An Unfortunate end...

Charles as he was when I first got him
Following on from my previous posts about bending the forks on my Raleigh Braking Bad, I thought I'd more or less been finished with it.  However I started noticing that every time I braked I heard a slight clicking sound, like metal on metal sliding.  I initially thought it was the headset, however I tightened it and it still made the same noise.

You can just see the crack in the paint from the loose joint
All this was happening on a typical ride to work one day.  I decided to stop and have a look, I suspected it was something to do with the frame and I was right...  The downtube has started to separate from the head tube lug and you can feel the whole thing move rocking it back and forth with the brake applied.  It could be brazed back, but going by how easily I managed to rip out the dropouts of my old fork I came to the conclusion that the brazing on this frame probably isn't the best.  It's a bit of a shame that I went to all that effort swapping the fork to only get a few months out of it.  I do think however that this was probably in part caused by the same thing, the frame and forks couldn't handle the braking force.  This says a lot about the quality of manufacture, I've had a few English 3-Speeds from the 70's and have sometimes found the quality a bit lacking, quite often brake fittings, bolts and other steel parts were made of quite soft steel which would snap easily.

I've decided to retire the frame and I'm unsure exactly what to do next, definitely I will be building another bike to move all the parts onto, but what or how I don't know.  It's slightly sad to see Charles go like this, but I figure that I've gotten a few good years, also it would have been much worse if there was a catastrophic failure whilst I was riding it.


  1. What a shame. With good English high-tensile lightweight heritage, Charles should have enjoyed a much longer reign. I am not aware that the frames or forks of bikes fitted from the factory with AB hubs were any different than their caliper-brake cousins, in which case the forks of any Nottingham born steed should be equal to the challenge of drum braking. Or were there differences between drum brake and caliper brake frames and forks?