Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Raleigh Sports 3 speed finished (except touch-up) & The Schwinn Le Tour Mixte

Hello and Welcome. The replacement tires arrived yesterday for the 1973 Raleigh 3 speed step-through. This time the tires fit perfectly. Thanks again to the folks at Niagara Cycle Works for getting the tire problem resolved so quickly.
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Above: A view of the Raleigh from the front. I am happy with the way it has come together so far. I am having a little trouble matching the green paint. I think I have found a match. At first I thought it was too dark and experimented with a few other shades of metallic green. But after wet sanding I noticed the paint I thought was too dark, was actually was a real good match. I will get a fresher bottle of that color and try again tomorrow. (mine is really old stock)
Above: I found this rack online, (I think at I looked at so many I don`t remember who sent it for sure. It was a tight fit, but it is on there and well secured. I did have to grind a little on the welds to get the front connect bracket to bolt to the rack mount holes. I found a reflector in the reflector box that fit nicely, after cutting off an extra nub on the back.
Above: This is one of the reasons I like to take pictures. Looking at this photo I can see I need to move the rear brake cable to the underside of the down-tube. Also
I need to get rid of some of the excess cable (up front)on both brakes. I put my best chrome frame pump on this bike. I think it was a good choice. I have plenty of time to find another for my 1964 Raleigh Sports restoration.
The brakes polished-up nicely with Turtle-Wax Chrome Polish and Rust Remover. I also used it to shine up the "thimble detail" on the fork and the outer bearing cups on the head-set. I used it on the rest of the chrome as well.
Above: The other half of this project is this Schwinn Le Tour Mixte. I was amazed to see how clean the Bracket Shell and Head-Set are when I took it apart today.
Above: I did wipe-off the bearing cartridge and cup quickly with a paper towel.
But the bracket and plastic cover are just how they came out of the shell. I think
this is the cleanest I have ever seen on a 1980`s bike.
This is a shot of the upper head-set bearing cup. All I did was wipe it off with a paper towel. Notice how clean the inside of the head tube looks not a trace of rust.
Above: Obviously I have cleaned-up the frame. But the inner bracket-shell is untouched. I`m sure this bike was ridden once and put away. Or maybe just put away and never ridden. Too bad they did not store it somewhere dryer.
Till Next Time, RIDE SAFE! and Remember to Always RESCUE,RESTORE & RECYCLE


  1. Beautiful!
    April (my girlfriend) would definitely salivate over these bikes!

  2. Thank You Shawn,
    I appreciate the thought (:

  3. Hugh;

    Nice work on the Raleigh. I check your site frequently and see what you've been up to. You certainly set the bar for restoring a bike!

    I have the men's version of that same bike; in that same color. So....since you've done the leg work on touch up paint....What paint and what color shade or number did you use?

    I also have a brown/red Centurion that I need to touch up. I am going into the Walgreen's today with my frame and looking for fingernail polish for a match. I may wear a disguise. Wish me luck.

    One more thing. Is that Schwinn bike you're working on a mixte or just a women's bike? I thought mixtes had two small tubes running from the head tube to the rear drop outs.

    Also, be careful out there with people who think they own the road. Sometimes you just have to let it go when someone is being an ass. You are no match for some idiot in a 1 1/2 ton car.

    Thanks, Mark

  4. Hey Bill,
    First Thanks. To come up with a good color match for the Raleigh touch-up. I am mixing two colors of nail enamel.Now the bad part. The brand "Sally Hansen, Hard as Nails" first color is "Emarld City" #10. The other one has no label. But looking at the bottle and cap, I can say "it is the same brand". It is like a light lime metallic color. Sorry about that.
    The other day my wife and I were at the drug store picking up a prescription. She actually asked me out of the blue "Do you want to look at nail polish?" She knows I hate the whole process
    of purchasing it. Now that`s a good woman!
    Good Luck with the Centurion, they are great bikes. And I have been told they were "The Bike to Own" in their day.
    About the Mixte. Now this one depends on which definition of Mixte you believe. I know it is a popular belief that they got the name mixte from the mixed size of tubes used in their frame design. However the other school of thought is that, The name mixte is derived from a french word that means unisex. I tend to believe the latter. And this is why. I actually remember back in the day when these style frames were marketed as a unisex design. I also remember one of my older brothers (who was an avid cyclist in the 1970`s) describing this style as a unisex bike.
    So this being my belief (and I know it is not popular)I would categorise this bike as a mixte.
    Because it has the same lines.
    And yes I agree, It is not wise to tangle with a car when you are riding a bicycle. And for the drivers out there. It is also not wise to tangle with a cyclist. You never know. Maybe he was a brick and block man for 30+ years. And just might just hand you your head on a platter.
    But like my "drivers education" teacher told me many years ago. Sometimes it is better to give the other the guy "the right of way" even if He or She is wrong. Because "Dead-Right or Dead Wrong, Your Dead either way.
    To wrap this up, I do want to apologize for scraping the label of the nail enamel bottle. It
    never occurred to me I might need the info at some later date. Opps

  5. This is what I understand the term mixte means:
    A direct appropriation of the French word meaning “mixed” or “unisex”, “mixte” is pronounced “MEExt”, although the usual North American bicycle industry pronunciation of this loan word is “MIX-ty”. Both pronunciations are widely used.

  6. Hey Joao,
    Thanks, I appreciate that. Sorry for the delayed response.


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