Raleigh Eclipse Reynolds 501 Rebuild

Gunk

Veteran
Location
Oxford
I bought this today for £20, it’s never going to be worth a fortune but a good candidate for a strip and rebuild.

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It’s not that bad, I’ve got a saddle and seat post which will fit, it’ll just need the usual. Head and BB bearings inner and outer cables, tyres and tubes. Should come up well.
 

Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
Looks good, especially for twenty squid. Never seen this model before. All original apart from the chainset?
 
OP
Gunk

Gunk

Veteran
Location
Oxford
Did a couple hours on the Eclipse this afternoon, it's going to pretty straightforward as it's all in pretty good condition.

Cleaned up the chainset, headset, BB, brakes, front and rear mechs. Checked the wheels which again in are in remarkable condition, just need the hubs serviced and truing.

The chain is fairly new and reusable so dug out a quick link for it degreased and cleaned it, all I need to finish it is some inner cables and a seat post, everything else I've got.

Next job is to deep clean the frame and forks and fit new bearings.
 
OP
Gunk

Gunk

Veteran
Location
Oxford
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OP
Gunk

Gunk

Veteran
Location
Oxford
Some parts arrived yesterday, so I’ve now got everything to build it back up.

Next job is to tackle the wheels and reassemble the frameset.

I did a bit more research and it looks like it dates from around 1985.
 
OP
Gunk

Gunk

Veteran
Location
Oxford
I built the frameset back up this morning with restored BB, headset and fresh bearings so it's now all ready to built back up.

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I also deep cleaned the wheels, stripped and serviced the bearings and fitted a pair of tyres and tubes that I already had, so expenditure is fairly minimal on this project, it should come in at under £40 on the road. I shall flip it for around £100

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As usual I'm just waiting for one small part to fully reassemble it, a seat post which I ordered over a week ago, however if I have time over the weekend I shall start building it up.
 
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SkipdiverJohn

Veteran
Location
London
I did a bit more research and it looks like it dates from around 1985.
I very much doubt it's pre 1990, given the forks. Raleigh were not early adopters of unicrown forks on lugged & brazed frames. They were commonly found on Raleigh MTB's from the late 80's, but the road frames tended to stick with conventional brazed forks. Even the early Raleigh hybrids (like my 531 framed Gemini 18 from 1988), with MTB-derived triple chainring indexed gearing, were still being built with conventional forks up until 1990. There was one Raleigh road model, which escapes me but had flashy gold components, which was built with both conventional then later, unicrown forks. Whatever timeline that model spanned was the crossover for hi-tensile and 501 frames adopting unicrowns. I would guess 1991 for road frames, the year before for hybrids.
 

wafter

Über Member
Location
Oxford
Nice work - saw a kid pushing one of these through town earlier as it happens; recognised the questionable decor but couldn't place the model / where I'd recognised it from :smile:

I very much doubt it's pre 1990, given the forks. Raleigh were not early adopters of unicrown forks on lugged & brazed frames. They were commonly found on Raleigh MTB's from the late 80's, but the road frames tended to stick with conventional brazed forks. Even the early Raleigh hybrids (like my 531 framed Gemini 18 from 1988), with MTB-derived triple chainring indexed gearing, were still being built with conventional forks up until 1990. There was one Raleigh road model, which escapes me but had flashy gold components, which was built with both conventional then later, unicrown forks. Whatever timeline that model spanned was the crossover for hi-tensile and 501 frames adopting unicrowns. I would guess 1991 for road frames, the year before for hybrids.
I'll stick my oar in at late '80s / early '90s. I have a '91 German catalogue and all the European "cooking" 18-23 road models have Unicrown forks with lugged frames. I also have a '90 lightweight catalogue that shows the cheapest model (Vitesse) with unicrown forks combined with a 531 lugged frame, while the higher-end models still have crowned forks. The '85 road bike catalogue shows crowned forks on even the cheapest models, while my '87 Routier (a cheap model) also has crowned forks. Unfortunately I don't have any catalogues for the '86-89 period.

I'd expect the lower-spec models to have got the unicrown forks first so I'd reckon they came in in probably '89-90. Granted it seems that changes / advances in spec were staggered across the range (obviously with the rot setting in at the bottom and the improvements starting at the top) but by the time the lower-end lightweights were getting unicrown (in '90) I'd expect all of the lower-spec models beneath to already have them.
 
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