[CR]Introduction and a Raleigh question for the list

Example: Framebuilding:Tony Beek

Date: Thu, 2 Oct 2003 12:15:18 -0700 (PDT)
From: "E. Grim" <guivret@yahoo.com>
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Subject: [CR]Introduction and a Raleigh question for the list


I have been reading the daily digests for several months, but until now have not posted. Pursuant to the CR rules, I will begin with a profile, then get to my question.

My first ten speed was a Raleigh Gran Sport, bought about 1977 or 1978. Before that I rode a single speed bicycle, take down style, that I my mother told me was a WWII surplus paratroopers bike. What a clunker! Actually, I wish I still had it.

Later I bought a used frame built by Jim Merz. It was very nice but a little too big for me (I could barely stand over it without hurting myself) so I sold it, to a woman who was about my height . . . six feet . . . but with longer legs.

One of my high school classmates built frames for Strawberry Racing Cycles for a while in the early to mid-eighties. I dated and am now married to one of his sisters. That is not important except that it gave me the opportunity to participate in crafting a really nice frame for me. It was really fun to carve the lugs . . . mostly pressed lugs except for the Henry James fork crown and bottom bracket. (The BB had some very hard inclusions; I ruined a couple of files making the cut-outs!) I didn’t do anything very fancy, just changed the curves so they were all parabolic (OK, some of them were hyperbolic) . . . no circular curves at all. Simple cutouts to match the edges (skeletonized) . . . It had a mixture of Reynolds and Columbus tubing. Unfortunately I had to sell that bike during some hard times . . . broke, knees acting up, no time to ride, no room to store it . . . sob. . . .

Things have sure changed a lot since then! What the h*ck is a cassette, and how is it different from a freewheel? I thought all real bikes came with 27 inch rims . . . what’s up with 700C and 26 inch wheels? Aren't ten speeds, or at most 15, enough? Who needs 27 gears? Etc., etc.

Anyway, I’m getting back into cycling. A bike mechanic friend gave me an old Grand Prix with most of its parts. There are lots of old railroad grades converted to bike trails around here, begging to be ridden, so I decided the rear wheel should have a Phil Wood flip-flop hub (fixed on one side, freewheel on the other).

Here's the problem: I cannot tighten the bolts enough to keep it from slipping in the dropouts whenever I hit a bump or mash on the pedals. Trust me, I don't have weeny arms . . . I am afraid of breaking the bolts or bending the wrench if I apply any more torque.

Could it be that the dropouts are bent, no longer parallel? I checked the spacing, it was 120mm or so close I could not tell the difference, so I don't think that is the problem. Any suggestions for getting this bike rideable would be welcome.

Thanks in advance.

E. (Erec Grim) Spokane, Washington state, USA

P.S. I may be something of a retrogrouch, but there have been some advances in the last 20 years. The availability of stainless steel tubes & lugs is at the top of that list. I've seen pictures of some lovely bikes by Dave Bohm, and pictures of one by Brian Baylis with what looks like a brushed finish. The combination of carved lugs and stainless is stunning. Sometime soon I'll get one, with relaxed geometry for those level, gravel-paved RR grades, maybe with a matching trailer to carry my Gandolfi view camera and wooden tripod. . . .