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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Raleigh Crested Butte: Assessment.

Ok, enough leaving you all hanging. Now to talk about the new to me bike!

When I received the Raleigh Crested Butte on Sunday November 14 (a month ago!) it was in very good shape. A "garage queen", as they say. Not only was it in good all-around shape, it had good "stuff" on it. This is because the Crested Butte was Raleigh's "top of the line" mountain bike in the mid-80's.
Raleigh USA 1984 mountain bike ad. Click to embiggen.
Raleigh USA 1984 mountain bike ad. Click to embiggen.
The derailleurs, shifters, and brakes are Shimano Deore XT. Deore was Shimano's new mountain bike/touring group in the mid-80's and XT was the top for the era. Those friction thumb-shifters are especially covetable these days, as the only new ones are cheapies. This is why a local bike shop owner asked to buy the shifters!

The crankset is a Tourney XT, which chainrings of 46-36-26. The rear freewheel cluster (six speed) is 14-34. This bike has range, and real low gearing. Almost perfect?

And the pedals? Suntour XC-II pedals. Now of all the covetable parts, this is top on the bike. Suntour made these pedals for both MTB and BMX bikes, and old-school BMX'ers love them. I've seen them go for over $100 on eBay.

The wheels have Araya 26"x 1.75" rims laced to some nice high-flange Suntour hubs. Built for burliness.

Because everything is so good, this is possibly the first used bike in my modern era that I haven't thought about changing everything. Because why would I? If everything is still working, why?

The list of things I want to change is a short one. The "bullmoose" handlebars are tres cool, but they offer no adjustability besides height. And when I checked to see if the bars could be raised, the answer is no, as they are maxxed out. So not only will I have to get new handlebars, but a new stem as this is a one-piece stem-handlebar. And possibly a new brake cable hanger too, since it was integrated into the bars.

And while the tires are cool, they are 28 years old. Not good. New tires and tubes on the menu.

The last thing that will probably be changed will be the saddle, though I may give the extant one a shot as it's an Avocet Touring II saddle. It was one of the best saddles of its time, an Italian made, leather covered, ergonomic saddle.

Join us next time for the changes!


  1. Man what I wouldn't have given for one of these or similar back in the days,Shawn! Being a teen whose Dad blew his $ on a new motocrosser for him every 3 years,though-and since this new fangled thing "mtn biking" was just "a phase you're going through cause your buddies are doing it" (well...this is a phase still going some 20+ years later,Pop,and most of my friends are too lazy to still be doing it...)-what I actually got was top of the line Huffy's and such until I graduated and bought that first (real) Mongoose,and the rest is history ;)

    Good post,my friend,and awesome score! OH how I coveted that XT group,even as a young teen!

    The DC

  2. Among all the nifty bomb-proof stuff on the 80's mountain bikes are these good looking well made Araya rims. I'm attracted to them because of the squared off edge and have used numerous pairs on my bikes. My Ross and Miyata currently have them. There is something about them also that speaks quality to me.

    Tell me you are replacing the old tires with new gumwalls!

  3. That was an excellent find. I remember looking in awe at a similar Raleigh Mountain Tour in a bike shop in Denver back in the old days. Sadly, it was not anywhere close to my price range back then. I ended up with a Miyata as my first mountain bike. It was a good bike but nowhere near this quality or this cool.

  4. Hi have one of these in the UK, originally sold by the memorial cycle shop Houston Texas. It's a fun bike to have, and a reminder of how little and how much has changed


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