Vintage Raleigh Bike Refurb Job

Posted in 2013, here’s my first Raleigh Horizon Citysport bike, a singlespeed conversion from the original 10-speed, with Raleigh 410 tubing, from Taiwan in the 1980s.

This was todgermanica dot com’s second brief blog, my second day as a blogger, October 31, 2013, when it was bikes all the way down. This one is long sold.
Sunday I got this superficially rusted but nearly new-old-stock Raleigh for $25USD, from Isak at Denio’s thieves flea market. He wanted $40 but I pointed out the useless steel wheels and rust-you’re expected to bargain.
What the heck is that thing, a bird? Pretty head-badge though, admittedly a top criterion when I choose a frame or entire bike.

The first thing I did was ditch the heavy, corroded steel wheels with rotted tires. The second was to throw out its new appearing but defunct Suntour Hero rear dérailleur, in favor of the SIS index dérailleur below.
There are good reasons for the fact that when Shimano components appeared they killed Suntour dead.


Lighter weight, higher quality than Suntour.

The Suntour front dérailleur stays on now for testing, but if it gives me even a mean look then it joins its brother in the trash, in favor of the fine matching front Shimano SIS dérailleur I have waiting in the wings.

Flea market Planet Bike $8 new-old-stock ’03 male pattern seat, comfort TBD; if wrong I discard. The seat is the single most important component.
Raleigh alloy ‘side-pull’ caliper type brakes. Pads like new from so long ago, bike left in the rain some but barely used.


I’ll use this wheel of unknown origin in front, spins well with good tread and pretty straight needing only light truing.
Tall quill stems save my arthritic cervical vertebrae by allowing me a straight neck riding posture. Hard to find these days for so old a bike, like all these components- the reason I really need a half dozen bins in my garage for ‘vintage’ [old] bike parts .
Lucky to find these taller light alloy bars too, to replace the heavier stock steel ones. I’ll chop them to prevent hooking a car mirror in town.


Shimano SIS indexing twist shifters replaced the rusty, crappy Suntour thumb levers. Beautiful, swoopy original alloy Raleigh brake levers.


That weird bird again, Sir Walter’s symbol?

Found this odd steel kickstand in a bin and imagineered it to fit using a re-purposed seat bracket.
Could not determine from web search if Raleigh 410 tubes are ‘cro-mo- (Chromium-Molybdenum) or ‘hi-tensile’ steel.
Good threads on the bottom bracket shell so will not need facing.

Not so good are the spindle, balls and races which will need sorting out from the bike’s apparently sometimes wet outdoor storage.


Light spalling/pitting on spindle races and a few balls. I’m using them anyway.

The rust on Tracer cranks and chain-ring was surprisingly superficial and easily removed with steel wool; except for the chain-ring bolts and nuts which I replaced; the steel wheels which I discarded; and the chain, which I also discarded after measuring.
You can see the difference here. Slight drilling was needed to fit larger cadmium plated chain-ring bolts with self-locking bolts.

So here we are, rear wheel dissembled awaiting repair, bottom bracket walking wid a limp, disconnected shifters, bars need a chop job and grips, no rear brake cable sheath and no drive chain. More to come.

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4 thoughts on “Vintage Raleigh Bike Refurb Job


    • Larry
      Thanks for viewing my blog post, an old one. I’m not sure the Horizon City Sport bike is worth it or not. It was a hybrid ‘comfort’ bike so it rides nice.
      Purist classic bike restorers would want to ride with the original not so great Suntour parts and gear cluster; and heavy steel wheels, if your daughter’s bike still has those stock items.
      Not me. I look for a nice frame that fits me, with cool decals and headbadge. I donate or discard that old 70’s geared stuff and convert the bike to single-speed/fixie style. It’s how I roll.
      If I remember, the Horizon turned out to be a bit heavy, main reason I turned it over. It’s a lot of work to strip, clean, replace and adjust old bikes. So I’d say Craigslist would probably find you a lighter classic steel frame bike that somebody didn’t use much or kept up well.
      OTOH it’s fun to refurbish old bikes, educational too. And pretty cheap compared to 21st century bike prices. Some vintage iron bikes do about everything the new bikes do as well as holding value if you sell it. And they made so many ‘vintage’ bikes that parts are always available-though covid is causing some shortages.
      Good luck Larry whichever way you go, gotta keep that daughter up on two wheels. Stay safe these days.

    • Issdak
      Thanks for viewing my post. Yes, that’s a great old bike. I do more like conversion of old geared bikes into single-speed/fixie type bikes. I usually choose frames, bikes and components that are already in good condition and need only be assembled as a one-gear bike. Mostly because with the mostly flat terrain around here gears are mostly not needed. Thanks for the comment.

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