18 September 2008

My new old road bike

lugged steel Raleigh International bike bicycle touring bike like a Rivendell
Tiago, I know you've been waiting anxiously, so for you and everyone: here is my new, old, elegant bicycle for sport. It's the copper bike on top, a Raleigh Interational. This is the bike I will ride from country inn to country inn on vacation with my husband, who rides the red Pinarello. This is the bike I will ride when going several towns over. This is the elegant sporty club(wo)man bicycle which will be perfect for me after our Randonneur-type conversion and slight modernization.

vintage classic lugged steel with chrome Raleigh International touring geometry

This new bike was handmade in Carlton, England in August of 1974. It is Reynolds 531 throughout with chromed Nervex lugs, chrome stays, chromed fork. Full vintage Campagnolo (except brakes, which I intend to modernize anyway). The frame has a geometry somewhere between sport and touring, and is part of the inspiration for modern bikes like those sold by Rivendell but this one is recycled, with vintage flair, and some modernization challenges/opportunities. I can't ever do things the easy way anyhow.

I will hold on to my French road bicycle (a Courtois) because of the memories and because it is the bike that got me into cycling. It wouldn't fetch enough to be worth selling if I wanted to, which I don't. I'm a little sad that it won't be in full rotation anymore, but we knew when we bought it quickly in Paris that it was too small, but we had places to go and see and wanted to get on the road. I'm not getting any shorter for a long time yet (I hope!) so the new bike will be much easier on my back and knees. Plus it's pretty enough to hang on our living room wall as functional art.

On the fashion side, I tend to wear aquas, blues, and greens, and I thought the copper bike would complement my wardrobe nicely. I'm such a girl.


JPTwins said...

sweet ride! And is the paris bike the Dawes that you showed way back when?

Question: the saddlebag that your husband has -- which one is it and how does he like it? I've been thinking about a saddlebag...


Charlotte said...

Hey Geoff,
No, the Paris ride is a Courtois. I'll still ride the Dawes as my town bike. I've added a front basket, and today I experimented with bringing the rest of my coffee in to the office in a travel mug. It was kinda fun.
The bag you see there is a Carradice Barley bag. While it is the smallest of their bags, I find it HUGE. I carry my toiletries, my dress clothes, and my rain jacket, etc. in there when we go inn to inn. For those rides my husband carries the tools and his own clothes in his Carradice SQR bag.
For my small saddlebag I have a Gilles Berthoud saddlebag, which is a good size for a few tools, a tube, some snacks, and a rain jacket that crushes down quite well.

Anonymous said...

Luscious - bravo!

The Stouts said...

Nice find :)

I've been looking for a rig pretty much just like that to build up into a sweet commuter with internal gear hub with decent tire and fender room.

I can't remember do those mid-70's raleigh internationals come with 27" wheels or 700c?

I was gonna guess it was a barley. I've had my eye on one of those for commuting since its just big enough to hold tools, a little bit of spare clothing for changing weather and lunch.

Charlotte said...

Oh, a copper international and internal Nexus hub? You'd be in good company! :)

They are 27" wheels (for now). First up is the stem and brake levers, after that the wheels and fenders. I think I may splurge on some more Honjos for this one, the chrome lugs demand it.

The Barley is a great bag. I commute with another Carradice I got on eBay for a song. Gotta love gear that lasts and lasts.

JPTwins said...

thanks for the bag info!

ok, so i'll let my naivete show here. you say they are 27" wheels (for now). Does that mean you can change them into 700c? I guess it really depends on how much you can adjust the brakes, right?

Krista said...

Ooooh... that copper color is AMAZING! That will go so nicely with your wardrobe, it sounds. Very cool.

Charlotte said...

Yep Geoff, depending on how much room you have in your calipers you can adjust the brake pads down, and if not you can buy "long reach" calipers which make up that difference. I'll put some 700 wheels I have on it to see.

The other challenge is the spacing of the rear triangle. This one is quite narrow. However, because this bike is steel I can spread the triangle to allow modern hubs. With a more racing geometry I might be nervous that would push the wheel too close to the seat tube (another reason to go 700) but this bike is pretty relaxed geometry so it should be fine. Sheldon had no trouble doing it!

The Stouts said...

Yup, I've seen Sheldon's very creation. Its amazing just how hard it is to find a decent quality frame that can run the following combination...

700c with 32mm tires plus fenders

long reach road calipers (tektro)

chain tension adjustment (gear hub)

blend of sport and touring geometry

long enough wheelbase to minimize toe overlap

Since I have no qualms with blending new and old, I'm also planning on some super deep dish rims, since this bike would largely be about keeping my commute time down.

Keep us posted on your rebuild of this beauty, and once again congratulations.

mtblawgirl said...

what a beauty she is!

rb said...

awesome bike. I am jealous. Raleighs are my fave.

Roadrider said...

I remember those. A lot of the local guys raced on those in the 70s. My Atala had those same Weinmann center pulls, but then when I got my fancy custom Pennine I upgraded to Universal side-pulls. Those were the days.....

Tiago said...

I'm jealous too... Even if my favorite sport bikes are a litle bit another style. Girl, you and your husband gonna have a really nice time in those bikes that's for sure... Lovely purchase ! Congratulations !

m e l i g r o s a said...

that is a good looking ride. also rack. we recently installed a rack here at home and it makes me smile everytime I pass by it, such a geek.
nice color, that bronze is good looking!