EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a court-ordered post, intended to retain the readership of those who like it when I talk about vintage bikes, three speeds, etc.
Hello, hello! I’ve been talking a lot about the Surly Long Haul Trucker as of late, since I’ve been doing a lot of stuff to it. And I’ve also been talking about bike touring/camping and all that business because I’ve done a bit of that lately. So I haven’t mentioned the Raleigh lately, and it’s not for lack of love.
When I sold the Worksman Cycle Truck, I intended that most of the cash would go towards bike improvements. Since the Raleigh was “pretty much done” after the wheel rebuild, most of the funds went towards the LHT since it needed work. But I did make one significant purchase for the Wayfarer: a new rack.
Now the old Dutch rack I had on it previous to the new rack was still fine and working. But there were certain functionality issues. The beefy tubing and lack of a place for a hook to grab meant futzing and jury rigging with my panniers. It also mounted to the axle, which meant removing the rear wheel was more of a chore than it normally would be. When I loaded the rack with enough weight, I could feel the rack flex and shift the axle when the bags swayed (which was with each pedal stroke.)
So I had been on the hunt for an appropriate rack; something that would be modern enough to work with panniers and mount to eyelets, but classic looking enough to not clash with the bike aesthetic. So I decided on the Linus adjustable rear rack. Shiny alloy!
On Monday I mounted the rack. (Initially I meant to do it Sunday, but an eyelet screw that did not budge meant a trip to the bike shop on Monday. The things you learn when you work on a 40 year old bike.) It was a pretty futzy affair of adjusting, shimming, etc. that took over an hour. But now I have a fine and classy rack!
I haven’t had a chance to really test it. I did some errands on Monday with my Route 7 Avenue B bag mounted to the left side, which is pretty much the standard setup for the bike. It seemed to handle well. I’ll see how it works in the coming days with more rides with more weight. The rack is rated up to 40 pounds (18kg), which can be considered a little on the light side. But I doubt that I’d ever be loading up that much on this bike!
The other thing I added to the Wayfarer was a wheel lock. I took the ABUS Amparo off the Worksman before I sold it. I’ve thought about putting a wheel lock on this bike for a bit, to make it even more of a classic city bike. I worried that the wheel lock plus accompanying chain might not be enough, but Dave of Portlandize uses the same setup, and he keeps his bike outside 24-7. And I’ve been told the squared links of the chain make it impossible for a bolt cutter to cut, as they like rounded edges. Hopefully they’re right!
Oh yeah, I almost forgot! New pedals! Since I moved the “Grip Kings” over to the Long Haul Trucker, the bike it’s most appropriate for, I got some nice new MKS Touring pedals for the Raleigh. I think these ones look most appropriate for such a dignified machine, yes.
So now I can say the Raleigh is “pretty much done”. The only tweaks I can see doing to it for the forseeable future are a different headlamp and a different Carradice bag if I ever got one. Neither of these things are high priorities. And now I’ll leave you with a photo of Tom Baker riding a bike.