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What to do with a '62 Raleigh Gran Sport...

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What to do with a '62 Raleigh Gran Sport...

Old 08-12-09, 03:39 PM
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nimbuscrenel
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What to do with a '62 Raleigh Gran Sport...

I just picked up what I believe to 1962 Raleigh Gran Sport for $20. At least I'm pretty sure it's a '62 based off of Sheldon's info, and the images here: http://collection.rydjor.com/bikecollection/1962ral.htm. It's that exact color and has all the same components including the Brooks, but doesn't have the cool fenders or water bottle holder. Anyways, I really love this bike, but it's simply too tall for me. This seems to be a trend for me- I also got a cool Motobecane Grand Touring for free, but it was also too tall and I ended up selling it. My dilemma is as follows: Do I clean it up, put some new tires on it and sell it(and for how much)? Or do I use some of the parts on a bike that actually fits me- I really LOVE the old Brooks B15 Swallow and the handlebars with the anodized lug thingy(see images)? I really don't want to dishonor this cool old bike- or maybe it's not really that special... I don't know. Any advice?

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Old 08-12-09, 04:00 PM
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You got that for $20? If it were mine, but too tall a frame, I'd hang off a bridge with cement bags tied to my ankles until it fitted. Seriously, if your bike is anything like the one pictured, it's beautiful and highly desirable. I'd give my back teeth for it. If you have room for it, keep it and treasure it. If you don't, sell it for a lot of money.
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Old 08-12-09, 04:10 PM
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I wish more than anything that I had proportionate legs! I'm 5'9" but if my legs were proportionate to my torso I'd be like like 6'2"! I have a really hard time finding bikes that fit. The bike I got is the exact color as the one in the pictures, but maybe a little more faded. The seat has some cracking but seems sound. It also needs new tires but other than that and the fenders- it looks just like that. I wonder if i could ride with stilts?
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Old 08-12-09, 04:19 PM
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How big is the frame? I'm 5' 10" and my road bike has a 23 1/2 inch frame. That bike is so evocative for me. When I was ten, in 1962, I had a standard English heavy 3-speed roadster, and one or two rich kids had bikes with derailleurs. Really exotic. That narrow saddle and anodized components were so much part of that era. I love anodizing. I was even reading a site on how to do it yourself the other day. I don't know how much you could ask for a bike like that, but it's probably the most beautiful bike I've seen on here since I joined a couple of weeks ago, and there've been some really nice ones. I think that speaks to me because it's a Raleigh.
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Old 08-12-09, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Proofide View Post
I'd give my back teeth for it.
I see your back teeth and raise you a kidney.
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Old 08-12-09, 04:32 PM
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I'm not exactly sure what size the frame is- I'll have to make some measurements. I have like a 28" inseam- no joke, I have freakishly short legs. I was also reading some stuff on DIY anodizing a while ago. Really tempted to give it a try sometime.
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Old 08-12-09, 04:45 PM
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If you ask me, it'd be best to keep it all together and pass it on to someone it fits...
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Old 08-12-09, 04:51 PM
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Or trade it for something nice.
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Old 08-12-09, 07:26 PM
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Just measure from center of crank spindle to top of seat tube -- we're all in suspense here!
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Old 08-12-09, 09:58 PM
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Bike in link you provided looks 21 1/2"-22" at most... in the old days, riders rode with almost no seat post showing.

Its a beautiful bike.

I'd adapt...
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Old 08-12-09, 10:25 PM
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That's not the OP's actual bike, just an example.
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Old 08-12-09, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Charles Wahl View Post
Just measure from center of crank spindle to top of seat tube -- we're all in suspense here!
just measured and it looked like a little over 23 1/4". I checked the Raleigh brochure on Sheldon's site and it lists a 23 1/2" as the largest size- I think that's what I've got. Pictures in a minute...
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Old 08-12-09, 10:54 PM
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the bike is still filthy, and these pictures are terrible- but you get the idea...



I love these cranks... beautiful



the anodized stem/handlebar lug-thingy and brake handles- faded on the left brake



close up of the handlebar



in case you've never seen a Brooks before

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Old 08-12-09, 11:06 PM
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Very nice! BTW, except maybe for the red section, those parts are NOT anodized.
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Old 08-12-09, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Very nice! BTW, except maybe for the red section, those parts are NOT anodized.
yeah, i was referring to the stem lug thing and the brake levers... the red, or faded pink stuff. those are anodized right?
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Old 08-13-09, 04:41 AM
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It's a virtual twin to mine, except for the color. Please keep it in one piece.

I can't wait to finish mine and ride it. I left the Swallow on mine with the P.O. to save it from being ruined. A B-17 is far more appropriate for my 230lbs.
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Old 08-13-09, 05:49 AM
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I would keep the bike together, clean it up and make it look as nice as possible. Then I'd try to trade it, complete, for a similar bike in the correct size; or to trade the frame for another 1962 Raleigh Gran Sport frame, in the correct size. I think you'll find that a frame in the correct size isn't that hard to find.
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Old 08-13-09, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by nimbuscrenel View Post
yeah, i was referring to the stem lug thing and the brake levers... the red, or faded pink stuff. those are anodized right?
I'd have to have one in front of me to tell you for sure. Anodizing just wasn't common in those days.

Maybe Redneckwes can take a good look at his and tell us if it's painted red or anodized.
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Old 08-13-09, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Very nice! BTW, except maybe for the red section, those parts are NOT anodized.

I believe the red of those parts were anodized: the red has faded to pink!

Beautiful bike by the way: many people I'm sure would love to have it if it doesn't fit.

Trade for a 72 Raleigh International frame about 20.5"-21"?

<img src=http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i312/TWrelated/raleigh-inter712.jpg>

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Old 08-13-09, 09:06 AM
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thanks for all the great posts guys! I think I will keep it together- parting it out would seem sinful. I may even try fixing it up and riding it for a while, even though it's way too tall, and I'll try to find just the right person to sell it to.
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Old 08-13-09, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by dbakl View Post
I believe the red of those parts were anodized: the red has faded to pink!

Beautiful bike by the way: many people I'm sure would love to have it if it doesn't fit.

Trade for a 72 Raleigh International frame about 20.5"-21"?

<img src=http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i312/TWrelated/raleigh-inter712.jpg>
Oh man, I love the color of that frame! If I were going to have a frame custom painted that's almost exactly the color I'd go with. I wonder what the standover height would be? Where are you located?
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Old 08-13-09, 09:33 AM
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A couple more questions...

Besides cleaning and lubing it, is there anything else I should do to this bike? The paint is faded and chipped in some places and the decals aren't in great shape, but I should just leave the finish as is right?

It definitely needs new tires/tubes- what would be a good, affordable, period correct looking tire to use?

And should I replace the bar tape? Looks like white may have been the original color, any suggestions?
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Old 08-13-09, 09:43 AM
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Polish the chrome, wax and polish everything.

Don't touch the handlebar tape; it's perfect the way it is. It will eventually get nasty and need replacement, but wait until there's no life left in it.

Check spoke tension; if the spokes have gotten loose over time (I don't know why that happens, but it does), something should be done about that.

If you (or anyone) are planning to ride the bike much, it's a really good idea to replace the brake shoes with these:
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Old 08-13-09, 09:57 AM
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Disassemble. You need the right tools or find someone to help.

Go over the frame with a soft cloth and some paint thinner being really careful around the decals. You can use a toothbrush and thinner to get around the lug edges and bottom bracket.

GENTLY go over the frame with rubbing compound then wax heavily.

Throw all the parts in paint thinner and clean with a toothbrush. Reassemble with new grease, oil the chain, etc. Grease the seatpost and stem where they go into the frame. Someone will love you in 25 years for doing it.

Steel wool, Semichrome polish etc on chrome and aluminum. Get the wheels trued.

Replace inner cables and brake shoes as someone mentioned. Keep the outer cable housing if good; you can't get those colors any more.

A little Proofhide on the saddle.

Gumwall clinchers are hard to find these days, usually all black now.

I sent you my email; give me your address, I can send 2 rolls of oldstyle perforated white plastic bar tape, which I think is right for that bike, unless you want cloth.
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Old 08-13-09, 10:16 AM
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What about tires like these? http://harriscyclery.net/itemdetails.cfm?id=1278

Also, what kind of wax should I use on the frame?
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