The Raleigh project was doomed…

…or so I thought, after checking out Sheldon Brown.   I had successfully removed the cottered cranks (a lot of people have trouble with the pins– so far I’ve never had a problem), and was checking the website for the right bb upgrade.   Woe! According to Sheldon, the Nottingham Raleighs all used a proprietary 26tpi threading in the bb/cups, while ISO is 24 tpi.   Doomed!  No way I was going to get a square taper crank in there, short of a Phil Wood cups/spindle, at +$100.

I started experimenting with alternatives, and luck was on my side.  In my vast collection of vintage parts, I found a spindle marked “5S.”  Japanese-made for an Italian bike with a 71mm bb shell, it will work with the original raleigh 26tpi cups and bearings, and allow me to convert the Record to a single-speed.

A spindle designed for the standard ISO 68mm shell has races that are too close together.  Tightening down the adjustable cup to the point where the inner and outer races hold the bearings in place would bring the cup *inside* the shell–impossible with the tools at hand.   And,  there would be no way to attach a lock-ring.

So, this Raleigh Record will be a rarish single-speed.  I never noticed how few Raleigh fixie/single-speed conversions are out there, and this bb issue is obviously the reason.


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