Rebuild or second-hand??

dewei Posts: 172
edited May 2008 in Commuting chat
I have been commuting since late January between Birmingham and Coventry using a folding Dahon Cadenza to do a 14 miles bike-train-bike trip. I have gradually cutting down on the train to the point that I do the 60 miles round trip at least once a week and 35 miles trips twice a week. The Cadenza is great: it runs fast for a folder but given I am not using the train so much I want something much lighter than 12.5kg for these long trips. A winter training bike in short.

These are the options:
I have an old 1988 Raleigh Pursuit road bike [high tensile 18-23 combined carbon cycle tubing (!) - is that steel?]. Is it worth rebuilding it? I wanted just to change the saddle/seat post and the wheels but it seems that I will also have to change the cassette, rear and front mech's and cranks etc given compatibility issues. What is the minimal cost in parts and tools needed?

Or is it cheaper (certainly less hassle) to buy a second-hand bike?

I'd rather save the money for my dream carbon racing bike for a bit later (the wife does not know that yet!) :wink:



  • prj45
    prj45 Posts: 2,208
    From what I've read compatibility issues make old Raleighs a no no for rebuilds.

    I could be wrong though!
  • meanwhile
    meanwhile Posts: 392
    12.5 kg isn't really that heavy - remember, it's the total weight of bike plus rider that matters physically, so shaving a couple of kilos off the bike won't make much difference. If your folder is lacking oomph for a long ride, the problem is likely to be anything *but* weight. Some of these problems can be fixed (eg poor gearing) others can't be (eg some frames absorb pedaling power instead of transmitting it - might easily be more so for a folder.) You might want to talk some people who really know this class of bike and see if there are any tweaks you can make. Don't obsess with weight if you're looking for riding efficiency - rolling resistance, internal mechanical losses, and aerodynamics are more important.

    I suspect you'd save quite a bit money buying a recent second hand bike on ebay rather than re-equipping the Raleigh, and probably get a better bike to if the frame is hi-ten rather than chromoly. Btw, if it has horizontal dropouts someone will be sure to want it to convert to fixed wheel . Make a big thing of this in the ad if you ebay it and it will fetch more money!

    PS Does anyone know why really bad colds always strike over the bank holidays, instead of when you could be off work?
  • SamWise72
    SamWise72 Posts: 453
    An 88 Raleigh is much newer than the compatibility issues (the odd BB threading was gone by then), but a Hi-Ten steel frame like that is going to be hard to get down below 27 pounds anyway, at least without spending proper money which will make the frame seem shoddy. Once you start putting yourself and your kit on the bike, it won't make that much difference anyway. You could build a 19 pound bike for a few hundred quid, or less, second hand, but wouldn't it be easier to lose 8 pounds yourself?

    There's no need to replace all the cassettes, mechs etc on that Pursuit - all you need do is find an aluminium wheelset with a screw on freewheel (no need to do that, even, if the wheels are ali). If it has eyelets for mudguards and a rack, just use it, is my advice. If not, you can pick up something suitable for very little. My Raleigh Royal tourer probably weighs 27 pounds, has alloy wheels, mudguards, rack, and is very comfortable and useable. It cost me £22 after a little eBay hunting.
    MiniLogo-1.jpg Special Treats for Lifestyle Cyclists

    From FCN from 8 (road bike, beard, bag, work clothes) to 15 (on my Brompton)