Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Clubman In The Raw

Well, here it is, The Raleigh Sprite 27. It's a ten-speed, now, soon to be a 3-speed Clubman Tourer. (I add the "Tourer" because, technically, a Clubman is set up for racing, while I intend to leave the carrier and add either saddle bags or a large seat bag for utility. I might even use it, occasionally, to commute.)

I like the handlebars, and I'll probably use them on another bike. This one will have drop bars, although I will retain the stem, if at all possible. It is quite nice, with a "lugged" look, and good chrome. The handlebars and brake levers seem to date the bike to 1974. If anyone has better dating, let me know.

I am torn as to what to do about the finish. I love the orangey color, but it is badly faded, in places. I may respray it. If I do, I will mask this panel off and retain the Raleigh decal. Even though it is worn and faded, it is also original and cool.

I bought this bike to get the fenders, as much as anything. They are steel, with a really nice semi-flat black (probably due to fading), and the British-legal six square inches of white on the rear, and yet another Raleigh logo decal. The front had one tiny dent in it, otherwise they are in excellent shape.

Another view of the bar and stem. If the picture will enlarge (it's kinda random, with Blogger) I think you can see the "lugged" stem pretty well.

It's not the most high-end of frames. It's basically the same frame as a Raleigh Record, with fenders and an upright bar added. It measure 58cm on the seat tube, and 56 on the top tube, which is the same as the blue Record frame I built up as a fixie and loaned to BC a couple of years ago.

That was one of my favorite bikes because it rode so smoothly and was just a comfortable bike, all around. It eventually got powder coated white, and sold as a retro 10-speed. I've missed it, since it's been gone, so this should take care of that.

I also picked up a 20" wheelset, with a Sturmey-Archer 3-speed hub. I may just unlace the 3-speed wheel I have, and relace it with the S-A, to keep the bike English.

(Also, that wheel arrived with no cog or lockring, and the standard S-A cogs don't fit it. That may be why I got a "good" deal on it, in the first place.)

So, now, the build can commence. I'll build it with the finish as-is, and make sure everything is working out to my satisfaction before I make a decision on whether or not to respray.



At 5:21 PM , Blogger frankenbiker said...

Nice bike Jon,I love old Ralieghs.I have had a couple myself, an 8speed Gran Prix and a Super Record fixed. I can' Wait to see the finished product in 3spd mode.In my humble opinion you should respray as close to the original orange as you can get and save the decals as you said to freshen it up a bit.

At 5:24 PM , Blogger frankenbiker said...

oops!,I really meant can't wait.I guess i should have used that preview function.

At 11:56 PM , Anonymous geoffrey said...

Have you tried a little rubbing compound to bring up the original paint?

At 9:16 AM , Blogger frankenbiker said...

Twenty-six inches of snow today in Ohio!The biggest March storm since 1964, and still snowing.It looks like I won't be commuting by bike on Monday.Maybe I should have built that 3 wheeler snow the one on


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