MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

TEAM RECORD - INTRO

FINDING THE TEAM RECORD

BUILD/RIDE THE TEAM RECORD

 

BICYCLES OF CANADA

 

  

FINDING THE TEAM RALEIGH RECORD

Finding vintage road bicycles used to be a relatively easy thing to do, often requiring little more than attending a few Yard Sales, on the weekend.  But things have changed.  With the rising interest in the vintage road bicycle, competition at Yard Sales, and the like, is keen.  With this in mind, there are several bike finding procedures, which have proved to be quite effective, when trying to coax vintage road bicycles from their secret hiding places.

However, as is often the case, things are not always black and white.  More often than not, one or more bicycle finding procedures, need to be combined with each other, to prove effective.  For example...

When attending a Yard Sale, if you do not see a vintage road bicycle for sale, ask the Yard Sale host if he, or she, would happen to have one, that they might consider selling.  Try to ask, in a loud enough voice, for other Yard Sale patrons to hear.  Doing so, just might sponsor a reaction from a complete stranger, as was the case with this clean old Team Raleigh Record.

And that is exactly how this old Raleigh found its way into The Old Shed.

While Yard Sailing one day, and seeing no bicycles offered at the Yard Sale I was attending at the time, I did ask if the host had an old Ten Speed for sale.  He did not but a few moments later another person, who was also attending the Yard Sale, approached me, indicating that he had an old bike that he had used very little.  He would, indeed, be interested in selling it.

I made a point out of getting the man's telephone number.  While still at the Yard Sale, the fellow and I made an appointment to get together, at his place, later in the afternoon, when Thunder Bay's Yard Sale window closed, for the weekend.

I arrived at the fellow's house at the agreed on time, knocked on the front door and was quickly ushered into the back yard.  I waited patiently, while the young fellow (compared to me) pulled the old road bicycle, from the tin garden shed.  The bike looked just great.  Team Raleigh art stood out on the bright red paint, like a neon sign.  The bike was shiny and appeared to be in good condition.  Yahoo!!!  A Team Raleigh!  My elation would soon dwindle.

It was a Canadian made Raleigh Record, the entry level offering, from this giant bicycle manufacturer.  Now there is nothing wrong with a Raleigh Record, but it is entry level.  The frame set is not high tech.  The components are, at best, entry level.  And, as it turned out on this particular example of the Raleigh line-up, the bicycle was very poorly made.

Should one expect prefect work from an entry level bicycle?  The old adage, "you get what you pay for" could not ring truer, when entry level road bikes are the topic of discussion.  But, one should at least expect that some degree of care, or quality assurance, is at work.

Consider the cosmetic flaws present in this Team Raleigh's frame set.  Several decals were installed crooked.  One decal had to climb up, over the edge of a lug, and never did stick properly - right from the factory.  And, the head tube plastic sticker, or what ever it is supposed to be, is installed crooked.  It amazes me that anyone, seeking to purchase anything, would overlook such glaring quality issues.  However, the lack of quality, is more than skin deep, on this brightly coloured old road bike.

The brazing of the lugs is pretty poor.  Gaps, between lugs and tubes appear in several places.  What looks like brazing flux bubbles, have been painted right over.  The rear drops are misaligned.  When all of these quality issues are weighed, how could anyone even consider trusting that the frame set is structurally sound?  And, why would someone buy this thing, in the first place?

Simple - the bike is bright, shiny and wonderfully marketed - its a Raleigh.  Look at the, probably accurate yet miserably misleading, Team Raleigh decal, suggesting some sort of professionalism.  The average person, who knew little about bicycles, might well interpret that decal's statement to be one defining the quality of this bicycle.  Hardly!

With the entry level frame's vices described, one's attention must turn to the components.  Leading the list, of entry level items, would be the cottered steel crank and ring set.  Bottom of the line stuff.  Steel 27" rims - bottom of the line.  Cadmium plated spokes - basement items.  Steel three piece steel hubs - again, nothing lower on the quality scale.  Dual position brakes.  Stem mounted friction shifters.  Steel derailleurs.  Plastic covered plastic saddle, mounted on a multi piece seat post and saddle clamp assembly.  Everything fitted, of entry level quality.  And all adding up to a bike that weighed close to 34 pounds, as pictured.  Hardly a lightweight road bike!

Of course, this is all my opinion.  These bikes sold in large quantities, as nearly as I can tell.  And even today, though it escapes me as to why, these old bikes are sought after.

NEXT - BUILDING and RIDING THE TEAM RALEIGH RECORD

 

 

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