Sunday, September 07, 2008

1956 Raleigh Sports project bicycle build, putting it back together .

Putting newer components on older bikes has always a few surprises in store for you. In the case of the rear wheel, the vintage 52 year old frame did not measure up. The drop outs were too small for the bigger axle of the Nexus and the width of the new hub will need to be helped in there as well, it's a bit tight. There was no way around the drop outs however, I had to file them in order for the axle to make it in. I used a hand file since I wanted to keep control of steel removal! If you are doing this type of work, check your progress often, you don't want to take too much off. If you do so, there's no way to put it back. It took me 30 minutes to do both sides. Afterward, with a big flat head screwdriver, I was able to squeeze the new wheel in.

Next I Installed the tires on both wheels with my new 26 X 1.5 slicks. They fitted the frame and fork well with enough room for clearance on both sides. I also installed a chrome chain I had lying around from a previous build.

Now the Nexus is equipped with a coaster brake, but you will agree that two brakes are always better than one. So in that spirit, I installed a front brake caliper on the fork. I put on a set of V-Type brake pads on them for better stopping power. My riding style is that I always use the front brake to slow down and I actually stop the bike with the rear brake.

Before going any further in this build, I decided to do the best test there is to see if I was on the right track with every thing, a road test. This was not a waste of time. I found out immediately that the original pedals were crooked and that the rear tire was not fully set in the rim. The bump bump bump that I felt while cruising was the sign that something was wrong with the rear rubber. The front brake was working marvelously and so did the rear one. Every thing else was coming together as I had hoped.

After the test ride, I replaced the pedals with a pair I had lying around, reconnected the Nexus shifter to the hub, installed the last grip on the handle bar and started to gather up the accessories that will go on the bike.

Keep posted for next week's final installment of this build. With the brake pads added, the spend-o-meter now sits at $26 CDN.

For more info on caliper brakes, check here: brake article
For more info on installing a chain, check here: Chain how-to
For more info on installing pedals, check here: Pedals how-to

Til next time, ride safe and Godspeed.

Gerry :)


Ken Davidson said...

It's looking good. And so what about keeping the cottered cranks? They're in-keeping with the retro look...

Anonymous said...

Motivated by your blog and the ratrodbikes forum i recently started working on a beat-up old ladies bike. It currently has classic 26" wheels/tires, but what i'm wondering is how do i know or calculate what the maximum wheels/tires size i can put on it (also, how much clearance should be left). Since it's my first build i don't have access to other parts to test...

Gerry Lauzon said...

Ken, I am keeping the cottered cranks since I also want to keep that awesome Raleigh Crane chainring. Julien, You'll have to replace the wheels if you want to go with modern 26 inch tires. The size you are looking for is 26 X 1.5 These will fit in the fork and frame with no problems. I have done this more than once.

Gerry :)

Julien said...

Thanks Gerry. I'm now wondering about the tires width. I'd like to go with white walls, but i only find them in 2.125. Do you think they'll fit on a standard old bike?

Gerry Lauzon said...

Sorry bro, 2.125 won't fit. You have to go with 1.5 or smaller.

Gerry :)