I discovered this little beauty in the woods one day just before Christmas when I was trying to walk off a rather large pre-Christmas dinner.
Christmas... Only about eight weeks ago, but it seems like forever ago to me! Anyway, dispite missing it's saddle I thought that it looked fairly complete, so I took a few snaps, and dragged it home. With the exception of having no saddle and flat tyres I would say that it was in great shape, and in all honesty I would have thought that it was probably ridden to the place where I found it, and then dumped, but why? Like I said, it's in good shape, so why would someone dump it? My immediate reaction was that it had probably been stolen to get someone home from the pub of whatever, and then just abandonned as soon as they'd sobered up and realised what they'd done. I called the police who took the details of the bike, and my details so that if someone should come looking for it, they could tell the owner where it was. But should nobody come looking for it, then it would be mine 28 days after reporting it. I also put several posts on farcebook to see if anyone was missing their bike. Nobody was, and so, about a month ago it became mine, and was added to the growing list of bikes in my collection.
I've had a couple of these Raleigh mixte frames before, and I quite like how they look, from memory I think they have a variety of names, I am pretty sure that I have had one called a Raleigh Wisp, and I'm almost certain that I have a Raleigh Rhapsody in my collection somewhere, and this one, is a Raleigh Misty. Quite appropriate as it was a misty old day when I found it! So what shall become of it? Well, I have thought that maybe I'll just pop a saddle on it and call it job done! But the more I looked at it, the more I got to thinking that actually it's quite a good source of some fairly nice parts!
Starting with these rather splendid centre pull caliper brakes. I have had these on a variety of bikes before and I have found that they are pretty efficient at shaving off speed quickly!
The wheels and tyres are in good shape, the tyres have plenty of life left in them and the wheels are true and the chrome is not rusty or pitted.
Ok, so they might not be the most desireable, but they're still good, I mean everybody uses Shimano gears on their bikes, and again, like everything else. They're in good shape, and not rusty! I really am curious as to why someone took this bike into the middle of nowhere and dumped it!
Grips, brake levers, gear levers, and handlebars are all good, and I quite like the look of the combination of the grips and the old aluminium Weinmann brake levers! To be fair there is nothing that I don't like about this bike.
So why pull it apart for components? The simple answer is that I am going to use everything from that I remove from the Misty on the Triumph Palm Beach. I know that my original plan for that was to keep with the Sturmey Archer three speed hub, and to be fair should something like a Raleigh Caprice show up with a good set of wheels, then that will still be the route I take. But at the moment one hasn't turned up, and this is just sitting there! But once I've robbed it of parts, what will become of the Misty? As I said, I quite like the frame of this, and I have got some parts in my stash to turn this into something else, perhaps even a racer! But at the moment I'm not too sure. I know that I don't just want to strip it to a frame and ditch the frame. I want this to leave me as a complete bike when the time comes for me to get rid of it. It's too nice of a bike to just use for parts. So at some point it will ride again, and you'll be able to read about it right here when it does!