Project Pokey: The Raleigh Furley Race Rig

Raleigh FurleyThe deal was simple: I win, I get a new bike. I had four races to do it, and needless to say I didn’t win. But my lovely wife said I could get one anyway.


I thought I had settled on a new cyclocross bike, but you know what? I’m not a paid rider. I’m not number one. Other riders have won on less. Since I have two cyclocross bikes, why not turn the Raleigh Furley into a race rig? In case you didn’t know, the Furley is Raleigh Bicycle’s steel CX frame. It’s not the high end cro-mo, but it’s 4130. It’s not the lightest, but again, I’ve been beat by heavier (I ride a Raleigh RX 1.0 now for racing). It is my pretty bike, so I’m torn.

I figure to get this sled race ready, I’ll need a drivetrain as she’s set up as a single speed right now. I don’t have any aspirations to race single speed at the moment. The nine-speed shifters I was running on it aren’t all that reliable so it has to be all new. I would most likely go 1×10 because I rarely shift the front anyway.

I’ll also need new wheels. The wheels on it are fine, but I would a lighter set to get up to speed a bit quicker. Also, I would want something with sealed bearings due to the not-so-nice conditions associated with cyclocross. Nothing fancy, I don’t need the latest carbon fiber whatsit. Oddly enough, I haven’t raced anything worse than some mud. I have yet to race in a torrential downpour, or a white-out.

Now as options, I would upgrade the cockpit. The saddle, seatpost, stem, and handlebars. The saddle isn’t my favorite. Comfortable for around town, but not for racing. I don’t really have to replace the seatpost, but why not? My stem would be replaced with something a little longer to match the set up on the RX. The handlebars need replaced because they’re slightly bent. I may also need to replace the headset bearings. I’m not sure if it’s sealed bearings or not.

Well, that’s the idea. It’s a crazy notion, but to me, cyclocross is fun. Having two race ready bicycles will just be fun. It won’t be the first race Pokey has been in, she has the distinction of being the rig in my first race. It did well, but I think she’ll do better with some new bits. Now I just have to convince myself to do it.


6 thoughts on “Project Pokey: The Raleigh Furley Race Rig

  1. Hahaha. I can relate! And it’s not because I am someone else’s wife but the boys I ride with, most of them don’t tell their wives the real value of their bikes. Win-win situation for you. Congrats!


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