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Copenhagen wheel for thirty year old Raleigh.

Discussion in 'off topic' started by George J, Aug 11, 2019.

  1. George J

    George J Herefordshire member

    If things work out nicely, I hope to dispose of my car. I have two nice bikes, being a Carlton from the early 1980s and a Raleigh Quadra [I think that is what it once was] from the late '80s.

    The Raleigh is the one I would fit the Copenhagen wheel to as it is no longer set up as a road bike, but has a nice Nito comfort handlebar and new brake levers to compliment the Shimano 105 groupset as originally fitted and still good. The Carlton is set up as sort of 1950s road bike with a Great North Road handlebar, but using the Campag brake levers designed for normal drop bars. [Full 1980s Super Record groupset on the Carlton, including a very nice mushroom shaped steel headset]. The old SR bake levers fit well on the curve of the archaic design of handlebar, and fall to hand very well in the main hand position for quick progress.

    I have a great many rather steep banks to deal with here, so for commuting, when quite possibly rather weary at the end of the day [and it being uphill all the way home!] I reckon that an electrified bike might be quite a good idea to replace the little Skoda Fabia. The cost of fitting would amount to one year of fixed costs for a car [Tax, Insurance and MOT, but not fuel].

    The relatively short distance that the Copenhagen is suited for is no problem. Longer runs for fun would be reserved for the Carlton, which is quite a speedy cycle, being easy and responsive. The Raleigh is actually a Reynold 531, traditionally lugged, steel frame. It is a nice little bike, but does not quite have the get up and go of the Carlton which oddly is only 501 Reynolds traditionally lugged steel. It is still lighter than the Raleigh.

    Best wishes from George
  2. George J

    George J Herefordshire member

    This represents more or less what the Raleigh will look like when it gets electrified:


    My Brooks saddle is not a sprung one, and I have no panier frame, and of course the colour is different, but it gives an idea.

    Best wishes from George
    andrewd likes this.
  3. George J

    George J Herefordshire member

    Here is my Carlton, a few years ago now - on holiday. I am the one dressed like a farm worker on a day out!


    Best wishes from George

    PS: And here the old girl is as I first got here more than ten years ago, before I got her back from the dead!

    Ian M, calorgas, Dozey and 2 others like this.
  4. demotivated

    demotivated pfm Member

    Elgar would be proud of you
    George J likes this.
  5. George J

    George J Herefordshire member

    Dear Demotivated,

    It has been a long journey getting the Carlton to what is now a very nice and mature restoration. I rather fancy doing a sort of resto-mod on the Raleigh to make an easy commuter with some modern tech to allow for ease of use on my short commute, and dispose of the little car altogether. We have good buses here, so the car would soon become a luxury too far.

    Obviously the Carlton is far from its original set-up, but it is rather pure in style. 1980s tech, but set up as a 1950s road bike in terms of the handlebar. Nowadays the bar has black speckled cork bar tape, which is wonderful for reducing tarmac buzz ...

    I hope Elgar would approve of both!

    Best wishes from George
  6. sean99

    sean99 pfm Member

    Restoration and commuting don’t belong in the same sentence. Commuter bikes get absolutely thrashed, especially if they see salty roads. They also get dinged when they’re parked and locked. Adding a powered wheel to an old steel bike is an interesting project, but I can’t help but feel the cheapest practical e-bike purpose built for commuting would be a much better bet and leave the parking old bikes for recreational rides in good weather.
  7. Rob998

    Rob998 Scimmia Nordoccidentale

    Which is the point of the exercise I feel.

    Away with you and your sensible suggestions. I want to see a completely heart over head labour of love here.
  8. sean99

    sean99 pfm Member

    OMG, the price
    that's more than half way to a purpose build ebike with disc brakes.

    "I want to see a completely heart over head labour of love here." Me too - but I think it better spent making the Raleigh a great weekend ride.

    Very nice Carlton that - I do like chromed forks.
  9. George J

    George J Herefordshire member

    Dear Sean99,

    My Carlton used to have Chromed forks, but when Argos Racing Bikes [Bristol] did the re-enamel, they advised that as the old Chrome had lifted that re-chroming would potentially weaken the forks. This is because the first part of the plating process is to etch the steel ...

    So I went for Mid-Brunswick green enamel all over. In those days that colour was available as Ministry Of Defence paint that is considerably tougher than usual cycle enamel. This was important, as though it is hardly obvious, the Carlton served as my fun bike as well as my daily computer in all weather for a good eight years. The crucial thing is to clean the bike regularly in rough weather ...

    My commute these days is less far than it was back in the Carlton years, but rather steep coming home.

    Also, the price shown above for a Copenhagen wheel is fortunately not what my local bike shop would want for one. If the cheapest purpose made electric bike of any sort of durable quality is about £1500, the wheel is somewhat less than half that. Of course the Raleigh is quite a light bike, and certainly lighter [as fitted with the electric wheel] than the £1500 electric bike. To get a lighter electric bike costs a lot more.

    Also the Raleigh is set-up very much as I like it by now after two years of changing things as the number two bike. Good Schalbe tyres, and easy handlebar for less than clement weather etc.

    All it needs is a nice re-enamel, and Copenhagen wheel to make for a useful commuting machine. Where it will be kept there is no reason to lock it up, but the weight is important at the home end. It will have to be lifted at home. I am not worried so much by weight on a powered bike during use, as the motor will more than compensate going uphill, and that is the point.

    I have gone through many years not running a car, when the commute could be done on a bike, and if I electrify the Raleigh, I'll give up the car once again. Win-win as electrifying a bike will only cost more or less what the fixed costs are for a car for twelve months.

    Best wishes from George
  10. Rockmeister

    Rockmeister pfm Member

    It's not a 'Royale' is it. 531 forks and main frame? Colour's right. I bought mine in '80 new and kept it till I went all off roady in 2000. Bloody good bike, originally with suntour kit IIRC.
  11. George J

    George J Herefordshire member

    Dear Rockmeister,

    No! If only! It is the least posh one from the stable. One of the Kermesse line [possibly the last variant] but scaled for 700c wheels which is convenient as everything is fairly close coupled with them, but not too much for a bit of grafting in the rain and grit.

    It started with a mix of Suntour and Shimano Golden Arrow [and dreadful Weinmann brake callipers], but everything was seized and in getting it unseized many of the parts grew rather less precise than if they had not stood a while at the back of the garage. I rescued the old girl from the land-fill [from a long time friend], and so I am terribly fond of it, as it has so much of my work in it, plus some really nice wheels built for me by a friend who was equally enthused as I was. No bike shop gets to put a spanner or Allen on it!!!

    So the Raleigh has a slightly different role to play. And gradually I have become fond of the junior to the point where in some respects it is easier than the Carlton to enjoy, such as ambling.

    Best wishes from George
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
    Rockmeister likes this.
  12. Rockmeister

    Rockmeister pfm Member

    The Royale was lovely. I'd had a Raleigh at School but at college forgot all about bikes (motor bikes instead) until I went to the Isle of Wight to teach. Being a short commute to work, I rode and loved it. Wife and I bought a Royal each. Mine was green and hers a kind of pinky goldy colour. Later we moved house and hd a ten mile each way commute each but still biked it. I also did all my own stuff to it, including a swap to Shimano eventually. Anyway liking your motor project. I think it looks amazing in fact :)
  13. George J

    George J Herefordshire member

    Dear Rockmeister,

    I started a new job today, and I am quite sure that after my probationary few weeks, I'll pull the trigger on making the Raleigh a superb short distance commuter bike that will also run with the Carlton if friends visit for pleasurable cycle ambling. A twenty-five mile range brings in many pleasant country pubs for quiet pint along the way!

    I think this thread will be back in a few months!

    Best wishes from George
  14. cctaylor

    cctaylor pfm Member

    I have a 1984 Royal in regular use. Or to be more accurate the frame is still in use. Everything else has been updated or changed!

    The steel frame still feels great. I once tried a Specialized TriCross round a car park and it felt so strange, I was in two minds about upgrading the Royal at the time and this test convinced me to go ahead.
  15. George J

    George J Herefordshire member

    When I was given the Carlton Kermesse as a derelict I had two working gears only on the front chain rings - the rear mech being seized somewhere in the middle of five speeds. I knew immediately that this was far from just a superior type of bike. It had character, challenge in its DNA and supreme balance and responsiveness.

    Though my Carlton was the base model at the time, it has the characteristics of a really nice cycle. Of course that no doubt the more expensive variants were even more finessed, but I knew that it would be worth the effort within my own capacity to exploit its strengths. My old girl was for two years the fastest amateur time trial bike in Herefordshire in the early '80s. This is a short record that by now I shall never approach, but my dear friend who gave me the old bike [derelict photo further up] was so pleased that it would survive and thrive. I can honestly say the old bike was as good for my cycling as was my old London double bass made circa 1770 for my bass playing. A good bike/bass challenges and tempts you to absolutely make the best of it and yourself as a player/rider.

    Literally I call a Carlton a sort of great classical music instrument of the road!

    Best wishes from George
  16. lordsummit

    lordsummit Moderator

    Good luck with the job George!
  17. George J

    George J Herefordshire member

    Thanks. I have not dwelt on the crisis, but it has presented a challenge!

    Fortunately someone has found the possibility of some worth in an oldish person with a dickie right knee.

    Best wishes from George
    Sue Pertwee-Tyr likes this.
  18. -alan-

    -alan- pfm Member

    The Raleigh's a good looking bike. What bars have you got on it George ?
  19. George J

    George J Herefordshire member

    Dear Alan,

    The Raleigh is a bit of a classical shaped English bike of the steel era. I find that sort of proportionality rather pleasing both on the eye, and also in the way these older style bikes ride on real roads rather than the ideally finished ones we could wish for.

    Fitting an upright sort of bar on the bike does not spoil the aesthetic appeal of the bike at all. I fitted a Nitto Comfort bar about three years ago when I first got the Raleigh. This bar type appears to no longer exist in the same precise form, and bars [of the upright type] now seem to be the more extremely swept back type or more or less straight, while the bar I have has that traditional [and very comfortable] shape of the old steel Raleigh handle bars seen on the majority of bread and butter British bikes made up two the time when relatively simple bikes ceased to be mass produced in the UK.

    I have no photos of the Raleigh at the moment, and no recent ones of the Carlton either, but that one has stayed in the same form for many years now, as I got the set up just as I wanted it.

    I intend to get the Raleigh frame re-enamelled at Argos Racing Cycles in Bristol and then fit the Copenhagen wheel. It should all be done before the worst of the dark evenings later on!

    Best wishes from George
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019
    martin clark and -alan- like this.
  20. Barrymagrec

    Barrymagrec pfm Member

    I`m sure that was good advice, broken spokes are a common problem on new Chrome wire wheels for classic cars where the originals were often just painted and never gave any trouble.

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