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Old 04-16-08, 03:58 PM   #1
langsmer
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Ganna or Raleigh Lenton Reg Harris

Hello everyone. I came here for advice on older road bikes. I was told I might find out more if I moved this thread from the road bike forum to here. I have never really owned a road bike. I have been into balloon tire bikes since I was a little kid, and commute about 5 miles a day on a 1948 Rollfast Deluxe.

Anyway, I figured it would be a good idea to trade in one of my old bikes for something a little more whippy. I have had a few offers so far. One fellow was interested in trading me his late 50's Raleigh Lenton ten speed. I believe it is a Grand Prix. It is in decent original condition. He wants to trade me a bike I value at about $200. Is that a decent deal? (sorry, no pictures yet)

Another guy is interested in trading me a 50's Ganna. It is missing a pedal and the wheels may not be original. The seat is a brooks with the looped springs in decent condition. plating has some discoloring and the stickers aren't the greatest but not too bad. He wants to trade me for a bike that a value of $350. Is this a decent deal?

Thanks for any advice, and if you are interested in trading a 40's or 50's road bike for a sweet 40's or 50's cruiser, let me know!

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Old 04-16-08, 04:19 PM   #2
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I'm more interested in the kind of bikes you're looking to get than balloon tire bikes. I'd happily trade for either - if they were my size.

<edit> Looking at the wheels on the Ganna - perhaps I wouldn't make that trade. I'd want to ride it first to decide, but I'd think I'd at least have to consider changing the wheels.
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Old 04-16-08, 04:21 PM   #3
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Check that Ganna for stuck seatpost (looks to be steel, shouldn't be as much worry as aluminum) and also check the handlebar stem. Either one stuck: dealbreaker.

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Old 04-16-08, 04:53 PM   #4
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I don't think that the Ganna would garner $350 on an open market like eBay. Never heard of the marque. Looks like nice detail, but with cottered cranks, steel rims, it probably is a fairly heavy frame -- straight gauge tubing. So I'd bet it would only go for $100 or less at auction. I like the color. Post a photo of the Raleigh, if you can.
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Old 04-16-08, 04:53 PM   #5
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I think I am going to try to pick up the Raleigh. From what I have read it is a pretty good little commuter, and a decent beginner bike, plus its a darn good looking cycle. Now if I can just get the guy to call me back so I can test ride it this weekend.

I don't think I am really that interested in the Ganna. It doesnt look very original, and the wheels look pretty crappy. That and I cant even test ride it due to it being a few hundred miles away.
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Old 04-16-08, 05:03 PM   #6
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The Raleigh likely has steel rims, stem and seatpost and cottered cranks too. But if it's indeed late '50s, it should have plain-gauge 531 tubing and fairly fancy lugs. Lugged steel stem, I'd venture. Perhaps a rod-operated front shifter. A nice riding lightweight (for the day) road bike, in my opinion. And I think a trade equivalent to $200 would be a good deal.
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Old 04-18-08, 12:14 PM   #7
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My 1955 Raleigh Lenton "Reg Harris" has a cottered crank, steel rims, and 531 tubing.

But the cottered crank is a track crank with a removable chain ring, the steel wheels are the factory 26 inch Dunlop EA1 (stainless) and are some of the smoothest running wheels I have ever run.

It is also a fixed gear (stock) and I have laid down some pretty spectacular times with it.

On the stand I can spin the crank and wheels and they also seem to go forever such is the quality and smoothness of the bikes (oiled) bearings.

Basically...cottered cranks and steel wheels aren't always a bad thing.
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Old 04-18-08, 12:37 PM   #8
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The Raleigh Lenton Grand Prix "Reg Harris" model came out in about 1958 and went to 1962 or so. 531 main tubes, Raleigh "Heron" design steel cranks (made by Williams), Racelight or Normandy High Flange hubs, laced 32/40 front and back, Cyclo 4 sp rear cluster (until about 61 when it went to 5sp), Cyclo Benelux front a rear deraillers (sometimes upgraded to Campy GS), front derailer rod-operated until about 1961, steel Dunlop special lightweight racing rims, and, if you are lucky, the Titan adjustable steel stem and bars. In good condition, the Titan adjustible stem can net you close to $200 on ebay.
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Old 04-18-08, 12:38 PM   #9
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Thanks evw... great info on the Grand Prix specs.
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Old 04-18-08, 12:50 PM   #10
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Here is a good source for all your Lenton needs....

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/retroral...on-kohler.html
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Old 04-18-08, 06:04 PM   #11
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I got the Grand Prix, and I think it has all the options mentioned. (thanks for the info!) The only original bits missing or the front rim, tires, and rear derailed (and pump of course). Does anybody know what the handle bar would have originally been wrapped with? Your right sixty fiver. If you lift the bike up and spin the wheels, they never stop. The bike is a surprisingly quick, nimble machine. I will try to post pictures a little later.
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Old 04-18-08, 06:14 PM   #12
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langsmer... I think that the wrapping options would have been as varied then as they are now (except for synthetic cork) and I am partial to several wraps of cloth over cork which I find is just too disposable on it's own or just several layers of good cloth tape on it's own.

Shellac over cloth looks absolutely beautiful.

Leather is also very nice but tends to cost quite a bit more, even when one gets a shop discount.

I've got some new leather wrap down at the shop (it was a great deal) and will post pics and a review when I get it on the bike.

Old Raleigh's came with some very well made hubs and the bearing quality tends to be very good.
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