Back in February I told you about a little Raleigh Misty mixte that I found whilst out walking off too much food at Christmas, this one...
Of course back then it looked nothing like this, no, back then it looked like this...
Pretty much all there, bar the saddle, but just a bit abandonned! I dragged it home, informed the Police of what I had found, asked around on farcebook to see if anyone was missing it, and after a month or so of trying to find its owner I decided to do something with it. I had no idea what I really wanted to do with it, but I wanted several parts from it for my own projects, but I knew all along that I didn't want to just end up with a frame that I then threw away. Well as other project bikes came, got repaired, and went, the Misty became less and less of a bike, until the point came where it really was just a frame and forks. I never wanted it to leave me in that condition, so I kept an eye out for parts that might work to make it a complete bike again. I had planned to fit larger 700c wheels to it, and maybe some dropped handlebars, but I tried to fit the wheels, and they were too big for the frame, and no dropped handlebars appeared either. However a couple of weeks back this appeared at my local tip...
The Tensor Tensuri, now, I do have plans for that bike, and as luck would have it the larger 700c wheels do fit in that bikes frame, upon this discovery it was time to tear down the Tensor frame, and use the bits to build up the Raleigh frame.
I used almost everything from it, although I didn't use the gear shifter as it was broken, actually, I managed to break it taking it off! I didn't use the handlebars, stem, or saddle either, although perhaps I should have, but I had ones that I thought suited the Misty better.
The shifter is a friction type shifter that I believe was originally fitted to an excercise bike, I'll be honest, I'm not overly impressed with the colour, but it works, and it was to hand so I fitted it.
The brake levers, and for that matter the brakes used to call the Tensor home, and although the brakes are just cheap pressed steel caliper type brakes, I thought that the brake levers themselves were quite sleek and elegant, and I thought they suited the Raleigh very nicely.
The brakes themselves as I said are the cheapest of the cheap pressed steel caliper type brakes, but they work well, and can even retard the forward motion of a fat middle aged man as he thunders along the road!
Sadly the way the Misty was set up originally it would have had clips to hold the cables in place, and the rear brake cable ran through two holes in the middle of the frame with the outer cable running the whole length from the levers to the calipers themselves. Of course I had used that long cable somewhere along the way, and so I decided to use that route for the gear cable. I ran the outer cable from the shifter to the first hole where I fitted a brake adjuster nipple. From there it was just naked cable to the second hole in the frame where I fitted another brake adjuster nipple, and from there to the rear derailleur it is sheathed again. It looks pretty good in my opinion, and it even works well too!
That could actually be said about the bike as a whole, it does look pretty good, and it works well too. I would go as far as to say that it looks better than it did than if it was still in its original specification.
The only place I feel that it could be better is the tyres. I've no idea who the HWA FONG tyre company is, or even if they're any good, but what I do know is that they're old, and the sidewall is a little perished. But after inspecting them they don't look too bad, and I think they're probably safe to ride on, and as I had no other tyres in that size, on they went. I must admit I think the whitewall tyres, the black mudguards, and the maroon frame really look quite nice together.
So there it is, finished and ready to be re-homed. I took it for a little spin earlier to see what it was like, and it was pretty good. Despite being too small for me over the short distance that I travelled it rode very nicely, and was fairly comfortable, even though I was a little cramped up on it. All in all however I am very pleased with how it looks now, and even more pleased that it will be leaving me as a complete bike, ready for someone else to enjoy!