Friday, December 19, 2008

My bikes

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!


HeidiTri's said...

It's official! This is now an obsession!
How does your wife feel obout the newest family member taking up residence in your living room?

Doohickie said...

It doesn't stay in the living room. It's out in the garage. I put the wheels and seat from my old red Nishiki on it last night and took it out for a ride this morning. It's not perfect but once you get up into the higher gears, it runs like the wind.

PennyCandy said...

I do not consider bikes family members. I was told that you had the right attitude and that I needed to adjust mine. I also can't believe he got in or near enough to a dumpster to pull it out that is just gross.

Doohickie said...

I married a priss!

Then again, I think we knew this. ;- )

HeidiTri's said...

I've never done a dumpster dive...Add that to my list of things I want to do before I die!!

It's a cool bike!

Those who don't consider bikes family members...well they just don't get it.

Pip (my bike) currently has a happy home in the spare room. I could not face the thought of putting her in the cold dark shed for the winter!

HeidiTri's said...

I was sharing this story with Dad at lunch today. He said, "good for you!" And that you're wife is just like his... "Miss Prim and Proper-never get my hands dirty"

PennyCandy said...

Ah yes and who wanted to make sure I was raised to be prim and proper? 3 guesses and the first two don't count.