Raleigh criterium singlespeed build

Having pinched my youngest brothers bike from London to restore and give to my middle brother for Eroica last year I was kind of in a ‘bike debt’ to him. And about a month ago he recalled this with a text along the lines of ‘need a bike, but want it to be one of the type they ride round Shoreditch’. By that he means trendy minimalist single speed with deep section wheels and a vintage steel frame. This was a great opportunity to have a little fun on a budget.

So started trawling eBay…. and came up with this for £12.50!

A 1987 Raleigh Criterium 12 in deep metallic blue.

Up in the stand it was time to get to grips with the state of it (but at £12.50 it didn’t really matter, 501 reynolds at that money…….) and strip it down. Both wheels were buckled, rear one with a broken spoke. One was aluminium and one was steel, both tyres and tubes were junk. Rear derailleur hanger was bent and derailleur was missing. Brake cables were seized, and shifters were nearly solid. Saddle cover was separated from foam, bar tape was knackered and sticky, and stem was starting to buckle as was pulled out further than the max limit mark. Headset and bottom bracket were stiff but smooth enough. Oh and the left hand crank arm and pedal were missing!

Good bits were what looked to be a near scratch and dent free Reynolds 501 frame, Raleigh alloy bars and SR stem, SR fluted seat post, Weinmann brake calipers, and intact safety levers.

These are some really 80’s  decals! junk tyre and rim.

Criterium 12, ZX SPECTRUM style!

A hint of that beautiful colour.

A whole bike for less than the tube set would have cost……….. pretty manky though.

Forks off revealed a lifetime of brake grime, but rust free all round!

A quick buff with some paint restorer and that gorgeous blue is poppin!

Original headset cleaned and greased up like new.

Fork crown looking clean, headset regreased.

SR Sakae stem was removed and the tube reformed to fit back in the steerer, now safely back at the limit with a buttery smooth headset.

Tange bottom bracket regreased and rebuilt in a nicely cut and polished frame.

Back together after a good strip and clean, Origin8 crankset offered up that I had laying around. Was a short lived time in the stand…… needed to be all pulled down to finish my ‘workshop’ build.

Now the walls in the ‘workshop’ have been painted it was time to get on with speccing the build. First thing was to remove the criterium and triathlon decals, sorry but it just looks better without them!

So its going to be single speed, with drop bars, cross safety levers, brown bar tape and saddle, deep section low spoke count wheels, and bling gold chain bling. I’ve been shopping and I’m just waiting for the parcels to arrive…… Quite looking forward to getting this one together, gonna be a looker!

More updates when I get building!

One comment

  1. Hi,

    I know this project was a while ago, but I have an identical bike that I’ve stripped down, cleaned and re-greased as necessary etc, however I have a small rust patch on the top tube, nothing structural, but currently untreated.

    I plan to treat it, but it means removing the metallic blue paint. Do you know where to look to find this sort of paint? Halfords car paint just doesn’t cut it in my opinion.

    Any tips would be hugely helpful. Thanks.


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