Jump to content

What I've been doing the last few weeks

Recommended Posts

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.


  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Link to post
Share on other sites


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.

Link to post
Share on other sites



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.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Topics

  • Posts

    • I think Earl Gray is an acquired taste. I hated it when I first tried it. Now I find it tolerable. Eventually I might find it ok. 😂 But what do you think of tea used in confections and other foods. Like matcha cakes 😖, Earl Gray cheesecake 🤪, duck smoked with tea leaves 🤔, etc...?
    • Hello Not really a watch question, however I thought I would it it a try. I have a couple of Silver Beer Mugs that are tarnished and all I have to clean them with is the L & R Ultrasonic Watch Cleaning Solution (ammoniated) and a ultrasonic machine. I also have the L & R Ultrasonic Watch Cleaning Solution and an Ultrasonic machine. Does anyone know if I can use these two products on the silver beer mugs or should I get another type of cleaner> Also should I be diluting the cleaning and rinse solutions?  Thanks in advance for any help that can be provided. Michael
    • Hi JDM - Thanks for the detailed reply. The Bezel only looks like a rotating time ring, but it's just a "faux" divers watch, only rated to 50m. I think the Seiko "Solar Power" version actually had a rotating ring and Tritium on the hands and numbers and was rated to 200m or something. But, the bezel is fixed. Also, there are no "indent" or any indication that you could use a Snap Back knife to open the bezel. If this is not indeed a screw off bezel (using a screw type base wrench), then a 4 blade bezel tool is likely the only thing that will remove it. Then I'll need to figure out how the stem is removed so I can remove the whole movement to get to the Cap which I assume is underneath. Other owners on some other watch forums have reported the same experience I had with my Lorus/ Seiko 851 model, the Capacitor fails after only 8 to 10 years and nothing like the "promised" 80 years (Life Time Warranty they refuse to obey). Quite a few owners wrote that they had the Capacitor replaced, but no details on HOW. Read my response above to "watchweasol". There's been some conflict about which capacitor to use as well since the original 2023 24T / MT920 was discontinued 30 years ago (probably the reason all these Lorus Solar watch never met the 80-year promise. Supposedly the replacement Cap is a 3023 24T now. The word in some forums is that this Maxell Cap will last 30 to 40 years. The Seiko Kenetic watches supposedly also use this same Capacitor. Have you ever worked on the Seiko Solar version of this Lorus? Thanks.    
    • @watchweasol - I  know that was the Seiko "company line" for both the Seiko and Lorus branded "Solar Power" versions, but there are an awful lot of folks that bought both and found the Capacitor died, like mine, only after 8 to 10 years and did have the Capacitor replaced with at first the original 2023 24T version and then the 3023 24T, which is apparently a much longer lived replacement. Seiko's "promise" of an 80-year life for this Capacitor was all hooey and likely the reason Seiko quickly dropped both their own branded model and the Lorus ones after just 10 years on the market. Both Seiko and Lorus (who is no longer in North America) refuse to honor the "life time" warranty. One of the reasons I now trust Casio more than Seiko for warranty promises. The movement in the Lorus is literally the exact same one that was in the 3 "Solar Power" Seiko mens models, a Seiko NA tech admitted that to me almost 30 years ago when mine stopped charging. I bought it new in 1986 or 87, and I still have the original paper manual and box and "Life Time Warranty" card (good for nuthin'). I've been a watch and clock "collector" since a teenager, prefer early American pocket watches, but who doesn't love early American MADE and Japanese and Swiss made wristwatches? So I've also collected all the tools a watch and clock tech uses, many pretty vintage too, and learned how to work to a certain degree on most any watch or clock, restoring and fixing, to my limits. I already have that (another version) Bezel removing tool, am just trying to confirm that the bezel is NOT a screw on, or absolutely IS a press-fit. Was hoping to find someone that has either worked on the Lorus version or the sort of same looking Seiko versions that also had the one-piece "tub" body. The Bezel only looks like a rotating time ring, but it's just a "faux" divers watch, only rated to 50m. I think the Seiko version actually had a rotating ring and Tritium on the hands and numbers and was rated to 200m or something. This Lorus/Seiko is an odd-ball and there is absolutely no repair info on them, so that makes me want to fix it more myself.
    • Very, very nice production.  Really outstanding walkthrough!
  • Create New...