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Seeing as it seemingly hasn’t stopped raining for the past week I retreated to the workshop for a bit more project ‘Proper Shopper’. There was still a couple of jobs to finish on the frame, the first of which was re-tapping the bottom bracket shell to 24tpi from the standard 26tpi. Trust me when I say that it’s not a job you’d want to be carrying out every day of the week, although you’re only removing a tiny amount of steel, the force required to do it is enough to leave your palms bruised. However, I’m glad to report that 2 brews and a little swearing later, the bottom bracket was capable of receiving any standard BSA bottom bracket and with it, any cranks.

Shortening and re-threading the bottom bracket is a fairly drastic course of action and there are a few other options but in general they’re either expensive or result in too many compromises, especially considering I want to ride the thing off-road.

Here’s hoping it’s worth it.

The standard shopper forks are actually quite nice but sadly (here we go again) Raleigh didn’t space them at 100mm like everyone else and they also chose not to use the same size crown race as the rest of the world either. They could have been re-set to widen them and I’m sure I could have machined a crown race to fit but the reality was, buying a new set of forks would be less grief … now, I did say less grief, I didn’t say finding new forks wouldn’t cause any grief, did I? What I needed was a rigid fork designed for 20″ wheels with a 1″ threaded steerer, 9mm or 10mm drop-outs and it had to have a steerer at least 280mm long … It sounds easy when you say it quickly. Much internet searching later turned up a suitable pair of new old stock forks for a very reasonable £12, which was much more palatable than the other £98 option from the US!

What once was round …

Luckily Raleigh did make the headtube the same diameter as the rest of the worlds bicycle manufactures but sadly they didn’t bother to make it round! In fairness, I’m sure when they produced the frame they did use a round tube but for some reason they cut a notch from the back of it, which over the years has allowed the tube to become oval. The mis-shaped tube wouldn’t have any effect on the bike in standard trim because it doesn’t have a top headset cup / bearing, just a nylon bush! The mis-shaped headtube would cause issues when it came to fitting a ‘proper’ headset cup … a visit from Mr Hacksaw was in order (again).

is round once more.
Removing 10mm from the top of the tube sorted the problem and it wouldn’t effect the height of the front end noticeably. The frames pretty much ready for blasting and painting once I can make my mind up what colour to spray it … being completely colour blind isn’t helping the decision making process. 
 Multiple industry standards are nothing new!

Stay tuned for the next thrilling installment of ‘Proper Shopper’. Could be along soon if it keeps raining, sorry.

‘Proper Shopper’ … finished.


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