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Monday, January 09, 2012

April reunites with her Raleigh Sports

It has been a busy week around the Urban Adventure HQ. So busy that I haven't had much time to blog (boo) or draw (double boo!) But the fruits of all the labor will soon be shared here on Ye Olde Blogge. (And yes, the labor has been on the Rudge. If you can't wait for the report, you can always check my flickr set on the Rudge.) But first! Let's talk about one of April's bikes.

April currently has two bikes. You've seen plenty of shots of her Novarra Randonee, her touring bike. It's what she rode on the Cross-Con Tour. But there is also her 1961 Raleigh Sports, her first "real" bike. I use the term real bike because she's had several bikes in her life and used her mom's bike when she was commuting in the westside suburbs as an adult. But the Raleigh was the first bike she got in Portland and the bike that started the chain of events that made her an everyday bicyclist, a bike obsessive, a bike nut. (She's written a bit about it over on her blog, so go check it out for more backstory. And you can see more photos of it in my flickr set.)
April with the Raleigh before the changes, January 2011.

Before we left on the Cross-Con Tour in May, April loaned the Raleigh to her friend Katrina. Katrina didn't have a bike and wanted to get into it, and now she's hooked! Katrina returned the bike last month, and there were a few things April wanted to do to it before she started riding again. And with the Raving Bike Fiend in town, we finally got to tackle them! (I'll be using "we" because even though it's April's bike, myself and Keith Bike Fiend did the work.)

The first thing we did was remove the front basket. While practical, April felt that it would look better without it and also improve handling. (And she was annoyed with the way the brake cable was routed through the basket, causing it to rub against the head badge.)

Next: front wheel. We installed a Sturmey-Archer dynohub (1953 vintage) laced to a modern CR18 aluminum rim, 26" x 1 3/8" size from Dave of Portlandize back in the spring. The aluminum rim means better braking power in the rain, and the Dynohub means generator lighting! Right now we have a generic light hooked up to it, I need to install a Spanninga halogen front lamp when I get the chance.

Oh yeah, we also added a Portland Design Works battery-powered Fenderbot to the rear. It's the same light I have on my Worksman Cycle Truck. While it is definitely a modern light with modern technology, it looks appropriate.

We swapped out the brown leather saddle (supposedly from a '40's CCM via Keith) with April's Brooks Champion Flyer she picked up on tour in Missoula. And to top it off, we strapped the Carradice saddle bag to saddle and seat post. So appropriate! Unfortunately the support for the seat post strap broke when April loaded the bag with books, so I got it repaired at Mountain Soles. That's why a few shots don't have the Carradice, as we haven't reinstalled it yet.

A few minor tweaks courtesy of Kieth (like brake adjustment) and some cleaning courtesy of me. To bring out the black paint I used oil and a cloth. I heard how traditionally many folks in Britain protected the frames of their three speeds with motor oil. When I first heard about it, I was all "ew." Then Keith convinced me of its benefits by demonstrating it on a section of the Rudge's frame. So I oiled April's frame, and it hasn't looked this good in a long time.

And how does April feel about all these changes?

I think you can tell by her face!

She's ridden it a few times since Thursday, when it was ready, and has fallen more in love with the beautiful Raleigh. Now we each have a black British bike.

Next up: THE RUDGE!


  1. Very cool! April's bike looks very comfortable, and now with addition Of a generator and lights, it's very functional as well. That bike is ready for the front row of the next Tweed Ride!

  2. Well done. I think it spelled "Ye olde blogge."

  3. Very nice! One of these days,I'll own an old Raleigh...

    The Disabled Cyclist

  4. Great! I'm so glad the front wheel worked out for you! From one Raleigh Sports to another :)


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