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I did a terrible thing in college - Lenton

Old 02-27-11, 10:09 PM
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Lightfoot21
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I did a terrible thing in college - Lenton

Not what you think. In 1971 I "saved" a bike from the dump and immediately began "upgrading" it by taking off the seat tube lever activated (Benelux) derailleur, removing the chrome lamp bracket, pitching the steel heron head crank for a modern aluminum crankset, and promptly repainted the bike...you get the picture. I pretty much ruined what I believe was a 1957 Raleigh Lenton. The good part is, I rode the bike all through college and it has been hanging in the garage for the last 30 years. The frame has a little rust but no dents. If I am correct as to the year, how much would the frame be worth? It is a 23 inch. I'll attach pictures. Thanks for any insight. BTW, I will never do this to a bike again.
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Old 02-28-11, 03:38 AM
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Unless you won the Tour de France or fronted a huge rock band in the past thirty years, you did lower your resale value quite a bit. Because you had seen the frame with it's original livery and could describe the spec it would still be a prized catch to me. So you repainted it, lined the lugs and added the Reynolds transfer? Did you just spray over or did you strip/damage the original finish?

If there are no dents at all (chainstay crushed from kick-stand?) , no extra holes drilled, I would estimate the value of the frame/fork/headset at $100-150 at a swap. Original wheels would be a big plus in a sale of this bike also.

I would not describe myself as an expert on pricing old frames. I do have several though.

You bought a bike, made it your own, rode it and saved it from the dump and now are sharing it with people who love these old bikes. I see no crime.

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Old 02-28-11, 01:01 PM
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Looks and sounds like a Raleigh Lenton Grand Prix. Did they make those in '57? here's the page from the '58 catalog:


They're interesting and fun but not really high end. The frame has some 531 in it but I don't think it's all 531; and the main tubes are straight gauge, not butted. The Benelux lever-operated derailleur and 46/49T chain rings is funky, and no one can blame you for tossing it in 1971. Letting it go to the dump would have been a far greater crime than upgrading and riding it.

As for what it's worth now, the last post pretty well covers it. It really depends on whether you find someone who's looking for exactly that bike.
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Old 02-28-11, 10:25 PM
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::Orders thugs to drag Lightfoot out back to explain the error of his ways::
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Old 02-28-11, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by ftwelder View Post
Unless you won the Tour de France or fronted a huge rock band in the past thirty years, you did lower your resale value quite a bit. Because you had seen the frame with it's original livery and could describe the spec it would still be a prized catch to me. So you repainted it, lined the lugs and added the Reynolds transfer? Did you just spray over or did you strip/damage the original finish?

If there are no dents at all (chainstay crushed from kick-stand?) , no extra holes drilled, I would estimate the value of the frame/fork/headset at $100-150 at a swap. Original wheels would be a big plus in a sale of this bike also.

I would not describe myself as an expert on pricing old frames. I do have several though.

You bought a bike, made it your own, rode it and saved it from the dump and now are sharing it with people who love these old bikes. I see no crime.
As I recall, I sanded for days down to 800 grit, and to the metal no doubt. There are no dents and no additional holes. I can not remember if the wheels are original. the bike really served me well and was quite comfortable to ride, even though it really was an inch too large. Thanks for the replies.
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Old 02-28-11, 10:40 PM
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I know NOW. I also defaced a cave when I was 16 (broke a stalactite off) and I took a wire wheel to a collectable block plane before I learned about antique tool collecting. There might be other instances, but I think this is enough confessing for one night. Oh...I chopped my 305 Honda Dream motorcycle....Not a pretty sight.
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Old 03-01-11, 05:00 AM
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At least you enjoyed the bike. As RHM stated, letting it go to the dump would've been far worse. Cool looking bike!
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