1984 Raleigh Wisp Mixte

Joan’s nice mid-’80s British 10 speed was supplied by its owner with a simple brief – and suitably modest budget – to get it working well enough to comfortably finish this year’s Eroica Britannia (with her partner on his Carlton) and, if there’s any time left, try to make it pretty.  The latter isn’t hard with vintage steel mixtes; the unisex frame design is so elegant and with the chrome & alloy components gleaming after a good clean & a quick polish, the old Wisp’s certainly looking shinier!

As for the first part of my brief the Wisp just needed 2-3 hours of repairs & adjustment, plus a new chain & inner cables – the outers being a key detail of that old skool look (that work fine after a good clean out).  The Weinmann front brake caliper was bent – characteristic damage from turning the bars too far & too hard to the left – and the drivetrain needed a lot of de-greasing and fine-tuning.  I’ve removed the tell-tale modern Quando logos from the hubs & skewers of the now trued wheels which came supplied with the bike; though not period correct they don’t stand out as such and the 27″ alloy rims certainly help drop the bike’s rolling weight, improving acceleration & braking over the original (presumably rather rusty) chrome hoops.  Clearly a bike that’s had a busy life, at some stage this Wisp’s been converted from a ‘racer’ into a ‘roadster’ – which IMO suits the original chrome mudguards, Pletscher luggage rack and Union pedals – so nice a finishing touch was a pair of period correct contoured handlebar grips from my stash.

Overall, another old dear I’ve really enjoyed bringing back to roadworthy condition :)

2 thoughts on “1984 Raleigh Wisp Mixte”

  1. How do you take the back wheel off? I managed to get the nut bolt from one side but stuck with side that has derailleur on it. Would really appreciate help.

    1. Just remove the right hand axle nut and move the wheel forwards. The derailleur hanger will likely either flop off, or may it bolted to frame with a separate fastener. Helps if you have chain on smallest front and rear sprockets, and sometimes you may need to loose brake or deflate tyre. Hope this helps and good luck. Any issues go to your local bike shop!

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