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1974 Raleigh Sports 3 Restoration Tips for new rider
#1
So I'm totally "new" to biking in a sense, I used to bike as a kid and picked it back up when I was around 20-23 or so (I'm 30 now). I had a Schwinn I bought from target back in 2011 or so. Took a fall once and I didn't want to spend money at a bike shop to fix it, so it just rode weird from then on. Then it got flooded in a hurricane and has just rotted in my backyard ever since.

I just picked up a bike from bikes direct (Gravity X-Rod Supercross 12 which is pretty bad ass to me) which will be my main bike. I just plan to cruise around town & at the boardwalk, maybe hit a light trail on a weekend sometime, pick up groceries, etc. Anyway, I wanted to learn how to work on my own bike and have a bike for friends to hit the boardwalk with me when they come over.

Got pretty lucky (I think) and found a 1974 Raleigh Sports 3 from FB market place for $60 in a step through frame. Has rust all over it and definite issues but still runs strong. It's actually a blast to ride. I'd probably prefer to take this bike to the grocery store because I'd feel better if this one got stolen. Also it would be really awesome to learn how to work on bikes by working on this one over time. I've been looking at a bunch of youtube videos and the engineering portion of it is really interesting to me. I'm pretty handy so I'm hoping I can help give this bike new life, I did a bit of research (post purchase) and was pretty surprised at the bikes history & value when in solid condition - others are going for $200 to $300 locally and over $300 on eBay. It definitely has a couple of issues but it seems like if you take care of these bikes - they'll last forever and that's exactly what I was looking for.

Was hoping you guys could point me in the right direction.

As a note, I'm not a purist and it I don't mind using parts from other years or even making this a "frankenbike" or even changing it to a fixed gear bike if it's easier/possible to do that. My main priority is just making it better to ride, get rid of the rust & learning along the way. A couple of notes about the bike:

• The 3 speed doesn't work well and the cables are very rusted as well. I'd like to replace these. I'm not quite sure what parts I would actually need to buy so any advice on that would be great.

• Rear break/handle doesn't work at all, you press the lever and nothing happens. Front break isn't really great either and the steel that holds breaks looks pretty bad too. Rather than trying to fix these, I'd prefer to get something new (OEM or not) and just replace all of it if it's not too complicated or expensive to do on your own.

• Wheels are super rusty - I'd like to get aluminum wheels but not really sure what to expect on the price for those, where to buy good ones or even what size to buy. Any info would be great.

Pic of the bike here: https://imgur.com/a/fPQot9n
Close up of parts: https://imgur.com/a/TXyBga6

After I fix these I might keep it more or less as is for the summer but I'm also considering stripping all of the paint/rust removal and attempting to reassemble and repaint the whole bike. Not sure if I want to do this once it starts to get colder or if i'll do this in ASAP if it's not too complex.

Any feedback or helpful resources would be awesome. I have no idea where to look for parts, which parts to actually get and the pages I have found weren't super helpful. Any pointers on what tools I should get would be great too! Thanks,
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#2
Hello, @itssimplyjeff !
Matthieu from BikeRide community shared a comment via Facebook:

"Depends on the level of restoration you are after. Bare minimum I would replace bearings, seals, brake pads, tyres, and cables, possibly the chain. Get the hub serviced, oil what needs oiling and grease what needs greasing. If you want as new, you will have to strip it down, take it to bare metal removing rust spots and repaint. The wheels I would probably rebuild with new spokes and rims, the handlebars look ok and would do with just a polish; however there might be a small amount of pitting."
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#3
I’m looking for someone that restores older Raleigh bikes. My wife has a 1974 Raleigh Sport and I would like to get it restored for her as a surprise. She’s had it since she was a child. Not sure if this is the correct forum but if someone could point me in the right direction that would be greatly appreciated.

Kind Regards
Eric
  Reply
#4
(08-17-2022, 09:59 PM)Eric Shawn Neff Wrote:  I’m looking for someone that restores older Raleigh bikes. My wife has a 1974 Raleigh Sport and I would like to get it restored for her as a surprise. She’s had it since she was a child. Not sure if this is the correct forum but if someone could point me in the right direction that would be greatly appreciated.

Kind Regards
Eric

Hello Eric,

I have a1974 Raleigh Sports myself as well as some earlier versions. I regularly ride a 1970 in original condition except for swapping some OE parts for comfort and performance, but easy to put back to original again.

There should be no problem getting parts since these were made in vast quantities for decades, and they were all essentially the same except for some features (chrome, decals, colors, accessories, etc.), but used the same base parts for multiple years. I believe the main difference on a 1974 model is that it has "self-adjusting" brakes to account for brake pad wear, but this feature didn't work that well so not really of any benefit.

If "restoring" it will be much more expense than the value of the bike itself, especially if you are having professional paint or chrome work done. Basic value of these bikes is about $100-$150 in decent functional condition, but I have bought many for well under $75 (as low as $25) as complete bikes for their parts. Even my 1970 model which is in very good condition would probably not get much over $250 on its best day, but folks often advertise them for sale from $300-$500 and they aren't even road worthy. Bikes of that caliber that are from the 60s and earlier fetch a little better value, but not much more until just after WW2 and earlier.

A "donor" parts bike is a good way to go if you need lots of parts due to wear and tear, rust, etc. If you just need a couple of parts then you may be able to find something on craigslist, and most certainly on ebay. Caution if you are buying parts from the UK: these bikes are dirt cheap over there and are extremely plentiful. Many parts are not worth the cost (over priced, poor condition, etc.), and that is aside from the excessive shipping charges.

You can find a new replacement frame pump for about $20, or spend $50 or more for an original pump that may not even work.

Here is a link to more Raleigh Sports related conversations: https://forums.bikeride.com/thread-7816.html?highlight=raleigh+sports
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#5
(06-04-2020, 11:43 PM)itssimplyjeff Wrote:  I wanted to learn how to work on my own bike and have a bike for friends to hit the boardwalk with me when they come over.

To answer your questions well, we would need to cover a lot of issues. So here is a short answer.

I suggest, just start doing what you know how to do, and learn from there. Fix the most important things, use the bike, then think about what you want to do to it next. If you have questions about specific things, ask them.

I would try to keep the geared hub. It might be good. I would just do whatever needed to be done. For example, oil or replace the gear cable. See how it is after doing that.

If it was my bike, I would keep it looking like a bike nobody would want to steal. I had one which was a bit worse than that. It rode well, but looked bad. It is unlikely that anybody will steal it. You wont impress anyone with a bike like that, but do you care. Some of my bikes, I rescued from the trash.

It is also not difficult to get a can of spray paint, and paint parts. For example, you could spray the rims black. It would look tidy, the rust will come through again, but then you could spray it again. The paint will slow down the rusting process. It is a lot or work to totally strip a bike, and restore it properly.

It is not worth paying someone to repair a bike worth very little. It would cost more than the bike is worth, and you wouldn't learn how to do it yourself. If you do get something seriously wrong, it is not expensive to buy a new part or bike to replace it, and it will be worth the learning experience.

I have actually been thinking about getting a bike something like that, setting it up so it is really comfortable, with a good seat and mountain bike handle bars, and see how it performs. It will probably go well enough to not need an expensive bike. You will probably be able to ride faster with mountain bike style handlebars. But you may have different ideas.

Also keep your eyes open for bikes that others are trashing. You may get another one free or very cheap. You may get a good bike, or spare parts.
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