Wednesday, September 24, 2008

1956 Raleigh Sports project bicycle build, ride and review.

After correcting the small problems mentioned on my last post, I finished putting the bike together and went for a spin. The ride was nice and as expected. But I wanted to take it for a decent ride before I would declare my happiness to the masses.

A long ride teaches you something about a bike that a spin around the block will never do, especially if you have to be somewhere at a specific time. The first thing that hit me, or rather my leg muscles, was how tall the gearing was. The Nexus was in first gear and that thing was kinda hard to push up a hill. Now I understand why Nexus equipped bikes come with those tiny 36 tooth chainrings. Well I wasn't too sad about that. My first idea for the bike was to see if that hub was operationnal since it's going on a future project. Mission accomplished on that front minus the fact that I am still in the "educated gueswork" stage for adjusting the speeds on the Nexus.

That rear wheel will be replaced by a one-speed coaster hub. The other reminder that I got, after arriving at my destination, is that running smaller and higher pressure tires makes you more vulnerable to flats. Yep, got one. It's a good thing it happened right next to the Mile End bike garage.

Lastly, I have to talk about the Brooks B66 touring leather saddle that came with that bike. I've heard from many sources that those saddles were worth their high price( around $150CDN) and, after a few decent rides, I must come to the conclusion that they are right. Wow! What smoothness, comfort and smashing good looks! To think that the one I have is over 50 years old. This is the best saddle I have ever had on a bike.

Now normally this would be the end of this little project, however, it's not. I'm not done yet. I'm still going to change some stuff and I'll write about it next week. I just don't like those handle bars.

Until next time, ride safe and Godspeed.

Gerry :)


Johnny said...

Wow! That looks fantastic! I'm jealous:)

Vojnov Stevan said...

Great job! I like that striped look, no fenders and pattern on those tires scream let's RACE! :)
Keep on the good work!

Hm Nexus hub....sounds like a good stuff.

Anonymous said...

That's a great project, fully realized. Keep up the great work!!

Gerry Lauzon said...


Gerry :)

chrisoooooo said...

Where did you obtain the green/white striped cover for your brake cable? I have a similar green Raleigh that I would like to put that on. Was it something you did yourself or was it an orginal part?

Gerry Lauzon said...

It came with the bike as an original period accessory. I would love to figure out how to make one.

Gerry :)

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