Once the frame was clean, I noticed a few rust spots here and there. As I wrote before, I didn’t want to spend too much money to repaint the whole thing. Enter nail polish! At this point I was glad I chose a black bike, because finding the right color to do touch ups was very easy. A couple of applications and all the rusty spots were very well covered (plus black doesn’t show irregular paint spots).
Next on the list was the headset: the lock ring was rusty beyond repair because the chrome was all gone. As usual, Ebay comes to the rescue, and a new ring was bought for a couple of quid. This was also a good excuse to re-grease the bearings.
But I wasn’t happy: the paint is OK but a bit dull (it used to be glossy but not anymore), so decided to add a bit of bling. You see many nice lugged steel frames (usually custom made ones, for example Mercian) with contrasting lines highlighting the lugs contours. My Raleigh doesn’t have the nicest lugs, but better than nothing, so enter the gold felt tip marker! My wife’s steady hand did the rest, and voila!
The wheels were another challenge, but as usual, Google is my friend. After removing the tyres (clincher) I noticed that the rims didn’t have the usual hooks that hold the clincher tyres, but a quick search gave me peace of mind (sometimes old rims didn’t have them). New rim tape, new innertubes and a pair of Michelin Dynamic Classic: job done. Notice that the bike originally had 25mm tyres which shows how this wasn’t really a racing bike but more of a touring bike. I also decided to convert the wheels from bolts to quick release, thinking that probably there will be some repairing during the Eroica given we will have to ride off road. I bought some old-style (new) skewers and new axles, and here is the result. In the process, new grease was also added to the bearings.
Next on were the brakes and the derailleurs, both with new cables. Another little problem arose when I installed the friction downtube shifters: the screw didn’t want to stay put (when moving the lever up and down, the screw turned and after two or three gear changes it didn’t hold anymore). A dab of Loctite Blue Threadlocker fixed that. I also installed a new chain (SRAM PC-830) which apparently is exactly like the original chain.
The saddle was unfortunately the only non-original part on the bike, so I decided to go for a brand new Selle Italia Turbo reproduction of the 80s classic saddle. A longer seat post was also required because the original one was way too short for me (the frame is 60cm, I would have needed the 64cm). See the photo to understand what I mean…
In the next part, the final touches!