Saturday, May 18, 2013

An Especially Special Stringer Bicycle

My Dad brought his 1975 Raleigh Sports into town last weekend to pedal around downtown for Bikes & Brews. He ended up leaving the bike with me so that I could tune it up, as it's been in storage for quite some time. Last night, I poured myself a gin & tonic and hauled the old girl down to the basement. It's really a beautiful bike: a classic English roadster with a copper color frame. It even has the original leather saddle (my old man bought the bike new in 1975).

I put a couple coats of leather conditioner on the saddle and tensioned it a bit to reduce some sagging that was beginning to occur. Next, I ripped out all of the old cables and housing and ran new cables, including a new shift cable kit for the Sturmey-Archer 3-speed hub. Once I had all of the cables adjusted properly, I added a few drops of Tenacious Oil to the rear hub and pulled the machine out of the repair stand.

The bike is now functioning great. It could stand to have a few parts replaced in the near future; a new chain, new brake pads, new tires and tubes, etc. There are also some areas that are beginning to show some surface rust, so a heavy cleaning and rust removal might be in order. But other than that, it's in great shape and is an exquisite specimen. Maybe I can talk him into letting me hold on to it next winter so I can give it a full overhaul and polish.

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