Friday, June 27, 2008

Raleigh Professional

I'm really behind on talking about all the stuff I've been up to of late. About a month ago I picked up a nice Raleigh Professional frame and some components at a swap meet. It's a 1972 with the fancy lugs and braze-on eyelets! I don't normally dig sloping fork crowns, but this bike looks so good with the fancy lugs I just couldn't pass it up. I wish it were still in its original colors, but the power coat was done well and it's a nice red. I'll be highlighting the lugs myself shortly. I'm collecting parts to build it up. It'll be my Raleigh (French) Professional when I'm done because of all the French stuff I have to go on it. Here are a couple of shots:

Note the super cool Carlton fastback seat lug with fancy tooling to match the others.

I am building a nice set of wheels for it using Sun CR-18 polished 700C rims. I had to track them down as they have gone out of production now. The regular silver CR-18s are still produced, but not in the polished finish. I managed to find one each at two different local bike shops, both with Presta drilling. I don't at the moment have the spokes or the hubs that will go with the wheels. I have a set of standard Normandy's that I polished up, but I'd like something nicer. I'm looking for a score on eBay or Craigslist. The bike took 27 inch wheels originally and reducing to 700C should leave me room for fenders, a must here in Portland. I'll be looking in to more Velo Orange fenders for it once it's on the road.

The Zeus headset that came with the bike is brilliant. It's as smooth as any head set I've used. I've heard good things about them in the past, so we'll see how it holds up on the road. I'll post more pics as I polish and clean parts to go on this bike.

On a sadder note, I sold the Raleigh Competition I had purchased in the fall in an effort to pay for this bike. I never got that one assembled and I'm glad I waited. This Pro should be more fun. It's definitely built better and much more my style.

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