Author Topic: Tubular to clincher. Will I kill the value of this high end bike?  (Read 2641 times)

Offline RWS34

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This weekend I picked up a 1974 Raleigh International in quite good condition for $90 at a garage sale. I typed the bike into eBay, and there are 4 currently there offered at $1350, $1850, $1529, and $2500. Mine came with an English made rack that none of the eBay bikes have.

This is, by far, the nicest bike I've ever owned. Chrome lugs and frame tips, made in England out of Reynolds 531, beautifully machined Campagnolo Nuovo components everywhere, Brooks Professional saddle in great shape. But there's a big problem, it uses tubular tires (and they're completely shot). There's even some silly device that rubs the rear wheel to knock off rocks as you ride (see pictures) presumably because tubular tires are so fragile.

So I started researching tubular tires, and the prices of tires are through the roof. Now, that wouldn't be a complete deal breaker if they were servicable, but if you get a flat, the tire is done....its a lot of money, and a ridiculous service procedure all over again. I don't see the tubular approach as being practical for this bike.

So in trying to figure out how to get this bike rideable again, it seems to me that the best approach is going to be keeping/reusing those beautiful high-flange Campagnolo hubs, but rebuilding the wheels using a good 700c rim...like maybe a Velocity A23. For me personally, that modification would be great, but I wonder if that would enhance or hurt the resale value of the bike. What does your experience and instinct tell you?

One last thing, I may ride this bike a little...but realistically I'm reconditioning it for resale.











« Last Edit: May 19, 2015, 09:42:31 AM by RWS34 »

Offline bartcycle

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Re: Tubular to clincher. Will I kill the value of this high end bike?
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2015, 10:20:08 AM »
If you want to keep it all original keep the original wheels intact and get some clincher wheels so you can ride the bike.

Offline Grogger

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Re: Tubular to clincher. Will I kill the value of this high end bike?
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2015, 11:01:29 AM »
$90? Good job!

I just went through this with my 1974 Paramount P13-9. Low miles, but the original tubular tires were toast. At first, I wanted to get a separate wheelset with clinchers for riding. But checking my parts inventory, all of the wheelsets I have on hand have 27-inch rims. The brake set-up on my P13-9 requires 700C rims.

To do it right, I would need to purchase several items -- rims, 14-22t rear cluster, spokes, rear axle (I have a correct front axle), and probably new clincher tires. This added up to substantial cost. I wanted the bike done for an upcoming event, so I didn't have a lot of time to look for a complete, reasonably priced wheelset.

Then I asked myself, "How much will I ride this bike?" It's a wallhanger or show bike mostly; I likely won't ride it more than once per year. So then I got to thinking it would be nice to preserve the original configuration of the bike, even though I have reservations about tubulars.

I was a bit shocked by the cost of tubular tires, too. Dugast tires with silk casings go for at least $165 a piece. I think I remember another European brand for around $120 per tire. My LBS carried two Continental tubulars, one at around $70/tire and another at around $45/tire. Because I was running short on time and because I had never installed tubulars (I hear it's messy and tricky), I bought the better Contis from my LBS and had the tech there install them. They did a great job, and they appreciate classic road bikes. One of the techs was amazed at the lightness of my 1974-era bicycle!

This option worked for me because I have a '73 Paramount P10-9 with clinchers that is my "rider". If you have compatible clincher wheels or can get them cheaply, use those. If you want to replace the tubulars, I recommend going with the $70 Contis. I don't have a lot of miles on mine, so I can't comment on durability. Perhaps some of the others here who have experience riding tubulars can help with that.

Ron

P.S. My LBS owner recommended that I keep one of the old tubular tires (only one of mine still held air) as a spare. Back in the day, riders would tie a deflated tubular under the seat. He claimed I could throw it on the rim in an emergency, pump it up, and use it to ride home, as long as I was careful in the turns.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2015, 01:11:40 PM by Grogger »
Ron G. | Head Geek | The BicycleGeek™ Collection | A few favorites: 1938 Ladies' BA37, '51 Hornet, '51 Panther, '52 Red Phantom, '53 Ladies' Panther, '56 Tiger, '57 Corvette, '58 Black Phantom, '61 Speedster, '62 Fiesta, '62 Fleet, '62 Typhoon, '66 Varsity Tourist, '68 Ram's Horn Fastback, '68 Typhoon, '72 Orange Krate, '73 Sting-Ray 5-Speed, '73 Paramount P10-9, '74 Paramount P13-9, '80 Typhoon Custom, '99 Paramount Steel

Offline JenniferC

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Re: Tubular to clincher. Will I kill the value of this high end bike?
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2015, 11:56:40 AM »
If you're just looking to flip the bike. Clean it up get rid of the rack that doesn't fit and leave the tires as tubulars. A clincher wheelset worthy of that bike is going to cost a lot as Grogger said. I'd leave the old tires on it to protect the rims from damage. I've seen too many bikes with no tires on them at swaps and CL where the wheels are chewed up because there are no tires on it. 

Offline rickpaulos

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Re: Tubular to clincher. Will I kill the value of this high end bike?
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2015, 01:14:24 PM »
I bought a Raleigh International brand new in 1973. First thing I did was rebuild the wheels with clincher rims.  Later I owned 2 with that copper color.  One was sold off, the other stolen with my Paramount tandem.  Grrrrrr.

The International was a Carlton built bike and was a standard model (with a different model name) long before Raleigh bought out Carlton.   It is very similar to the Schwinn Paramount of the same era.  531 frame, campy, brooks, weinman brakes, etc.  Schwinn probably sold more Paramounts than Raleigh sold Internationals.  Raleigh had the higher end Professional that got most of the attention.  Raleigh changed the International color every couple of years.  Chartruese, Champagne, Copper.  The color is a quick spotters guide to the model year (+/- 1).

You can still get low priced tubular tires. Under $20.  But you get what you pay for in tubular tires.  Repairing the more expensive tires (silk or nylon) is much easier on the fingers. The low end heavy cotton cased tires are very hard to work with.  I always used pliers to hold the needles while sewing the cheap tires up.  The ride on good tubular tires is amazing, so fast and light it's almost scary.  Most decent sew-up tires have latex tubes so you need to air them up every day.  The cheaper use butyl tubes which is the same as most clincher tubes so you can go a few days between airing.

IMO, black,  high profile or aero rims look totally out of place on vintage bikes. Best bet to retain value is to try to find contemporary rims.  Save the original rims and spokes to pass along to a new buyer.  Tag them so you remember what bike they came from.

Rick
« Last Edit: May 19, 2015, 01:16:55 PM by rickpaulos »
1950 Ace-1964 Traveler 3 speed-89 Circuit-78 Super Le Tour-Continental-Varsity-High Sierra-2001 Black Panther-60s Typhoonx2-BFK NIB-63 American
for sale:
64 Super Sport 21"-Speedster 3-Speedster 3-Hollywood-Caliente-more

Offline johnboy

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Different strokes for different folks
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2015, 05:50:51 AM »
My two cents if you bought it to sell:

I would much prefer to buy a bike of this caliber "in the raw," i.e., just as you found it.  Part of the fun of ownership is tearing it down and rebuilding it and I would know first hand about the condition of the "innerds," and any modifications would be to my liking.

Also, I don't want to pay someone for work that I would rather do myself.

I do agree with others here that the ill-fitting rack adds nothing to the value and would take it off.

A very nice bike by the way.


Online acg_schwinn

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Re: Tubular to clincher. Will I kill the value of this high end bike?
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2015, 10:25:51 AM »
A very nice bike by the way.

Hear, hear. And I agree that if the rack cannot be adjusted to fit properly, then it doesn't belong there in the first place.

Regarding the wheels, if they're original but not wanted (in that configuration), then I would simply swap them out in their entirety for a set of road wheels that you prefer. That is, I am NOT an expert on this topic in any way, but I don't see why one would go to the trouble and expense of replacing the unwanted rims on the existing hubs when a wholesale swap would not only be quicker but also leave you with two complete, original wheels (for either storage or resale, as you prefer), as opposed to a pair of hoops that are of no use to anyone without relacing onto some replacement hubs.

Offline rickpaulos

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Re: Tubular to clincher. Will I kill the value of this high end bike?
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2015, 12:02:08 PM »
Some tips for who ever does work on this bike:

1: the chrome shift lever clamp will crack and flake if you try to bend it to remove it. You can remove the bolt and carefully open it a little to slide it up so you can polish and wax the paint under the lever.  Judging from the photo of the rear brake bridge, the paint does need some polishing and waxing throughout.

2: ditto for the pump peg, the chrome will crack and flake off.

3: the water bottle cage.  The clamps might be chrome or zinc plated.  Cheap cage from an era pre-dating built in bosses.

4: The ill-fitting TA rear rack would best be flipped on ebay.  Polish it up and you may be surprised at what it will go for.  That could recoup your entire investment.

5: when polishing be careful around the decals.  They will rub off pretty easy.  Just don't even try to polish the decals.

6: when done polishing, wax the entire frame including the chrome plated parts.  I've been using modern auto waxes. They seem much better than waxes out just 10 years ago.

7: use the correct tools.  Dinging up the lock rings, lock nuts, etc will hurt resale value.

That bike came with white cotton tape originally.  good luck trying to keep that clean if you go that route.

The crimp on lead cable ends sure bring back memories. I haven't seen those in decades. They are all aluminum now.  You can use an ice pick to open them up again for reuse.  I always soldered the ends of the cables on my 1970s high end bikes so I didn't need them.

Rick
1950 Ace-1964 Traveler 3 speed-89 Circuit-78 Super Le Tour-Continental-Varsity-High Sierra-2001 Black Panther-60s Typhoonx2-BFK NIB-63 American
for sale:
64 Super Sport 21"-Speedster 3-Speedster 3-Hollywood-Caliente-more

Offline schwinnderella

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Re: Tubular to clincher. Will I kill the value of this high end bike?
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2015, 07:20:19 PM »
Internationals are nice bikes and copper is the best color.
As others have said if you bought it for resale do nothing.
The prices you listed are optimistic.

Offline ranchero

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Re: Tubular to clincher. Will I kill the value of this high end bike?
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2015, 08:55:46 PM »
I got a Peugeot over the winter with period "Clement Future" sew ups.

They look correct but are entirely unsafe for any ride.

I wonder about buying a new set of sew ups for the very, very limited riding I would do on this bike. The bike looks nice now but the tires are totally untrustworthy.

In about 1973 I bought a year or two old LeJeune. The sew ups lack of durability in city riding cost me so much time with repairs over a decade or so. Finally, on a ride with two blowouts and walking the bike home, I gave up and had the spokes, rims and tires replaced with more reliable clinchers. Probably destroyed the value of the nice red bike but the confidence that the set up provided made the bike more pleasurable to use.

I say let sleeping sew ups die on their own - don't bother with them.

- ranchero -