Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Raleigh “Marathon” Bike, Part 2

1984 Raleigh Marathon--right out of the Old Barn on Glenn

Last year I bought this bike for $50.00 at the Old Barn on Glenn from some character that runs a junk/bike shop out of his house. The area is not very affluent, and a lot of people I see riding around this part of Tucson probably got their bike from the Barn—if they didn’t steal it from the campus of UofA. Here’s the link to that post…

My Gentler Reader, you go into any bike shop and you see that bikes are expensive—even in Target or Walmart bikes are not that cheap. So if people can only afford $50.00 for a bike as their only means of transportation, then the Barn is a good place and I do not disrespect that arrangement.

Complete over-haul. I added clips and saddle. The tires are new of course, and I believe the chain is still the original. Wheels are in perfect condition, and the frame has no dings nor is it bend or cracked.

So my beautiful Raleigh probably logged more miles in that barn than on the road—as Phil at Pima Street Bikes would say—and now I am happy to report that I’ve been out riding and making some adjustments to this 69 cm lugged steel framed machine after finally getting it to the bike shop for a complete overhaul.

My thoughts were to strip the bike down and make it into a single speed fixed gear bike. That seems to be all the rage right now. But my friend John pointed out that I'd really have no place to ride it. It would probably sit un-used once more. Best to keep the bike as-is and have fun.


t'amie de quebec said...

Your Raleigh...sweet! Love the back street pics:) One day I'll have to tell you what Jim and I found on an old wash on the outskirts of Tucson. It's a great story.

Did you get my email?

Cheers, mon ami!

cb said...

Your bike shop friend's comments about the wheels being the only thing of value ignore the intrinsic value of the odd sized frame. I have a similar Raleigh frame (555 double butted--who knows what this tubing really is) that is 27" with a very short 23" top tube. From the picture, yours looks like the same size. For someone like me that's 6' 2" with a 36" inseam (all legs, short torso), this bike is a perfect fit and an escape from buying a custom frameset. The workmanship is not great on mine, but it rides fine. Many companies made 27" frames in the 80s but few have butted tubing and most have top tubes 1 1/2" too long for me.

Doohickie said...

Nice looking bike. I just picked up a similar one... out of a dumpster! It's a 1983 Marathon, 25" frame (which is just about right for me). The rear wheel was perfectly true, but the hub was gummed up and sticky. I swapped out the wheel set and the seat, and the bike runs pretty good as is. I'll be cleaning it up a little better soon, right after I get the death cranks replaced on my '94 Nishiki.