Late last year I was luck enough to pick up two old 1984 Raleigh Magnum BMX bikes (and an 86 Raleigh Mini Magnum). Both Magnums were in very rough condition and only part complete, but I had plenty of era correct parts to be able to restore them faithfully back to their original glory.
I believe the Raleigh Magnum was made by the Merida Factory in Taiwan, the giveaway is the serial number structure starting with M – I’m also pretty sure the Magnum was made for the Australian market only. That aside there were a couple of features on the frame that stood out for me that made these Magnum’s special and worth restoring. The top tube length on the 1984 Raleigh Magnum BMX is 20″ – by today’s standard this is pretty average, but in 1984 this was a long frame – perfect for today. The other thing I like is the flat brake bridge – a nice design feature and also means one less area to be damaged over time – we’ve all seen old school bikes with crushed brake bridge tubes from over tightening.
Having a new set of gloss decals was really going to complete the two bike restorations. However, neither of the two Raleigh Magnum BMX bikes had a complete set of decal stickers. Luckily enough between them both I was able to trace and redraw a complete set. I decided to add chrome backing to the decals to add some bling and make them pop off the new red paint. I could have just as easily printed the new Raleigh Magnum BMX decal stickers without the chrome backing for a more original look.
Decals sorted, I was able to move on. The restoration started with a strip down and citric bath to remove surface rust. The frames, forks and handlebars were then sanded and prepped for a new lick of gloss apple red paint.
After the obligatory 2 weeks drying period all my freshly painted frames get, the rebuild was ready to commence. I chose chrome CMC rims and chrome hubs newly laced with stainless spokes. All the chrome and alloy parts had a polish too.
A very good set of original 80’s IRC Super MX 8 tyres were added and the1984 Raleigh Magnum BMX bikes were finished.
If you are rebuilding an early 80’s Raleigh Magnum BMX, you can purchase this decal set online in the Re-rides decal store – where you’ll find more information, pricing and colour options.
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