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Old 05-21-09, 08:01 PM   #1
bike sloth
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'73 Raleigh Gran Sport - butted tubes?

~1973 Raleigh Gran Sport with Reynolds 531 tubes. Are the tubes butted in any way? I'm not aware of how long butted tubes have been around.
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Old 05-21-09, 08:03 PM   #2
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Interesting that you ask. A ~1973 gran sport frame just showed up on my local CL today.

You don't happen to live in CT do you?
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Old 05-21-09, 08:20 PM   #3
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Butted tubes have been in existence since long before 1973. They go at least as far back as the 50's if not farther.
Just checked the catalog - it's spec'd with double butted 531 in main tubes and fork.
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Old 05-21-09, 08:43 PM   #4
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You thinking about the one with a low BIN on eBay?

http://cgi.ebay.com/RALEIGH-GRAND-SP...lenotsupported

Front fork looks bent to my eye.

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Old 05-21-09, 08:48 PM   #5
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If not for the fork, that would be a nice deal for someone looking to rehabilitate a rider.
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Old 05-21-09, 08:52 PM   #6
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Interesting that you ask. A ~1973 gran sport frame just showed up on my local CL today.

You don't happen to live in CT do you?
You caught me Yeah I'm in the Branford/East Haven area. Did you beat me to it?

And another question: Is there a noticeable difference between a double butted Reynolds 531 frame and a double butted Tange 2 frame? Is it any lighter, stiffer? Is it just the fact that Reynolds is considered cooler than Tange?
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Old 05-21-09, 08:59 PM   #7
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You caught me Yeah I'm in the Branford/East Haven area. Did you beat me to it?

And another question: Is there a noticeable difference between a double butted Reynolds 531 frame and a double butted Tange 2 frame? Is it any lighter, stiffer? Is it just the fact that Reynolds is considered cooler than Tange?
There are differences in the composition and the manufacturer (obviously). Both are very high quality sets of tubing, and I think only a very, very few people would be able to tell the two apart based on ride quality.
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Old 05-21-09, 09:10 PM   #8
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You caught me Yeah I'm in the Branford/East Haven area. Did you beat me to it?
Well, the seller describes the paint as being beat up, and says there is a ding in the fork. So I have to figure a paint job and possibly fork replacement into it. He also says rear spacing is 130mm, which means he must have spread it/cold set since I'm guessing that in 1973 they hadn't made it out to 126mm yet. I don't know how much I trust someone else's spreading job.
I sent him an offer of $20 (he's asking 30). I'll see what happens. If you want it, I'll retract the offer. I have nothing invested in this. You're welcome to it.

By the way, if you're ever looking for a riding or C&V buddy, drop me a line. I'm in Hamden. I can easily ride out to Branford. Heck, I ride my bike to Waterbury and back every day for work. Brandford would be easy!
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Old 05-21-09, 09:43 PM   #9
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If you want it, I'll retract the offer. I have nothing invested in this. You're welcome to it.
Thanks, but I think I'm going to pass. If the difference in ride quality isn't that noticeable I'll stick with my LeMans RS. And it sounds like it's a cm or two too big, anyway. It's all yours!

That's quite a commute you've got there, what kind of saddle do you have? I used to live near Helen St. School in Hamden. It's amazing how small the internet can be.
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Old 05-22-09, 06:15 AM   #10
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Thanks, but I think I'm going to pass. If the difference in ride quality isn't that noticeable I'll stick with my LeMans RS. And it sounds like it's a cm or two too big, anyway. It's all yours!
You got it.
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That's quite a commute you've got there, what kind of saddle do you have?
Brooks B17. You mean there are other kinds?

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I used to live near Helen St. School in Hamden. It's amazing how small the internet can be.
Oh cool. I once bought a bike from a woman right in that area. I'm over near Quinnipiac/Sleeping Giant.
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Old 05-22-09, 08:02 AM   #11
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Reynolds has been producing butted tubing since the company's founding in 1898 -- they invented the process, and that was its distinguishing feature from other steel tube producers.

That said, I don't think your Raleigh has butted tubing. Many of the lower end frames were built with straight gauge 531 tubing. Is there a tubing sticker on the frame? Post a picture of it, if possible.
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Old 05-22-09, 08:32 AM   #12
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I am pretty sure the main tubes were butted on the Gran Sports of this era. See the old catalogs at http://www.sheldonbrown.com/retroral...talog-1974.pdf and http://www.sheldonbrown.com/retroral...talog-1973.pdf.
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Old 05-22-09, 09:27 AM   #13
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Brooks B17. You mean there are other kinds?
I just got mine this past wednesday Do they always annihilate your sit bones during the break-in period? I've been putting Proofide on it every day, but I've also put only 30 miles or so on it, so it's still pretty stiff/uncomfortable. It will be comfortable some day, right?
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Old 05-22-09, 11:07 AM   #14
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fwiw, I love my Gran Sport. For $30 I'd highly recommend at least taking a look at it. Very smooth ride and not at all afraid to go fast. Besides, it very well might have a Stronglight 93 crankset on it, which is worth more than the asking price.

I agree the one on Ebay has a bent fork. Also I'm pretty sure even the corrected "original price" is wrong. I bought mine when I was in HS and I'm pretty sure I paid well under $200 for it. It seemed like a lot of money back then, but never a regret after all these years.

[edit] just noticed you said 'frame' so maybe the crankset is wishful thinking. Still, I'd buy it if it's straight, but I admit to a certain bias.

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Old 05-22-09, 11:17 AM   #15
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I just got mine this past wednesday Do they always annihilate your sit bones during the break-in period? I've been putting Proofide on it every day, but I've also put only 30 miles or so on it, so it's still pretty stiff/uncomfortable. It will be comfortable some day, right?
Whoa pardner. Slow down with that. Breaking a saddle in takes time - especially if it has been ridden by someone else for years. Too much Proofide can damage the saddle.
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Old 05-22-09, 03:56 PM   #16
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Mine (c. 1973) definitely has butted main tubes... and Reynolds fork blades.

This was the lowest cost of Raleigh's line offered with Reynolds tubing and not as light weight as the highest tier bikes. Geometry is similar to their Pre-1974 International model and like the International, it was not intended as a serious full-on racing bike, but with comfort in mind instead. So, this would be a nice bike for a long day in the saddle, yet still not slow by any means. I really like mine a lot -exactly the sort of bike I always look for these days.

Personally I prefer this geometry - a rather long wheelbase for a smooth stable ride. Mine measures 107 cm (42") from axle to axle... my same size "Touring" Paramount 103 cm (40.5"). Lots of clearance for wide tires and even full fenders - still without any wheel/toe overlap (so you would not kick the fenders with toe-clips or larger feet with bulky MTB shoes and clipless pedals). If this matters to you (as it does to me), from front hub to pedal axle is 46 cm (18") which is very generous and good to find... my Touring Paramount is only 42 cm (16.5") which feels too tight, but was common for a Racing bike.

Medium point Bocama Lugs was typical on this model during the '70s, and the Lagoon Blue panels on White offered for several years was one of the nicest color combinations ever. Mine has no derailleur hanger (although later 70s models did), so mine would really be a perfect candidate to set up as a fixed gear or single speed bike. And the Weinmann center-pull brakes would be the logical choice to keep on the bike since it comes with Raleigh's familiar center-pull cable stop bridge arched out across the rear stays.

The Raleigh chrome plating was usually very good, but the bike on eBay looks like the stays are rusted and the fork looks like it was bent back.

That seller's price estimate for an early 70s model when new seemed high too, but he ammended it later on his auction page.
For REAL price comparisons, here are some Raleigh models from a March 1976 price sheet:

Record __ $140
Grand Prix __ $160
Super Course Mk II __ $220
Gran Sport __ $300
Competition Mk II __ $330
International __ $520
Professional Mk IV __ $650
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Old 05-22-09, 05:32 PM   #17
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I just got mine this past wednesday Do they always annihilate your sit bones during the break-in period? I've been putting Proofide on it every day, but I've also put only 30 miles or so on it, so it's still pretty stiff/uncomfortable. It will be comfortable some day, right?
Good for you. I hope you enjoy it.
Like Zorro said, take it easy with the proofide. You can overdo it.
I got my saddle 3 months ago. Put proofide on it that day and let it sit over night. wiped the saddle the next day and started riding it. haven't reapplied the proofide since. I was planning on doing it in perhaps another 3-4 weeks.
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Old 05-22-09, 07:29 PM   #18
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Well, the seller describes the paint as being beat up, and says there is a ding in the fork. So I have to figure a paint job and possibly fork replacement into it. He also says rear spacing is 130mm, which means he must have spread it/cold set since I'm guessing that in 1973 they hadn't made it out to 126mm yet. I don't know how much I trust someone else's spreading job.
I sent him an offer of $20 (he's asking 30). I'll see what happens. If you want it, I'll retract the offer. I have nothing invested in this. You're welcome to it.
!
Its a Raleigh, could have been made with 130mm wide rear triangle back then, not the intention, just the outcome. I would check it to see if the rear end is kicked out to one side.
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Old 05-22-09, 08:01 PM   #19
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Its a Raleigh, could have been made with 130mm wide rear triangle back then, not the intention, just the outcome. I would check it to see if the rear end is kicked out to one side.
Quite doubtful. They were still making them with 120 spacing back then. Being two or three mm off is plausible. Ten ... not even Raleigh did that.

fyi - the SuperCourse was Raleigh's low end model with 531 tubing. It had straight gauge in the main triangle only. Gran Sport was the lowest priced all 531 model.
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Old 05-23-09, 12:00 AM   #20
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Like Zorro said, take it easy with the proofide. You can overdo it.
Will do. I realized I said "every day" before, which was only two days. I'll give it a rest for a few weeks. Oh, and this seat is new, if that makes a difference. I couldn't find any used black ones and I had just gotten my tax return check, so...
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Old 05-23-09, 06:29 AM   #21
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Its a Raleigh, could have been made with 130mm wide rear triangle back then, not the intention, just the outcome. I would check it to see if the rear end is kicked out to one side.
I would assume the seller respaced it given that he seems to be just selling the frame and the fork. 10 mm is too far out of tolerance for it to be a manufacturing issue, especially considering that it presumably would have had a rear wheel spaced at 120mm on it for 35 years.
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