I ran across this bike being sold on Craigslist in Batavia. Turns out it was being sold my a scientist at Fermilab. He rode the bike occasionally around premises but didnt have much use for it.
When the bike was brought home it was fairly dusty and had dry rotted tires and the foam handlebar grip was mostly torn off.
We showed the bike to two people before a student at Loyola bought it for commuting. The first guy who was interested in it wanted something soley for winter commuting was turned off by the one piece crank. The second guy who treated the interaction like it was a drug deal, made it seem like he just needed “a bike” but turns out he was looking to purchase something for a fixed gear conversion. A bike with a one piece crank would not have been a good candidate for a conversion and I mentioned that to him over the phone. So it didnt sell and it sat for about a week until that Loyola student inquired on it.
The decals on the bike are very cool. Sort of late 70s vintage heavy metal aesthetic comes to mind. We gave the bike new tires, new tubes, new cables, new pads, new handlebar wrap, and a new life.
This bike was built for my friend Katie in the spring of 2010. She wanted something standard, simple, attractive and of course functional so she could ride with her boyfriend Jake who happens to be another good friend of mine and who we also built a bike for a year prior.
We chopped our own bullhorns, gave it some new tubes, tires, cables, and a chain. I really liked the crankset on this one.
She was very please with the bike and the three of us road around downtown Elgin most of that night. I really can’t wait for spring. So over winter.
This bike was bought through our friend Mike who runs an efficient and speedy bike repair/maintance workspace from his home in Berwyn. His neighbor was trying to sell it and we took an interest immediately.
Since yellow is seriously such an under used color in on bicycles we come across, we decided to dress this bike up properly. We used the bullhorns and dirty hairy brake levers from my old single speed.
We gave the ride a new chain ring, new chain, new cables, new tubes, new and obnoxious yellow wall tires, slapped a vintage men’s racing saddle on it and called it a day. We expected to sell it to some hipster Columbia student but ironically we sold it to some older guy in Hyde Park. Get it, ironically. I know, Im not funny at all.
So this was a pretty good find. I was running an errand with my grandmother and a block up the street there was a garage sale where I found one Huffy 626 and this Raleigh Technium 12 speed both for $20. I dont expect everyone to know the value of bicycles but its clear that these machines are EXTREMELY undervalued in the suburbs. That is an entirely different conversation that I am sure I will get into down the road on this blog.
Anyway, the tires were flat, there was some miniaml surface rust on the crankset, and it need some general TLC.
We gave it a shiny new pair of alloy drop bars wrapped in white vinyl bar tape with non-aero brakes mounted for front & rear and new white cable housing. We mounted a vintage men’s racing saddle and gave the bike new tires, tubes, and pads.
It turned out great but it was always a beautiful bike.
So this bicycle entered our garage via Ebay. I (Tomas) won the bicycle from an Ebay auction that no one bid on. I only did because the bike was located in New Lenox.
After winning the bike it took some effort scheduling a time to pick the bike up. It sat in the seller’s garage for about a week until we were able to pick it up from him. The seller said he brought it from India, where you find most Raleigh repelica’s aside from China. Here is a photo of the original Raleigh Model DL-1:
My friend Irene was and still is in India teaching English and had posted some photos onto Facebook that I found interesting.
Apparently their floods are no joke
Check out that double top tube!
So yeah, we took the bike home and eyed it for awhile. I really admired the stem and rod braking system:
After a very light overhaul we tried selling it without any luck or interest. I was kind of confused because during that week I was selling multiple vintage Raleighs that I also won off Ebay. I first thought it had somehting to do with it being a replica but I wasnt asking an absurd amount for it. I ended up taking it to Lucky Brake, a brick n motor in Crystal Lake and sold it to them for store credit which I applied towards my 2012 Langster. I stopped in the shop a couple months later and saw the bike on display and a price tag of $350. Ironically, a week after I sold it to Lucky Brake some very excited guy called me up asking about it. I told him what I had done with the bike and his mood dropped significantly. My dad always says that certain bikes will sit for awhile but there will always be one person who falls in love with it immediately.
So even though this is our very first entry, this is definitely not the first bike we have rebuilt. I randomly decided on starting with this bike and figured it would be appropriate to give a bit of a back story on the brand and the bike.
Zebrakenko was a Japanese brand of mostly road bicycles introduced in America during the mid 70s. They were considered fairly dependable bikes. This particular Zebra wasn’t in bad condition at all. It was light, attractive, and road with ease. The group set was Sun Tour and was also original. We overhauled the it, gave it new pads, tires, tubes, cables and some cloth handlebar wrap.
We ended up selling it to a young man in college in the summer of 2011. Overall it was a nice find and easy project. It was just what the buyer wanted.