Part 5: 1983 Raleigh Marathon
So Thursday I was minding my own business, paying my car payment at the credit union. While I was sitting in my car at the drive-up teller, I noticed a spoked wheel in the dumpster at the back of the parking lot. So after finishing my business, I drove around to the other end of the lot. The dumpster was empty, except for a bike.
It's a 1983 Raleigh Marathon.
In '83, Raleigh Cycle Company of America bikes were made by Huffy from frames sourced in Taiwan. It was high end stuff for Huffy, but nothing to brag about in a Raleigh. (The licensing agreement kept the Raleigh name active in the U.S. while Raleigh was going through some retrenching.)
Still, it was free and the frame is the right size so I think I'll use it as a donor frame for my wrecked Nishiki. The components on the Raleigh are generic Suntour components that look pretty low-end.
One thing that is outstanding considering the bike came from a dumpster, is that that rear wheel is perfectly true, and the front isn't out by much. The tires are pretty shot, though, and the rear hub is all gummed up. Tonight I swapped out the wheels for those from my Nishiki Olympic 12. I also swapped out the seat. I rode it up and down the street a few times and everything seems to work. I'll take it on a little longer ride tomorrow.
The bike seems functional but needs a lot of cleaning and TLC to bring it back. I'll probably paint it. I had picked up the Schwinn with the intent of replacing the frame on my damaged Nishiki, but although the Schwinn has a good frame, it is a little smaller. This frame is actually just a little bigger than my Nishiki, and when I climb up on it, it has the same feel.
Not bad for a quick dumpster dive!