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Recomminisioning My 1989 Raleigh Appalachian

AceiAcei Posts: 3
edited January 2012 in Workshop
Hi Folks,

I was big into cycling up to about 12 years ago. I have a 1989 Raleigh Appalachian which I bought new. During it's active life, it covered a lot of miles - 20k at a guess. I did mostly road riding for pleasure and keeping fit.

It was the top of the range Raleigh ATB at the time and has a full Deore DX group set. It's dated by today's standards, but is still top quality.

The problem is that the bike has been lying up for the last 12 years. It has been indoors so is still in good overall condition. I want to get it going again so I can get a bit fitter and lose some weight.

What do I need to consider? Obviously new tyres, tubes and brake blocks will be a must. Do I need to look at gear and brake cables? To my knowledge, the rear cassette or chain have never been replaced. There's also some ware on the front centre ring as it's the one I used most of the time on the road.

How easy will it be to get parts for a bike this old? Anything else I may be overlooking? Any advice would be appreciated.




  • DiogenesDiogenes Posts: 1,628
    I would stick new tubes and tyres on, oil the moving parts and give it a spin. Once you know how it is riding you can decide what needs replacing. The cables may need changing but if they are in good condition then a bit of oil may suffice.

    As for getting parts, if the cassette is 8 speed then you should have no problems. 7 speed are usually available but 6 speed are getting more awkward to source. In fact my last 6 speed screw on freehub was a lot more expensive than an 8 speed.

    D :D
  • Hi Ken,
    I have a 1990 Raleigh Appelachian that i had to recondition after living by the sea. Salt spray and bicycles don't mix! The frame and forks (which i had to get bead-blasted and resprayed) make the basis for a great road bike. I changed the gearsets and chain for Shimano Deore and there is no problem getting replacement 7-speed cassettes (try wiggle). The original gear levers work fine. I'm using Panaracer Crosstown tyres in 26 x 1.50 and they complement the bike well. I'd also fit new rim tape as most of my punctures seemed to come from spokes poking through. I fitted a cheap set of Halfords alloy handlebars that are a bit wider and raise the bar position by an inch over standard. It aids control and i've found it far comfier. I also fitted a pair of Shimano M324 dual pedals, so you can use cycling shoes on one side and normal shoes to ride to the shops on the other.
    My cousin rode it last weekend and liked it so much he wanted to buy it off me! They are great bikes so hang onto it!
    Enjoy getting fit again, Iain
  • AceiAcei Posts: 3
    Hi Iain,

    I did a bit of work on the bike over the past couple of weeks. I'm lucky as I was able to store the bike in-doors so there's no weather damage. I had a good look over it and the tyres were fine. They're at least 12 years old and could be closer to 15 (Panaracer Smokes), but look fine. There are no cracks at all.

    The cables also seem fine for the moment. Although I will swap them out in the short term. The brake blocks had wear on them so I swapped them for new ones. So a good clean, adjustment and a bit of lubrication and she was good to go.

    I've been on about 5 shortish trips over the past couple of weeks and there are no major problems. The only thing I noticed was that the wheels could do with being trued. They were never done in the past and both are slightly out.

    I did notice that the cassettes and chains for 7s seem to be readily available. However, the Biopace rings are a different story.


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