Saturday, August 12, 2017
1958 Raleigh Sports Bicycle
Another humid day here. I took a little time this afternoon to clean and do a little maintenance on my 1958 Raleigh Sports. It's running well, but has some grime built up on the drivetrain and around the brakes. A little wiping with a rag solved this. I also gave each brake caliper a couple of drops of light oil.
One of the other things that I do is to use John Deere Ultraguard rubber treatment on the cable housings and grips from time-to-time. This helps keep them from drying out and keeps them clean.
One thing I did notice was that I was starting to get a little duller sound from the Sturmey Archer hub pawls. What I do is listen to the sharpness of the "clicking" sound of the pawls when in Normal or High gear, and when coasting. I believe a little bearing grease may have gotten into the pawls - not much, but a little.
You can 'thin' this out with just a shot or two from a WD-40 or Kano Kroil bottle. Be careful to use only a very small amount - you don't want to wash all the oil lubrication out of the hub, or make a mess. But just two squirts of WD-40 thinned that right out and the hub was sounding normal again. It shifts very smoothly and is a joy to ride. The WD-40 should not be regarded as a lubricant, rather you are working to thin-out the lubricant already in the hub. The best lubricant for the hub is 20-weight oil, like Sturmey Archer "blue can" motor oil.
I've put quite a few miles on this bike over the past couple of years, and I really enjoy it. I find the 23 inch frame on 26 inch wheel platform a good one. The Raleigh Sports really got a lot right about putting together a nice utility bike. I suppose that's a big part of why they were made for so many decades.