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Old 08-01-10, 01:40 PM   #1
mikeronson
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A f ew questions about a 1970's ERA Raleigh Grand Prix.

Hi.

I am having a Grand Prix worked on in a bike shop and I want to buy new wheels and tires for it and have them put them on. I ride about 80% on regular pavement and 20% dirt/gravel. I am looking for the best I can buy for $100 (for both wheels and tires). The most important thing to me is the strength of the wheel and the ability for the brakes to work well (not too much to ask, right?). Right now I have these semi-hybrid tires which are thin but have knobbies on them...I wouldn't mind having these kind again..The old ones are rotted out and everyone tells me any day know they're gonna pop!

I don't know tire/wheel sizes and have no idea what's on my bike now...What's a standard size?
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Old 08-01-10, 06:57 PM   #2
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First a budget of $100 for both wheels and tires isn't going to get you much. What's wrong with the wheels themselves and why do you need to change both the wheels and tires?

If the bikes is at a bike shop, ask the shop for recommendations, particularly since you have no information on wheel size (there are 24", several versions of 26", 27" and 700c among other "standard sizes") or what you need in the way of hub width and type.

We need a lot more information before even beginning to make recommendations.
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Old 08-02-10, 07:30 AM   #3
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It's a seventies Raleigh Grand Prix, so it should have 27" steel rims and 120 mm rear spacing.
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Old 08-02-10, 08:51 AM   #4
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$100 budget for new wheels, with new tires and tubes, installed? Ain't going to happen. Your best bet if you want to upgrade is to find a set of used wheels, either local Craigs List (post a WTB wheels in the bicycle for sale section), garage sale or a donor bike. Most of my wheels come off of donor bikes, and I have occasionally picked up wheelsets at garage sales (for $10 to $20 a set, often complete with tires). I am talking good, alloy road bike wheels, not crappy steel wheels or MTB wheels.

For brakes to work well you need alloy rims.

+1 You had 27 inch wheels on that bike. Tire choices are very limited. The good news is that there usually are a lot of used 27 inch wheels out there. I have not seen semi knobby tires in a 27 inch size, maybe someone else has. Assuming you have the bike shop do the work, half to 2/3 of your budget will go for just the tires and tubes (mounted).

Depending what you are trying to accomplish, you really would be better off with a nice LBS branded used rigid frame MTB. The 1970s Raleigh Grand Prix was an entry level bike. You can find nice MTBs around here at full market price for about $125. It is 5X the bike you currently have. And if you shop around, you can find them for $25 to $50. The tire choices for MTBs are just about limitless.

I run Kenda Kross Plus tires on my 1992 Trek 950 MTB, which is a nice tire for the type of riding you describe.
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Old 08-02-10, 09:42 AM   #5
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Not to mention that the newer mountain or hybrid bike would come with brakes that are easier to use. Even the basic entry level bikes from the past 10'ish years have had V brakes that stop a lot easier than the old brakes. Also any further issues with parts would be FAR more easily dealt with than trying to source old stuff compatible with the Raleigh. Far better to leave the 70's vintage frames to fans of vintage bikes that don't mind the eternal hunt for suitable period parts.
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Old 08-02-10, 10:17 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by BCRider View Post
Far better to leave the 70's vintage frames to fans of vintage bikes that don't mind the eternal hunt for suitable period parts.
This sentence should be posted in BOLD letters in the "New Posters Read This" thread. Truer words were never typed.
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Old 08-02-10, 07:11 PM   #7
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I would look on ebay for 27" wheels, but try to upgrade to some with alloy rims to provide better braking. Vintage wheels aren't that hard to find, with a little patience. Wheels from a similar year Raleigh Super Course would have alloy rims, I think.

Although the braking on my old '80 Raleigh Super Record (basically the same as an '80 Grand Prix, with the exception of a non-quick-release rear wheel) is not THAT horrible, even with steel rims....
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Old 08-02-10, 07:19 PM   #8
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You don't ride much in the rain with it I guess. Chromed steel rims in the wet are enough to scare anyone. Even the funky ones with the pattern did terrible when wet.
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