Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Raleigh Persuit Restoration Part 1

Hello and Welcome,
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I originally purchased this Raleigh Pursuit at a church rummage sale in nearby Milford Mi for thirty dollars. I was looking for a wheel-set and derailleurs for my 1972 Moto-Becane build. Then latter on I took the three piece crank and a few other parts (stem,handlebars, flick-stand & seat-post collar-bolt) for the Raleigh Capri. At first I thought this bike had white paint splattered on it. So I had no plans for the step-through frame. I stuck the old wheel-set and tires from the MotoBecane on it just so I could move it around the shop. As you can see above, by this time it was in a sorry state.
A few weeks ago I received an e-mail from a young lady looking for a commuter bike. I told her I had nothing ready in her size. But if she wanted to choose one of the un restored bikes I have in stock for restoration, I could have it ready in two to three weeks. "Long Story Short" she chose the Raleigh Pursuit. First order of business was to clean-up the frame and see if this bike is worth the effort. As you can see (above) it cleaned-up pretty good. Fortunately I had another parts bike in waiting with Sun-Tour derailleurs and a Sugino three piece crank. Next I want to do a mock-up to see if everything is going to work/fit.
Above is the mock-up with the components untouched. The handlebars and stem are from my stock of salvaged parts. The saddle and grips are for the mock-up only. Next step is to make up a shopping list and get the new parts ordered. Once I have checked everything for fit and function. It is time to take the bike apart and start re-assembling with new and re-conditioned components.
One of the first things to arrive was the Saddle. A new but "Vintage Looking" affordable saddle.(Brooks knock-off) I cleaned and polished the original seat-post with a brass brush and Mother`s Chrome Polish. Yes! I finally found some "Mothers Chrome Polish" and I love the stuff. (Sorry Turtle Wax, I have left you for another)I also managed to clean-up the brake calipers and get those mounted on the frame.
Above: Two of my favorite things (there are many more) about a Raleigh Road Bike.
First the "Iconic" Raleigh head-badge. And second the English Scroll (lettering) on the front of the fork blades. Also a shot of the front brake caliper "Dia Compe 500" taken apart and all polished-up with "Mother`s Mag & Aluminum Polish" of course.
Above: The stem and handlebars re-mounted after polishing. Look at that chrome shine! I also have re-mounted the Sun-Tour stem-shifters after a good polishing. You would think "judging by the components" that the donor bike was also a Raleigh. Here`s a hint "It was not a Raleigh". It was a Schwinn World Sport or Tourist. It had a very badly scratched frame and was filthy. I have learned to "not walk away from a bike too quickly" when bike hunting. Quite often the value is there if you look for it.
Above: The original bottom bracket before cleaning. I de greased the bearings and cups and axle. Also Notice the plastic axle cover the channels at each end are empty. Before I slip this back into place I pack those channels (on the ends) with grease. It was not my idea, I saw it done that way on one I took apart a long time ago. It made sense to me, so I have been doing it that way ever since.
The Crank all polished-up and ready for action. The inset Allen heads got the Q-Tip
treatment. I guess I don`t need to tell you what polish I used :)
The Crank back on the bike also the Sun-Tour AR front derailleur cleaned-up, polished and mounted slightly out of position.
The Cork`y grips (not the same as cork) look good with the saddle and will also compliment the Kenda K35 Gum-walls. I chose these Dia Compe old style commuter levers because they remind me of an old Raleigh 3 Speed. I searched the E-Bay for vintage, but they were basically the same thing and more expensive.
Above: The Sun-Tour AR rear derailleur all cleaned up. I think this is pretty much what this bike had originally although the originals may have been Sun-Tour ARX. The ARX is basically a lighter version of the same derailleur. (or so I have been told anyway) So this being a commuter set-up, I guess a few extra ounces won`t hurt too much. That`s all I got for tonight. I will post "part 2" before the new week begins. Till Next Time, RIDE SAFE and Remember to Always RESCUE, RESTORE & Recycle
Cheers, Hugh


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Hey Tararista,
    Being a lugged frame it was built in pieces and can be repaired. But you will need to find an experienced frame builder to do the repair. But (and there's always a but) I would imagine there would be some re-painting involved as well. So you have to do the math and decide, Is it really worth the cost?
    The Pursuit has some pretty good components. You might want to start looking for a used frame. Or even a complete bike with a nice frame but lesser components. I used a step-through model Pursuit as a donor bike when I built my MotoBecane Special Sport. It is a shame the frame was damaged. But you still have some great parts to work with or sell. Good Luck


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