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  • Writer's pictureAnthony Holden

Cycle Sanctuary does Repair Shop

I seem to learn something from every bike I get through the workshop. Every manufacturer has a slightly different approach to achieving the same thing and this week was no different.

This week I've also learnt that I really need to take a few photos before I start taking dismantling as it makes this blog a lot more interesting.

A couple of weeks back I got a call from a customer who had a 30 year old Raleigh Record Ace road bike which had lived in his shed for pretty much all of that time and he wanted to get it back on the road. I jumped at the chance to help.

A quick assessment revealed that it was it really good condition considering the age, all original parts, the frame was straight and largely free of rust.

All the consumables needed replacing - anything rubber had deteriorated, chain was pretty much solid and there were a few bolts missing or rusted so after getting the go ahead I got ordering. Fortunately, nothing Shimano was required so I was able to source the parts pretty quickly.

On that, I've been using SJS Cycles for ages now and they're a wonderful source of bike parts, particularly the slightly older and more esoteric and they always delivery quickly. On this occasion I needed some 27" tyres (rather than more modern 700c) and as the one instruction I'd been given was to try and keep the 'vintage' feel so we went with Pararacer Paselas with amber walls. As the original Weinmann hood had disintegrated I ordered some Cane Creek replacement brake hoods which were rather a lot easier to obtain than I'd feared and some rather lovely Brooks Bar Tape to keep up the original look.

One thing you do notice is how much has changed in bike design and production and yet the basics are still exactly the same. This 6 speed Suntour rear mech still works in the same way as the latest mechanical Dura Ace or Super Record mechs albeit much, much easier to 'index'.

Anyway, once I'd stripped the frame down, cleaned out the BB and headset bearings and regreased them so that they were as smooth as the day it left the factory and polished any spots of rust from the components, I started to reassemble it.

Another thing you notice when building older bikes is just how much more straightforward they are. A handful of hex keys and a few spanners and you're away. A few hours later and it's ready for a short test ride.

Now this is when you're really get to notice how road bikes have changed. Whilst this Raleigh felt very smooth and surprisingly spritely to ride, I don't miss downtime shifters and 1" tyres. The bars are also very narrow and naturally put you in a rather racy position. I do however love the vintage Peugeot bike computer. I don't think I actually worked out what it did but it looks fabulous anyway!

Thank you to Colin for letting me work on this, I've thoroughly enjoyed it!

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