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Lentonstein!

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Lentonstein!

Old 02-21-12, 12:56 AM
  #1  
sailorbenjamin 
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Lentonstein!

Well, Kurt, it lives, more or less.

Kurt sold me this frame with a few other parts last fall. It's a '59 Lenton Grand Prix. Somehow I couldn't help myself, It's got the straight guage 531 main triangle like my Supercourse but way more rake. I really want to see how it handles when I get it set up right. It's an interesting contrast to the straight guage 531 Falcon that Noglider gave me last year, which has steeper angles.
I built it up with a bunch of random pieces from my stash. I'm going for the faux barn find look. I had the perfect crank but it won't work with this spindle so i grabbed the next crank in the pile. It's a really nice crank but totally wrong for the bike. That's why you can't see the drive side.
Turns out I don't actually have a pair of 27" wheels with the skinny axles that these dropouts require. But I've got this dandy pair of 26x1 1/4"s that look great on any vintage Raleigh.
I've got the fork a lot more straighter. It still looks wrong from the side but when I sight down from the top it looks good. I need to take some time and get scientific about it. I started with my usual technique of wedging the steerer between the steps on my back porch and sitting on the other end. Then I got to thinking about how the steerer was bent on this fork to begin with, Kurt had some trouble with this, and had an idea. I put in a new headset and installed the fork in the frame and then I leaned on it till it was straight. The fulcrum effect of the lower bearing helped that some. You can still tell that the bearings are not in a perfect line when you turn the crank past 90 degrees but it feels pretty good within the range of motion that you would use while riding.
I'm not entirely happy with it yet but it feels like a good start. I was hoping that with the 26s on there it would be like a 531 Raleigh Sport but I think they are throwing the geometry off in other ways. The fork rake/trail is for 27s (though the length is the same) and the rear triangle is too big. The handlebar/brake set up looks vintagy but they didn't know any better back then. My hands were crying for a pair of Northroads after 3 miles.
And almost every part currently on it is wrong but it's together and I wanted to get a couple of pictures to show this stage of the project. Here they are;
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Old 02-21-12, 07:57 AM
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What fun! It's a dog, but it's my kind of dog, if you know what I mean.
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Old 02-21-12, 08:30 AM
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I like it! It appears the rear brake caliper doesn't quite reach the rim? That may be another reason to return to 27s for this bike.
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Old 02-21-12, 08:41 AM
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I agree, 27s are best for this bike. I had one, but passed it on to Rob. The ideal setup on this bike, I think, is a Sturmey Archer hub with two cogs, since that makes good use of the shifter boss. I don't like the look of a shifter boss without a shifter on it!
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Old 02-21-12, 08:50 AM
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Interesting build, even without the proper chainset. I sort of like the old rusty fenders on the bike. I vaguely remember a thread on this bike, but can you refresh my memory on the year?

BTW, there was a Lenton Reg Harris at the Westminster swap a couple weekends ago. It was in pretty good condition and the guy wanted $300. It would have been my size at around 22" or so, but it had a derailleur and I dont need another conversion project.
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Old 02-21-12, 10:10 AM
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It'll be interesting to see how this one develops. I'd be curious to see it with some 27x1-3/8" tires and some narrow northroad bars, maybe flipped.
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Old 02-21-12, 12:25 PM
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That could clean up really nicely. Any plans for an oxylic acid dip? I think a weak bath might help a ton and not damage the decals.
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Old 02-22-12, 09:03 AM
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Also my kind of dog! "faux barn find"--I like.
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