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Tires + overhaul questions on Raleigh Grand Prix

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Tires + overhaul questions on Raleigh Grand Prix

Old 04-20-11, 11:29 PM
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Tires + overhaul questions on Raleigh Grand Prix

As a birthday present for my father, I'm cleaning up his old racing green Raleigh Grand Prix, which has more or less sat unused since he got married (which is to say, since 1983). Basically, I want to know what needs to be replaced/tuned/cleaned, and what kind of tires I should considering. Please bear with me, as I'm a biking neophyte.

I've already bought and will be installing new lines for the brakes and gears, plus new brake pads front and rear. I also have new inner tubes and clearly need new tires, but will get to that at the end. Is there anything else I must replace for safety's sake? The wheels, perhaps? They look rust free and have no bent spokes, so I'm hoping they're fine.

For tuning, all I've done is obvious stuff like tighten the spokes and straighten out the handlebars. What else should I be doing?

Cleaning: I've sprayed the chain and derailluer with a highly specialized bike solvent called WD40. Is that, pardon the question, good enough? Is there any trick for cleaning the years of sand/grime out of the rear cassette/derailuer? When it's all spotless, what lubricant should I use?

Finally, tires. Right now the bike wears dried out Raleigh-branded rubber. I will want something that looks reasonably original, but also offers more traction and comfort than the old stockers. This will be purely a road bike in sunny, flat, well paved South Florida.

I should note that I'm trying to keep this on a reasonable budget. Also keep in mind that my dad isn't going to be training for the Tour de France. If he goes on a neighborhood joyride once every other weekend, I'd be satisfied. That said, I want the bike to ride right and, just as important, look right. The Raleigh is, I must say, a really cool looking peice -- exudes the same affordable British cache as an old MGB.

Anyway, I appreciate any and all advice.
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Old 04-21-11, 01:03 AM
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Use the WD for cleaning the drive train parts. Sincebit is going to bbe ridden again then the bearings should have fresh grease, lithium or water proof grease. Not auto wheel bearing grease as it is way to thick designed for high speed and high heat.
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Old 04-21-11, 03:15 PM
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Your instinct to replace all or most rubber parts is good. Replace the tire with the same size that is on it; read the sidewalls. There are worlds of difference in tires, but at this point that doesn't matter - the trick is to get him riding. So go for inexpensive "training" tires. The fact that the rubber is new is really all that counts.

nwbikeman is right on in urging you to repack the bearings. The "grease" in there probably looks like candle wax now. To ride it in that condition would destroy the bearings in short order. I do disagree about the type of grease. Just get a pot of "marine" grease from the local auto parts store - about $4. ("Marine" because it will exposed to water. Otherwise it is just axle grease.) Light grease might be okay for racers, but needs constant renewal.

If you really get into this, consider re-packing the headset too. But that's optional.
Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

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