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1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration Question

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1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration Question

Old 08-13-08, 09:03 AM
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dafla
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1973 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration Question

I have a 1973 Raleigh Grand Prix that has been hanging in my garage for about 10 years. I'm thinking of restoring it, but would like to know what you think the approximate cost would be, and some tips on what would have to be replaced. I have to have it done at a bike shop, and there are only two in my area. No Raleigh shop nearby.

If the cost to restore is too much, how much do you think I could sell it for as is? It isn't rideable right now that I know of. Tires are dry-rotted, etc. If I could put a little into just getting it rideable (it was when I hung it up), how much would that increase what I could sell it for?

I've seen them rebuilt on Craigslist for $350, so I wouldn't want to put that much into it.
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Old 08-13-08, 09:45 AM
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I have a 73 or 72 Raleigh Grand Prix (Dutch made one) that I like, but
I don't think they are that collectible so a historically accurate restoration
isn't that important IMHO. $350 seems pretty high, I can sell you one
with shipping for less. They are usually listed $250 or less here in Boston.

In order of importance I think I would go with
  • Tires and tubes (min $30)
  • Service headset and bearings (? $30)
  • chain ($10)
  • replace shift and brake cables ($8-10)
  • Replace cable casing
  • wheels are probably steel, so alloy wheels with quick releases might be a nice upgrade
  • seat if it isn't comfortable or original or in good shape (min $30)
  • If the rear derailleur is plastic or not functioning (min $35)
  • If the front derailleur is not functioning replace
  • Crank is probably cottered and steel, replace with cotterless aluminum one
  • Seat post is probably steel, replace with aluminum one if it wieght is an issue

Prices given for just the most probable things needing replacement.
So you if you go wild, you might just replace everything but the frame - although
I am partial to the GB stems. Stop when it is good enough maybe.
I replaced the wheels and cables and seat on mine. Left the cottered crank,
might get around to replace the pedals with flat ones.

Oops: Missed that you mostly seemed interested in selling. If you can't do the work I would
doubt that doing much other then changing the tires would be worth it and maybe a tune up.
In Boston a bike that needs work usually list less then $75, although I saw an ad recently for one
that needed new tires for $120. That is what I would sell it for in ridable condition so I don't
know that it will sell. Grand Prix (again here in Boston) are all over the place, some as little
as $75 and some as high as $250 (usually a SS or Fixed conversion).

Last edited by bikemore; 08-13-08 at 09:52 AM.
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Old 08-13-08, 10:46 AM
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Usually, having someone else do the wrenching for you makes re-selling an older bicycle a losing proposition. Especially so with something that will only give you a limited return, such as the Grand Prix. I'd consider you to be doing well if you can get $100.00 for it.

Presuming everything works, I'd just change out the tires (and tubes also if the don't hold air) and sell as-is. If you do the other maintenance items yourself, you can get more for it and still make a few $$.
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Old 08-13-08, 01:23 PM
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I guess you misunderstood. I'd rather fix it up and use it, but if it's going to be over $200 to fix it, I might as well just buy a used bike of some sort.

Thanks for the detailed list, and for the info on pricing. I'm going to take it to the bike shop and see what they say about fixing it up enough to ride.
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Old 08-13-08, 01:44 PM
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I should think that a new chain, tires, tubes, shifter/brake lines, and if the wheels or BB or headset needs it, repack the bearings. You should be able to get out of the bike store for under 200.


I just helped my buddy rehab his late 80s' MTB this past weekend. We did a new chain, bontrager tires, tubes, handlebars, bar tape and had the shop true the rear wheel. He bought another 50$ worth of tailight, under seat bag, water bottle and crap...spent exactly 200 and the bike is riding great.
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Old 08-13-08, 03:41 PM
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What part of the country do you live in? Perhaps one of the guys here could help you do the
required maintenance. That way you keep the cost down and gain eperience and confidence
in doing your own repairs.
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Old 08-13-08, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by dafla View Post
I guess you misunderstood. I'd rather fix it up and use it, but if it's going to be over $200 to fix it, I might as well just buy a used bike of some sort.

Thanks for the detailed list, and for the info on pricing. I'm going to take it to the bike shop and see what they say about fixing it up enough to ride.
Most of the maintenance is quite easy to pick up, and doesn't take special tools. If you're willing to try some of the work yourself, it shouldn't cost you any more than parts plus maybe $20.00 for shop labor. I also think the list of prices was a little on the high side. I can find $27 x 1-1/4" tires for $7.00 each (figure maybe $12.00 each for Kendas because I know my source is insanely low). Complete cables and housing for $6.50 (Wal-Mart), Derailleurs (ask here if yours don't work. You can get a decent functional one for less than $15.00) Saddle is going to be a wild-card. Hard to say how much one that suits you is going to run. Could be $5.00 ... could be $150.00.

Good luck with it. If you get it going, you'll be sure to like it.
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Old 08-13-08, 05:14 PM
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I forgot to mention detailed pictures might help in evaluating how much
needs to be done, although a lot of the basic stuff (aside from tires)
is not that easy to see from pictures (such as if bearings need to be
redone).
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Old 08-13-08, 05:48 PM
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hmm. I just about to do exactly what your describing to a early-mid 70's grand prix, just like yours. I happen to be out of alot of stuff, so I'll keep a price list and let you know what its costs me to do it.
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Old 06-27-09, 06:49 PM
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I am wondering how your restoration went/is going. I too have a '73 Gran Prix that I have recently started riding again. I replaced the tires and tubes and the brake pads. Everything else was pretty much a clean and lube effort. Now I am thinking about going a little further, maybe a paint job but don't know if that is something you can get done or not. I am clear this is not going to be a money making deal, more the nostalgia aspect as I am the original owner of the bike. Any thoughts?
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Old 06-27-09, 07:06 PM
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Welcome to BF, SmilinRic. Paint, even as basic as you can get, starts at $150. Then throw decals on top of that. You can do a good paint recovery job with what you have as long as there is not too much rust. Got any pics?
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Old 06-27-09, 10:20 PM
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not a great bike to fuss with. i had a similar desire to upgrade that which cannot be upgraded. the money i spent getting the bike "right" was more than the thing cost, and the return was not enjoyed in ride-ability or profit. charity to a useless machine and its buyer. i wasn't looking to profit, but i didn't profit.
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Old 06-28-09, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by SmilinRic View Post
I am wondering how your restoration went/is going. I too have a '73 Gran Prix that I have recently started riding again. <snip>. Any thoughts?
The OP's only posts to this forum are the two in this thread (August 2008). I don't think he is going to answer.

Last edited by wrk101; 06-28-09 at 05:44 AM. Reason: comment
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Old 06-28-09, 06:48 AM
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This thread is almost a year old. Anyway, "if it isn't broke, don't fix it" makes sense to me. You need to know what is wrong, if anything, with a bike like that before you start dumping a couple of hundred dollars into it. New tires ($7-$10 each), repack the bearings, lube the cables and everything that moves, clean and wax it. If you are going to be a cyclist...it's best to know how to do basic repairs, including trueing the wheels and adjusting brakes and gears. There are enough "how to" books and websites out there to help us out. With a bike like this you can ride it until you get bored of it, and then sell it to somebody else (for $75? to $175?, depending on condition and market demand) who can then also ride it until they get bored of it.
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Old 07-01-09, 04:32 AM
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Hey, thanks for the reply. Not sure what exacly a "paint restoration" entails. There is a little rust on the frame, along the chain path and on the upper main tube (see pictures). If I were to go with new paint where do you find replacement decals? And how do you find a qualified person to do the work? I'm willing to do te mechanic but I'm no painter.
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Old 07-01-09, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by SmilinRic View Post
Hey, thanks for the reply. Not sure what exacly a "paint restoration" entails. There is a little rust on the frame, along the chain path and on the upper main tube (see pictures). If I were to go with new paint where do you find replacement decals? And how do you find a qualified person to do the work? I'm willing to do te mechanic but I'm no painter.
Paint restoration - a real good soap cleaning, de-rusting with oxalic acid, then work on the paint as needed with auto products, anywhere from wax up to rubbing compound as required.

There is a painter sticky in this forum, and decals come from cyclomondo and others on ebay, BF member jrrestore, hlloyd in london, to name some.
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Old 07-02-09, 07:55 AM
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I appreciate the information. I am going to try the cleaning/waxing thing first. Maybe I can skip the painting.
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