Liz’s Raleigh Makeover

This was a little makeover project I did a while ago for my great friend Liz.

The tires are skinny 25s, but they rolled pretty well for me even at, what, 5 stone more than Liz? And… they’re all that would fit with fenders. The real clearance issue was the pinchbolt on the front derailler, if you can believe it.

Elizabeths classic road bike, now a Portland cruiser - with a broken stem clamp

Elizabeth worked on the California AIDS Ride, and trained and rode thousands of miles on this bike, a hand-me-down from her father. It hung in her garage for years after, until she realized I was some kind of bike nerd, and would LOVE to tinker with her bike. Our friend Mark provided the fenders and some bits, and we were off to the races!

I see from the picture I’m a dramatic shortener of cable housing, and I think all bikes should have fenders. I thought this even when I lived in California. There are still AIDS ride sticker mojo (stars signed by sponsors), and most of the components are original, since we didn’t have the funds to drop on gearing or 650B wheels (or 590A, even).

You might have wondered what’s up with the hipsteriffic bars. “Yeah, what’s wrong with those bars?!” They’re Albatross bars from Rivendell, rotated all the way around.

Funny story.

Max and I went up to Portland to ride around with Liz on her new whip (her on hers, us on our old regular ones). She warned us, “There’s some massive Portland bike ride that day. We want to make sure to miss THAT!” We were late getting to her house because I-5 was closed down for the bike ride, and we had to sort of circle her entire neighborhood, honing in by degrees as we encountered blocked off streets and streams of cyclists at every turn.

Anyway, “Whew! Frickin’ bikers! Now we can go ride our bikes!” Getting ready to go, I noticed the bars were loose in the stem. That’s no good! Tighten tighten, SNAP! The aluminum clamp cracked right off. I believe it was a case of a 25.4 bar in a 26.0 stem. Huh. “That dog won’t hunt!” We went to a McMenamin’s, instead.

That was many months ago, and I’ve had a replacement stem in my bin for her for almost that long. I should mail it to her, so she can replace it herself, but I think it’s another 26.0.