Sunday, October 30, 2011

one gorgeous bike: 1980 Raleigh Tourist

The rewards of returning to the service area at work: In my first week back at the bench I got to tune up this gorgeous Raleigh Tourist three-speed, circa 1980. This was near the end of Raleigh's production of rod-brake bikes, so what we have here is the newest version of a very old design. (Rear rack and basket not original to bike but handy for errands.) I've only worked on rod-brake bikes a couple of times -- they don't come in often -- and they've always been the larger 23" frame size until now. When I test-rode this bike after my work was done, the 21" frame fit me perfectly. it was hard not to have a teeny leetle bit of bike lust.

raleigh tourist rod-brake, ca. 1980

raleigh tourist rod-brake, ca. 1980

raleigh tourist rod-brake, ca. 1980

Massive amounts of wheel-flop, due to very slack geometry; the rod-brakes stopped me in dry weather but I urged the customer not to ride this in the rain unless he could sources some elather-impregnated Fibrax pads. (He promised me he'd ride it on dry days.) Still, an awful lot of fun to ride, and fascinating to work on.


slow rpm said...

Beautiful!I saw one of these recently at a bike swap meet which could have used some TLC.Bike lust?I have bike mechanic lust!!! What a great job, being able to work on these wondeful old treadlies and then take them out for a ride. Rose coloured glasses, I'm sure, as I'll bet there's a lot of drudgery involved as well.



Judi said...

rad lookin' raleigh.