Here’s the Raleigh I mentioned.
This appropriately-patina-ed all original (except for the tires, handlebar tape and plugs) museum piece is (a real 10-speed) owned by the person who also owns the 1988 Schwinn World Sport.[Not yet posted.]
It was purchased new by the owner and, needless to say, the owner is extremely attached to it.
This also likewise needed a similar cleaning and handlebar wrap replacement, but I discovered a pretty serious problem. Unfortunately, the rear axle was spinning roughly, requiring investigation. Ever try to find a freewheel tool for a 40+ year-old Raleigh? Needless to say, I wound up disassembling the freewheel without destroying it, by God’s grace alone. It’s really not that impossible of a job, but I was glad there weren’t more than 3 pawls to deal with during re-assembly.
I discovered not only that the drive-side bearing cone was slightly pitted, and the axle was slightly bent, but, more surprisingly, the drive-side bearing CUP, although in excellent condition, was LOOSE(!), and spinning in it’s counterbore; something which I had never seen before! I hated the idea of replacing the hub or wheel, not just because it was original to the bike, but I’m discovering off-the-shelf 27” wheels and loose-bearing freewheel hubs are getting difficult to find, and appropriate used ones of that vintage could have similar issues.
Of course, the options ran all the way from attempting a 700c conversion (no way, besides, it would include a dreaded 5-speed-freewheel-to-a-7/8/9-speed professional-cold-set frame-spread procedure to accommodate a wider new freehub wheel), to replacing the hub which would have required a complete wheel rebuild with new spokes; likewise, not impossible, but ALL the options were WAY beyond the effort and financial investment of a “light refurbish”.
Upon informing the owner that obsolete parts are difficult to find, and that this model was not an uber-valuable upper-end, competition-model, but in the near-entry-level-offerings from Raleigh, that that I could get the bike rideable, but with no guarantee of rear-axle longevity. My suggestion was, once cleaned, to hang this bike up as a decorative conversation piece in a sport-themed rec-room, join the 21st century, and replace it with Raleigh’s current Record Ace, if owning a reliable lugged-steel frame Raleigh was required.
Hopefully, readers will agree that any attempt to repair and salvage a permanently-damaged hub would do NO more harm than had already occurred, I proceeded brutally pry out the cup with only slight damage to the aluminum bore/edge. An ever-so slight undercut had developed at the mouth of the bore that added to the difficulty of this highly-unrecommended ugly procedure. Once removed, and, after a thorough cleaning of the cup and bore with acetone (readers to keep in mid the hub was basically destroyed, anyway), I successfully used an epoxy steel product to secure the cup.
Yes, I realize in any attempt to do a proper museum-quality restoration, I could have: completely de-laced the wheel and removed the hub, make the questionable expense to have the bore re-sleeved by a professional machinist, and reassemble/re-lace/true the wheel, but I have done nothing to prevent this from occurring by some ambitious restorer in the future. The hardened-steel cup could still be accurately ground out to dust and the bore could still be re-sleeved, even with a custom hardened-steel bushing cup, in fact, by someone else willing to make this expensive investment, if desired.
Of course, the preferred inexpensive option also still exists to continue to be patient and wait to see if an appropriate-vintage replacement wheel or hub is discovered. In the mean time, as with most bikes, it can be enjoyed for a few more miles until the bearing destroys itself.