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Category: 1970s Raleigh Cyclone High Riser (Gino)

How do you do….Bike Storage?

How do you do….Bike Storage?

Where the “Second Car” ought to be. (yay no 2nd car!)

It’s spring cleaning time and I’ve decided to tackle the garage first. Mostly because the bulk of my “possessions” (not clothing, books, or kid things) are in the garage….aka, my lovely bikes ūüôā


(See: Ella, Daisy, Galaxie, Gino (which is actually a long term loaner to the Hubs, but he still counts), and Free Loading Bike (a mountain bike who shall (for seriously) become my winter-ish bike). Not to mention the Foldy Twins, Damien’s Spider Man bike, and Liliana’s Trike. Oh…and 2 different trailers (one of which was turned into a storage center so all bikey bits stay in one place.) Some of these are admittedly in various states of needing work to be rideable)

I’ve hit a road block though. I’d like to find some more cohesive manner of storing them than stacked along the sides in a non-accessible way. Currently if I wanted to work on my Galaxie, I’d need to move at least 3 bikes, plus or minus a few kids bikes or parts.

The biggest problem I face is that I have a huge garage that I’d like to make as multi purpose as possible (aka on a rainy day, moving the mom-mobile and letting the kids ride around in the double garage would be fantastic). However, with my bike collection currently the opening is close to that of my van. So…not exactly great riding space.

Current options in stores or online seem to be aimed towards either apartment dwelling or bicycles with straight top tubes instead of my plethora of step through variants.

My biggest hindrance at this time is cost and time. I’d like something affordable and safe, but also don’t want to spend a month building something that will require me having to ask for tonnes of help. (aka my dad just left from a brief visit yesterday and I’m gonna guess he’ll be hesistant to come back out if his first “project” is bike sorting).

Current options that I am considering:

Canadian Tire sells simple vinyl coated hooks, meant for bike storage. They’re incredibly affordable ($0.94 each) and I’d like to think when used properly, would easily support a bicycle. I’m thinking some sort of staggered hook placement that each bike would need to be measured for before hand (thus every bike in it’s place?) but I’m not sure if my garage has the right spacing between studs to allow this to be done quickly and easily or if I’ll be building around them to make it work. (I guess this means going and measure precisely which bikes need which space and which can go where?)

My dad suggested using a pulley and some hooks to haul bikes up to the rafters. At first I thought this a brilliant idea until the only hooks I could find were a: uncoated or coated with an abrasive substance¬† and b: definitely not going to work for any bike except possibly Gino. So yes, he’d be up and out of the way, but he’s also the bike Hubs prefers to “ride”, aka foot along the paths with the kids with, so it’d be slightly impractical to put him up except for in winter.

So how do you store bikes? In home or garage? Did you build something up or do you do the “stack along the wall” method?

((ETA: Upon browsing Canadian Tire’s website for a link/photo of the desired cheap hook I found this:¬† Bicycle Lift. Anyone used something similar? It looks like it might actually work for all my bikes, which would potentially mean that, assuming they all are similar enough to not require adjustments all the time, it’d be a viable option to at least keep whichever is the currently least used bike up “out of the way”.))

Gino & Wrenches….Wrenches & Gino

Gino & Wrenches….Wrenches & Gino

The night of the bike exploration, Daisy gave me a fright. I thought I’d gotten a flat….pumped her up using Mary Poppins’ frame pump and it seemed to do no good. I wasn’t sure if it was where we were trying (by the duck pond)¬† so when we got back to the house I sat outside and tried again….and it seemed good….for a block. So I tried…AGAIN…and it seemed good….until we got to the school. You see where this is going? Yeah…our ride of 6km took longer than necessary….yet Daisy’s tire never went FLAT…just…flat. Does that make sense? Sure it does.

So… I’d never changed or repaired a flat, but my sister-in-law has, many many many times. Over last weekend, I took Daisy over, we took off her tire (thank god it was the front!), and she taught me how to check for a leak (in case you were wondering, there were NONE) and then how to “patch” (in theory), and finally we put everything back together.

Relevance, you may ask?

Gino. (Remember¬†Gino?) Yeah… his front tire needed work waaaay back in January… and then 40 other bikes (slight exaggeration) came through our lives while he languished in storage and Deb found a replacement for his missing front fender. He languishes no longer!

Deborah brought him over the other night, along with a patch kit and a replacement tube of the right size for just-in-case, and her knowledge gleaned from YouTube videos (thanks MEC!) and faint childhood memories of her Dad fixing flats on her sister’s ten-speed. Between us, with our combined learnings, we had enough clues to fix Gino’s flat ourselves (much to the shock and delight of an elderly gentleman who was walking by and offered his help)!

The hardest part of the process was loosening the bolts. One of them had been tightened with super-mechanic-powers and getting it started meant me leaning on the wrench with all my weight while Deb held the bike still with all her weight.

At the same time as we took the front (flat) tire off, we also installed the very very very shiny new fender. (Deb thinks it’s made by Wald if anyone is looking for something similar.) The rest of Gino will need the lemon-and-aluminum treatment to get him even remotely as handsome as that fender. Maybe we need to take him for a ride in the mud and get the new fender a little grimy and scratchy first.

The old tube. See where the old patch is, right beside the valve? It’s starting to let go, and when you squeezed the tube another hole was visible right beside the patch. We had already suspected that a tear beside the valve might be the problem, since the valve was coming out of the hole in the rim at a 45 degree angle (instead of perpendicular to it). So rather than patching, we discarded the tube entirely and used the new one instead.

In a perfect world we would’ve replaced the tape in the rim too…but it wasn’t in HORRIBLE condition at all, I’m sure it’ll do just fine until Gino needs more loving!

Hand pumping with an old frame pump is quite a workout.

Hand pumping with an old frame pump that needs the seal (aka “leather”) replaced inside it is even more of a workout. When we realized it was taking an awfully long time to fill the tube, I also realized that Deborah’s pump sounds different from my father-in-law’s almost-identical-looking frame pump, as in, not as much air was coming out. Switching pumps did the trick. (I guess there will be a future post on how to fix an old frame pump?).

After¬† finishing, we gave it a test ride for other issues. The bottom bracket feels pretty smooth. With the twenty-inch wheels, we never really get to straighten our knees when we’re riding. That would be a problem for everyday rides, but this will be perfect for feet-on-the-ground balance-bike-style slow slow riding with my little ones on their bikes (they’re five and two, so, not riding very fast yet).

(25 July Update: this is me doing a quick demonstration of how I could use Gino with my feet on the ground. Obviously I’d wear shoes and a helmet in real life. And also, not have a swollen and painful knee. ¬†Hmm, Gino’s front fender could use adjusting.)

We figure with a good cleaning and some black hockey tape or electrical tape as a temporary fix for the tears in the banana seat, plus a bell (they’re required by law here in Edmonton), Gino is ready to ride! And we did it ourselves! Total cost: 1 hour of our time, less than $5 for the replacement tube at Canadian Tire, less than $20 for the fender on eBay, and the $40 we paid for Gino on Kijiji.

Oh, wrenches! I also got these great socket wrenches at the wonderland that is Princess Auto.

Notice that they’re both Metric & SAE? (Apparently SAE in sizing LITERALLY translates into Non-Metric sizing) I see these coming in VERY handy for fixing bikes who might have those odd little parts….not so much the Raleighs, but oh, we have a lovely spanner that Deb got for Mary Poppins, so we “should” be set….ha.

1970s made-in-Canada Raleigh Cyclone High Riser

1970s made-in-Canada Raleigh Cyclone High Riser

We bought this – for the kids to ride – from a 32-year-old in Fort Saskatchewan who remembers riding it in the mid-70s. The Made-In-Canada sticker (white rectangle above the bottom bracket) means it was manufactured after 1972 at the earliest, since that’s when the Canadian factory in Waterloo, Quebec began production.

I haven’t been able to find the serial number on the frame – does anyone know where I should be looking?

Based on the above photo from Kijiji, I was expecting it to be child-sized, but it turns out that it’s teenager-to-adult-sized. The seat is set about 28 inches above ground level, and could easily go higher – in a pinch, I could ride it (although the front tire needs attention before it can go for a spin). The dark orange paint has inspired a temporary name: Gina. Orange Gina. Get it? Although it looks more like a boy. Gino, perhaps.


A better view of the Made In Canada sticker. The kickstand is just for looks – a couple of inches too short, so the poor bike falls over when you try to use it. Needs replacement. Also, notice the cotterless cranks.

Canadian-made Raleighs, like the Nottingham-built Raleigh offlabels built for foreign markets, often had names that were used for completely different bicycles that had been made by a company that TI (Raleigh’s parent company) had bought out – which can make it hard to find information about them. In the case of the Cyclone, all that comes up in Google searches are references to a 1980s Raleigh(UK) mountain bike. Apparently it was groundbreaking – but it’s not the same bicycle at all.

For starters, look at all the visible welds. Tsk, tsk.

The frame architecture of this bike is really similar to the Raleigh Burner or the (also Canadian) Raleigh MX, but with traditional forks and 20-inch wheels instead of BMX ones, and the handlebars, sissy bar, and Troxel pleated vinyl banana seat seen on the Fireball and Rodeo High Risers that Raleigh(America) introduced in about 1966 (pre-Chopper/Fastback) in response to the popularity of similar bikes that had been available from the American manufacturers Huffy and Schwinn since 1963.

Rear view.

The original seat cover has split on both sides, and that’s rusty metal you see.
Front forks, with the remnant of the front fender bracket.

The rear coaster brake hub, in good working order, is (sadly) not a Sturmey…
…it’s a Shimano.

One last beauty shot: the headbadge decal.
I think it’ll clean up really nicely – especially the chrome, which has only superficial rust – and make a really fun ride.
I’d love to hear from anyone else who knows about Raleigh’s high risers, or other Canadian-manufactured Raleighs, and hear how this one compares! I bet a few of you have memories of riding bikes like these as a kid…