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My First Project - Raleigh Gran Sport

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My First Project - Raleigh Gran Sport

Old 01-31-12, 08:16 PM
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Miyata110
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My First Project - Raleigh Gran Sport

Just picked up my first project - '72 (I think). Most of these are from the seller, I will post more/better pictures in the near future.







It obviously needs quite a bit of work, but I think I'm up for it. I plan on keeping it pretty much as-is (restoring what I can and replacing what I can't with period correct components), though the derailleurs and shifters sure are ugly! It is one size too big for me so my Dad is going to be thrilled when I give it to him (assuming I don't ruin before then). Wish me luck!
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Old 01-31-12, 08:25 PM
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I had a 1975 Gran Sport. I bought it in 1976 and rode it many, many miles. The longest trip I took was from Lake Champlain, VT to Hyannis, MA. It's a nice and light bike. Yours looks to be in good condition. If you need any help, just holler. There are lots of people here who love to help.
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Old 01-31-12, 08:25 PM
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Very nice bike.
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Old 01-31-12, 09:35 PM
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A lovely example. I love the randonneur-style bars. I'm surprised to see Zeus dropouts on an English Raleigh. That's a new one for me. My '74 Gran Sport has stamped dropouts, but is still 531 frame and forks. Cool cool bikes.
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Old 01-31-12, 09:44 PM
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Beautiful. I can almost imagine it cruising down the road.
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Old 01-31-12, 09:50 PM
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Be aware that those cranks require a specific puller. You can get fooled by using one that's close but you may ruin those fine old cranks.
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Old 01-31-12, 09:52 PM
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Very nice! Your bike is a little more desirable because of those Zeus dropouts. Later on, they came with generic dropouts that didn't have an RD hanger. Yours looks like it has all of it's original parts, except the Brooks saddle.

Good luck!
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Old 01-31-12, 09:53 PM
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Thanks for the heads-up Thumpic!
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Old 01-31-12, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Thumpic View Post
Be aware that those cranks require a specific puller. You can get fooled by using one that's close but you may ruin those fine old cranks.
Those are Nervar cranks, I thought they used a standard puller? Mine had Stronglight cranks, which do take a different thread.
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Old 01-31-12, 09:55 PM
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Good save Miyata. Another Gran Sport joins the living ! Good luck with the project, your father is going to love his new(old) toy. That is one seriouly rusted freewheel.

My 62 is slowly coming along. A little frame work, parts cleaning and a few parts to find will get me out on the road for the spring.

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Old 01-31-12, 10:38 PM
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Looks to be in pretty good shape. I have a 73 and find it to be a really sweet ride. Suntour derailleurs make fine replacements, unless you're set on keeping it Euro-centric.
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Old 01-31-12, 10:50 PM
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Very nice looking Raleigh ! I'm sure your father will love it. Don't forget to post photos when the resto is finished.
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Old 01-31-12, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by due ruote View Post
Looks to be in pretty good shape. I have a 73 and find it to be a really sweet ride. Suntour derailleurs make fine replacements, unless you're set on keeping it Euro-centric.
Thanks, that's what I'm thinking though I have read some who have kept the simplex. We'll see.

I got anxious and have already started stripping it! I've got to stop at the LBS for a few tools and I will probably have it down to the frame in the next day or two.

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Old 02-01-12, 10:08 PM
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Update on progress

So I've done what I can with the tools I had on hand. I'm hoping I'll get to the LBS tomorrow to pick up the proper tools for crank and freewheel removal. I don't plan on touching the headset, I'm not sure that is something I want to tackle just yet. Here is what I'm looking at so far.







I've got the derailleurs soaking in some vinegar, which I plan on doing with most of these other parts to clean them up. I'm then thinking of wrapping the frame in vinegar soaked paper towels in an effort to clean up the frame as best I can. After that I guess I'll see what it looks like and go from there.
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Old 02-02-12, 01:25 AM
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Wait, you have the whole parts soaking in vinegar?? I definitely would not be soaking an aluminum parts in vinegar, it can trash the finish. You need to disassemble each individual part and sort the rust steel bits, that is what gets soaked in vinegar.

Take that crank with you to the bike shop, make sure they check the threads and get you the right tool (if they even have it).

My Gran Sport frame was rusted just like yours, little rust specs everywhere. I soaked the entire bare frame in oxalic acid (do a search, tons of threads about it). It worked very well, my frame still looks great.

This picture shows a bit of the rust that was on my frame, this was all over:


And afterwords
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Old 02-02-12, 07:17 AM
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I always enjoy looking at that, Matt!

My Gran Sport is one of the few bikes I regret selling. I couldn't imagine owning more than one nice bike at the time.
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Old 02-02-12, 07:35 AM
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Nice bike. I love my '73 (with the opposite color scheme).

Originally Posted by Miyata110 View Post
I don't plan on touching the headset, I'm not sure that is something I want to tackle just yet.
Don't be afraid of the headset. It is easy, and in fact is something you really should clean and repack.

I don't recall the specifics of mine but doing a headset is pretty straightforward. You need to know only one trick. Loosen the big lock nut and remove it and the top race while the bike is right-side-up and weighting down the fork, which is to say with the fork being pressed into the frame. This keeps the lower bearings from falling out. If the bearings aren't caged, and they probably aren't, count them! From how they fit it may seem as if one or two are missing; that's how it should be. After you have removed all the bearings hold the fork pressed into the frame as you turn the frame over. Then you can lift out the fork without the lower bearings scattering all over the place.

Re-assembly is the reverse of dis-assembly. You may wish to use new bearings. When you tighten down the top race, leave a little slack before tightening the lock nut, because tightening the lock nut will further press down the race. Getting it right may require re-doing it several times, but eventually you can get it so that it doesn't bind but has no play.
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Old 02-02-12, 07:46 AM
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Ok, thanks for the info Matt. I don't plan on keeping the derailleurs anyway so it shouldn't matter much with those, I will definitely remember this going forward though.

I thought my cranks used a standard puller. Based on some pictures I have seen online, nothing jumps out at me as being out of the ordinary.

I had NO IDEA my frame had even half that potential! That is one great looking bike. I've heard about the wood bleach but was told vinegar worked just as good. If that is not the case I will switch.

Jim - thanks for the encouragement. I honestly haven't looked too far into it yet, so I will do some more research and maybe give it try before all is said-and-done.

Last edited by Miyata110; 02-02-12 at 07:51 AM. Reason: Added content
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Old 02-02-12, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I couldn't imagine owning more than one nice bike at the time.
Thanks. As nice as it is, it's sort of a pain in the butt. It's too clean that I don't want to take it out in bad weather, I fuss over it to much and that makes it a burden at times. I spent time putting parts on because I liked how they looked, now the bike is less comfortable to me. My Mercian is everything my Raleigh is not. Because of that, I don't ride my Raleigh much anymore.
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Old 02-02-12, 08:17 AM
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Kudos to you Miyata110 fr choosing one of the most worthy of Raleigh bikes as your first project.
I think your assessment on the year is correct based on the script decals and DOs, as well as the long name ("GranD SpeortS"). Raleigh must have truncated the name over time for cost savings or something as it was progressively shortened to "Gran Sport". (I have an early-isssue '73, identical to yours including the Nervar but with the block-style Raleigh decal)

These early butted 531 frames are an absolute joy to ride - very comfortable, and IMO, the GB Rando bars are without equal.
The one thing that is most endearing to me about them is the color. That lagoon blue/white is just so unique and wonderful, and even nicer in person than in photos.
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Old 02-02-12, 08:35 AM
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Thanks Auchen. Any chance you can tell me if a "standard" crank puller will be sufficient for this job? I had planned on stopping at the LBS on my way home from work, but I want to be sure I get the right tool.
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Old 02-02-12, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Miyata110 View Post
Thanks Auchen. Any chance you can tell me if a "standard" crank puller will be sufficient for this job? I had planned on stopping at the LBS on my way home from work, but I want to be sure I get the right tool.
Take the frame and crank with you, that is the safest method.
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Old 02-02-12, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by mkeller234 View Post
Those are Nervar cranks, I thought they used a standard puller?
Thumpic is misinformed. Those cranks do require a standard, 22 x 1 puller.

Your Gran Sport is one classy ride, Matt.
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Old 02-02-12, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Miyata110 View Post
Thanks Auchen. Any chance you can tell me if a "standard" crank puller will be sufficient for this job? I had planned on stopping at the LBS on my way home from work, but I want to be sure I get the right tool.
IIRC, it took a std puller, but it's been quite a while since I pulled the crank to service it (and I've done about a hundred others since) so my memory is fuzzy.
Anyway, if it requires a 23.35 Stronglight or 23.0 TA puller, it should be quite obvious when you see how loosey-goosey a std 22.0 puller is.

The real problem comes in differentiating between TA and Stronglight - which are "close" but not the same.
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Old 02-02-12, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Miyata110 View Post
I've heard about the wood bleach but was told vinegar worked just as good. If that is not the case I will switch.

Vinegar is every bit as good as wood bleach, and I use vinegar on all the small parts. It's submerging a whole frame that makes vinegar cost prohibitive... Oxalic acid in a large pool of water is inexpensive (and toxic)
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