The Chainlink

I am very sad today as I think I have to put my bicycle out of its misery.  Its a 28 year old Raleigh Aleyseka.   It has shown great service.  I purchased it new and had many years of great riding.   Last night, I hit a pot hole.   Then it suddenly felt "loose".  I thought I had hurt a wheel.   I looked back and saw when I pushed on the peddle, the wheel wobbled.  Okay.  A Wheel.  So I got off and looked at the wheel.  It looked fine.  Then I saw the problem.   The right chainstay right at the drop out had broken.  

I assume, at this point, that the bicycle is "dead" as all of my research says this is not easily fixable (and certainly not worth fixing on a 28 year old Reynolds Steel Frame with old components).

So, what do I do.   Should I take it to working bikes?    Should I strip off some components and take it to working bikes (likely very little is usable....   the derailleurs are old, the brakes are cantilever, the handlebars are an "out-of-date" road shape. )  Should I strip off some of the components and put it in the alley?  Should I find a way to keep it?    Should I fix it?

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Got a pic? You might find a local framebuilder who can replace the chainstay or dropout (whichever bit is busted). Chester Cycles comes to mind, but I'm sure there are other places in the city as well.

Owen at Blue City Cycles has quite a bit of experience replacing cracked dropouts if you are interested in keeping it around. 

Thanks. I'll take a picture of it.  What is broken is the tube which runs from the crank to the drop-out right where it meets the drop-out.  I don't see how it could be "replaced" as the piece is welded to the frame and appears to be an integral part of the frame.  I also just don't know if it is worth fixing on a well-loved bicycle of an age which means that many components are nearing the end of their service life.    What's an old Raleigh Alyeska worth?



Crazy David 84 Furlongs said:

Thanks. I'll take a picture of it.  What is broken is the tube which runs from the crank to the drop-out right where it meets the drop-out.  I don't see how it could be "replaced" as the piece is welded to the frame and appears to be an integral part of the frame.  I also just don't know if it is worth fixing on a well-loved bicycle of an age which means that many components are nearing the end of their service life.    What's an old Raleigh Alyeska worth?

Tubes are replaced on old steel bikes all the time. I don't know if the chainstays used on that frame would still be available. It would depend on the tubing used. Do you know what tubing the frame was made from (likely will have a sticker on the seat tube if the frame hasn't been repainted - Columbus, Reynolds, Ishiwata, and Tange all made very good high quality tubing sets). The question you correctly ask, "is it worth it"? It may well not be in this case. If the components are in decent shape, parting it out will often bring more than the entire bike sold whole.

Uhhhhh....that is a cool bike. Brazed lugs, and you can't find anything identical without shelling out some major cash. What size is it? I take a 58cm frame.....ahem.
I'll take it...but I need the size first.

Its the largest size that was made.  I forget the exact size number (its not a metric size).  I am a little over 6 feet and barely straddle the top tube...in other words it is the "right size" from an old school perspective.   Yes.  It was a cool bike with touring geometry (a bit longer than other bikes of the period.).   It was Reynolds tubing.  Frame has never been repainted.

That's the bike.  The simplicity pictures are exactly the bike right down to the color scheme.  Sounds like this is at least worth a call on a frame builder.



Matt M. 18.5KM said:

It's Reynolds 555. Made in Japan. Only Rivendell does this kind of production quality for almost affordable frames circa 2014....



Skip Montanaro 12mi said:



Crazy David 84 Furlongs said:

Thanks. I'll take a picture of it.  What is broken is the tube which runs from the crank to the drop-out right where it meets the drop-out.  I don't see how it could be "replaced" as the piece is welded to the frame and appears to be an integral part of the frame.  I also just don't know if it is worth fixing on a well-loved bicycle of an age which means that many components are nearing the end of their service life.    What's an old Raleigh Alyeska worth?

Tubes are replaced on old steel bikes all the time. I don't know if the chainstays used on that frame would still be available. It would depend on the tubing used. Do you know what tubing the frame was made from (likely will have a sticker on the seat tube if the frame hasn't been repainted - Columbus, Reynolds, Ishiwata, and Tange all made very good high quality tubing sets). The question you correctly ask, "is it worth it"? It may well not be in this case. If the components are in decent shape, parting it out will often bring more than the entire bike sold whole.

While almost anything can be fixed, the question is why? How much? Is it economical? How much is the bike worth? Maybe $100, 150? It may cost you that to fix it.

I'm all in favor of fixing old stuff but this one sounds like forget it.

Here's why: whatever you pay to fix it, you're still ending up with an old bike of limited value. Donate it to Working bikes.

You could find an as good or better bike on Craigslist most days for around $150-$300. Even if the repair is only $100, why invest that? If it were an old bike of really good Reynolds steel, that would be one thing. The old Reynolds made in Sheffield are worth saving, for sure.


Here, for example, in 5 seconds of looking at CL is a much better Raleigh for an asking price of $280. Offer $250.

http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/bik/4501778263.html

Here's a nice Giant for a good price, $195.

http://chicago.craigslist.org/nwi/bik/4490719588.html

Or do this with it, I am about to with my old stove pipe Schwinn I accidentally smashed with my wife's car.

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