Friday, May 28, 2010

The very English, Raleigh "Sprite"

Left click image to enlarge. Back button (<) to return

Above: This is what was known in the 1960`s as an "English Racer" here in the USA. And yes I am aware that the name makes no sense.I was amused to see the words Raleigh-Racer on the side-walls. The original owner was asking 250.00 for this bike (un-restored)I offered 180.00 and did not hear back. So I assumed I had missed my chance to own this very well preserved English classic.

Above: When I saw the close-ups of the original decals, I fell in love. I have cleaned the paint and polished all the chrome. But it is all original (no touch-ups) paint and decals.

Shown Above: The down-tube decal, It just keeps getting better and better :)The fenders have no dents and even the pin-stripes still look fresh. Not bad for 33 years old!

Above: I polished the crank and arms.The pedals got a good scrubbing/polishing and lube. There were no visible signs of wear on the pedals.

Above: I will say this, The free-wheel was very dirty with an oil and dirt mix. But the White-Lightning "Clean-Streak" made quick work of that. I used it on the chain and derailleur as well. The pie-plate is engraved with the Sturmey-Archer name.(How cool is that?)

Above: Just a tiny spec of the rear fender decal is missing. None of the fender struts are bent. As for what I "did do" to the bike. I replaced the tires and tubes.
It now has new Kenda < 27 x 1&1/4 > K35 90 psi Gum-Walls. I also replaced the brake-shoes. While they still looked new,(shoes) they had hardened and were squeaky.So they were replaced with new Jag-Wire shoes. I wanted this bike to be reliable as well as beautiful. So I did also replace all the cables and covers. (1 shift 2 brake) I did however save all the original parts. I usually don`t bother with that. But I thought maybe one day I could find the exact matching replacement parts. Or maybe a future owner might want to do the same. I do still plan on restoring the 1964 Raleigh Sports 3 speed. I keep telling my self, I won`t buy any more project bikes till I finish the ones I already have. That just never seems to work out. Hey it`s a disease! "what can I say'
BELOW: A photograph of the Sprite as it was when I first brought it home.

Well that`s all I have for you today. Have a Great Holiday weekend and RIDE SAFE and Please remember to always RESCUE-RESTORE&RECYCLE!
Cheers,Hugh Below: To see this Rusty Raleigh Sprite Restored go to: http://hughsbicycle.blogspot.com/2012/07/rusty-raleigh-part-3.html
ATTENTION AMAZON SHOPPERS!! You can help Support This Blog by simply logging onto Amazon dot com using the Amazon Search Box located at the Top Right Corner of This Page. It will not effect your cost and I will receive a small commission. Thanks for your support, Hugh

31 comments:

  1. Hello,
    What a classic. I have found that the 27" wheeled Sprites are kinda of rare. Add the white paint on a men's, and the condition, in my humble opinion, you got a bargain. I hope you keep it for yourself!

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  2. Hey J
    Thanks, I agree it is a fine bicycle. And the 27in wheels/tires are kind of rare on that style bike.I probably should keep it. But surprisingly, The bike I have really enjoyed riding is the Pacer Special Edition. I`m thinking I should do some up-grades and keep it. I don`t know why but. It just feels right

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  3. Thanks Steve, I agree, She`s a beauty!

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  4. Very nice. I would find it hard to part with...

    Jay

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  5. Thanks Jay, I`m beginning to think I should give it some more thought.

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  6. Hello again,
    Having a second look at this jewel. If it is not to much trouble, how many teeth are on the front chain ring? Also, is that freewheel like a 14-28? Thank you!

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  7. Hey J,
    Both good questions. But I will have to get back to you tomorrow. In the meantime have a great Holiday weekend. Cheers

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  8. This is 33 years old bike??!! woww... I'm amaze, the first owner did a great thing of handle stuff... it's like a brand new & priceless.

    You did a great things too... The polished is so shine.. love it so much!!!

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  9. Hey,hub`n ride.
    Yes it is a 1977 model. The original owner (who is now 82 yrs old)took very good care of the bike.
    And Thank You. I tried to only replace the things that I needed to make the bike reliable.
    Cheers, Hugh

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  10. Hey, I just thought I would mention a music video on YouTube that features a Raleigh Sprite in the video. It's a pretty cool vid with a lovely singer in it. Here is the link...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qiXikZCzno

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  11. Hey Anonymous,
    Thanks for sending the link. And I agree she is lovely. The Brooks saddle is lovely too! I will post it on the video links section for a while. Cheers

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  12. hi hugh! i have a gorgeous olive green raleigh sprite, the girl's model, with original handlebars, seat & gear shifts. i'm so in love with my bike, but it's not in as good of shape as yours. the decals are peeling, and i'm thinking about replacing them. do you know of a reputable online source where i could order vintage or era-appropriate sprite decals?
    thanks! meg (curlsandcoffee@gmail.com)

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  13. Hello Meg,
    I now this is going to sound like the standard answer but... check e-bay from time to time. You make have to check several times before any turn up. Also you might want to contact Steve at rebrit.com . Steve specializes in English 3 speeds. You can contact him through his web site. He might know where you can find some Raleigh decals. Good-Luck and Thank You for stopping by.
    Cheers,Hugh

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  14. Ive got a 1973 Sprite 27 in pretty good condition. I picked it up a few months ago and have been looking to sell it because i never have the time to ride. If anyone is interested, shoot me an email, morganfreemanism@yahoo.com

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  15. i found a 27 inch wheel sprite in the trash and cleaned it up...it is just like the one pictured here...exactly down to the color..this bike rides like a dream glad i own it now.

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  16. Hey Anonymous,
    Finding a Nottingham Raleigh in the trash. That`s about as good as it gets! The are very well made and have a genuine classic look about them. And as you mentioned they are a joy to ride. Sometimes One man`s trash truly is another man`s treasure.
    Enjoy your bike, You really have found a treasure there!
    Cheers

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  17. Tim in Adelaide South AustraliaJanuary 6, 2012 at 8:34 AM

    I've just bought a red 1970's Sprite. I'm just starting research on it before bringing it back to the best condition I can.

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  18. Hey Tim,
    You have picked a good one. The 1970`s Raleigh Sprites are great bikes with a real classic look.
    I have a 1960`s Raleigh 3 Speed I really need to get working on again one of these days. Good Luck with your restoration.
    Cheers, Hugh

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  19. I have a bike in almost perfect condition except that some of the decals are in very bad shape, you know where I can get the original ... is dark red sprite of 67

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  20. Hey AnonymousJan 15
    You can find three links in the "Bicycle Related Links" section on this blog in the column on the right side. When you click on "Classic Resources" it will take you to classicrendezvous.com . Once there you will need to scroll down to the Decals section. If you do not find what you are looking for there, try the other two decal links Cyclomondo Decals and Velocal Decals. If you do not find what you are looking for. You can try checking E-Bay from time to time. Good Luck.
    Cheers,Hugh

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  21. I just bought two of these bikes from a retired high school music teacher. They are the exact same color and model, one a men's and one a womans. He was asking $20 dollars a piece for them and said they both needed new tubes. However, I just aired them up and their fine. They aren't in nearly as pristine condition as yours but seeing the price you paid I feel lucky to have found them.

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  22. Hey Ben,
    That would only be a good story if I were telling it. I`m trying real hard to be happy for you! Seriously, Congrats on a great find and a great price as well!
    Cheers

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  23. Hugh - I found this post Googling "1983 Raleigh Sprite". It was a great post and helpful to read how you had refurbished the bike. I thought you might like to see pics of my '83 Raleigh Sprite, so I hope you don't mind that I'm leaving a link. I hope I can find the Clean Streak in Canadaland. ~Elen

    http://elengrey.com/2012/05/26/sob-im-vintage/

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  24. Hey Elen,
    Nice looking bike:) Thanks for the link. If I may suggest, If the brake shoes are as old as the tires, they should be replaced as well. You might want to check-out the Raleigh I am restoring right now. If you click-on the Face-Book Link in the right column you can see some pics. I will be blogging about it soon. It is my most challenging restoration to date. Glad you enjoyed the post.
    It is always good to hear from my neighbors across the river. Now go rack up some miles on that beauty. Ride Safe!
    Cheers, Hugh

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    Replies
    1. Hugh - I didn't realize my comment had posted, I was having some difficulty with that. Thank you for looking at the pics. I have "Liked" your FB page. Mr. G has been trying to adjust the brake pads with the new tires. What's involved with the adjusting/replacing? Special tools? Our local cycle shop was a bit perplexed. :-D

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  25. Hey Elen,
    Adjusting brake pad position or replacing the pads all together is fairly simple on a side pull caliper brake. It requires you loosen the anchor nut (where the cable attaches to the brake) This usually takes an 8 ,9 or 10mm wrench.
    Loosening the cable anchor nut will allow you to open up the brake wider. Then loosen the nut on the outside of the shoe to adjust position. (where the shoe attaches to the caliper arm) Remove the nut if you are replacing the brake pad or shoe. When the shoe is in the proper position the entire shoe should contact the side of the rim when the caliper is closed. It should not contact the tire at all. First tighten the nut just a little so you can still move the shoe up or down in the slot. Close the caliper by hand and check the shoe position. When you have the shoe in the proper position tighten the nut tightly so the shoe can no longer be moved.
    Do this on both sides. Once you have both shoes in the proper position you will need to close the caliper all the way and pull the cable through the anchor then tighten the cable anchor nut. You want the shoes as close to the rim as possible without the shoe rubbing the rim. If the wheel is straight the gap (between shoe and rim) on an older road bike should be about 1/8th inch max. It will be easier to do this if he can use a carpenters clamp with rubber ends to hold the caliper shut while he is tightening the cable anchor nut. (after pulling the slack out of the cable) You don`t want the cable so tight the the shoes rub when the brake lever is released. Or so loose that the caliper does not close tightly enough to apply sufficient pad pressure on the rim to stop the bike quickly. Now if the shoes will not make flat or total contact with the rim this needs to be fixed. There are two ways to correct this. Some or most like to bend the arm till the shoe or pad is square to the rim. I do not like to make the correction this way, especially if the brake arms are cast alloy. I use shims. I show how I do this on my post dated Nov 20th 2011 the post is titled "Ross adventurer update/ what you might want to try when your caliper arm is bent. The Ross bike has center-pull brakes, but the shim would work the same on your side pull brakes.
    I hope this was not too confusing. I`m not sure why you bike shop was perplexed? It really is not that big of a deal. They may have to order any older type shoes or tires as most shops do not stock the older stuff.
    With British bikes (or any bike) it is real important that all the numbers on the tires match "exactly". So make sure you keep the old tires so you can double check when you purchase new ones.
    Cheers

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  26. Thanks, Hugh. Now, we're cooking! Mr. G has printed this for reference. I think the confusion may have had more to do with the question posed. The sweetie said that the guy said basically what you said. He knows what he needs to do now. THANK YOU!

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  27. Hey Elen,
    Excellent and you are very welcome.Just a suggestion. You may want to consider purchasing "The Big Blue book of Bicycle Repair" for Mr G. It is the only repair manual I have ever purchased. I have received others as gifts but the B.B.B. is is the only one I really use. (shhhhhhh...)
    Cheers, Hugh

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  28. Received this two days ago.
    Hugh, I have a Raleigh Sprite, I believe it's a 10 speed. 27" wheels, 25" frame, with an extended seat pole and a racing seat. I haven't ridden it for many years and have no place to keep it for riding. I am in the process of down sizing since I now live in a condo, and want to sell it. It's bveen sitting around for about 15 years and probably needs tires, tubes, handle bar grips and a good adjustment. From reading your site's comments, it probably needs brake shoes also. If I don't choose to repair it, what is your opinion concerning a reasonable price, consider it is a vintage classic,I could ask for it. I will favorite this website on my web list, so I can get back, but would appreciate an email with your answer. My email is ################ . Thanks for your reply. ###### on The very English, Raleigh "Sprite"

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    Replies
    1. Hey Anonymous,
      It is not possible to nail down a value of a bike without seeing it in person. And even then I can only tell the owner what it would be worth to me. And being that most of my bikes come from Thrift Stores and Garage Sales and Donations, it usually is not very much.
      Not to mention bike values vary greatly from state to state and even from town to town. In other words it is best to check sales locally on Craig's list or classifieds or whatever.
      Cheers, Hugh

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