Eric’s Raleigh Renovation

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Hi everyone at Mercian Cycles,

I took delivery of my renovated 1948 Raleigh RRA from you earlier this year, and Bob asked if I could send pictures of the complete bike. I’ve attached three for you to have a look at (the white speck in the middle of the top tube is fill-in flash from my camera).

I bought the frame via eBay as a restoration project. Mercian Cycles repaired a crack in the seat tube, filled in dents, checked the tracking, and resprayed the frame with replica period-correct transfers (or should I say decals)?

The frame’s been built up with modern era components. Purists may flinch, but getting hold of period-correct parts in good condition for sensible money seems to be nigh-on impossible. The bottom bracket set is a threadless type, which gets around the problem of Raleigh’s threading from that era. The chainset’s a Stronglight, the pedals are MKS Campagnolo copies, the rims are Mavic on Miche track hubs, with spacing adjusted to fit properly between the dropouts. The tyres are Continental ‘Gatorskin’. The ‘bars and stem are Cinelli, and the saddle an unknown make bought new for £10 via eBay – and it’s comfortable, a good saddle.

Cycle Inn (formerly Sid Standard Cycles) at Beeston in Nottingham built the machine up for me – a first class proper traditional bike shop!

Old-style side pull brakes don’t compare with modern ones in use, and I was pleased to find out about the Tektro brand – long reach, dual pivot, bolt-on and in black. As you see, they’re a perfect fit for the RRA.

The old Raleigh’s a delight to ride – it fits me a treat, soaks up road bumps, has plenty of ‘feel’, and very sure handling – 73 years after it was built, it’s back on the road. Thank you all for making it possible!


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