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Somebody convince me - Raleigh Gran Sport

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Somebody convince me - Raleigh Gran Sport

Old 05-23-06, 10:01 PM
  #1  
robtown
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Somebody convince me - Raleigh Gran Sport

I picked this up at our community yard sale. The components place it somewhere around 1974 but don't quite match exactly. In 1974 I got my first 10 speed and would have lusted for this one.
After cleaning it up, srapping the old tires off to put other old gumwalls on, and rubbing neatsfoot oil into the Brooks saddle I test rode it tonight.

The brakes were maladjusted and pads hard.
I couldn't get into 1st gear.
The back wheel had a horrible up/down wobble - I think it's the tire.
The crank gave horrible creaks when my clydesdale weight put some force on them - this worries me.
The spokes all seem a little loose (36 per wheel) but the wheels seem true.
Decals worn -says "Grand Sports" not "Gran Sport" - thats odd.

I'm not a mechanic but the bike looks sweet with the chrome and all. The 5 point star pattern in the front gear is sharp.
The only non-original parts seem to be front and rear Suntour derailurs. Otherwise, Weinmann, Nevar, Atom, GB, Reynolds, 531, Carlton (hoods too), brooks clips & saddle. French crank and hubs. Weighs 27 lbs. I guess I'll have to get non-gumwall tires.
If the pictures don't post I can email them.

I like the idea of having a vintage steel frame & I would ride it if I can make it road worthy without big $.
Advice?
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Old 05-23-06, 11:29 PM
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lol looks like a derailleur adjustment and some new tires, a little love on the bb and a spoke wrench are all you need for happiness on the "grand sports"
Cheers on your purchase!

Blair
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Old 05-24-06, 03:32 AM
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Whenever you find a vintage Reynolds 531 frame, you have found something worth keeping. Your bike is in great condition and if you are not up to it, worth every penny to have your LBS do the wrenching to bring it back to tip-top mechanical shape. Super find!
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Old 05-24-06, 04:38 AM
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That's a beautiful machine, get it fixed up and enjoy it. It's well worth it.
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Old 05-24-06, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by rambler500
lol looks like a derailleur adjustment and some new tires, a little love on the bb and a spoke wrench are all you need for happiness on the "grand sports"
Cheers on your purchase! Blair
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Old 05-24-06, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by robtown
I picked this up at our community yard sale. The components place it somewhere around 1974 but don't quite match exactly. In 1974 I got my first 10 speed and would have lusted for this one...I like the idea of having a vintage steel frame & I would ride it if I can make it road worthy without big$
Excellent catch. Looks quite nice.

You know, those Suntour components have always been an oddity to me on the Gran Sport - all catalouges show that the G.S. was discontinued in '77, yet, Suntour components were immidiately adopted on the Super Course and Grand Prix this year.

Actual examples of the S.C.'s and G.P.'s confirm the componentry switch as happening in 1977, yet, from what I've see, this happened considerably earlier on the Gran Sport.

I own GS frameset myself - it was sold to me, less wheels, along with it's original components in a bucket - all Raleigh-badged Suntour as the post-'77 SC's and GP's wear.

I had assumed my frameset had probably been produced in late '76 due to the Suntour componetry, but your own Gran Sport is evidence that the switch from Huret to Suntour, at least on the G.S., probably happened earlier then I had previously thought.

Why? The Suntour components that your machine features are slightly different then those on the 1977 machines, in particular, the chainwheel.

Does anyone out there know how to date this Suntour stuff?

-Kurt
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Old 05-24-06, 11:02 AM
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Because of the Simplex downtube shift levers, I assume this one originally came with Simplex Prestige derailleurs, making the SunTours a logical and superb upgrade.

Nice bike! Find a friend who is interested in vintage bikes and get the thing fixed up. It is well worth it.
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Old 05-24-06, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888
You know, those Suntour components have always been an oddity to me on the Gran Sport - all catalouges show that the G.S. was discontinued in '77, yet, Suntour components were immidiately adopted on the Super Course and Grand Prix this year.

Actual examples of the S.C.'s and G.P.'s confirm the componentry switch as happening in 1977, yet, from what I've see, this happened considerably earlier on the Gran Sport.

I own GS frameset myself - it was sold to me, less wheels, along with it's original components in a bucket - all Raleigh-badged Suntour as the post-'77 SC's and GP's wear.

I had assumed my frameset had probably been produced in late '76 due to the Suntour componetry, but your own Gran Sport is evidence that the switch from Huret to Suntour, at least on the G.S., probably happened earlier then I had previously thought.

Why? The Suntour components that your machine features are slightly different then those on the 1977 machines, in particular, the chainwheel.

Does anyone out there know how to date this Suntour stuff?

-Kurt
I guessed pre 1975 because the bike is 27 lbs with pedals - it seems the newer GS was 25 lbs. I belive the Crank says Nevar Spirit and made in France (hubs too). The Suntour rear unit says "Suntor V ...." I'll have to get out a light and magnifying glass - something like ix. I assumed the original owner had replaced with 1980's equipment - but maybe not. I"m having trouble dating because the crank shows up on later non GS models but not GS and the B17 saddle is narrow. Tubes and forks are Reynlolds 531 and the gear levers are Simplex. Brake hoods are Carlton stamped, pedals Atom, traps Brooks, Hubs Nevar (sp). Rims and brakes (QR) Weinmann, handlebar stem GB. Number on seatpost - A###, on bottom "10 039" Carlton and 531 decal on down tube, Reynolds triangles on forks.
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Old 05-24-06, 11:07 AM
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The crank is a Nervar Star, which may be original. They are great, except for the proprietary 128mm BCD, although if you are good with a Dremel tool or even a drill, you can modify a road standard 130mm BCD chainring to work on your Nervar spider. (Been there ... done that.)

Since I recently broke a Campagnolo Veloce left crank, my Capo is now back to my trusty Nervar Star crankset.
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Old 05-24-06, 01:38 PM
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Ok - the Nevar crankset makes sense now - I had mistaken it for a crankset of the Suntour brand. I had not noted the Simplex levers either.

Take care,

-Kurt
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Old 05-24-06, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by robtown
I guessed pre 1975 because the bike is 27 lbs with pedals - it seems the newer GS was 25 lbs. I belive the Crank says Nevar Spirit and made in France (hubs too). The Suntour rear unit says "Suntor V ...." I'll have to get out a light and magnifying glass - something like ix. I assumed the original owner had replaced with 1980's equipment - but maybe not. I"m having trouble dating because the crank shows up on later non GS models but not GS and the B17 saddle is narrow. Tubes and forks are Reynlolds 531 and the gear levers are Simplex. Brake hoods are Carlton stamped, pedals Atom, traps Brooks, Hubs Nevar (sp). Rims and brakes (QR) Weinmann, handlebar stem GB. Number on seatpost - A###, on bottom "10 039" Carlton and 531 decal on down tube, Reynolds triangles on forks.
Suntour V derailleurs are definitely early to mid 70's vintage. They were the first Suntours of note to appear on the American bike market, or at least up in northwestern PA when I lived there - and we weren't getting anything early, believe me. I'd expect that the bike originally came with Simplex Prestige or Criterium derailleurs, and the switch over to Suntour was a very normal upgrade done when the Simplex's wore out. Usually by the second riding season.

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Old 05-25-06, 02:35 AM
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Ive got exacty the same bike down to the rear derailer. Originally Came with simplex derailers. and yes the spokes seem entirely too loose but the rims are true. Odd in that the bike seems to have no miles on it.

Mine has what i assume is a date on the seat cluster lug on the front of it that simply says 73 so I assume that is the date.

Nice bikes. As good as a paramount with the exception of finish. I think the brazing might be sloppy for the sake of keeping the heat down. Girly looking though.
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Old 05-25-06, 09:40 AM
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Wow
I work at an Earn-a-BIke organisation (volunteer in the shop, volunteer coordinator, board member). We get donations and bikes left at the rack out back. Just last night one of these appeared. A the finish is a bit worn (same color scheme as yours). The down bars are gone, replaced with typical Raleigh upright bars. The shifters are on the stem. Cheesy sprung saddle (boo hoo... wish it had that vintage B.17 that yours came with... that's worth the price right there)

We give bikes to young folks and this one will never go there, so it will likely be stripped. LAtely, I've been posting frames and parts (like 3 sets of sew up rims that were left on our recycle pile!) for sale, and sending any profits to the donation jar. I think I will see if any of the fixie/single set in town will be interested in this bike
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