Category: Raleigh Wildcat

Raleigh Wildcat – one step closer..

Serviced the pedals last night. They are solidly seized to the cranks, and didn’t have time to try freeing them, so removed the pedals from the in-situ spindles.

Gave everything a thorough clean, and replaced the bearings (happened to have some size matched bearings, originally purchased for the Fire Mountain headset, in my parts box), giving a liberal coating of grease.

One of the pedals is absolutely perfect in terms of friction-free and play-free movement; the first one I did has a mm or two too much play, so I’ll be tweaking that tonight. They were both incredibly graunchy prior to this, so a big difference.

Also chopped off the stubs of the pannier screw with a pound shop special junior hacksaw.. it’s pretty flush with the frame but needs a check for sharp edges.

I have a new chain and gear cables  on order; the cables being Muddy Fox from Sports Direct. These are £1.50 for inners and outers, so I bought four sets, leaving two left over as spares once those on the Wildcat are sorted.

Raleigh Wildcat update

I didn’t get to work on the Wildcat on Sunday as the Stamner Ride and subsequent bike cleaning took longer than expected.

So I’ve spent a couple of hours on it a few nights this week. I’ve now:

  • Fully replaced the brakes – arms, levers, cables
  • Removed the panniers (although the thread was ‘screwed’ on one of the bolts so I ended up snapping the head off, once I’d extracted it sufficiently using my new mole grips.. need to file it down now)
  • Indexed the gears (well, the rears, anyway.. the fronts are friction shift

Still on the list:

  • Buy and fit new chain
  • Remove the struts for the panniers – these are about four inches long, and have the stuck screw problem that I’ve experienced all over the bike, despite a liberal soaking with GT85. 
  • New gear inners and outers
  • Strip and refurb the pedals
  • Final PDI
  • Road test

Cost so far is:

  • Bike – £20
  • Brakes – £8 (EBay)
  • Cider vinegar – £4

The cost of tools I’ve purchased in the course of this aren’t included, since I’ll be using those hopefully for many years to come.

New brake components:

New bike!

I’ve been keeping an eye out in all of the usual suspect sites.. eBay, Gumtree, etc, for cheap bikes to buy purely to work on to practise bike mechanics.

There are a few decent bulk sellers out there, and obviously plenty of bikes for sale in general, but many of these need a car or even van.. and I have neither, choosing to ride my motorbike as my primary mode of transport.

So I arranged to borrow my other half’s car today and go to buy a locally available bike, which was up for £20. It was advertised with a seized seat post, which sounded a challenge!

The bike also had the bonus of looking like it would be a good fit for my girlfriend, in case she wanted to try out bike riding.

Having got the bike, which is a Raleigh Wildcat, home, I’m actually really pleased with it – there are parts with surface rust to clean up, new grease needed, panniers to remove, and a new chain required, of a shorter length.. the current one rubs the guide pulley of the rear mech in the small / small combo.

I have never experienced such amazing v-brakes – the brake arms are so solid, and there’s barely any flex in the levers.. most impressed.

First step was to diagnose the seatpost, and I discovered that although there is possibly some galvanic corrosion bonding the post and tube, the primary issue is that the heads of the Allen bolt heads are stripped. So I’ve now ordered a set of mole grips which will hopefully assist with extraction.

While I wait for those to arrive, I’ll be looking for some apple cider vinegar to use for removing the rust from the bolts and other corroded components, and measuring up the afore-mentioned bolt for ordering a new one. Stay tuned!