Sunday, September 25, 2016

1958 Raleigh Sports 4 Speed (FW)

For some time, I have wanted to straighten the original thimble fork for my 1958 Raleigh Sports. I had previously replaced it with heavy duty replacement fork made by Raleigh Industries. The heavy duty fork was a "Rudge type", but I always wanted to get that original fork straight and put it back on.

Over the summer, I bought a Bessey pipe vice from Home Depot.The vise has a "pipe" cradle on one side and a standard, flat set of jaws on the other. You can pad the flat side with standard vise pads, and use an old inner tube to pad the pipe side. I stuck the fork steerer tube in the pipe cradle and straightened the errant fork blade a short distance with the Park FFS-1 frame arm.

With that done, I replaced the HD fork with the original. This bike has a great FW four speed hub and a four speed shifter. It's a lot of fun, and set up with low gearing. I have three climber gears and one cruising gear.

Someone removed the original Raleigh badge and replaced it with a Schwinn badge. I filled the Schwinn badge holes and put an old Raleigh badge on the head tube with some U-type drive screws. This badge is probably older than the rest of the bike, but it goes well with it.