The Simplicity of Vintage Cycles

Vintage Bicycles Done Proper :: Portland, Oregon

Set sail, Kodiak!

Raleigh KodiakPortland is warming up, the spring rain is becoming more infrequent and the ball of light in the sky we typically don’t see for months is replacing our “liquid sunshine”.

I am ready to ride.

Since the beginning, this purchase has been an experiment. The slightly vague touring bikes Raleigh made in the 80’s (sans the Portage) have their mystique and those who have sampled their abilities seem to rave about them. The size was right, the price was right and the challenge of the rebuild had me hooked. The Kodiak was completely broken down, cleaned, built back up and tuned to get the details just right. My test runs, become increasingly longer in distance, have been met with challenges but overall, they have been positive rides showing progress.

I reused many of the parts from my now wrecked and retired Voyageur including the saddle, Suntour bar-end shifters, tubes, tires, brake pads/levers,  cables, housing and even some of the more difficult to find bolts.

Since this rig was obtained, its future was and is still somewhat uncertain. That being said, below is a quick recap on the rules I originally set for the rebuild:

  • Keep/reuse all parts that can be reused
  • No new purchases unless it is absolutely mandatory
  • Use parts I currently own to “upgrade”

Cost Breakdown:

SRAM PC-870 chain $18.69
Sealed Shimano BB $28.00
Newbaums cloth tape (black) $12.00
Stainless shifter boss bolts $1.00
(1) Avanir brake cable $1.74
(1) Avanir shift cable $1.74
Total $63.17

So, not too painful of a financial investment for full blown rebuild.

With the Kodiak in able riding shape, I decided to take my maiden voyage to work (20 miles round trip) to see how it would shake out without the safety net and closeness of home. Overall, the ride was fantastic but of course, more adjustments must be made in order to squelch my nit picking details and tiniest pet peeves. Either way, those are mostly miniscule details and I can say that she is ready for the open road!

As the summer develops and I am routinely back on the road, the plan is to use this as my main rig all summer long then evaluate next winter for a possible full blown restoration (including frame alterations and a repaint). If that is the direction I take this frame, I would be thrilled to showcase the mayhem that is sure to ensue. And by mayhem, I mean that in a good way, of course.

Raleigh Kodiak
Raleigh Kodiak
Raleigh Kodiak
Raleigh Kodiak
Raleigh Kodiak
Raleigh Kodiak
Raleigh Kodiak
SunTour Bar-end Shifters
Raleigh Kodiak

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2 comments on “Set sail, Kodiak!

  1. azorch
    April 25, 2012

    Nice looking build… and the price just can’t be beat!

  2. Josh C.
    April 25, 2012

    Thanks! The price was right but I would have liked a bit more customization (color of the cables, saddle, type of shifters, pedals, etc.) but, as I mentioned, this build is about testing the waters and using what I already have. Although, the Newbaums cloth tape was a test as I wanted to see if this was worth using in the future for other builds or if it was as shoddy and uncomfortable as the old, thin cloth tape used routinely back in the 70’s and 80’s. So far, results are positive! I recommend it!

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