Gallery: Russ’ Raleigh Grocery Getters

I have an Easy Racers Gold Rush, Greenspeed GTO and my wife has a TI-GRR and we have a Burly Nomad trailer for hauling the big shopping loads. However, I found that unless either my wife or my son could accompany me or my wife to the store to stand guard while shopping, we would take the car. In order to allow shopping alone, without undue anxiety, I purchased a couple of cheap older bikes with the goal to keep the cost of each under $200 to limit the loss if stolen. These are mainly shopping bikes so I wanted step through frames due to the big loads we would have in the rear baskets as can be seen in the photographs that were take after a recent trip to the grocery store. I could not bring my self to get really ugly bikes so I purchased a couple of older Raleighs thinking they would not be much of a target for theft. We still always use a hefty cable lock in hopes of discouraging theft.

The Raleigh for my wife is a 1974 LTD-3, a classic 3 speed, $180 from a local used bike shop, with the addition of a rear rack, basket and bungee net from Rivendell, $50, plus a replacement seat, $30. Oddly the crank arm length on this bike was 140mm, so I found a replacement on eBay with 165mm arms for $26. The tires and tubes were replaced with new Kenda tires, $20, and thorn resistant tubes, $20. The total cost for this bike so far is $326.

The Raleigh for me is a 1979 Record Ace 10-speed with a mixte frame, $150 found on craigslist. The handle bars and stem were replaced with a Nitto Periscopa, $30, Nitto Dove handle bar, $28, and cork grips, $15, all from Rivendell. I also added a rear rack and folding wire baskets from parts on hand, so I am not counting the cost. The racing style seat was replaced with the stock Brooks seat from my wife’s 1974 Raleigh. The total so far for this bike is $223.

I went a bit over budget but, these bikes have worked out great and we make many of our shopping trips using them. We will continue to use the baskets mounted on the bikes for shopping loads, but the Burley Nomad trailer is IMHO a much better way to haul a load with a bike. —Russ

7 Responses to “Gallery: Russ’ Raleigh Grocery Getters”

  • Perry says:

    Those are sweet looking bikes. I especially like the mixte. Good job!

    I am fortunate enough to live in a town that is pretty free of bike theft so I use my Tour Easy and lock it with cheap cable lock but I can see the logic of a somewhat cheap alternative if leaving your bike unattended makes you nervous.

  • Thom says:

    Good to see some more older bikes in this gallery! You know, I think that logic of old and cheap being less theft-prone is changing as the overall social value of all bicycles goes up–old is the new new, you know! (and as meth-heads look for anything metal they can sell). Also, Perry, be careful–the only bike I’ve ever had stolen was off my front porch in a small town that I also thought was pretty free of bike theft. It can happen anywhere!

  • Perry says:

    Thom, I know what you mean about bike theft. My only point is that it’s been enough in my favor so far that I have been able to ride my TE and not worry about it much. Doesn’t mean it could not happen to me. If it did happen or became a worry, I’d probably opt for a cheap shopping ‘bent (EZ-1/RANS Wave/Bike E–can find them used for about $200-500) because I don’ relish the thought of riding a DF again. Cheers!

  • Rik A. says:

    Great to see people who can be successful fixing up vintage bikes. As for locking, I’m a bit of a nut about it since I live in Boston. I added an Axa Defender frame lock and chain (from as a permanent rear lock to go along with my Kryptonite for the front wheel. I put too much into my bike to let it get stolen without putting up a fight!

  • Thom says:

    Rik A., may I entice you over to the Old Bike Blog? There are lots of us who are (reasonably) successful at fixing up vintage bikes.

  • rj says:

    gorgeous bikes! thanks for sharing.

  • whitewashasian says:

    i love your wife’s step through frame bike. it’s a very simple geometry, no frills and very light-not something i can say about some of the modern step through frames i find.

    i really would love to find a bike with that sort of frame-do you know if any makers/manufacturers are going to go back to that simple type of step through or are we stuck with this:

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