wheel - Before

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Rear Wheel Hub
Before

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Rear Wheel
Old Grease

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Rear Wheel
Polished

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Rear Wheel
New Grease

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration
New Continental Tires

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Rear Wheel
Complete

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration
Rear Wheel - Installed

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration
Front Wheel - Before

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Front Wheel
Before

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Front Wheel Rim
Before

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Front Wheel
Old Grease

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Front Wheel
Polished

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Front Wheel
New Grease

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Front Wheel
Complete

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration
Front Wheel - Installed
At this point the Raleigh Competition is just waiting to be wired and completed.

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Bike Before
Wiring
I installed the new cables, cable housings and handlebar tape.  I choose a dark silver/charcoal colored Jagwire cable housings, the color is perfect for the bike as the white is a pearl color and a black or white would be to bright.  The black handlebar tape is perfect for the Competition.

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - New Bits

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Bicycle Complete

I was curious of the weight of the Competition, 24 lbs 2 oz is the weight.  I was a little surprised with the weight as the Raleigh feels lighter then that but lighter would be somewhere in the 23 lb to 23.5 lb range for the era.  The weight is not to bad!

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - 24 Lbs 2 oz 
With the Competition complete I tuned it on the stand and then took it for a test ride.  With only a slight adjustment on the road the Competition rides fantastic, truly a great ride!!  The Raleigh rode extremely smooth and tight, shifting was quick and sharp and the brakes work good for the era.  I wish the Competition was cosmetically better but the ride can not be improved on!  It is a rider!!

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Bicycle
Complete

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Bicycle
Complete

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration
Bicycle Complete - Handlebars

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Bicycle Complete
Front Wheel

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration
Bicycle Complete - Front Half

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Bicycle Complete
Drive Train

Early 1980's Raleigh Competition Restoration - Bicycle Complete
Rear View

Thanks for the interest,
John Z.

1 comment:

  1. I'm working on the same model, thankfully in much better condition to start with. I'd like to know which Shimano hoods you used to cover the brake levers. Your craft is truly impressive.

    ReplyDelete