Thursday, September 25, 2014

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - A Break From Tradition

This posts starts with a 1968 Raleigh Sports.  I found this Raleigh in the same barn as the Gitane Tourist mixte.  This is kind of a reverse of the Gitane Mixte in that the components are in a little better condition then the Gitane components and the paint was in much much worse shape.

Purists love this Raleigh green but I will state right out I am not a purist and really don't like green for any bicycle.  The plan for the Sports is a complete restoration with a powder coated color I have always wanted for a 3 speed.  The Raleigh Sports will also receive new handlebars, a replacement stem, a new Brooks saddle, new handlebar grips, all new cables & housings, a new saddle bag, new bearings, I am thinking new alloy rims and spokes and replacement brake calipers as it has the original pain in the but pear shaped cables ends.

As you can see in he before photos below he Raleigh Sports 3 Speed is in really rough starting shape.  It took a great deal of work to break the Raleigh down, like the Gitane a lot of parts where frozen and stuck.  Eventually I got everything apart.


1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Bicycle Before

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration
Bicycle Before - Stem

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Bicycle Before
Handlebars

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Bicycle Before\
Handlebars

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Bicycle Before
Front

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration
Bicycle Before - Front Brake

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Bicycle Before
Front Wheel

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Bicycle Before
Front Wheel Rim

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Bicycle Before
Top Tube Hardware

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration
Bicycle Before - Seat Lug Hardware

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Bicycle Before
Drive Train

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration
Bicycle Before - Crank

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration
Bicycle Before - Pedal

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration
Bicycle Before - Rear Brake

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration
Bicycle Before - Classic Raleigh Fender

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Bicycle Before
Rear Wheel Hub
With the Raleigh broken down you can see how bad the frame paint was.  I stripped the paint and cleaned the frame very well.

I originally was planing to paint the frame and actually had the primer and base coat applied and wet sanded but with the new powder coat equipment I would rather do that.

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Frame Before
Head Tube

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Frame Before
Down Tube & Decal

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Frame Before
Top Tube

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Frame Before
Seat Lug

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration
Frame Before - Seat Lug

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Frame Before
Bottom Bracket

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Frame Before
Bottom Bracket

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration
Frame Before - Drop Outs

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration
Frame Before - Fork

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration
Frame Before - Fork

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration
Frame Before - Fork

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Frame Before
Fork Crown

I mentioned above I stripped and cleaned the frame for painting, after stripping the frame again this time for powder coated I had it lightly blasted and then cleaned it very well.  It is amazing that the frame looks so good stripped considering the way it looked when started.

My plan for the Raleigh Sports is to also paint the head tube cream along with the classic white back end of the rear fender in the same cream.  I laid down the cream powder to the head tube first and then all of the orange.  With real high temp tape this process went a lot easier.

With the orange look good I applied the layer of high gloss clear coat.  I love this orange with metal flake in it and the clear coat went down like glass, I love it!!

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Frame Stripped

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Frame Stripped

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Frame Stripped

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Frame Stripped

I applied the cream color to the head tube first and then masked the area off with high temperature tape.  The cream color really looks good so far.

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Cream Colored
Head Tube

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Head Tube Masked

I love this orange color as I said above.  It has some metal flake in it but not much, just a really good tone and the cream accents it very well.  The gloss clear coat went on like glass, beautiful!

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Frame Powder Coat
Complete

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration
Cream Head Tube

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Frame Powder Complete
Bottom Bracket

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Frame Powder - Complete

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration
Frame Powder Complete - Fork

I cleaned and polished the headset and replaced the loose bearings.  The headset turned out pretty nice and looks great against the cream and orange.

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Headset Polished
New Bearings

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration
Headset Cups - Pressed

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Headset Bearings
Packed

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration
Headset Complete
 The stem cleaned up and polished pretty nice but I am not a big fan of the Raleigh stems, they are clunky looking.  I installed a Custom alloy stem from the 1980's, I like these stems way better then anything else, they are refined and streamlined.

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Original Raleigh Stem
Replacement Stem

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration
Stem - Installed

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Stem Installed

The original Raleigh Sport's handlebars where in rough starting shape, I tried to save them but there was just to much rust pitting for my standards.  I have ordered a set of Soma Sparrow handlebars but for now I installed a set of Velo-Orange flat bars.

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Temporary Velo-Orange
Handlebars Installed

Same as the Gitane and Single Speed frames I will build the Raleigh Sports 3 Speed up as I have time so check back soon.


I have been working on the Raleigh Sport 3 Speed slowly when I have a minute here or there between customer work.

I have probably 3 hours in on media blasting on the fender and chain guard.  The rust was a major pain especially on the underside in the crevices.

I cut the rear end of the front fender with a cutting wheel basically to clean up the damaged end.  I wish I took a photo of the after but the sharpie line shows where the cut was made and the line looks great cut.

I removed most of the dents in the fenders and chain guard but a few remain as my sheet metal skills are a little rusty,

I have a few photos I need to find yet, I take about 10,000 bike photos a month and I know the missing ones are in there like the chain guard photos and a few others I just need to dig deeper.

The powder coating of the fenders and chain guard went great and was a learning experience for thinner pieces.

I really love the look of the Raleigh Sports coming together.

I need to find a replacement Raleigh Herring crank as the originals chrome is just to far gone.


1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Rear Fender Media Blasted

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration
Front Fender - Media Blasted

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration 
Inside Front Fender - Media Blasted

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration
Front Fender - Trim Line

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Front Fender
Powder Coated

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Front Fender
Powder Coated

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Front Fender Cap
Polished

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Front Fender Cap
Installed

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Rear Fender
Powder Coated

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Fenders & Chain Guard
Complete

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration
Fenders - Complete

1968 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed Restoration - Fenders - Complete





























5 comments:

  1. Wow....that Orange is absolutely stunning! I have always liked Orange bikes, like the early Rivendell Sam Hillborne's and the Sports is just beautiful, the cream head badge really sets it off. Someone is going to get a one of a kind wonder, look forward to the completed bike.

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  2. This is a long time ago but is there a post for the finished bike?

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. i also have a raleigh sports which dates from 1974 which i restored ,i painted mine dark green as alot of the sports models were done in bronze green, i had to change alot of the original parts and adapt the bike to fit me as i am quite tall,i changed the original quill stem which was too short and fitted a longer one ,i have also changed the all rounder handlebars,i had fitted previously and fitted hi riser bars to give me more room ,i also fitted a gel saddle for added comfort as the original brooks saddle was worn out,i also fitted 26x1/3/8 wheels as the original wheels were worn out and were an obselete size ,i also had new transfers made for the frame ,the bike rides very well,and following the modifications i have recently made is a pleasure to ride.

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