Hello and Welcome
This is way to easy to call a restoration, more like a refurbishing with a tune up and a detail job.
Look closely at the badge when hunting for an old old Raleigh. Notice this is a Raleigh USA. Nothing wrong with that. But definitely not as prized as a well preserved Nottingham Raleigh. One of the things I really don`t like about this ladies bike is the "department store" kick stand. And I`m not to keen on the chrome steel wheels either. It seems to me, a Raleigh should have light weight alloy wheels. But it does have the Raleigh look "sort of" and that really cool badge. And the graphics are pretty cool. But it does have one other thing that really sets it apart. It is virtually unused. I have closely inspected the original tires, brake shoes, the 6 speed free-wheel, cables, front and rear derailleurs, chain, drop handlebars, bar wrap foam, etc.etc. And it is my opinion that the mileage could be measured in city blocks, not miles. I often wonder about bikes like this one. Why was it never ridden? Did the owner purchase it with good intentions but gave up before ever really getting started? Or maybe it was a gift? Who knows? I can`t help but think that the number of virtually unused old bikes is higher in the USA than anywhere else in the world. Maybe that is part of the reason why we are also the fattest people in the world. I had to scrape the badly decayed gum wall tires off the rims. I`m talk`n about 30 year old tires. But with no tread wear at all! What a waste!
Yesterday I found a 1980`s ladies Schwinn with a lugged "Giant" built frame. It has center-pull brakes, alloy wheels, a better kickstand. Maybe I`ll take some of the good stuff off the Schwinn and build me an upgraded Raleigh USA. Before I close I would just like to say to any new riders to the sport. Don`t give up! Keep riding. It will get easier. And you will get stronger! And don`t worry about what anyone else can do. Just compete with your self. Set goals, but be realistic. Give your self some time. Just don`t quit! Take Care and Ride Safe and Remember to always... RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE
P.S. Below photo of the Raleigh as it was found. Then photos of the clean-up and polished wheel. ALSO the U of M WOLVERINE stickers arrived today for the UM Tribute bike (KHS). I will post new pics when it is finished.