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Birthday present: 1972 Raleigh Super Course (Fixie)

Monday, November 10, 2014 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

November
10
2014

Yesterday I added a new bike to my stable, and it’s a true vintage: the 1972 Raleigh Super Course!

I’ve been wanting a “fun” bike for more casual/social rides, like the one we do out to the Yalaha Bakery on Sunday. Well, Brian Jensen, who rides with my club, made me an offer on this classic that was too good to refuse.

The bike is not stock, in fact it’s a Frankenbike. I’ll go into more details and provide lots of pictures in tomorrow’s blog, but here are the highlights:

– Original Reynolds 531 steel frame
– Original Coffee paint and decals (no rust), with beautiful Nervex lugs
– Original GB (Gerry Burgess) quill stem
– Original Raleigh headbadge and chromed fork crown

The bike was originally a 10-speed, but it has been converted into a fixie, which is one of the main reasons I wanted it.

A “fixie”, if you’re not familiar with the term, is a bike with only one gear (a “fixed” gear) and it has no freewheel. The lack of a freewheel is what differentiates a fixie from a single-speed bike, which also only has one gear. The freewheel mechanism is what allows a rider to coast without pedaling while the bike is moving. On a fixie, the rear cog is threaded directly onto the wheel, so coasting is not possible. In other words, if the bike is moving, the pedals are rotating; the faster the bike is moving, the faster the pedals turn.

The wheels, tires, chain, crank, pedals, bottom bracket, rear cog, seat post, saddle and bar tape are not stock. Also, because the bike was converted into a fixie there are no shifters or shifter cables. Additionally, there are no brakes or brake cables. This bike is the essence of simplicity.

You may be wondering how the bike is stopped without brakes. I’ll get into that in tomorrow’s blog. I could add a brake if I want to, and I may, but I’m undecided on that.

I want to thank Brian for hooking me up with this awesome bit of cycling history, and my first fixie! I’ll leave you with a picture of me at Brian’s house picking up the bike. Note that I’m going to swap a few components out tonight (tires, for example) and give her a good polishing. I should have many more pictures to share in tomorrow’s blog.

Picking up my 1972 Raleigh Super Course fixie yesterday.

Picking up my 1972 Raleigh Super Course fixie yesterday.

 

John Stone Fitness Comments

24 Responses to “Birthday present: 1972 Raleigh Super Course (Fixie)”
  1. Good luck with the whole slowing down by leg power. I am just clumsy enough that I would either break my leg in the process or flop over on the road.
    I want a single speed with a flip flop hub. I have a Puch out in the garage I just may convert.
    Nice find!

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  2. Nice John. I will comment that if you dont add brakes, you are not ever riding with me or in any group I ride with 🙂 Seriously, I have 10,000 miles on my fixie and you absolutely must have brakes to ride it safely in a group. Youre not riding around NYC delivering packages John…

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  3. Roger, I’m actually relieved to read what you wrote. Some people have told me not to add brakes, but to be perfectly honest I am not at all comfortable riding without them. I thought, “Well, maybe it’s something that comes with practice”, but I’d rather not die trying. Thanks.

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  4. Imagine coming down a hill at 35mph (so your cadence is probably 150) and something happens in front of you, a car turns or pulls out, a rider slows unexpectedly, whatever, and you have no brakes. Stopping those cranks at that cadence is impractical and even if you could, the rear tire would blow or you’d be bucked over the bars. No good option except brakes. It is weird to be braking while still pedaling but you get used to it. You know that Murray and I rode the entire HorseFarm 100 smoothly in the front group on fixies and I bet only a few riders even noticed. Thats what you want.

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  5. FYI, at Battle of Olustee, and again at HorseFarm 100, J.Murray and I rode 44×13 but for regular training rides I usually ride a 44×14 and sometimes even a 44×15 if its going to be Zone 1-2 effort. Play around and see what you like.

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  6. I know nothing of biking, so forgive me for not knowing what may be an obvious answer. But, why would you NOT want to be able to coast? Why convert a bike that coasts into one that doesn’t coast?

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