The return of the Wayfarer, or Wayfarer 2.0

15007097247_4894a78022_kHello friends. If you’ve paid enough attention to my blogs or photostreams, you’ve probably noticed that my Raleigh Wayfarer, my beloved three-speed, has not been seen nor mentioned for quite some time. Yes, this is true. I haven’t even had the bike over the better part of six months! But it is back, and it’s better than ever.

Introducing: Wayfarer 2.0!

So what’s the scoop? Why the change? Why did it take so long?

The genesis of Wayfarer 2.0 started late last year, when Rick/Gutterbunny Bikes informed me he was going to get into bike painting and needed appropriate guinea pigs. And I volunteered. While the old Wayfarer paint passed the “100 foot test”, on closer inspection one would noticed all the scratches, the mismatched fenders, the different colored fork, and the scortch marks where the seatstay was reattached to the frame. I had gotten sick of looking at the bike as it was, so a paint job was a good idea. And I figured that if I was going to go through all that trouble, and the bike would be at its most stripped-down as it ever has been, I might as well change some stuff and add new bits.

In early spring I dropped off the bike with Rick and ordered the appropriate bits. Rick managed to get it done just in the nick of time for the Lake Pepin Three Speed Tour in May. But during the ride the hub didn’t stay in adjustment due to the pulley moving, which also led the axle nuts to strip. (Initially I thought it was the axle that had stripped, but luckily that wasn’t the case.) And Rick wasn’t happy with the finished job, as the paint was flaking off in places. So when I returned from Minnesota, I sent it back to him.

Rick wanted to make sure that he did the job right, so I gave him ample time to redo the paint job. And I finally got the bike back a few weeks ago. Since then, it’s been to the bike shop to get some more tweaks and such. Right now it is 95% finished, the rear light needs to be rewired.

Besides the paint, what did I do?

  • Cockpit: Not that there was anything particularly wrong with the old cockpit, I just wanted to jazz things up a bit. I got the Nitto Albatross/North Road handlebars with a generic but more modern Kalloy stem. The grips are the wonderful Rivendell Miesha Portuguese deals, one of them the “bar end” style to accommodate the brand-new Sturmey-Archer bar end shifter. I had wanted to give the bar-end a try for a bit. While not as “classic” as the, erm, classic trigger shifter, it frees up a little bit of “real estate” on the bars. And to top it off, a newish Velo-Orange handlebar bag.
  • Lighting: Same setup as before, B+M headlamp and Spanninga tail light. The big difference is the headlamp is moved lower.
  • Kickstand: I had an extra Pletscher double-legged kickstand kicking around so I decided to install it on the Wayfarer, since it seems appropriate.
  • Fenders/Mudguards: As I said, the old ones were mismatched. While the rear fender was still in good shape, the front one had gotten beyond janky. I would have loved to find some vintage white Bluemels for this steed. But new Velo-Orange steel fenders sure look classy.
  • Saddle: The old Brooks B-66 was stretched out and one spring broken, so I thought it was time to get a new Brooks B-17 saddle in black!

So there you have it. I still need to reapply the Raleigh headbadge, and the “Wayfarer” decal on the seat tube is gone. But I think the bike looks great. I’ve been riding her with pride all week, and hope this bike gives me many more years of service.

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