happened to be pedaling past a friend's house at the very moment
her boyfriend wheeled this 1977 Raleigh Sports to the curb for trash
pickup. My friend had bought a new bike and was getting rid of this
old one, which someone had given her and which she had never had
the energy to fix up. I took the bike home and treated it to a bath,
some rust removal and touchup paint, a new set of tires, and a Brooks
B67 that came from my dismantled Raleigh Tourist.
riding the Raleigh Sports, I discovered a periodic clunk inside
the chain guard which I couldn't figure out. My local mechanic said
he suspected the rear sprocket was installed backwards. The sprocket
is dished; so if it's installed wrong, the rear sprocket and front
chainring will be out of alignment, causing the chain to hang onto
a front tooth too long and pop off with a clunk against the chainguard.
I removed the rear wheel, popped the circlip, reversed the rear
sprocket, buttoned everything back up, and Voila! Smooth pedaling
and shifting with the traditional Sturmey-Archer 3-speed thumb shifter.
only drawback of the bike is that it's too small for me; however,
it makes a great guest bicycle when friends visit from out of town.
I lead them on a guided tour through Old Covington past the house
where I found the bike. The friend who gave it to me comes down
from her porch to admire the refurbished Raleigh and says she's
glad I fixed it up.