Shortly after getting back on the road bike, I decided I’d like to try commuting again. After a few weeks scouring Craigslist, I found an early 70s Raleigh Supercourse only a few miles away. Some quick googling lead me to Sheldon Brown’s page on the model, and it appeared that this would make a decent frame for my new commuter bike. A quick trip to the ATM and $120 later and it was mine.
After stripping and cleaning everything, it was clear that it hadn’t seen much use, but also not much care over the years. There was some surface rust, but overall the frame and wheels cleaned up well. It had the original The rear derailleur was completely seized, the original drop bars had been replaced with heavy steel cruiser bars and the tires were completely rotted. It has semi-horizontal drop outs, so I figured I’d solve the derailleur problem by making it a single-speed.
I headed out to Harris Cyclery to pick up the missing parts. Set it up with some Nitto drop bars, new brake cable housing, new 27″ Panaracer Pasela tires and a 17t freewheel to go with the existing 42t chainring.
Over time I’ve replaced the saddle with a Brooks and added some Velo Orange fenders for wet weather riding. It was my regular commuter for the Fall of 2013, but that winter I went back to the car. Summertime got me back on the bike again, but it was starting to show it’s age. I started popping spokes and the braking on the non-machined rims was less than perfect, especially in the rain. While all fixable problems, I was starting to plan year round commuting for the next year, and thinking about a new bike that would be a bit more reliable.