Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Bike That Isn't Mine - Seriously.

As someone who does "bike stuff", I'm the guy that people ask to help them fix their old bikes. I generally don't mind doing it, as I can't always buy new bikes just to work on them, and I love to get people back on two wheels. The only bikes I generally won't work on are NEXT bikes from Wal-Mart. I've had a couple brought to me; the bolts are so soft that they strip out immediately, and that keeps me from enjoying the work. I love a challenge, but working on cheap bikes is like challenging Butterbean to a bare knuckle bout.

A friend of mine recently decided that he was too fat and asked me to overhaul his old Raleigh Rambler MX cruiser. I don't know that he is going to ride it once I've finished it, but it looks much better than it did when I got it. I'm not really a cruiser guy, and I despise coaster brakes, but this is a cruiser with coaster brakes that has piqued my interest.

Raleigh Rambler MX

The Rambler MX is just a tarted up cruiser really, with some Motocross and BMX influenced styling. It works, and the gold anodized wheels, fork, and handlebars really make it stand out from other cruisers I've seen. It is a Taiwan made Raleigh, probably a 1981 because the headbadge doesn't say "Raleigh USA" on it. Raleigh USA was bought by Huffy in 1982 and changed the headbadge to reflect the new ownership. All I had to do to this bike was put new tires and tubes on it - I do have a new chain for it, but it wasn't installed when I took the photos, so you will have to picture it in your mind. 

Gold Wheels
The Rambler is a good looking bike, and I hope that it gets ridden - I was told by the owner that when he bought it, he took it around White Rock lake once, then pretty much parked it and forgot it for twenty years. I assume that the same thing will happen this time, though I hope not. At least when it rots away, it will have those sharp red tires on it. 

I did this post and photos sort of as a public service; the only place that I found any photos or information about the Rambler MX was on The Headbadge in the catalog archive. I assume that at some point, someone will put an ad for one of these on Craigslist without a photo, and then someone will google up this blog and be able to see what they are considering buying. This is a good, solid (if simple) bike, and if you are looking for a cruiser, you could do much worse in my opinion. The flash of the gold rims and bits give it some extra bling that a Huffy Monterrey doesn't have. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    We have the same bike in our garage. I bought it for my wife from a bike shop in half moon bay, CA for a christmas gift in the early 80's. She rode it some but it has sat a lot more than it has been ridden. Neat bike and was built like a tank. We still ride bikes but don't use the old raleigh at all anymore. Will probably end up giving it to one of our grandchildren some day. Our bike is also in pretty nice condition. Raleigh still makes some classic steel framed road bikes that remind me of a piece of art (townsend, etc).