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My college Raleigh Grand Prix

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My college Raleigh Grand Prix

Old 11-29-15, 04:08 PM
  #1  
obuckler
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My college Raleigh Grand Prix

I have a nice stable of bikes but was not riding my very first adult bike. Of course along the way I would be encouraged to just get rid of it. So I made plan a long time ago to single it up. Will start with a couple of of photos showing the start of a complete repaint. The frame is really a size too big --25.5--but once on it it rides fun. Back when I bought it my brother worked at the bike store and sold it to me. Not sure why most bikes sold back then were always too tight on the inseam? I have always loved the black and white color schemed of this bike and it suffered from too much patina, minor rust pits and three small dents. My plan is to fully prep it for paint and then hope for a warm prime day this winter. Living in the Dallas area that may happen. Then hope for some paint days. May have to wait till spring. I have some delstar acrylic enamel from English Color.

(Don't know why the photo comes out 90 degrees off?)

love be the headbadge. Will paint it last but it looks great like this.

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Old 11-29-15, 05:12 PM
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Good project. Make plans to protect the metal so no rust builds up before the elusive paint day.

Pics when you can !
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Old 11-29-15, 05:21 PM
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I too "suffer from too much patina'.
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Old 11-29-15, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post
Good project. Make plans to protect the metal so no rust builds up before the elusive paint day.

Pics when you can !
yes. I will post pics along the way. And the frame and fork are liberally dosed with wd40 now.
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Old 11-29-15, 07:59 PM
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This is a sentimental build for me. Stripping the frame and using my small file (and spending lots of time) to clean up one ugly crown lug was great fun. Also cleaned up the wrap around seat stays. Felt like a frame builder for a minute.

And digging thru my box of small stuff I was excited to find the original Carlton axle nuts and a replacement axle that will allow me to swap out the quick release (I had long ago bought some alloy replacement wheels).
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Old 11-29-15, 09:23 PM
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Good find, QR will not do too good of a job holding your rear wheel in the dropouts. Originals will class it up as well.

I missed, what Colour will this be ? Same as before ?
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Old 11-30-15, 07:12 AM
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Just sayin...if I were you, I would not paint the headbadge...it looks very cool in its current state...and would be a nice accent to a repainted frame...but...as I said...just sayin...
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Old 11-30-15, 10:10 AM
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I am conflicted on the headbadge paint or not. Will leave that decision until last. The frame will go back to the original 1972 colors of white with black panels. This being a lowly bike I found I did not have any before pics.

I have used used this site to search out all sorts of opinions on how to handle this or that. One is headbadge removal before repainting. I tried to get it off AND save the rivets but could not do it. I like the look of the original rivets too much compared to alternatives. So I plan to mask it.

I I also knew I needed to change out the QR axle, but was shocked at the cost of buying those parts. My LBS said just buy a new wheel--so that was why I was elated to find what I needed in a stored away box of small parts I had forgotten about.
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Old 11-30-15, 10:17 AM
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Priming question

I assume the priming is a very important step where I should shoot multiple coats and sand with 600 wet o dry in between coats to get all the surface smooth? Any inputs here welcome. Then it seems the color coats will not need sanding--or very little. English Color says I can lay color coats down 20 mins apart. Do not see how that could be dry enough to do any sanding.

Plant to put the main decals (in the black panels) only as the cost really gets up there.
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Old 11-30-15, 11:08 AM
  #10  
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Don't paint the badge -- drill out the rivets and replace them with screws or new rivets after you finish painting the frame.

Originally Posted by obuckler View Post
... The frame is really a size too big --25.5--but once on it it rides fun. Back when I bought it my brother worked at the bike store and sold it to me. Not sure why most bikes sold back then were always too tight on the inseam? ...
This has been discussed in the past, but I can't find the thread just now. Taller frames were indeed fashionable in the 1960s and into the early 1970s. (Shown, Austrian champion Adolph Christian on a Capo Sieger.)
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Capo: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger (2), S/N 42624, 42597
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Old 11-30-15, 04:20 PM
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Not painting the headbadge could be a nice "custom" touch. I planned to also customize the fork re-paint by raising the chrome socks up a couple of inches to expose more "leg!" With the paint removed the chrome is pretty nice underneath so with a little extra buffing, it looks pristine. Will look more like a Super Course or International.
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Old 11-30-15, 10:49 PM
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I had that same bike. Got it when I was about 12 years old. I rode the heck out of it as a kid. It sat in my parents garage for years and suffered from neglect. Late in college I wanted to start cycling so I dug it out and got it back on the road. It wasn't shifting well and the cottered cranks were starting to get loose. LBS basically told me that it was not worth fixing. After that, I think it went in a garage sale. I keep an eye out for one and will build one up in the future.

Enjoy it. I'll be following your project.
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Old 11-30-15, 11:57 PM
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I had a typical blue Raleigh Gran Prix, I didn't take to that one but I fixed my friend's blue RGP up, basically the same make and model, rode it and I thought it was truly wonderful. Perhaps the difference was the size of his was a better fit. I really wanted to make him an offer to buy it.

Raleigh Gran Prixs, one of the most common road bikes ever, I even have done a running count on what colors they came in.

Per the well known Nottingham models of the 1970s:

Blue, most common.

White
Red
Green

Not sure if one ever came out that was a yellow color, I think that would be a handsome bicycle with the typical design. There may have been some "brown" RGPs, I forget, maybe the same color as some of the women's 3-speed Raleighs.

Most common:

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Old 12-01-15, 07:22 AM
  #14  
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At the Cirque du Cyclisme in Greensboro in '06, Dave Moulton explained the changing fashion of frame sizing as a by-product of metallurgy. In the '20s and '30s, British riders rode small frames with long-ish steel seatposts, often the old 7-shaped ones where you had a horizontal extension forward (like a Major Taylor handlebar stem). The older British bikes had seat and head angles in the 60s, and a small frame with a long steel seatpost made sense, because it was the lightest setup one could easily use, especially considering the heavier frame materials of milder steel AND the expectation that a bike was not a disposable item but a durable good.

As aluminum alloys came into greater use in bike parts, the metallurgy was still a trifle suspect - so taller lightweight steel frames combined with alloy seatposts short enough to not be too likely to snap off combined with (relatively short) alloy stems and bars became the norm. In the later '70s and into the '80s, as metallurgy improved, frames got smaller again and alloy seatposts got longer - ESPECIALLY after mountain bikes came along and everyone started insisting they had to have more room between crotch and top tube.

The Raleigh Gran Prix is actually a pretty decent bike for general non-competitive cycling, and lots of people have logged millions of happy miles on them. I've owned several through the years and I am still kicking myself for letting a nice example here in town get away from me a few months back.
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Old 12-01-15, 08:05 AM
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This 80's Grand Prix has gone back to college sporting some new shoes & gloves
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Old 12-01-15, 01:32 PM
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My bike's story

(awesome bike deal4fuji)

Everyone loves a story and many of you must have similar. The Grand Prix was my college commuter and rider out in the country, even a week long tour in the Texas Hill Country with just a rear rack (pletscher). After college, this is late 70s by the way, it did duty as a solo rider for exercise, this was before cycling was popular (at least i did not know if it was then). Time passed and the bike went in storage for 20 years...then on a lark I saw it forlorn in the shed and decided to rebuild it up as a lighter 10 speed, added the alloy wheels, an alloy crankset, and spiffed up the paint. This bike gave me my joy of riding, just for the fun of riding, and helped me realize I like working on them too. So I started riding again, to get back in shape. Solos first, then some slow group rides, and now pretty much all over. I have averaged thousands of miles (4+) over the last five years and my non-riding friends call me crazy!
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Old 12-04-15, 03:17 PM
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Great weather for priming the bike

Here are some progress photos on priming the bike. One photo shows my friends portable paint booth. It worked like a charm .

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Old 12-04-15, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by obuckler View Post
Here are some progress photos on priming the bike. One photo shows my friends portable paint booth. It worked like a charm .

" friend with a portable painting booth" I gotta get me one of those ! Glad to see the frame is seeing progress. I found primer to be the easiest thing to do before the heartbreak of final colour.

Go to it !
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Old 04-03-16, 04:14 PM
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Black panels done

Found some good weather is Dallas to lay down the black panels. Actually my third try. Many days apart. Sanding in between. May just be my gun but I keep getting an ever so slight fisheye effect. Paint just seems to lay down a little stipply. Even though I lay down a fully wet coat. Oh well. I am an amateur at this. Thinking the white will be easier. At least easier to see it as I paint it.
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Old 04-08-16, 03:35 PM
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Another good day to paint. Got the white down. Of course I used all my paint and forgot I had not done the fork. Aarg. One develops an immense appreciation for a frame painter after you try to do it yourself !!!!
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Old 04-08-16, 04:21 PM
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It is really coming along.

i did one honest try at painting a frame and realized I had the patience for it but not the proper tools or paint.

you should be riding it this summer for sure!
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Old 04-08-16, 05:23 PM
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I see you got the headbadge off. Did you say you are going to ride this as a single-speed?

I loved my 1980 Grand Prix. I would still be riding it if it had not been stolen (31 years ago)
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Old 04-08-16, 07:20 PM
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Yes to singlespeed. I got the headbadge off from behind so saved what was left of the rivets so I can reuse them. Will also silicone glue it. How I finish it out is evolving. Headbadge will stay polished brass after some suggestions here. Next I have to decide decals or not. Maybe not right now. One it saves the dough and two it may looked cleaner without. Will use a single gold tape line to cover the transitions from white to black. Thin. Not the multi-stripe originally used. Clearcoat or not is the last big decision. Could polish out some minor imperfections if I go that route.
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Old 04-18-16, 07:46 AM
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Here it is with pinstriping and lug lining, lousy shot under lights in kitchen, will put up some more later. Overall extremely pleased, compared especially to where it was before i started. Want to see the lug lining in daylight, may warrant two coats but not sure, very hard to tell under the lights. Best job I ever did on pinstriping, used a black to trim the black panels, which really cleaned up the paint transition issues. Now debating myself on whether to run stealth mode or get the decals. From day one I have always loved this clean paint job, looks real crisp on the road. Now for the build, will let it cure a while, but the paint guy at English color (this is an acrylic enamel with reducer and hardener) says 48 hours and it is as hard as its going to get.

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Old 04-18-16, 08:02 AM
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Very nice. I see what you are saying about no decals. It is refreshing to occasionally see a bike with no insignia, and to see a beautifully-finished classic steel frame without any literature on it could be more impressive than adding decals.
I think clear-coat might be a good idea, to protect the finish.., but put the decals on before you clear-coat, if you are going to use them.
Did you outline those lugs, yourself? Awesome job!
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