26 July 2006


Well at long last I have created a 'new' bicycle and today cycled to work for the first time. My old bicycle was itself very secondhand when acquired in a student trade-in in Sheffield in the early 90s. Despite a bit of work in 2002 (thanks Dad!) it has been largely neglected and little used. Anyway a few weeks ago one of my work colleagues gave me his old bicycle - which he bought new in 1975 and replaced a few years ago. It has since been sat in his shed, much as mine has been sat in the archaeology stores. Both bikes were old Raleighs with 27 x 1 1/4 wheels and so-on, but John's frame is more my size than the other one was and his had ten gears instead of my five (which you really need round here!).

The finshed article chained to the bottom of the stairs at work this morning.

So after a bit of fiddling I have got one good bike and lots of spare parts. This really is something of an antique (just as well it is parked in a Museum!). It dates from the days when not everything was 'Made in China', and indeed was seriously advanced in its day...

Cotterless cranks

Centre-pull brakes

The frame is made of cast-iron judging by the weight!

Stylish white mudguards!

When I first rode it I could only get three gears, but now I have adjusted it to get eight, which is about as many as it is possible to get. I think some reconditioning of the derailleur would be in order but the main priority is to improve the brakes! New cables and blocks. I might also get straight handlebars, although the current ones have good retro appeal. Anther urgent item will be a more comfortable saddle.

Cycling to work this morning (after fencing last night) was a bit masochistic, but I am more worried about the (uphill) ride home this evening. I shall no doubt report tomorrow on progress or lack of.

1 comment:

mark said...

I seem to have a lot in common with Mr Belford, I also cycle to work on a Raleigh racer.
Done 31,500 miles since 2003 and counting.


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