So when you get a 60 degree day in December, with lots of sunshine, you take it and ride as much as you can. I took an extended ride today on the 1963 Raleigh DL-1 Export Model.
It's a very smooth-riding, pleasant bike.
The leaves and various debris is really falling now, so you have to be careful of anything that can cause a flat. But the ride is still welcomed, especially considering we could have snow already and, salt on the road could end riding for awhile. I'll take every day like this I can get this time of year.
I even got a chance to put this bike on the work stand outside in the sun and give it a good cleaning and maintenance check.
Whenever you do an in-depth re-build on an old bicycle, about a month or so into riding the bike, you should put the bike back on the stand and check several things:
- Check wheel trueness, both lateral and for hop/drop
- Check spoke tension even if the rim is pretty true
- Check the front and rear hubs for play in the bearings
- Check the internal gear hub oil level
- Check for oil on the rims if you have oil-filled hubs
- Check that the brake pads are "wearing-in" properly; adjust brakes as needed
- Check that the tires are seated correctly still
- Check the headset for looseness/fork for play
- Check that the saddle, seatpost, and handlebars are still tight
- Check the bottom bracket: for any play in bearings and check crank cotters and arms for play
- Check chain line; chain tension; and check for undue wear to the chainring and cog
- Check for any "rattles" - fenders; chainguard; rack; etc.
- Check dynohub for tightness of wires to terminals; check lights for function
- Check shifter chain for proper adjustment.
It sounds like a lot, but really you will probably only find one or two things that are off. I did a check on this DL-1 and found all that was needed were: adjust brakes for wear-in and tweaks to the rear hub cone as well as the bottom bracket bearings. Everything else was rock-solid.