Here it is, a week and a half into 2013 and I’ve yet to make a new post on The Early Morning Cyclist. Time, I suppose, to rectify that situation and I’d like to do so by sharing the build I’ve been working on this winter.
Earlier this autumn I had an opportunity to pick up a 1971 Raleigh International. The frame had been repainted at one point in it’s life – good quality stuff once upon a time, but the elements weren’t terribly kind. Although the frame itself was in excellent condition, the paint was looking pretty grim. After a few good rides I concluded the frame fit me very well and the ride quality was superb, especially for long, leisurely JRA outings.
Had the original graphics remained, I would have been fine with the “patina.” But they had not been replaced following the repaint and as I considered whether or not to give her a fresh coat it occurred to me that I actually rather liked the “naked” look without logo and lettering – rather a heretical thought for a graphic designer, but there you have it. The frame was stripped and sent to my friends at Groody Brothers.
Starting with the drivetrain, the crankset is a Sugino AT triple 54/44/28 with modified crank arms that yield an effective length of 180. These are mounted with self-extracting crank bolts – an absolute necessity, I think, for touring. The pedals are also customized to yield a nice broad, deep platform that will fit a variety of shoes. Right now I’m riding in warm Keene’s but I’ll be able to hit the KATY Trail in sandals next Spring if I so desire. The Sugino bottom bracket and bearings are freshly serviced and spinning smoothly and the Suntour MounTech front derailleur has more than sufficient range to throw all three rings.
Illustrated here is the Suntour Lepree rear derailleur. A couple of scratches mar the graphics, but following cleanup all else looks good. More importantly, it functions perfectly. The rear is a seven speed sporting a 13-15-17-19-21-24-28 range, which provides me with a 27 to 112.2 gear inch stretch! The 44 tooth chainring sees the most service and leaves me with a quite decent gear inch range from 42.4 to 91.4.
The gold stem, handlebars, and MAFAC brake set really compliments the Harley Burgundy sprayed by Groody Brothers. Quite frankly, I love center pull brakes and these MAFAC 2000 brakes are more than serviceable. The bell is a vintage Raleigh model and if you look closely you’ll clearly see me in the surface reflection.
The derailleurs are friction shifted and of course it’s pretty tough to beat Suntour bar-cons. I’ve run them on many bikes over the years and what can I say? They just keep on working. I bet I have three or four sets in storage at any given time.
And chrome lugs… my goodness – what is there not to love about chrome lugs? (The Campy headset ain’t no slouch either.)
I’ve had numerous Jim Blackburn rear racks but this is the first front rack I’ve used. Very functional piece of equipment, although I’ll most likely add a Bagman to the rear to support the vintage Carradice saddle bag I’ll use for longer rides. In the background of the shot above you can see the pedals. I neglected to shoot a detail of them, but I cut off the rotted leather covering on the toe clips. Using waxed upholstery thread and black leather, I replaced the old stuff with new. Now I’ve leather toe clips to match the black leather handlebar wrap.
Silca pump – and it works perfectly!