Unusual modifications

This is the 1971 Raleigh International that I recently tore down for cleanup and re-painting.

The previous owner set this up and used it for touring. As it turns out, he also made a number of modifications to fit his needs – being a machinist at Hallmark for many years – and an avid cyclist at that – he had the tools, knowledge, and means to machine a number of parts for his rather large bike collection.

I knew the pedals seemed really heavy but until yesterday I hadn’t really take a close look at them. All I knew for sure was that the previous owner had (a) modified them by adding a platform and (b) that they are awfully darned comfortable. End of personal knowledge.

So when I began to separate the parts for clean up, this is what I noticed:


Yes, each of my pedals are actually two pedals, one inside the other! In addition to the platform the PO added, he also wrapped a much wider MKS shell around a Campy pedal. Crazy, but the width is actually quite comfortable; you can wear just about any style of shoe and still have width and support; the Campy spindle spins like new.

Here’s the other thing. The previous owner told me that the arms were 180 but when I turned them over I noticed they were engraved as 170. But look closer. Notice that the previous owner has drilled out his crank arms, plugged them and re-drilled, turning them into 180 length arms. I have never seen this done before. I have no idea if this is even safe, but the guy toured extensively on this bike for over three decades, during which time these have been the cranks he has used for the majority of the years.

Regarding the pedals: it’s a rather ingenious solution to the problem of a narrow bodied Campy pedal: fabricate an additional, wider body to wrap around the pedal; add a platform – and voila! A comfy (if rather heavy!) support for big feet and just about any type of shoe. When I first got the bike, I pedaled around the neighborhood to check it out. I was wearing flexible sneakers rather than stiff-soled cycling shoes and was noticeably  surprised to encounter such a reassuring pedal. It didn’t occur to me at the time that the config was as heavily modified as it is – I only noticed the addition of the the platform.

It’s a little bit like Christmas every time I discover another one of the mods he made to extend the functionality of this bike!

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2 thoughts on “Unusual modifications

    • I’m not certain. I’ll have to take a closer look. The bike is just getting put back together at the moment, so this will be a good opportunity to do so.

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