1970s Reynolds 531 Raleigh Road Bike
I'm new to cycling and have just purchased my first bike--a 1970s Reynolds 531 Raleigh. I went with an older, more affordable road bike because while I hope to stick with this, I didn't want to break the bank getting something brand new. Anyway, I've ridden this bike a few times already and have enjoyed it, but just wanted to get some advice/feedback from the forum regarding the bike I purchased. I have no idea about maintenance, how to make adjustments, etc. And I'm still just barely learning how to shift gears on this guy. So, I would really appreciate any tips or advice on just overall use of my bike! Thanks!!
Here are the specs as given to me by the seller:
Raleigh Super Course MKII
made in the Carlton factory, England
seat tube center to center 53cm (21”)
top tube center to center 56cm (22”)
standover height 31” (79cm)
chainstays 43cm, wheelbase 103cm
new Jagwire brake cable and housing
new Jagwire derailleur cable and housing
new Jagwire brake pads
new brake cable hanger
new blackwall 27” tires
new Bike Ribbon white bar wrap
upgraded Shimano 105 aero brake levers
Normandy high flange hubs & Rigida alloy rims, Nervar alloy cotterless crankset, Suntour Vx front & Huret rear derailleurs, Suntour clamp-on downtube shifters, Weinmann & Universal centerpull brake calipers, 75mm GB stem & alloy drops, vintage Unicanimex (Cinelli Unicanitor rip-off) from Mexico saddle, MKS quill pedals
Pretty bike, I hope you enjoy it. I'd tell you to take it to LBS (local bike shop) and get fitted to the bike. Why? If the bike fits, you're comfortable and will ride more. If it doesn't fit you won't have fun and won't ride. Other thing I'd recommend is to buy a copy of either the Park Tool BBB or Zinn's (both books are @ $20 on Amazon) and buy a decent bike specific tool kit (can be had for @ $35, check various online stores) and learn to do your own basic wrenching. It's satisfying to fix stuff yourself and far, far cheaper. Don't buy one of the super expensive 'bike shop in a box' kits. You wont need 80% of those tools for quite some time, if ever. Save that cash for a multi-tool, patch kit, spare tubes, bike bag (either under the seat, bar, or even int the frame), a nice pump (I don't recommend CO2, since pumps never run out of air), bottle cages and a bottle, as well as umpteen other gadgets and goodies that others on this forum will suggest.
My mid 70's Red Supercourse MKII lives in my memory as one of the most comfortable, yet sporty feeling of any bike I owned from the 70s through the turn of the century. I sold it in the 90s only because I thought it was "too old", and regretted it ever since. It has the reputation for being a classic, and very affordable in it's day. One day, if the right one comes along, I'll get one for old time's sake.
IF that thing works well and fits you, you will be hard pressed to do much better, and it's worth "upgrading" if you ever want to go with modern shifting.
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