The Raleigh Wayfarer Saga, part 4: The repairs are mostly done



As I moaned about in the last Raleigh Wayfarer post, I was a bit worried that I would sink all this energy and money into fixing up this bike and then find out that I didn’t like it.

Well, that’s all moot now. After riding the (mostly) fixed up bike, I know I like it! More on that later. First I’m going to talk about what’s been done to it this week.

On Tuesday, the raving bike fiend rode over the hill to my humble apartment in Montavilla to do some work on the Wayfarer. This would be the big “session” to make it a functional bike.

The first thing tackled was brakes. Keith put on new brake pads, new cables (he managed to use the original brake housing), and adjusted the brakes themselves. The bike stops so much better now, though without alloy rims braking power will still be compromised in the rain.

In the process Keith checked the front wheel. When I mounted the tire, I actually put the wheel on backward (the wheel itself, not the tire.) It’s a peculiarity with Sturmey-Archer built wheels, so Keith put it back on the right way and adjusted it.

A rare photo of the elusive ravingbikefiend in his native habitat–the AW hub
The other major thing tackled was the 3 speed AW hub. He tried to do an adjustment, but only 2 and 3 would work. 1 is spinning freely without engaging, and 3 actually is the same as 1. So right now the bike is effectively a single speed until Keith can overhaul the hub.

Wednesday was handlebar day. I rode the Wayfarer north to Missing Link bicycles in Roseway to get a pair of chrome “North Road” style handlebars. Then down to Citybikes for a used stem. Both bike shops liked my humble Wayfarer! And Citybikes reminded me that they had all the spare parts for servicing a Sturmey Archer AW hub.


It’s one of the things I love about this city. In other places many bike shops would turn their nose up at an old 3 speed bike. And forget about asking one of those shops to service a 3 speed hub! But here in Portland we have shops that are enthusiastic about older bikes. Sure, we do have snobby shops as well. But at least we have somewhere to go for this stuff.

And back to the raving bike fiend for the installation of the bars. I threw on some cork grips and my, my! It looks classy!


I had a great ride around to pick up the stuff, except for one glaring exception: turning onto the sidewalk from the bike lane on Burnside (in order to adjust the position of my air pump), I bit it hard. I turned at a too shallow angle, and the tires caught the groove on the curb cut. I landed on my right hip. Nothing damaged except my pride (there was another cyclist behind me) and a pretty nasty bruise to show for it. Guess I got my “fall” out of the way on the Wayfarer!

Stay tuned for The Wayfarer Saga, part 5: The Inaugural Ride!

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One thought on “The Raleigh Wayfarer Saga, part 4: The repairs are mostly done

  1. All these posts about the Wayfarer restoration project is a fascinating read. Reading this makes me increasingly curious as to what sort of bikes are laying in the "bike junk pile" at my inlaws. I salvaged some parts from some of them, but didn't look too close at the make and models. The rear rack on your Wayfarer looks identical to the rack on one of them. We're heading out there in April, I'm eager to see what make and model they are. Prior to reading your blog my knowledge about vintage bikes was basically zero. Other than Sheldon Brown's site, info on these old bikes seems scarce.I plan to throw some on car bike carrier. If nothing else I can donate them to someone's restoration project. Not sure if I'll tackle it myself as they need a lot of work (many components rusted up and seized due to years of outdoor storage, sadly). At best they'll be parts bikes.

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