I bought the Campagnolo Chorus 1995 groupset back in 1995! I originally fitted the groupset to another Raleigh Special Products frame, the Dyna-Tech Ti, but unfortunately that frame snapped at the chainstay which was made from Cro-moly.
I purchased the Raleigh Special Products R700 Road frame off ebay around 2009. The frame, built of Reynolds 853 steel, had been sprayed in a beautiful pearlescent white by Argos Cycles of Bristol, England.
The bike is shown here with the same Selle Italia Flite Ti saddle that I’d bought for my first racing bike back in 1995 along with the groupset.
The chainrings are TA Specialities 55T/39T. They are admittedly pricey but they are also extremely durable chainrings so worth the cost in the long run.
The wheels were built by myself. My first foray into wheel building. I originally had Campagnolo Omega rims until I went straight through a flooded pot hole one rainy night. They split at the brake surface both front and rear. It was this moment that persuaded me disc brakes for the road were the future so that was sometime around 2010-11. I transferred the Campagnolo Chorus hubs on to Mavic CXP-33 rims using 36 DT Comp spokes front and rear. Seriously strong build. Maybe overbuilt as I’ve changed my opinion about what is required now although I still stick to the 3 cross lacing pattern.
The front wheel shown on the bike in these pictures was another wheel I built up specifically for commuting and bicycle touring. Again using a trusted Mavic CXP-33 rim but using 32 DT Comp spokes this time, built around an Shutter Precision SP-PV8 dynamo hub.
The SP-PV8 dynamo was purchased initially to run the Busch & Muller Cyo IQ Senso Plus. I bought it from Charlie Tsai of Intelligent Design Cycles. At the time his only web presence was through an Ebay store that was in it’s infancy. Then prior to my 2012 European tour I thought it’d be a good idea to try and navigate using my phone whilst charging from the dynamo. I purchased the Busch & Muller E-Werk. I had little success due to the phone I was using at the time. However, with the dynamo seed planted and well and truly taking root there’s no turning back for me now. All my newer bikes have dynamos and you can read about the success, ok there have been failures, in other parts of my site.
Anyway, I’ve used and abused the Raleigh R700 over the years and it has been relied upon for my daily 25 mile commute regardless of the weather. It certainly isn’t the ideal commuting bike as there isn’t enough clearance for full length mud guards but I’ve learnt to tolerate a damp bum and by using waterproof shorts it helps a little though no “waterproof” shorts can really stop the road spray. The bike has been on some very long rides and tours however now is in a much worse state than in the picture below.
The rain, floods and road salt have all taken their toll and the seat tube has developed a nasty looking crack. In fact the whole seat tube looks like it is about to collapse any day. Because of this I am reluctant to splash out on new parts. Even to the point that both the derailleurs are broken and so now I am riding it single speed!
I’m waiting until Shimano release their ST-RS685 hydraulic brake shifter units. I particularly like the concept of mechanical shifting with hydraulic brakes. I can’t be persuaded to use electronics on a commuter but the hydraulic brakes would be very useful on my commute in.
Well, my poor old bike is now in a considerably worse state than in the pictures above. After near daily use for more years than I can remember, those pictures taken at the beginning of a European tour back in 2012 show the bike at it’s best. Now, however many of the parts have been sold to various individuals around the World whilst some have been completely beyond salvaging. Here’s my frame still in my possession and I can’t bring myself to get rid of it.
The bottom bracket is a TA Specialities AXIX Bottom bracket which I’m having a few issues trying to extract from the frame. The headset cups are Campagnolo Veloce and one of the cups has a fracture in it. This bike truly received a beating!
Too many memories. The bike owes me absolutely nothing. The amount of money saved in train costs, the health benefits and the experiences. It’s like an old friend, an old friend without legs, but an old friend none the less.