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the raleigh’s opening salvo

December 22nd, 2009 Comments off

Sram Rival group

The silver fanatic in me demanded this! I found a 2008 (I believe) Rival groupset, the line before everything started turning black, and it arrived yesterday. In near perfect condition. A couple of marks on the cranks, as is expected, but other than that, immaculate. I took everything out of the package and wiped it clean to prep it for the greasing and installation. (The cat was not a part of this set, by the way. That’s Zoe. Say hi Zoe.)

Sram Shifters, Deda bars and stem

First on, the shifters. This will be interesting – they flare outward naturally, much as the Dura Ace and Ultegra shifters are made to by being mounted on Cinelli 65s.

Sram bottom bracket

Next up, in goes the bottom bracket. Without the proper tool, though, I had to run down to Brooklyn Bicycles and have them tighten the cups in. It worked out a lot cheaper than buying the tool. For the moment, at least…

Sram Crankset

The crankset went on easily, but required quite a bit of tightening to remove any play. I’ll be very aware of keeping it properly tensioned.

Sram Rival drivetrain

Finally, for this part of the build, on went the front and rear derailleurs. Nice pieces. The seat tube needed a 31.8mm clamp for the braze on, and a few finicky adjustments of the clamp and derailleur positions, the cranks spun without any catching. So now the partly built Raleigh hangs from the wall, waiting for funds and also for decisions about what pedals, wheels and saddle will grace it in its completed state.

The brake calipers seem very nice, but I doubt that I’ll be using them. I’m still utterly in love (lust?) with the Dura Ace 7402s, and will wait and see what can happen with finding some before I make any decisions on that front. I have time. There’s still a ton of snow on the ground and, I think, more to come…

Current build weight is a hair under 9 pounds/4kg.

Categories: Builds, Parts, Raleigh Tags: ,

and so it begins…

December 10th, 2009 Comments off

2004 Raleigh Competition, Deda Quattro, Deda Speciale

The first components to go on this new build are the Deda bars and stem.

This is a real departure for me and somewhat of an experiment. I have only ever used quill stems and the oft mentioned Cinelli 65 bars. The Deda Speciale are a squarer shape along the top, not offering the beautiful, gentle curve of the almost Pista-like 65s, and they also have a shallower drop (135mm opposed to (approx) 150mm) than the 65s.

The stem – Quattro, 130mm – is astoundingly light and flexible. I’ve currently got it set up to be flat, but if I need to raise the bar height, I can just flip the stem and get an entirely different angle. I’m not going to know how this turns out until there are other components to work with. But it’s a whole new adventure!

Can you even get silver steerer spacers?

The Raleigh

December 10th, 2009 Comments off

2004 Raleigh CompetitionHere is my latest project, although whether it will become a build or not remains to be seen.

I picked up this frame on eBay. the seller (thanks Richie) lives on the lower east side, and my son and I set out on a freezing Sunday morning to pick it up. Initial inspection showed some marks, most of which just turned out to be rubber cement of some kind. These all came off on the subway ride home.

There’s one scratch on the upper rear stay (a nice carbon composite wishbone), one on the “Competition” decal (top tube, right side) and one on the left side of the fork. This was my greatest concern as this is my first foray into anything carbon. Two local bike shops took a look and said they believed it was purely surface abrasion – no fibers visible. That was a big relief. The frame is in amazing condition. It’ll just take time to see what kind of a ride it is.

The bike seems to have originated from The Old Bike Shop in Hermosa Beach, Ca. (I have Hermosa Beach stories, but that’s for a different forum). The tale Richie told was that he picked it up from a guy on Long Island who had received it (the complete bike) as a present from his girlfriend. But as a mountain biker, he didn’t get along with it and put it up for sale. Richie bought it for parts – the frame (62cm) was too large for him, and that’s how it ended up in my hands.

A tangent. I owned a 62cm “Alan” aluminium frame in the 70s. This bike was enormous, with a 62cm top tube to go with the 62cm seat tube. It was gold, garish and a great machine to ride – as long as I stayed in a straight line. Perfect for out-and-back time trials, way too spongy on hill climbs. My neighbor had a 54 or 56cm version of that same frame and it responded much better, much tighter. It’s going to be interesting to see how this new frame acts. One thing that’s interesting is that, even though it’s a bigger frame, the standover height is actually lower than the Condor or the Schwinn.

I guess I’ll be building it up. I just don’t know when, or with what!

Categories: Builds, Raleigh Tags: ,