Here’s the 1976 Raleigh 5 speed bicycle which we lovingly restored and customised, now SOLD to Lee up in Newcastle.
Every single part is either gleamingly restored vintage or New Old Stock (NOS) and it features a traditional 50cm lugged steel frame custom resprayed in ivory with handpainted burgundy contrasting lugs and newly applied NOS decals, with clear lacquer over the top. Frame has horizontal rear drop-outs (so converting to singlespeed or fixed is easy) and braze-on top tube pump mounting, eyelets for front and rear mudguards, and is fitted with a NOS chrome 1” threaded fork, alloy Stronglight sealed roller bearing headset, and restored cottered bottom bracket with new bearings.
The fully restored wheels are vintage 27 x 1 1/4” chromed rims laced to polished alloy hubs (rear Maillard, front Normandy large flange) with new Michelin World Tour tyres, Hermanns rim tape and Presta inner tubes, new rear track nuts, new front axle assembly & bearings. Originally this bike would have had 26 x 1 3/8″ rims… the 27″ wheels are what give it the “big wheel look” and make it even more unique.
The restored drivetrain consists of a Raleigh 46 tooth cottered crankset with 14-28 tooth Regina Atom 77 5-speed freewheel, gold 3/32” Sedis gold chain, vintage Huret Svelto Raleigh edition rear derailleur, band-on Huret friction shifter, Huret bottom bracket cable guide pipe, vintage outer cable with new inner cable and vintage German ‘Union Rat Trap’ pedals.
The restored brakes are polished Weinmann Capella sidepull calipers with NOS steel specific pads, vintage chromed steel levers, vintage outer cables with new inner cables and ferrules, NOS top tube cable clips, and gold cable end crimps.
Also features colour-coded flat handlebars with alloy 85mm Cinelli 1A quill stem, new brown lock-on grips with gold clamps and new end caps, brown suede saddle with chromed 25.4mm seatpost and original Raleigh seatpost clamp.
The respray was done by a local artist called Andrew Parle who specialises in respraying vintage scooters (ie Vespa etc), mod helmets and bicycle frames. Prior to the respray we had the frame sandblasted to remove the original paintwork which was a deep purple colour. Andrew then applied primer, then several layers of cream top spray coat, followed by applying the burgundy paint to the lug work by hand. The after a couple of weeks air-drying we applied the decals, then he lacquered it and we re-attached the Heron headbadge.
The bike started off as a 1976 Raleigh Olympus and is in no way close to original trim now, it is completely custom. The only parts of the bike that are original are the frame, cranks, BB and seatpost. The rest we sourced here on eBay or on Retrobike (where we have Gold Trader status) and restored prior to fitting them to the re-finished frame. The wheels would have been 26 x 1 3/8″ but now it has 27 x 1 1/4″, along with new chrome forks, and upgraded headset, brakes, drivetrain, saddle, grips etc.
We tried to be faithful to the age of the frame wherever possible – and use as many period correct parts as possible – but also make the bike more usable, plus lighter and more comfy than it was! The finished bike is completely unique, handbuilt with the highest attention to detail, and will not disappoint!