Saturday, October 30, 2010

1975 Raleigh Sport

In January 2009 my brother-in-law from Bunbury, who knew I liked old bicycles, asked me if I was interested in restoring his old Raleigh bicycle. It had been in his shed for years, it was old and pretty rusty, and I thought it would be an interesting challenge. I succumbed to the pressure and  bought it home (somewhat confused as to why I had said yes!) and contemplated my next move.

After getting advice from my bike man (George) I photographed it and stripped it down, grouping all the pieces together for varied treatments. After viewing the Raleigh catalogues on-line and establishing what colour I should paint the frame, I had the frame powder coated a standard catalogue colour. I then had some parts re-chromed and polished. The parts that I couldn't restore off the old bike were replaced after hours of trawling on eBay.

At the time of restoration I couldn't get hold of any Westric profile 26 x 1 3/8 rims so I had to opt for the good old Endrick profile rim of the same size.

Prior to re-assembling the bike , I located a guy over east who carries a large range of vintage bicycle decals (Greg at "Cyclomondo") and purchased a set of decals that were identical to the old ones - fantastic - and really good quality too!

After many hours of toil re-assembling the bike I fell in love with it and didn't really want to return it to its owner.....unfortunately, he knew where I lived!  

Here's a couple of interesting images to compare..... 

                    ....and after.
...and an overall pic complete with new Brooks B66 saddle, and the bicycle registration plate that the owner had me fit to the top tube....and to make things even better, it rode like a dream - with a silky smooth Sturmey Archer 3 speed.

1975 Raleigh Sport

So this was my first attempt at such a project, and as you can see, even with very limited experience and knowledge you can come up with something reasonably good (thanks George!).


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Where it started for me....

As a boy I grew up in country Western Australia in the late 70’s. I owned a red Malvern Star 10 speed racing bicycle that I rode to school each day.

I loved that bike!

On weekends it allowed me to explore the country side with a mate of mine who also shared the love of riding bikes. We often left home early in the mornings with a couple of paper dollars in our pockets and rode our beloved bikes for hours, far and wide, during all seasons.

Here is an image of my beloved Malvern Star Superstar SL 10 speed (1980 model), this photo was taken on the front lawn at our house in West Busselton in March 1980. What a fantastic bike and what great memories.....

1980 Malvern Star Superstar SL 10 speed

The bike I had was very good, but a standard model, and when I saw other bikes on the road that were equipped with better components I could not afford (generally English 3-speeds and better 10 speeds) I was very envious.

I’m now in my forties and have rediscovered the joys of cycling, but recently I’ve also discovered the joys of building bicycles……...the joys of building bicycles that I once saw on the road and was envious of in the 70’s. At least now I can afford to buy the bits and pieces needed to build the bikes, and I also enjoy trawling through garage sales and web sites to find the gear needed to complete a build.

I’ve built a few bicycles now (with the help and guidance of others – of course) and would like to share the experience by posting info and photos of recent builds..….and perhaps I’ll eventually include images from other backyard bicycle builders to extend the general interest of this site.