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What I've been doing the last few weeks

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I don't know if anyone had noticed, but I haven't been on here for a few weeks as I have been distracted by something else on and off for the last few months and it has been taking a lot more of my attention over the last few weeks, but its nearly finished now, so I have time to come back to here.

In November last year whilst browsing 'Gumtree' (Australia's version of Craigslist owned by Ebay) I looked up 'BSA' to see all the nice motorbikes I can't afford to buy and in amongst them was a BSA bicycle. It was made in the 1960s so not a 'real' BSA bicycle, but a BSA badged Raleigh Bike as BSA had sold them the rights to make bikes in 1959 or 1960, but it still has the BSA logo head badge and BSA written in the cranks and best of all it was cheap. So I snapped it up.

The bike had the incorrect seat, stem, handlebars and wheels, so I really was just buying it for the frame, forks and cranks.20201024_140333.thumb.jpg.48db12e8beb5bb47dafce67f53fc1196.jpg20201024_140338.thumb.jpg.24380b29c6d9c9429f214bec78633fa0.jpg

When I started to strip it down I got a surprise in the bottom bracket in the form of a dead lizard (skink) it was still pretty fresh so I can only think as I removed the seat a few days before stripping the rest of the bike it climbed on the bike and fell down the seat tube and got stuck.



With the bike stripped down it got given a wash and about 8 hours polishing with T-Cut on the frame being careful not to damage the pinstriping and all the chrome was given a long bath in a weak solution of oxalic acid then just a rinse with clean water and a wipe with a rag and it all came back looking like new.

Then I sourced the correct 650A rims out of the UK, a 1966 Sturmey Archer 3 speed AW hub, period correct front hub and after servicing the hubs sent the wheels off to be built.

Meanwhile I got the correct seat post and a new Brooks seat as the bike would of had originally, the correct style handlbars and I took a liberty and bought some Brooks plump handgrips and a new English made brass bell then sounds cleaning and loudly enough to be fitted to any good clock.


Since taking this photo I've fitted the chain and measured what size brake calipers I need and they are in the post along with a replacement handlebar stem and once they are fitted the bike will be ready to ride.

It's cost me probably more to fix this bike between the parts and tools I purchased to work on it than a new reasonable quality bike, but this bike is way cooler than any new bike I could buy, plus it looks good leaning against my 1961 C15 BSA.


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Well there are few names there Brooks, Raleigh, BSA, Sturmy Archer all names that remind me of my youth. As the prime mode of transport then we were always repairing the Bike The three speed with the epicycloidal gear system, happy days. Your Grand children will be getting an heriloom there, built like a brick dunny last for ever,  are you fitting the mudguards.

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I'm guessing back in the 1980s or 1990s when the original 26 inch wheels were removed and 27 inch racer wheels were fitted the original mudguards were removed and lost or thrown out, same with the chainguard.

Getting the correct mudguards in Australia would be expensive as I would have to import them from either the UK or Spain, so I think I will be leaving them off and I know this bike is only ever gone to be ridden in fine weather anyhow.

I'm undecided on whether to get the 'hockey stick' chainguard and fit it as it will partially hide the crank which is one my favorite features of the bike.

I picked up the Sturmey archer gear changer at a bike swapmeet here in Perth, it is a couple of years earlier than the one that would of been fitted to my bike, but most people won't know that. It is the type that the end of the brake cable sheath screws into it and of course the thread was damaged and I couldn't work out what size it was so had to buy a NOS changer cable so I could measure the thread and then retap it in the gear changer to fix it.

The 3 speed rear hub was interesting to strip down, clean and service, but no worse than a watch and what amazes me is they still make the AW hub and 90% of the parts made today still fit the AW hubs made 100 years ago.

My oldest son has already expressed an interest in trying to ride the bike

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Thats a fantastic job. As a 20 year veteran as a bicycle shop manager here in the US, at the shop that built its reputation on Raleighs and the various offshoots, I especially like your restoration.

Where I worked in Princeton, New Jersey, a university town, there were many such bikes that had been around for a very long time indeed.

My understanding of all of the various Raleigh badges had to do with import quantity restrictions; Raleigh imported lots o the same bike but with different badges and decals to get around it. 

Really nicely done, and I think you should put on a chain guard if you can find one.

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The bike is nearly done, replaced the stem with one with a longer reach and now the steering doesn't feel twitchy. I was really only wanting 70 or 80mm, but could only find a 100mm for a reasonable price, but it will do.

Just fitted the brake leavers and grips tonight but ran out of time.

All goes well tomorrow I will adjust the slack in the chain, fit the brake cables, readjust the cable tension on the gear changer and then it should be good to ride.

I'm really pleased how it turned out so far.

I probably would of finished it tonight but had to drop by my parents on my way home from work to replace the battery on my dad's watch.


A chain guard is a possibility as I don't think the postage would be too bad compared to postage on the mudguards.

I wasn't aiming at a return to factory look, just wanted it to look roughly period correct ,good enough to ride with preserving what was left of the original bike.

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The bike is now all finished although I will replace the brake leavers when I can find some more in leeping with the age of the bike.

I took it for a short test ride tonight and the Sturmey Archer hub is changing gears nicely and no slipping when riding up hill.

I'll take it for a longer ride this weekend.

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Its looking like the bike I rode to work on in the 60s although mine had straight bars and mudguards, needed them in the UK, Like the tires though Just finishes the look. Saddle looks comfy  not like the razor blades of today, Nice that the sturmey archer is working good Had some sore parts when they slipped up hill,  Is the paint work original as it looks in good nick.

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As much as I wanted to get white walled tires, these tires aren't. They have a reflect silver stripe around them and as it was getting late when I took the photo I used the flash on my camera which makes the wheels look like white walls.

When you are looking for tires for an obsolete wheel size during a pandemic when it even hard to get tires for modern bikes you take what you can get.

The paintwork is original and what is left of it is now very shiny, but along the top tube there is a fair bit of paint loss, but thankfully very little corrosion and being the paint is black I just used the car polish over the areas that had lost their paint which removed the orange rust and just left the black rust and then protected it from further rust by sealing it with the car polish wax. So it blends in quite well.


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