Tuesday, February 3, 2015

1972? Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Very Versatile!


1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle After Restoration
Last night I started work on this 1972 Raleigh Super Course.  The Raleigh Super Course is one of the most versatile bicycles that has been built, they are fantastic "restomod" bicycles.  The Super Course reminds me of a kit car that can be built up any way the builder wants.  The Super Course is the same in a way, they are a good frame that can be built up many many different ways.  All that being said this Super Course is going to be restored to a pretty simple and almost original. I do have a copy of the exact same Super Course and that one will be heavily modified.

Right off on the restoration of this Super Course is to through all the Simplex components into the garbage, what a waste to put crappy Simplex plastic components on the Super Course.  Some one had already replaced the rear Simplex derailleur with my favorite Sun Tour bullet proof derailleur so that is a good start.  The front Simple derailleur is already destroyed but still on the Super Course, it will be replaced with a Sun Tour front derailleur.  The Simplex down tube shift levers will also be replaced but I have not gone through the collection to chose one yet, I have a Sun Tour set in mind.

After the Simplex Componets are replaced the rest of the Super Course has nice stuff, a nice Stronglite crank even though it is a cotter crank, nice brake levers and brake calipers and a nice wheel set.  

The Super Course is in a little bit of a rough state but I think it will restore beautifully!  The Super Course will receive a total restoration along with new tires and tubes, new cables and cable housings, new brake pads, new handlebar tape and a new saddle along with the replacement Sun Tour Components.  I can't wait to see the results and to start on the copy of the Super Course and heavily modify that one.

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Before

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Before
Handlebars

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Before
Stem

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Before
Head Tube & Head Badge

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Before
Front Brake Caliper

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Before
Front Wheel Hub

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Before
Wheel Rim

972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Before
Stem

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Before
Head Tube

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Before
Fork Crown

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Before
Fork Chrome

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Before
Top Tube Decal

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Before
Shift Levers

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Before
Saddle

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Before
Seat Tube & 531 Decal

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Before
Seat Tube Carlton Decal

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Before
Crank

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle BeforeStronlight Crank 

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Before
Front Derailleur

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Before
Bottom Bracket

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Before
Pedal

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Before
Seat Lug

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Before
Seat Lug

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Before
Rear Brake Caliper

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Before
Chain Stay Decal

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Before
Sun Tour Rear Derailleur

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Before
Rear Wheel Hub

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Before
Rear Wheel Rim

I stripped the frame of the components and under I found a dirty and greasy frame.  After cleaning the frame I found some paint chips and scrapes and then got on to polishing and removing the history sticker or license sticker, this one says Milwaukee 1980. 

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Frame Before

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Frame Before
Head Tube

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Frame Before
Head Tube

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Frame Before - Top Tube

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Frame Before
Down Tube

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Frame Before - Down Tube

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Frame Before
Seat Lug

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Frame Before
Down Tube

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Frame Before
Down Tube Decal

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Frame Before
Bottom Bracket

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Frame Before - Bottom bracket

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Frame Before - Bottom Bracket

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Frame Before
Seat Lug

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Frame Before
Chain Stays

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Frame Before
Drop Outs

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Frame Before
Fork

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Frame Before
Fork Crown

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Frame Before
Fork Blade

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Frame Before -Fork Drop Outs

I will admit that green is not my favorite color for a bicycle.  I worked through a few polishing grits and a lot of hand buffing and I am extremely proud of the results.  I don't like to toot my own horn so to speak but I am impressed with the work I did polishing the frame.  The green came back to a sparkling shine and the green color really evened out.  So happy with the frame polished.

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Frame Polished


1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Frame Polished
Head Tube

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Frame Polished
Head Tube

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Frame Polished - Top Tube

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Frame Polished - Down Tube

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Frame Polished - Down Tube

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Frame Polished
Seat Lug

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Frame Polished
Down Tube

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Frame Polished
Bottom Bracket

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Frame Polished - Bottom Bracket

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Frame Polished - Bottom Bracket

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Frame Polished
Seat Lug

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Frame Polished
Seat Lug

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Frame Polished
Drop Outs

The headset and bottom bracket went right into the crock pot for a short time and then the polisher.  I like the looks of a Raleigh headset a lot but as a bike mechanic I really do not like the 52 loose bearings in a Raleigh headset.  Both the headset and bottom bracket polished beautifully and with new grease spin perfectly!


1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Headset & Bottom Bracket
Before

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Headset & Bottom Bracket
Polished

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Headset Cups
Pressed

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Headset Cups
Pressed - Awesome Green & Chrome

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Headset Bearings
Packed

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Headset
Complete

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bottom Bracket
Bearings Packed

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bottom Bracket
Packed
 I like the GB stems a lot, they just have nice character,  The stem and handlebars cleaned very well and polished beautifully!  I could not be happier with the handlebars and stem.

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Handlebars & Stem
Before

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Handlebars & Stem
Before

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Handlebars - Before

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Stem - Before

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Stem - Before

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Stem - Polished

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Handlebars & Stem
Polished

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Stem - Complete

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration
Stem & Handlebars - Installed

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration
Stem & Handlebars - Installed

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Stem & Handlebars
Installed

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Stem & Handlebars
Installed
One of the first mods people do to a Super Course is replace the cotter crank which makes a big difference in wait and ease but the original Strong Lite crank is still a beautiful crank.  I disassembled the crank and cleaned and polished it and it turned out beautiful.

I was presently surprised that the old cotters came out with only a minor headache which I will take for how bad I have had stuck cotters before.  However the cotter where destroyed in the process and replaced the cotters with new.

Man, I love that crank installed against the polish green paint!

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Crank - Before

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Crank - Exploded

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Crank - Polished

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Crank - Complete

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Crank
Installed

As I mentioned above all the Simplex plastic crap drive train is being replaced with Sun Tour.  I like this Sun Tour derailleur a lot, its pretty much bullet proof and polishes beautiful, this derailleur is no exception, looks fantastic installed!

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Rear Derailleur
Before

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Rear Derailleur
Exploded

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Rear Derailleur
Polished

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Rear Derailleur
Complete

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Rear Derailleur
Installed

The original front derailleur was still on the bike, it was bent, broken and I believe the zip tie was there to keep it out of the chain to ride single speed in the front.  The front derailleur is being replaced with a very nice Sun Tour AR, it polished great and looks fantastic against the crank and green paint.

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Old Derailleur & Replacement

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Front Derailleur
Exploded

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Front Derailleur
Polished

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Front Derailleur
Installed
For now only the seat post and coupling is being installed, they all polished very nice and its a small pointless thing but I love the Made in England stamp on the coupling.

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Saddle & Seat Post
Before

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Seat Post
Before

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Seat Post - Polished

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Seat Post & Coupling
Polished

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Seat Post
Installed

I like center pull brake calipers a lot, they work so much better then the side pull brakes from the era and they look great installed with a lot more character.  I cleaned all the pieces to the brake calipers and got to polishing.  The only draw back is the 54 pieces to polish.  The calipers turned out really nice and one of my favorite looks of the Super Course is the calipers against the green paint.

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Brake Calipers
Before

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Brake Calipers
Exploded

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Brake Calipers
Polished

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Brake Calipers
Complete

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Front Brake
Installed

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Front Brake
Caliper - Installed

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Rear Brake
Caliper - Installed

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Rear Brake
Caliper - Installed

I know I am one in a billion who have complained about Simplex components but really, is there anything dumber then plastic shift lever handles?  The Simplex shift levers are being replaced with very nice Sun Tour shift levers.  I cleaned, polished and lubricated the shift levers and they are stunning against the polished green and a perfect fit for the rest of the Sun Tour components.

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Old Simplex
Shift Levers

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Old & Replacement
Shift Levers

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Replacement Shift
Levers

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Shift Levers - Polished

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Shift Levers
Installed

The brake levers are nice Die-Comp levers with white Carlton brake lever hoods.  The white is very dirty but in great shape, I cleaned the hoods and they came back pretty nice, I wish just slightly better but they do have a nice patina.  The alloy polished beautifully and installed the levers look really nice and classic!

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Brake Levers
Before

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Brake Levers Cleaned
And Polished

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Brake Levers - Installed

That completes the main body components, the Super Course is looking amazing.

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle So Far
The wheels look pretty rough but I think they are pretty nice under there.  I cleaned the wheels and polished the wheel hubs and rims.  The rims polished amazing considering how old they are and the hubs look great.  I like high flange hubs.  I cleaned and installed the hub axles with in new grease and the wheels spin great.  The wheels took some time to true with many spokes loose but are right on now.  New gum wall tires are perfect for the Super Course, a classic look for a classic bike.  

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Rear Wheel
Before

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Rear Wheel Hub
Before

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Rear Wheel Hub
Before

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Rear Wheel Rim
Before

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Rear Wheel Hub
Polished

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Axle Components
Cleaned, Polished & Ready to Go

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - New Gum Wall
Tires

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Rear Wheel - Complete

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Front Wheel
Before

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Front Wheel Hub
Before

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Front Wheel Rim
Before

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Front Wheel Hub
Old Grease

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Front Wheel Hub
Polished

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Front Wheel Complete

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Wheels - Complete

New cables, cables housings and black handlebar tape are next.  As I have been putting on everything lately Ice Gray cable housings it is, again a perfect look for the Super Course.

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - New Cables - Cable Housings
New Handlebar Tape

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Wired

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle
Wired

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Handlebar Tape
Complete

The pedals are in rough shape but I removed the broken reflectors and polished the chrome.  The pedals actually turned out pretty nice and lubricated spin pretty good.

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Pedals - Before

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Pedals - Compelte
 That completes the Raleigh Super Course Restoration, such a classic bike!  Oh, I did install a Brooks saddle for the final photos, I only have brown and honey brown on hand right now but the Super Course really needs a black Brooks saddle.  The owner has a saddle for the Super Course.


1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Complete

I did not get to ride the Raleigh Super Course because of the 18 inches of snow we got on Super Bowl Sunday but I was impressed how well the Sun Tour components shifted on the stand,  With that snow of course the final photos are indoors.

The Area I normally take final photos, those drifts are 6 foot but
don't show well in the photo.

The Raleigh Super Course turned out to be a beautiful bicycle in there.  Such a classic look and I am a sucker for chrome stays.  A black Brooks saddle would make a huge difference but the Brown looks good too.  The paint polished so nice and the gum wall tires are a great look.  I like the Super Course a lot!


1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Compete

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Compete

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Compete
Handlebars

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Compete
Brake Levers

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Compete
Stem

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Compete
Head Tube

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Compete
Front Brake

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Compete
Front Wheel Hub

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Compete
Front Wheel Rim

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Compete
Fork

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Compete
Stem

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Compete
Front

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Compete
Shift Levers

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Compete
Front Half

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Compete
Top Tube

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Compete
Down Tube

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Compete
Saddle

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Compete
Seat Lug

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Compete
Down Tube

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Compete
Drive Train

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Compete
Crank

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Compete
Front Derailleur

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Compete
Chain Stays

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Compete
Rear Derailleur

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Compete
Seat Lug

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Compete
Rear Brake

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Compete
Rear Wheel Hub

1972 Raleigh Super Course Restoration - Bicycle Compete

Thanks for the interest, work and fun!
John Z.

12 comments:

  1. Great Job! I really like those old Raleigh's, your post is timely as I am picking up a friend's old Super Course on Saturday for a rebuild. I've done a few Gram Prix but this will be my first SC.

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  2. Thank you Ryan. I really like the Super Course. It reminds me of a kit car. Buy a chaise and body and build it up how ever you want but in this case it's a good frame and a blank canvas. I have the same Super Course waiting for work, I am going to heavily mod that one. Thanks again!

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  4. I think you have a 1973 bike, as Carlton apparently had a clean-out of the Capella lugs and offered them on Super Course, Competition, and International, all in 1973, and never again. Your bike should have some date marks, i.e. on the backs of the weinmann calipers (arches), and on the hub barrels. A date mark of 1972 suggests a 1973 bicycle.

    I would love to learn some more tips about how to polish with polishing compound, I always scratch the finish to death with this stuff, and I have a 1971 Super Course that is in much worse shape. Incidentally, these bikes had an unusual blue primer coat, which shows through in every scratch.

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  7. My first bike was this bike's little brother, 1 year earlier, a 1972 Mocha Green Raleigh Grand Prix, with almost all of the same parts. Here are some notes. (a) A really cool front derailleur if you can find it is a Suntour SL which shifts backwards - push either gear lever forwards to go faster!, (b) This bike's main upgrade over a Grand Prix was the alloy rims, the Reynolds frame was not much lighter, (c) How did you clean the Carlton hoods? You can use acetone VERY sparingly to take off a layer of plastic, turning the yellow hoods back into bone-white hoods again. Be careful not to rub too much or the "Carlton" embossing will disappear! (d) Before building up the frame, it would be good to get some Michael's hobby model paint (acrylic enamel) and dilute it 50% and very carefully enhance the transfers, especially "RALEIGH" and "S_u_p_e_r_ C_o_u_r_s_e_". Get the finest brush you can find and cut it down 50%, then sit at the kitchen table pushing little droplets across the frame, wipe them away and try again if you mess up.

    You can make new Reynolds Decals using a laser printer and 3M packaging (clear) tape. Print out your decal artwork on very cheap 18-lbs white paper. Cover your image with packing tape and burnish thoroughly. Cut out the tape and run the decal + paper under warm water 3 mins, then gently rub away the paper with a terrycloth washcloth. Dilute down some white paint 50% and paint the backs of the decals with white paint (just for the green and brown areas), then cut them out with special scrap booking scissors to get a perfect look. Apply with Gold Size (Gold leaf adhesive) or equivalent.

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  8. Here is my decal image archive if you wish to make new decals :
    http://www.ece.ubc.ca/~gillies/reynolds/
    Raleighs from this era all came with white cabling.
    Please rotate the Weinmann straddle carriers around 180 degrees, they are installed backwards and the Weinmann circle logos are not visible in photography.

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  9. superb restoration on this beautiful Raleigh Super Course. I think this one is a 1973 model because it has a different down tube decals compare to my 1972 coffee colored model that has a different font.

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  10. Great post. I am presently re-building a Super Course- I had one in 1973. Its coming out great. Hope you enjoy it. BTW, the polishing came out beautiful. Do you have a particular machine or method that you use?

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  12. How did you get the headset cups off the frame?
    I have this frame - but no fork, I am located in Taiwan - and rebuilding it at the moment, however I can't find a Raleigh headset and fork so intend to buy something else - any help would be great. Nathan Miller nathan.miller@gmail.com Thanks!

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