Nicole picks up her freshly restored 1962 Raleigh Superbe. Jerry has a passion for this style and it's always a labor of love breathing new life into these old bikes. See what goes into a vintage bike overhaul and watch the master at work.
Nicole had been riding a Marin mountain bike on her daily commute from Alexandria into the city. The bike was treating her well, but in her heart she wanted something with a little more style and panache. She was particularly attracted to vintage English bikes, such as mid-century Raleighs. When she found this used bike she brought it in to see if was worth fixing up. Jerry knew right away that beneath the decades of surface rust and neglect that she had real gem.
These bikes are built to last. All the original parts were still intact and will work great after a thorough overhaul. First step is to completely disassemble the bike.
Nicole's bike was missing the classic chrome fender tip. Jerry had a hunch one could be found at Velocity, a bike co-op in Alexandria, VA. Sure enough in there pile of donations bikes was a bent fender with a well preserved tip.
All the parts are disassembled and the frame is inspected for serviceability. According to Jerry, Sturmey Archer cones never seem to go bad. He's able to reuse all the old parts to get these hubs working like new. Everything is unpacked, degreased, cleaned and reassembled with fresh grease.
Polished with ultra fine steel wool and batch of Jerry's secret sauce, this bike is looking as fresh as it was back in the sixties.
Another mechanic of ours, Dave, lent a hand to get the electrical working. Even the head lamp was disassembled to be cleaned and polished, with special care not to scratch the lens. The signature Raleigh Crane shines proudly in the chainring.
Thanks Nichole for coming to us with this project. It was great watching it all come together. Enjoy your stunning new (old) bike.
Story and Photos by Francis Tatem, Marketing Manager