For the New Year here is something old that’s also something new.
Recently, I spotted a horrible looking Raleigh Superbe at the shop. The paint was in bad shape, it had a chrome fork that was wrong, and the crank was from a different bike. About the only things it had going for it were beautiful wheels and new gum wall tires. In another corner of the shop was a ladies Raleigh Sport. It had 700c rims with skinny tires and a singlespeed freewheel.
Though dirty, the Sport had great paint and all the correct parts except the wheels. I combined the good parts from each bike and the result is our bike of the month.
After disassembly, I cleaned up the root beer metallic paint, rubbed it out with white polishing compound, and sprayed it with Rustoleum automotive clear enamel. I installed a new 24-tooth rear cog, improving the ability of the bike to go up hills.
After I cleaned the wheels, the Sports was just about ready for primetime.
One final touch was a ladies Brooks saddle which originally looked hopeless but after soaking, scrubbing, reshaping, and treating with Brooks Proofide leather dressing, now looks great.
This beauty is almost 50 years old but looks and rides like a new bike. It will soon be available for a new owner, and will help fund our bike donations to charity partners to those in need of transportation.