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~ A new shining star * ~
Nearly Restored - 1978 Raleigh DL 1 3 speed Sturmey Archer - Rod Brakes
August 3rd 2013;
I was contacted over a month ago by a vintage bike lover to see what I could do with her lovely DL 1. After viewing some photos I was fairly confident that I would be able to at least get it into some sort of decent condition. Going from all the Raleigh's that I have had pass thru my hands over the years, I figured this one would be at least similar.
Here is where things get tricky. Trying to meet up to get the bike was a little difficult. I am out of Port Alberni, and the bike was in Sidney. After a couple of missed attempts, I had still almost left Victoria without the bike on the very day when everything was working out well to receive it. Just within the last few minutes that I was heading out, my cell rang. Within a few minutes this DL 1, Dawn Tourist, High Nelly was in the back of my van. Now on my way home, I was thinking... How would I ever go about painting these fenders? Damn they're in rough shape... and that chain guard is pretty well on it's way out. Hmmm, getting parts for a bike like this is pricey. And painting these are going to be difficult if I am too save the stripes, and decal.
I would walk by this bike for over a week looking at her, gazing at it, just wondering how am I going to go about this?
It's 10:55 a.m. and I am about to take this Raleigh Tourist DL 1 completely apart and give her good o'll going over. You never know what to expect... and even myself. Here though, I truly never thought this little gem would become such a Beautiful little gem, but it has. I knew that it would clean up okay, and it looked like the bright works (chrome) were going to come out very good.
This bike is not my first DL 1 restoration to tackle, perhaps my fifth or sixth. I remember in the early 80s when they were special order, and then I had built a few from out the box as well. One thing for sure, and not just a DL 1, but most old, used bikes should be taken apart and overhauled. I have never yet met an older used bike that really did not need it. Sure maybe the bottom bracket is fine, but the rest is not. Or maybe the head is okay, but again the rest is not. It is best to take these guys apart, inspect them, replace the bearings and any cups or races that are worn.
As far as Sturmey Archers internal 3, 4, and 5 speed hubs, well those too should be cleaned out and rebuilt. For instance on this one here I replaced the entire inner guts. Couple of the planet gears had been a little worn, as well as a couple of the dogs had slightly worn edges. Cause I have a fair amount of internals for the 3 speed S/A AW hubs I chose to throw it all in New.
The entire bike is rebuilt, though I left all the spokes in and cleaned them. The hubs and the rims as the were all intact. So of course the front hub is rebuilt as well, all with new grease, and bearings.
So the paint job is fairly self explainable, it came out well. After touching up and prepping the frame, I then cleaned and enhanced it to see what I had to work with. After good thought and looks, the potential for this bike was gaining speed.
I taped out the pinstripes and the Raleigh decal on the fenders. I then sanded them down, tops only, the insides are good. I first sprayed in the white, and clear coated as well. Then I taped off the white and sprayed black, and with clear coat too. There are good layers of each. I have done nothing as far as touching up the pinstripes, or the decal. They are still original. I also painted the rear rack, and the front fork. The rack needed to match in. The fork was pretty retched down both sides, and the choice to paint it was obvious as well. I did put one new decal on. I is the one one on the seat tube that does belong there saying, Raleigh 20/30 tubing.
Now the chain guard came out very well, after smacking it around in to shape somewhat, I then touched up all of the black, and reattached it to the bike. I think considering what it was, that it looks mighty fine now.
Every thing fit back together very well, the bike is in excellent condition, and is much like new. This DL 1 is as solid as the day it was new, perhaps may even be better. Many bike mechanics are a mechanic for a summer or two, and also many shops don't share the same pride as I have. With saying that, what I mean is new bike assemblies can be done very inadequate from many different shops, I have and still see it all of the time.
This bike is set for years and years to come to enjoy and be ridden like the Shining star that is, a beautiful little gem.
Before and After...
These are all before shots. The bike was pretty grey, rusty, and scratched up. Most of the paint on the fenders were quite rough to embedded with rust. The frame had little rock chips, and scratches thru out.
So after many hours, and a few good days it all came out quite spectacular. It rides like a charm, totally sound and solid. It looks great, and may be one of my best jobs in all. Like many before her, this one too had taken me from the time we first met, to 6:55 p:m tonight. This when I had finished, hopped on her and took her for a little spin. I have a few bugs to fine tune, and the rear brakes still need some attention.
Click on the box with the arrow to enlarge and play..
August 7th 2013:
After another couple of days and 10 or so hours I have got this rear brake working quite well. First off it was missing the proper bolt, the step spaced nut. Two of the frame curved spacers were gone as well. After figuring out a decent substitute, that took a little bit of time as this one had me hunting. I then got both gussets, and rods moving and pivoting freely.
The next issue I came stumbling on, was that the rod lever itself had two bends in it. As well as it needed to be bent down for more reach, or say leverage when applying the brake. This assume is why the missing bolt, someone had started to try to fix this, though was stumped as well. Then it sat and never got done... Ah! Who knows... but many times you can sort of tell the tale. Bending this lever does not get done without being quite nervous. I got most of the two bends out, but it was the reach part where I got about 3/4s of an inch, where I would have wanted twice that. It's not my bike, and I certainly do not want to rip the guys off the bars...!
At any rate, the spring as well needed to have more spring put in to it, that's not easy and also was not so, so successful. But I did achieve some. At the moment I do not have a proper spring. What I have done though is this:
I took another kind of spring and mounted under the stem, and then on top of the rear rod pusher. So without this it works fairly well! Though I like things to work good, great, and generally perfect. This spring is out of the way, quite unnoticeable and helps out not so bad.
All in all the brake works very well, it stops dead, it skids too. The front brakes are very good. There is ample adjustment as the pads wear down and you want more braking. Also neither brakes squeak. When appling both hard, you stop dead. There is a tiny bit of chatter, but the front pads are new, and the rears used to be the fronts. In a few rides they will wear and run very smoothly. Though as of now, the chatter is very little, almost unnoticeable.
The saddle is close to all of the way down, and the bars are at about the lowest.
UPDATE: August 9th 2013
A new set of photos -