1958 Raleigh 4 speed – part 2

Overdue but under budget, here’s Joe’s Raleigh Superbe from 1957/8 after half a dozen hours’ TLC in my workshop…

After my initial checkover & planning, the bike’s been washed of its excess grime and the paintwork lightly oiled to prevent corrosion.  It’s a nice way to treat old steel and has brought the lovely Racing Green colour back.  The wheel rims are now almost spotless, though some amount of non-serious rust remains on the chromework despite a fair bit of work.  I swapped the broken pedals for a suitable replacement and repaired the old toggle chain for the rear hub using one from a later AW hub of same length.  Thanks to Colwood Wheel Works for your advice on this.  All fixtures & fittings have been checked, lubed where necessary (hubs, cables, crank, rod pivots etc) and tightened where possible.  Rattles have been reduced, especially from the rear hub bearings.  The saddle’s been treated with Brooks Proofide treatment (basically posh dubbin) and I’ve had a toe-strap around it for a few weeks in a semi-successful attempt to reshape it.  The pads have been replaced and while the rod brakes remain pretty terrible by modern standard they’ve improved.  The rear is better than the front and setting these brakes always seems to involve a fair amount of compromise finding the sweet spot between the pads rubbing on the rims and no power at all!

All in all a lovely vintage machine that’s hopefully ready for another 25 years of pootling about…

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