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The Raleigh is Finally Done.

The temperatures rose enough that I could do my rattle can touch up painting yesterday. I was going to wait a few days for the paint to cure a little more, but I thought, "hey, I can at least put the bottom bracket back on."  It just sort of cascaded from there.  My main question was whether the chaincase I bought off British eBay would work, and it did, even with the 22 tooth sprocket.

The bike is sort of a hodgepodge of parts.  The AG Dynohub has the magnet and armature from a '55 front hub.  The rims and spokes are new.  The lights are Busch and Muller from Peter White Cycles.  As a tip of the hat to the original configuration, I mounted the taillight to the seat stay rather than replace the round reflector - which was rattling around with a broken bolt that would neither tighten nor loosen, so I siliconed the reflector down.

It feels good to keep a 67 year old utility bike on the streets.  It may have been headed for the trash heap - it was on Craig's List a lon…
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After the Snow

It's hard to believe that just yesterday morning, I was pushing my way up to work on the ice bike - a $5 bike swap Diamond Back Sorrento that I switched to one speed and added studded snow tires.  The snow was so deep, I had to get off and push the bike up the big hill on the bike path near Siringo.

Since I've spent most of the week either sweeping snow off the roof or sitting in the house watching water drip through next to the book case, I decided I would get out on the Happy Little Three Speed Bicycle and take advantage of the more typical spring weather we're having today.

The photo is from a recently reopened section of the River Trail between Frenchy's Field and Siler Road.  It was opened with great fanfare early last summer, and we were immediately hit with one of those record rainfalls that seem to be becoming regular occurrences what with climate change.  The road in front of our house turned into a river, and the river itself, well, I didn't get down to …

One Step Closer

I'm still waiting for it to warm up enough to finish doing the spray paint touchup on the frame, but as of this morning, I'm one step closer on the '52 Raleigh.  To solve the short in the Dynohub's armature, I bought a '55 front dynohub off ebay for $22.50.  I can tell you now, yes, the dynohubs are interchangeable.

The one I purchased had a few dents, and when I spun the wheel, the dents were causing it to bind slightly in a couple of places.  "Leave well enough alone," you might say.  Unfortunately, that's not one of the traits I have developed as well as I might like.  This morning, I removed the outer shell from the old dynohub, which required some WD-40 and a great deal of patient tugging, and switched it out with the new dynohub.  It turns out that raised lip around the edge near the armature, is a channel that a raised lip in the armature fits into, forming something of a seal.  I thought about trying to fit some grease in there, but I couldn&…

Weather delays

The 1952 Raleigh is slowly coming along, but there are delays.  I have rebuilt the rear wheel, but then I discovered that the generator on the AG hub has a loose connection.  Current will flow through the hub if you press down on the terminal post, but as soon as you tighten the nut, as you would to connect a wire, the current stops.  I spent untold hours trying to get it to jam in place and/or complete the connection by slipping wire along the side of the terminal into the hub, but it just isn't going to work.  Right now, I'm on the prowl for an old parts hub I can use the armature from.

I also sanded off some surface rust, and the bike builder who closed up the gap on the rear dropout had to sand off some paint down there, so I'm trying to touch up with spray paint.  I'm finding that I am not a steady hand with the spray paint.  It's hard to get just where you sanded, so the bike is sort of spackled with spray can primer, and my first coat of black didn't get…

Just Commuting - Not much to report

As far as riding the happy little three speed bicycle, I've just been commuting to work as always, so there's not much to blog about.  We did have about four more inches of snow over the weekend, but the daytime temperatures have been getting above freezing, up into the forties, and this week, up into the fifties (Yay!).  The roads were fairly clear by Monday morning, but the back roads I bicycle up to work on still had sheets of ice across the shady side, which is the side I ride on on the way up to work.  In combination with hitting the time of year when the rising sun is shining directly down the streets I ride, it made for an exciting ride yesterday.  I had to be far out in the street to avoid the ice - the ice I couldn't really see because I was riding straight into the sun, knowing that any car that came up behind me most likely could not see me either.  Luckily, at the time when I ride up to work, there is hardly any traffic.  On the way home, my front brake cable s…

The Chaincase Arrived for the '52 Raleigh

I bought a chaincase off of British eBay.  The seller said he had taken it off a 1950 Raleigh Sports and began sanding it before deciding to go for a "rat look" whatever that is.

It came with all the mounting hardware, which is a plus, given Raleigh's odd, proprietary threading.

This particular project is beginning to feel like something that will take a lot longer than I would like, particularly given that I work all day.  I want to do a careful paint job on this case and on the few spots of the bike where there's rust.  I need to keep repeating to myself that I'm not going to get it done in one Saturday afternoon.  It will more likely be several Saturday afternoons to do it well.  I always think things will take far less time than they do.

How Did I Get Here?

So, here I am with a 1952 Raleigh Superbe Sport Tourist, almost completely disassembled.  You should see my office!  My desk, which was originally a table made for the writer Charles Bell, with whom I worked, is completely covered in old bearings, bits of headset, the crank, fixed cup and adjustable cup, jars of mineral spirits and Evaporust, and various wrenches, ratchets, and other tools.

The great mystery is why am I standing here, with a 67 year old bicycle frame, fully intending to put it into use as a commuter and recreational bicycle, once I get it back into something resembling a bicycle.  Why am I not out on Old Las Vegas Highway, this very minute, hammering along on a carbon fiber frame in brightly patterned Lycra?  (Those clothes you see me wearing - those are my cycling clothes.  I do own a jersey and some bike shorts, and I will wear them on a century, though there is just as even a chance that I'll be wearing khakis, as long as I did not have an unfortunate episode …