Saturday, July 21, 2012

Raleigh Teton Mountain Tour restoration.

Hello and Welcome, About a month ago a friend asked me if I would be interested in restoring his son's vintage mountain bike. I had already seen the bike and remembered thinking it sure would clean up nice with that chrome frame. So of course I said yes.
Above: Rust on chrome does not photograph well. So you will have to trust me on this one, the surface rust was everywhere. Here I had stuck one of my salvaged wheels on the front but soon decided not to use it. Also I put a Tempo Z1 Bicycle Saddle on to see how it looked and decided I would pass on that as well.
Above: I really do not like restoring bikes that have been left out in the weather. As a rule they always have unseen or unexpected problems. This bike was no exception to that rule. On the up side, it does have one of my all time favorite crank sets the Shimano 3 Speed Crankset (Bio-Pace) . I installed these vintage West German made pedals to see how they look. These I did use after some clean up. That plastic water bottle cage is gonna have to go for sure.
Above: Although rusty I am going to try to refurbish the MTB handlebars. I like to call this style handlebar and stem unit The Flying V. And the thumb shifters are the most trouble free shifters I have ever used. You can have the twist the grip shifters, I`ll take these any day. There were no grips to speak of. In place of grips, the grip areas were taped-up hockey stick style. Not real comfortable, but it got the job done. For a while anyway.
Above: Here I have trued and cleaned up the rear wheel and hub. I also cleaned-up and sanded "some" of the spokes. I also re greased the axle bearings. But something in there did not feel right to me. And I was about to notice something that I somehow missed.
Above: Sprocket or gear # 4 is missing 3 teeth in a row! I am going to blame this oversight on the heat wave and bad lighting. All I can say is, how could I clean this free-wheel (scrape spray and brush) and not see that? And it is about to get even better!
Above: I tried to get this 5 speed freewheel (on the left) to break loose and it just would not budge. It would seem Mother Nature has worked her magic on this freewheel. And I suspect a lack of assembly grease contributed to this problem as well. It was time to give someone younger and stronger a shot at it. Thanks to Daniel at Cycle Therapy in Waterford Mi for getting the job done. He was just about to give up and then it it broke loose. You can clearly see how the slots for the removal tool are elongated. That is from from the extreme amount of pressure it took to break that bad boy loose. Good work Daniel! Earlier after I removed the axle I could see it had a slight bend and one of the cones looked a little scored. So I went to see Joe at American Cycle and Fitness in Pontiac Mi. I knew if anyone had the axle and cones I needed in stock it would be Joe. He had everything I needed So I purchased the new axle and cones/spacers and a fresh set of bearings. Joe pointed out to me that the modern spacer is a little wider and I should reuse the old one. Although they looked identical when I placed them side by side I used the old one anyway. I`m not about to question his judgement.
Above: Here I am installing the new (and straight) bicycle rear axle, cones, spacers and bearings. The replacement Free Wheel (salvaged) is a Sun Tour Perfect jut like the original except it is a 6 Speed freewheel instead of a 5. This I have done before with no problem. I just removed the pie plate and adjusted the derailleur and it works perfectly. I do not think it would have been such an easy fix with index shifting. But with friction shifters and derailleurs "No Problem".
Above: I am jumping way ahead with this pic, but there it is looking and working fine. The rear derailleur was really dirty. As I scraped the crud off the inward side of the lower Jockey wheel, it came of looking like a worm. As always I used White Lightning Clean Streak and a good brush and a few paper towels.
Above: Here I have removed the crank set, taken it apart and cleaned and polished each piece. The picture pretty much tells the rest of that story.
Above: Although it is hard to tell from this picture, the bottom bracket and shell were in good shape. And both cleaned up nicely using the clean Streak and brush. I believe this pic shows all the tools needed to take the bracket and crank set apart.
Above: The bottom bracket and crank set reassembled and looking pretty good. At this point I had not yet touched the front derailleur and still had plenty of rust removal to do.
Above: Here is the front derailleur cleaned and polished. This is my pot and strainer I use for de-greasing small parts. I stuff the pot with dirty paper towels when I am spraying the parts. I also use a parts brush to speed up the cleaning process. And brushing conserves the de-greaser as well. white Lightning Clean Streak is a citrus based parts cleaner.
Above: The threaded headset rebuild went well but has since been problematic. I have done a bunch of these, but this one just will not stay tight. But no worries, I have done some research and come up with a couple of possible solutions. One cheaper the other a little more expensive but more likely to be a success I think. So look for that post in the near future. I will say this though, I think the problem "might" have been caused by the rider continuing to ride the bike when the head set was very sloppy (loose). However we have not talked about it yet, so I will reserve judgement. But that does not really matter. What does matter is that I get the damn thing working properly. Those of you who visit the Face Book page may have seen already what I am considering for a fix. I am hoping for some positive feedback from the Face Book page. Onward and upward!
Above: One thing Steve (the owner) was looking for in this restoration was comfort. He wanted a comfortable saddle that was not too big. The perfect solution the WTB Speed V Comp saddle one of my all time favorites! This saddle has worked out great for Steve.
Above: Another concern Steve had was the grips. Very understandable after using the hockey stick tape. I told Steve "I don`t think they make a more comfortable grip than these Specialized Ergo grips". He is very pleased with the grips and the saddle. The brake levers being replaced was mostly cosmetic. Although these Shimano MTB brake levers lighter and have adjustable reach as well. So they are definitely quite an improvement. I was able to clean up the thumb shifters. Had I replaced them, I would have installed the same type. Basic, simple and reliable... what else do you really need?
Above: Never mind the rusty spokes. This front wheel was actually in pretty good shape. First: It is straight and needed very little truing. Second the axle is straight. Third the cups bearings and races are in excellent condition and only needed cleaning and fresh grease. I think you get the idea.
Above: The front wheel after a little TLC. I sanded and cleaned the spokes. I removed the axle and bearings and cleaned and re greased everything. I trued the wheel and replaced a couple of spokes with spokes of the same size and thickness. I polished the outside of the hub and flanges. Also cleaned up the outer axle and spacers. And I cleaned up the rim as well.
Above : As for the brakes I replaced the cables and housings with new Jag Wire Basics brake cables. I also replaced the straddle cables with new Dia Compe. I switched the hanger to a simpler design (unmarked). The brake shoes I replaced with new Avenir shoes. Avenir is a Raleigh accessory company. I cleaned up the caliper arm mounting bolt heads with the wheel brush. One of the return springs was bent, but it was not difficult to bend it back into shape. Also both the front and rear reflector mount brackets were badly rusted. So I replaced them with some "like new" salvaged ones.
Above: I had to cut the hole longer in the reflector mount bracket so the brake cable could pass through unimpeded. I used a flat file to do this using the existing hole sides for a guide working both sides towards the front. The file cut through this much faster than I thought it would. As you can see, some of the rust on the handlebars was too deep to be good after rust removal. But I will most likely be replacing the bars as part of the head set fix anyway.
Above: I cleaned up and installed my old Cannondale wedge tool bag for the restoration including a patch kit and some basic tools. Latter I added a new Schwinn frame mount pump and a new Ze'Fal bicycle light set. So far no pics of those. I`ll take more picks when I do the headset fix next week. Also I added a New Ze'Fal water bottle cage. As some of you know I really like the Ze'Fal water bottle cage design and use it often.
Above: Here is a shot of those vintage West German touring pedals all cleaned up. And the new chain as well.
Above: This shot really shows the kind of rust I was dealing with. As you can see the original reflector mount bracket was way beyond saving.
Above: A shot that shows how bad some of the surface rust was on the frame. Only the high quality of the original chrome work made this frame saveable. Well Done! Raleigh of America.
Above: Finally some pics of the finished project (less frame pump and lights)
Well that is all I have for now. Until next time, Please RIDE SAFE and Remember to Always RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE!! Cheers,Hugh P.S. I am going to publish this tonight and proof read it tomorrow. So Please excuse the typos and mistakes. They will be taken care of eventually. Hell it`s not like you come here to learn to spell...Cheers
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  1. Your customer will need to ride the bike with sunglasses now to cut down on the brilliant shine off all that cleaned up chrome! Beautiful job as usual Hugh.

    1. Thanks Ryan,
      It is coming back Monday night so I can fix the head set problem. It will not stay tight. I have a plan for repairing it. And a plan to convert it to thread less if necessary. Hey, I sold the Parliament!

  2. A really sweet ride, and another great job. You didn't go the threadless route I see, what fixed the head? I was thinking plumbers tape on the threads like you do for the bottom brackets.

    1. Hey John,
      First, Thanks John I appreciate that.
      The Teton will not be back for repair until tomorrow night. I am going to eliminate the reflector mount bracket. I think that will allow the top nut to get threaded down better. Also I will clean the threads and apply J-B Weld Perma-Lock (blue). If that does not hold up I will do a thread less conversion I guess.
      Funny, I was thinking about the Teflon tape this morning. Great minds think

  3. It is very true about bikes left outside. Even my daily commute bike suffers, though it is only outside during working hours and is ridden every day.

  4. Good point Steve.
    The difference is that the discarded bike just sits out day and night "God only knows" for how long. That is when things start to "fuse together" and the rust really takes hold. I recently tried to remove a stem that was stuck so bad that the metal gave way before the stem broke loose. That was the original stem on the Rusty Raleigh. The fork was shot anyway, but still a waste.

  5. Wow what craftsmanship!!! Nice job!


    1. Sorry, I have no idea. Good Luck and Ride Safe


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