Forum home Road cycling forum Workshop

Updating a 15 years old but nearly unused bike

rrsodlrrsodl Posts: 486
edited November 2007 in Workshop
Hi,

I wonder if anybody could advise me on this.

I have very very little knowledge on bikes at all, however, I bought a Raleight Vitesse road bike 15 years ago and did not ride it for more than 30 miles [:I] it has 14 shimano gears and the gear changer is on the frame.

Yesterday I got it out of the garage and cleaned it, unfortunatelly it needs new tyres. It looks a very nice bike though and I want to get it back on the road.

I have a MTB now and I enjoy riding it but I also want to have my road bike updated if it is not too expensive.

I remember paying about œ350 for this bike in 1991, and I would like to know what are the possibilities and stimated cost to update the gear changer and maybe more gears as in new bikes.

Your help is appreciated.

Thanks

Posts

  • 16mm16mm Posts: 545
    Probabally too much $$ to be worth it, guessing œ200 (freehub, cassette, STI, chain)
    But why bother? New tyres and tubes, oil the chain, and get out there.
    Its more about you than the bike.
  • You could fit some Sora STI 7spd shifters for œ71 at Ribble, I think they would work. If you keep to 7 speed then no need to change other parts.
  • Chris JamesChris James Posts: 1,040
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by 16mm</i>

    New tyres and tubes, oil the chain, and get out there.
    Its more about you than the bike.

    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Definitely agree with this. This way your bike has 'charcater'.
  • rrsodlrrsodl Posts: 486
    Thanks ever so much for all the advice.

    I think Alfablue's advice is something I should look into as it seems quite a good idea to me.

    Thanks again
  • ghostycpghostycp Posts: 85
    I had a vitesse as well back in the day. Lovely bike it was to, sold it to a guy who rode for another 10 years with no problems at all until the threads finally went in BB. You don't need to spemd much on it to get it going to be honest, i for one would just put new tyres and tubes on, and then if you find you get the road bike bug again then fit STI if you wish. But to be honest for a bike that old i would'nt bother, just get out and see if you enjoy it agian 1st.

    ........................
    ........................
  • rrsodlrrsodl Posts: 486
    Well, my old bike is back on the road now [:D] it had 700 x 20 tyres but I went for 700 x 23 Michelin Pro Race 2. I also put new SPD pedals and a new sadle. Last Saturday I went for a 30 miles ride and I stopped in one place to have a drink and enjoy the scenery... a gentleman said "nice bike!!! how long have you had it?" I said "since 1991 so about 16 years now...." he said "I've had mine for 50 years" Wow, I had to take a good look at that bike [:D]

    It's so light compare to my MTB but it really is hard to climb hills - I feel I need more gears or perhaps the same number of gears 2 x 7 but better for climbing than for speed, is that possible at all?

    I'm really enjoying the bike now and the only time I feel I want to upgrade the gear shifters is when I'm climbing a hill - not easy to reach the shifter on the tube when you are off the saddle - maybe I need more practice [:D]

    I cleaned the chain and the bits and pieces and then oiled them well - in fact I oiled them again two days later - I also put a little grease in places that looks like it had grease before, etc, however the bike makes a noise sometimes - it seems to come from the hub but I'm not sure. What else should I lubricate on the bike after so long not being used?

    Thanks in advance for any help.
  • Fab FoodieFab Foodie Posts: 5,155
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by 16mm</i>

    Probabally too much $$ to be worth it, guessing œ200 (freehub, cassette, STI, chain)
    But why bother? New tyres and tubes, oil the chain, and get out there.
    Its more about you than the bike.

    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    I'd go with this.
    Retro is cool anyway. Downtube shifters are fine as are the 14 speeds.
    Unless it's 531 or good Chromoly (501) then a huge amout of cash spent will not be worth it.
    When you upgrade to a new road-bike (WHICH YOU WILL!), then the Vitesse is easily converted to a fixed-gear or single-speed.

    The pessimists of this world are rarely disappointed....
    Fab's TCR1

    The pessimists of this world are rarely disappointed....
    Fab's TCR1
  • AsterixcpAsterixcp Posts: 6,251
    'agree with the general opinion here - I use a 20 yr old bike with DT non-indexed shifters and only 12 gears. The biggest rear cog is pretty big (32 tooth, IIRC) and with a small front ring of c.30T I can get up any hill (I use it in North Yorkshire). So changing the cassette might be your best bet for easing the hill-climbing.

    For hill climbing with DT shifters I always get into the lower gear before it becomes necessary to get out of the saddle.

    Pour vivre heureux, vivons le v‚lo..
    Pour vivre heureux, vivons le v‚lo..
  • Ste_SSte_S Posts: 1,173
    I have a steel Carlton with a six speed cassette and down tube shifters and get as much enjoyment out of it as I do with my modern Giant.

    I wouldn't bother changing anything unless it fails, and then you may be better served buying second hand from ebay or the like.
  • rrsodlrrsodl Posts: 486
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Fab Foodie</i>

    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by 16mm</i>

    Probabally too much $$ to be worth it, guessing œ200 (freehub, cassette, STI, chain)
    But why bother? New tyres and tubes, oil the chain, and get out there.
    Its more about you than the bike.

    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    I'd go with this.
    Retro is cool anyway. Downtube shifters are fine as are the 14 speeds.
    Unless it's 531 or good Chromoly (501) then a huge amout of cash spent will not be worth it.
    When you upgrade to a new road-bike (WHICH YOU WILL!), then the Vitesse is easily converted to a fixed-gear or single-speed.

    The pessimists of this world are rarely disappointed....
    Fab's TCR1
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    <font size="3">
    Thanks all again for the info.

    I had a quick look at it and I can give a little more information about my bike [:D] - the frame is 531 (whatever that means [:D] ) - indexed shimano gears - the biggest rear cog has 22 teeth and the small ring in the front has 42 teeth ( I might be out 1 or 2 teeth as I counted them very quickly)

    Asterix, you make a very good point and maybe that is where I should be concentrating .... the bike rides very nicely and it's so fast, I'm really enjoying it [:D]</font id="size3">
  • Personally I'd keep the d/t shifters (far less to go wrong and can e.g. in friction mode run 6/7/8/9 speed rears.

    However, if you want to go with " You could fit some Sora STI 7spd shifters for œ71 at Ribble,", I've a pair you can have for 25 quid incl postage!

    d.j.
    "Like a true nature's child,
    We were born,
    Born to drink mild"
  • I use a 1982 vintage Dawes Galaxy. I only got back into cycling a couple of years ago when Sustrans upgraded the towpath for route 6. I now use the bike for nearly all local journies and have bought a trailer for trips to the allotment. The bike's still going fine with no problems - not even a puncture. The only small issue was trying to buy 27" inner tubes.
  • edwardvarlaedwardvarla Posts: 121
    This sounds a lot like my old Claud Butler (Criterium with 531 tubing) which I started riding again early last year. It had a 42 on the front as the small ring and a 7-speed 13-23 on the back, so I too used to struggle up the hills. I needed to replace the wheels so ended up getting 8-speed ones from ebay. I used spacers for a while leaving it a 7-speed set up, but when I needed to replace the chain and cassette this year, I opted for 8-speed ones, and got some 8-speed downtube shifters for a fiver from ebay. I also went for a 13-26 speed cassette and changed the 42 tooth ring for a 40 tooth one, which all makes it a bit easier on the hills.

    I wouldn't recommend trying to use the shifters while out of the saddle. In fact I'd try and stay in the saddle as much as possible when climbing but that's a different argument!

    As for the noise from the 'hub', do you mean from the Bottom Bracket (between the cranks)? It's quite possible that your bottom bracket is the old style cup and cone and is shot. Mine certainly was but I replaced it with a modern cartridge one for a tenner so is all nice and smooth now. The only problem I had was that the cable guide underneath the BB was held on with a rivet the size of a fruit pastille which I had to file down on the inside for the BB to fit.

    I've just ordered a new bike completed with STIs, but I certainly won't be letting the old Claud Butler disappear to the back of the garage again, as it's still a beautiful bike.

    Enjoy the privelege of riding yours.

    Edward
  • The BosscpThe Bosscp Posts: 647
    You've obviously got past the point where you've realised "hey, I've got a lovely bike in the garage, hardly used - I might aswell get out and ride it!", and reached the point where you've realised "oh god hang on, it's a deathtrap because it's got downtube shifters."
    You'd need new shifters / brake levers (combined), and new cables. To then add more gears, you'd need new chainrings, new cassette and new mechs. Might not be too expensive, but then again if it's an old steel frame you might be better off selling it and getting a nice new light road bike.
  • edwardvarlaedwardvarla Posts: 121
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by The Boss</i>

    "oh god hang on, it's a deathtrap because it's got downtube shifters."<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Slight exaggeration there Boss Man! People survived for a good few years with downtube shifters.

    (Now fixed gear bikes, they're deathtraps!)
  • monty_dogcpmonty_dogcp Posts: 382
    Easiest option would be to try and fit larger sprockets / freewheel on the rear wheel which will give you lower gears for climbing. It may be a cassette hub and so you'll need to take it to your LBS to see what's available. Apart from possibly lengthening the chain slightly to take the bigger sprocket, I'd leave it pretty well as is. Your LBS should also be able to help in terms of whether your hubs or bottom bracket need regreasing - fitting a cartridge style seled unit in place of the traditional cup and cone type may be worthwhile for ease of maintenance. May be worth regreasing the hubs too as 16 year-old grease may have dried out. If you get bitten seriously by the bike bug, better spending major cash on a whole new bike rather than upgrades for the old one as bikes today represent far better value for money in terms of overall performance and quality.
  • Ste_SSte_S Posts: 1,173
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by edwardvarla</i>

    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by The Boss</i>

    "oh god hang on, it's a deathtrap because it's got downtube shifters."<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Slight exaggeration there Boss Man! People survived for a good few years with downtube shifters.

    (Now fixed gear bikes, they're deathtraps!)
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    I love friction downtube shifters, nothing death trap about them.
  • "People survived for a good few years with downtube shifters."

    I still do!

    "(Now fixed gear bikes, they're deathtraps!)"

    Survived them an'all for quite a few years!

    d.j.
    "Like a true nature's child,
    We were born,
    Born to drink mild"
  • rrsodlrrsodl Posts: 486
    I will make a note of all ideas given here and ask the LBS what he thinks. Maybe by looking at it can give me an idea of the cost and wheather I would be better off with a new bike after all.

    To be honest with you I'm rather fond of this bike now and I will try not to ride one of the new bikes just yet, just in case .... [:D]

    Thanks again
  • rrsodlrrsodl Posts: 486
    ghostycp wrote:
    I had a vitesse as well back in the day. Lovely bike it was to, sold it to a guy who rode for another 10 years with no problems at all until the threads finally went in BB. You don't need to spemd much on it to get it going to be honest, i for one would just put new tyres and tubes on, and then if you find you get the road bike bug again then fit STI if you wish. But to be honest for a bike that old i would'nt bother, just get out and see if you enjoy it agian 1st.

    ........................

    This sounds a lot like my old Claud Butler (Criterium with 531 tubing) which I started riding again early last year. It had a 42 on the front as the small ring and a 7-speed 13-23 on the back, so I too used to struggle up the hills. I needed to replace the wheels so ended up getting 8-speed ones from ebay. I used spacers for a while leaving it a 7-speed set up, but when I needed to replace the chain and cassette this year, I opted for 8-speed ones, and got some 8-speed downtube shifters for a fiver from ebay. I also went for a 13-26 speed cassette and changed the 42 tooth ring for a 40 tooth one, which all makes it a bit easier on the hills.


    Hi again!

    I want to upgrade my cassette on my 16 year old Raleight Vitesse bike now and I was wondering if you remember what type of cassette these bike have.... would one of these cassettes 13 - 30 be OK for my bike?

    I want to do the job myself, I'm having lots of fun maintainig and learning to fix my bikes :D .... I'm having so much fun with this bike that I have no intention to buy a new one.... I'm an expert with the downtube gear shifters now :lol:

    Thanks in advance


    Rick
  • Hi RRSDOL

    The Raleigh Vitesse was the first proper road bike I bought - with cash earned from my paper round. Any chance you can post an image of it for a bit of shameless nostalgia?

    Thanks
  • rrsodlrrsodl Posts: 486
    Hi RRSDOL

    The Raleigh Vitesse was the first proper road bike I bought - with cash earned from my paper round. Any chance you can post an image of it for a bit of shameless nostalgia?

    Thanks

    With pleasure I can show you some pictures of a Raleigh Vitesse that is identical to mine one

    two

    three

    four

    Rick
  • Thanks Rick. Takes me back to my youth!

    Good luck with your upgrade project.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Re your cassette - hard to tell without seeing it - there are Uniglide cassettes, where the top sprocket is the lockring and are obsolete, or Hyperglide - like the one in your link, where the lockring is seperate. If the latter, there's plenty of choice - if the former then you have to change your freehub to the Hyperglide type - the following article should explain:http://www.sheldonbrown.com/k7.html#7cassettes.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • rrsodlrrsodl Posts: 486
    Monty Dog wrote:
    Re your cassette - hard to tell without seeing it - there are Uniglide cassettes, where the top sprocket is the lockring and are obsolete, or Hyperglide - like the one in your link, where the lockring is seperate. If the latter, there's plenty of choice - if the former then you have to change your freehub to the Hyperglide type - the following article should explain:http://www.sheldonbrown.com/k7.html#7cassettes.

    Thanks for the page, I found what I was looking for :D I quote Sheldom "Shimano Cassette Freehub, showing characteristic bulge on the right side of the body."

    So I can indeed upgrade to the cassette I showed before :D - I will order it eight now I think :D

    Thanks again for the help.

    campagsarge, I'm glad I was able to show you those pictures :D


    Rick
  • rrsodlrrsodl Posts: 486
    Well, today my new cassette arrived and I fitted it right away :D added a few links to the chain, accordling with Sheldom's technique to measure a bike's chain and off I went for a test ride :D going from a 22 sprokes to a 30 sprokes made a huge difference, I feel I can tackle any hill now :D so as far as I can think there are no more upgrades unless something brakes :D

    I followed the advise given in this thread.... new tyres, new pedals, new cassette and a new seat was all that I needed to make the most of my bike.... everyday I ask myself WHY I kept it in the garage for 15 years :( anyway, I will make sure that it's well looked after and ride it everyday.... well almost :D

    Thanks to all you guys that guided me to upgrade this bike and save a few quids by not going the STI shifter way :lol:


    Rick
  • Plus, you are riding steel as well! Any pics you can post of the finished project?
  • I had a similar experience a few years ago. I got my old, cheap, steel 15 year old road bike out, pumped the tyres up, lubed it up and rode it around for a couple of years, including a London-Brighton. Enough to get me hooked.

    I loved it, and was never going to buy another, until I tried a friends Giant TCR something-or-other with an aluminium frame, SPD's and STI shifters. The difference was amazing, so my old ride is now rusting in the back of the garage again, replaced by a shiny new model.

    Towards the end, my wheel bearings needed replacing and I couldn't get new cones to fit anywhere, so that would have meant new wheels. That was the point when I said "no more"
  • rrsodlrrsodl Posts: 486
    I thought it would have to be something like that to motivate me to get a new bike :D but at the moment I am quite happy riding along Bournemouth promenade :D .... I'm not really interested in speed or braking time records I just want a bike to ride for exercise and pleasure... my wife comes along with me sometimes and we just do it for the enjoyment that riding a bike gives us.

    I will probably do a century next summer but not trying to brake any records just for the exercise.

    If something expensive goes wrong with the bike or perhaps, like in your case, I cannot find a part then I will get a new bike :D


    Rick
Sign In or Register to comment.