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Show us your Raleigh Super Course!

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Show us your Raleigh Super Course!

Old 04-26-20, 01:10 AM
  #1676  
Stronglight56
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1972 Super Course, Green

I bought the frame and fork and built it up with vintage parts 10 years ago. I like mustache bars though so I’ve got Nitto bars on it rather than the original drop style it would have had. I first had cottered cranks on it but replaced it with a 70s Stronglight - I miss the cotter pins with their wee ‘R’ nuts though.

One of the foil decals/bands is gone as are the Reynolds Tubing decal and the Carlton race belts on the fork - the shadows made from faded paint and where the original color didn’t sun bleach under them remain. There’s a shadow on the upper seat tube that’s the same dimensions and shape as a Carlton Cycles Ltd. rider decal. I’m looking for a replacement - several suppliers in the U.K.


It’s difficult to get that decal shadow to show up properly in photos



It’s there just beneath the pump holder and dynamo wire but again difficult to see in photos.


I absolutely adore the way this bike handles and feels and it’s fun to ride - I’ve also a ‘75 professional with the whole campy gruppo intact - that thing is nimble! I just don’t ride it as much as the Super Course because I don’t want to put too much wear on it - when I do ride it, it’s a blast.



1972 Super Course



Raleigh’R’nut seat post binder




I know the handle bar tape needs replacing - I’ve just got some green and Khaki cloth tape to redo it in a harlequin pattern and am looking for the white Carlton hoods. All the aluminum, rims and hubs need a good polish.



The wheels are Weinmann concave built on Normandy Luxe Competition hubs. Again, it all needs a good polish. I’ve used the bike a lot.



Head tube with heron logo, Nervex lugs, and Simplex Gold friction shifters.






Waxed German military bread bag repurposed for use on seat or handlebars.


And just acquired these Raleigh Bluemels Sprint Veloce Fenders for it.


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Old 04-30-20, 01:50 AM
  #1677  
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It's finally done, for real this time. Or, possibly, until the next. The only things left to do would be to swap out the 122.5mm spindle for a 127mm, and to trade my long cage for a short. I'm hoping a short cage will make friction shifting more precise with my 8speed cassette.

I will flesh out my thoughts on the bike and the build in the morning with an edit on this post, but, for now, all that needs to be said is that they really do ride well.

edit: I originally put this together as a north-road townie 1x6. Or was it 1x8? Anyways, as fun as it was in that configuration, the geometry of this bike basically requires more weight on the front wheel. It's just a bit too squirrel-y otherwise. Drop bars is the obvious choice, and, combined with a small front load makes for a worry free ride. Not too twitchy, not too leaden, just right. In the future I may install a rear rack and take it for some short tours.

It's currently sporting 48-38/12-28 gearing which is just about perfect for San Diego. Most of the time I'm in the middle of the cassette and swapping between front rings depending on if it's uphill or downhill.

Tires...the tires are okay. Cheap Forte 700x35 tires that actually measure out to a hair wider than 30mm. Heavy, not supple, but still ride alright simply because they have some width to them and can be run at a lower PSI. I cannot wait to run them into the ground and swap them out for Conti 4seasons in 700x32/35 and really enjoy the feel of the bike.

The inner tube wrapped around the seat post and the little wire tubing hanging on the seat stays are for strapping a big saddle bag. That bag, plus the mini up front, is more than enough for some upcoming longer rides (as soon as I deal with some ingrown hairs on my sit bones )

All in all, great bike. At some point I'd like to take it into a good shop to have the frame/fork straightened- the fork is slightly off and my expertise at cold setting the rear dropouts to 130mm left something to be desired. For the moment it doesn't matter.






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Old 04-30-20, 12:51 PM
  #1678  
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Originally Posted by Piff View Post
all that needs to be said is that they really do ride well.





Looks great and I agree with your assessment. They do ride nice. I have the same rear derailleur on my Super Course, too.
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Old 05-01-20, 08:44 AM
  #1679  
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It's beautiful, @Piff. Well done.

Are you sure that saddle angle is good?
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Old 05-01-20, 11:55 AM
  #1680  
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Originally Posted by beicster View Post
Looks great and I agree with your assessment. They do ride nice. I have the same rear derailleur on my Super Course, too.
Thanks! Yeah, even though I'm going to be swapping it out for a short cage I'm definitely going to be keeping this Tiagra around in case I do take it on a tour and need wider gearing. It works great, better than the old suntour stuff honestly. Though, I admit I've never tried a cyclone...

Originally Posted by noglider View Post
It's beautiful, @Piff. Well done.

Are you sure that saddle angle is good?
Thank you! I admired the myriad ways you've set up up your Super Course while reading this thread. The bike lends itself to customization well (especially ones without the proprietary Raleigh threading). The saddle angle is still being worked out. At first the nose was tilted too far up and pressured my bits, and now it's too far down and puts too much weight on my hands. Hopefully I'll nail the goldilocks spot for it on my next ride, or else resign the brooks to a different bike.
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Old 05-03-20, 06:16 AM
  #1681  
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I love thinking about ways to change up my bikes. It is just something I do to entertain myself. The vast majority of those plans never become reality but I still enjoy it. That being said, last week I discovered that there is a frame builder located about 40 miles away from me and now I have an easy way to make some of my plans a reality..

The first thing I asked him about was moving the rear brake mounts on my 85 Schwinn Voyageur to make it easy to switch to 700c. We ended up deciding to try extending the slot on the Dia Compe 981's. He has the brakes now and is going to see if it looks feasible. If he tries it and it does not work, there are plenty of replacements on ebay. Since they are the back brakes, if they end up breaking, I figure I will be OK until I get back home since I use the front brakes for the vast majority of my braking. He is going to talk to a friend who has 40 years experience as a machinist before he makes a move. This definitely appeals to my desire to experiment.

So, what, if anything, does this have to do with a Super Course? I have what I think is a 68 Super Course. I am thinking about asking him to braze on cantilever bosses for 650b wheels just for fun. I haven't measured it yet, but I am fairly certain that I could fit 42s without having to crimp anything. Has anybody here done any frame modification to a Super Course? I like the idea of having a one-of-a-kind bike.
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Old 05-03-20, 07:59 AM
  #1682  
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I sorta remember fitting 650b wheels to a Super Course and finding that the BB was going to be just too low for comfort. That was an early 70s one made for 27” wheels.
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Old 05-03-20, 08:59 AM
  #1683  
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
I sorta remember fitting 650b wheels to a Super Course and finding that the BB was going to be just too low for comfort. That was an early 70s one made for 27” wheels.
I assume mine was built for 27” as well. I haven’t actually measured the BB drop/height but I would do that before proceeding. I was more curious about frame modifications in general. Seems like that would be somewhat extravagant for this frame but I like the way it rides and I bought it on my 50th birthday so it means something to me.
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Old 05-03-20, 10:13 AM
  #1684  
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I did a 650b conversion on an early 80s super course about 12 years ago. I remember that the Rivendell 650b tires of the time (Rumpy Plumpy’s or something just as silly) didn’t fit so I went with 38mm Col da Vies. This was a 25 1/2” frame and to me the bottom bracket felt high...I felt like I was way up there when riding it. Too big for me so I sold it without putting too many miles on it.
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Old 05-03-20, 02:41 PM
  #1685  
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Originally Posted by Bogester View Post
I did a 650b conversion on an early 80s super course about 12 years ago. I remember that the Rivendell 650b tires of the time (Rumpy Plumpy’s or something just as silly) didn’t fit so I went with 38mm Col da Vies. This was a 25 1/2” frame and to me the bottom bracket felt high...I felt like I was way up there when riding it. Too big for me so I sold it without putting too many miles on it.
I had a 79 SC in that size. I put 650b tires on it and the biggest I could get was 38s, and that was with crimping the stays. I liked it a lot but I ended up passing that along when I got my 68 SC. Since the 79 came with 700c, I was able to convert it with DiaCompe 750 centerpulls. With early models, the brakes bridges are too high for a conversion with centerpulls. I also think I can get a wider tire on the 68.
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Old 05-03-20, 03:49 PM
  #1686  
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Originally Posted by Bogester View Post
I did a 650b conversion on an early 80s super course about 12 years ago. I remember that the Rivendell 650b tires of the time (Rumpy Plumpy’s or something just as silly) didn’t fit so I went with 38mm Col da Vies. This was a 25 1/2” frame and to me the bottom bracket felt high...I felt like I was way up there when riding it. Too big for me so I sold it without putting too many miles on it.
Is that a Japanese-built SuperCourse or a re-spray with later decals? If Japanese-built, what year is that frame and did it come with the SunTour blue line derailleurs?
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Old 05-04-20, 10:09 AM
  #1687  
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yes...Japanese made bike. I got it NOS off eBay. All Suntour BL. I think it was an 81?

Originally Posted by Schreck83 View Post
Is that a Japanese-built SuperCourse or a re-spray with later decals? If Japanese-built, what year is that frame and did it come with the SunTour blue line derailleurs?
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Old 05-04-20, 04:26 PM
  #1688  
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@beicster, I mused over the idea of putting 650b wheels on my 1971 Super Course. @nlerner pointed out there's no point, because switching from 27" to 700c already is a downsize likely to give me room for big tires. Right now I have 38mm tires on it, and they fit. I am pretty sure I'll be able to put fenders on. And I'm willing to crimp the chainstays if I need to. I've already spread the frame from 120 to 130, though I have to do it again, as the dropouts are too far to the right.
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Old 05-04-20, 04:51 PM
  #1689  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
@beicster, I mused over the idea of putting 650b wheels on my 1971 Super Course. @nlerner pointed out there's no point, because switching from 27" to 700c already is a downsize likely to give me room for big tires. Right now I have 38mm tires on it, and they fit. I am pretty sure I'll be able to put fenders on. And I'm willing to crimp the chainstays if I need to. I've already spread the frame from 120 to 130, though I have to do it again, as the dropouts are too far to the right.
On mine, going to 700c has me at 35mm tires with room to fender. 38's are out of the question unless I crimp the stays which I might be willing to do. If I could get 650X42 and have decent ground clearance, I would give it serious consideration. It is definitely a lot of fun to turn these plans over in my head.
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Old 05-04-20, 05:02 PM
  #1690  
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I don't worry much about ground clearance. I can modify my pedal stroke. I have toured on racing bikes where my heels would scrape the panniers unless I pointed my heels up. Some can adapt easily, and I guess some can't. When I'm on a bike with a low BB, I coast around corners. Not hard for me but hard for some, I guess. Can you adapt that way?

On a fixed gear, it's different. You cannot afford pedal strike, because it will throw you off the bike.
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Old 05-04-20, 07:49 PM
  #1691  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I don't worry much about ground clearance. I can modify my pedal stroke. I have toured on racing bikes where my heels would scrape the panniers unless I pointed my heels up. Some can adapt easily, and I guess some can't. When I'm on a bike with a low BB, I coast around corners. Not hard for me but hard for some, I guess. Can you adapt that way?

On a fixed gear, it's different. You cannot afford pedal strike, because it will throw you off the bike.
I am a devoted curve coaster. I am rarely in a hurry on my bike.
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Old 05-05-20, 08:40 AM
  #1692  
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Originally Posted by beicster View Post
I am a devoted curve coaster. I am rarely in a hurry on my bike.
OK so 650b on a Super Course may make sense for you. But what's wrong with 700c? My 37mm tires (or whatever they are) are pretty darned cushy already.
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Old 05-05-20, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
OK so 650b on a Super Course may make sense for you. But what's wrong with 700c? My 37mm tires (or whatever they are) are pretty darned cushy already.
There is nothing wrong with the 700cx35 tires on it right now. The issue is that I love to tinker and try out different things. I switch the bars. I put fenders on and take them off. I switch bar tape. I try different brakes. Now that a frame builder is close by, my options for tinkering have entered new territory. Part of the interest in the 650b comes from seeing the converted Internationals and Competitions. They just look great with the big tires.
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Old 05-05-20, 05:58 PM
  #1694  
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@beicster, cool. I've only had one frame modified, and I tend to avoid that stuff, so I'm starting to understand your thinking.

You may have seen my comment before, but I told a LBS guy that I'm converting a 1971 Raleigh Super Course into a gravel bike. He said, insightfully, that a 1971 Raleigh Super Course *is* a gravel bike. He has a point. The new stuff is nice but it's a funny coincidence that it has a lot in common with the old stuff. It's an old, tried and true design not needing a whole lot of improvement.
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Old 05-05-20, 07:03 PM
  #1695  
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Originally Posted by beicster View Post
There is nothing wrong with the 700cx35 tires on it right now. The issue is that I love to tinker and try out different things. I switch the bars. I put fenders on and take them off. I switch bar tape. I try different brakes. Now that a frame builder is close by, my options for tinkering have entered new territory. Part of the interest in the 650b comes from seeing the converted Internationals and Competitions. They just look great with the big tires.
The "ride" or "feel" of a bike is the result of many factors working together and the wheels are a substantial one. It seems to me that putting big tires on any bike diminishes the influence a frame has on the "feel" of the ride. Any gains in "liveliness" that the Super Course (Reynolds tubing) has over the Grand Prix (High Tension tubing), who both share the exact same frame geometry, are lost in my opinion.
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Old 05-06-20, 09:49 AM
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@branko_76 have you tried it?
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Old 05-06-20, 11:19 AM
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This thread is now 10 years old, there are some fine examples of SC's. The one pictured below is one of my favorites, it inspired me to dig mine out which I've had for almost 20 years and restore it to its original glory...

Originally Posted by Kilroy1988 View Post
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Old 05-06-20, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by branko_76 View Post
This thread is now 10 years old, there are some fine examples of SC's. The one pictured below is one of my favorites, it inspired me to dig mine out which I've had for almost 20 years and restore it to its original glory...
That was for sale (maybe still is?) and it was tempting. But, at the end of the day, it is such a terrific example of a well preserved original, it did not fit my needs. I would love to have an early 70's green SC, but I want to put 700c wheels on it and I would need to change out the cranks to work for me. I would not feel good about stripping that one down.
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Old 05-06-20, 01:17 PM
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I still have it and plan to put it back up for sale after I remove the Super LJ shifters and derailleurs that I added and put the original stuff back on, and also swap out the tires (which I'd like to keep) for some 1 1/4s I've got. Still, I've been out riding it now and then and recently showed off a photo of it all kitted out.

I'd be keeping it but I am building up a Mercian that will definitely fit me slightly better and has fully butted 531 tubing, and which will fill the same slot in my stable.

-Gregory

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Old 05-06-20, 01:20 PM
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Well, I won't be selling it until the Mercian is done... Just in case that ends up being less perfect for my needs than I imagine! The Super Course is heavy but extremely elegant for a mass-produced machine, and this particular one has some of the finest lug work, pinstriping and chrome I've seen out of Carlton from those days.
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