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1950's Men's Raleigh Lenton Grand Prix

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1950's Men's Raleigh Lenton Grand Prix

Old 03-02-12, 10:37 PM
  #1  
biglee67
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1950's Men's Raleigh Lenton Grand Prix

I'm curious about this bike, as there is one at an auction this weekend in my area. I've searched the net and have found photos of 1955 & 1958 which were yellow w/ white fork/stem tube and all of the fancy 'leaves' stickers on the seat tube, which match the auction bike in question. This bike however, has a multi-speed IGH with built in lever operated drum brake (no, I didn't look at the hub markings ) , the rear benelux 4 cog wheel & deraillier w/ shift lever on the down tube, and double chainwheel w/ the benelux bar lever control deraillier on the seat tube. Strange! It also has a front, hand lever operated drum brake, which looks pretty old. Most of the photos I've found have caliper brakes. Some other stuff was added, but can be removed. It still has the Brooks b15 seat in pretty good condition because it was covered with an add-on seat padding, and the bike itself is in pretty good condition with only minor rust on the chrome parts.

Has anyone ever heard of this combination of gears and the brakes? I'm thinking of bidding on it, up to abt $100 (including the auction fee).

Thx

Last edited by biglee67; 03-02-12 at 11:33 PM. Reason: error in text
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Old 03-03-12, 11:35 AM
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I'd go higher than that if I had the money. Very interesting setup.
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Old 03-03-12, 05:21 PM
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So, I got the bike. The rear hub is a Sturmey Archer AB 3-sp w/ drum brake (stamped 12-53) & 4 cog freewheel w/ benelux deraillier & shift lever mounted on the downtube, and 'suicide' deraillier on the seat tube for the front double chainwheel . The front drum brake is also Sturmey Archer (according to online catalogs) is a model BFC.

I've taken most of the junk off of it (rear rack, wierd rear tire lock that hung under the seat, a chain lock, Dorcy rear wheel generator w/ lights). I'll post a photo as soon as I can give it a bath. Then it will be tear down time!

Last edited by biglee67; 02-05-13 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 03-04-12, 11:24 AM
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Great find. Love to see the pics

Check out this 1958

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ton-Grand-Prix
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Old 03-04-12, 11:48 AM
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I can't wait to see it either.
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Old 03-04-12, 11:50 AM
  #6  
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I really should be working on the bike, instead of viewing the forum.

BTW, BianchiGirl, I luv your 'cat ladies' byline!

Last edited by biglee67; 03-04-12 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 03-04-12, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by old_dreams View Post
Great find. Love to see the pics

Check out this 1958

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ton-Grand-Prix
Yeah, I saw that one...very nice. The one I bought is a little rougher as it appears that someone tried to use it as a commuter within the last couple of decades, then must have hung it in their garage, as it had cobwebs and what appears to be the dried mud from either a swallows nest or mud dauber nest on the rear wheel. Still I think it will clean up nicely.
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Old 03-04-12, 12:16 PM
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Just as a reference point, here's a stock (ignore the wheels, they're wrong, especially the front) 58-60 Lenton Grand Prix:



What I've picked up while researching my restoration is that the 1960 model is supposedly the last year for the suicide shifter on the front. They went to dual levers on the downtube for the final two years. And mine is the 'other' color available that I've never been able to figure out exactly what color it is, except that it's not gold.

I've run across the combination of the S-A hub/multiple freewheel/derailleur combination in the past. Actually, I built one of my own on my Raleigh Sports 40 years ago, but used a Huret Allvit because the Benelux Model 7's were impossible to find back then. And, I've got a spare Model 7 in the parts bin, along with a Cyclo triple freewheel just waiting for the day I'd want to do it again.

I'm definitely eagerly awaiting pictures, too. I figure this group is patient enough to give you until this evening to post, then we start screaming.
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Old 03-04-12, 01:59 PM
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Can you show us a close up of the hub/cog set-up? I'd love to see how four cogs were attached to the hub. Is it a threaded hub driver or does it use the notched driver?
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Old 03-04-12, 09:47 PM
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I wanna see the dirty pictures. Mud daubers and all.
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Old 03-05-12, 10:47 AM
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the photos for '58 Raleigh Lenton GP!

I'm still trying to figure out how to do the photos on this site. Don't have a flicker, etc, acct. But here's a link to my post, w/ photos, on The Cabe.
http://thecabe.com/vbulletin/showthr...113#post129113

It didn't wash up as well as I'd hoped, too much old gunk, but will clean up better when I do the tear down.

As to the rear hub combo, I can't really tell how it attaches to the 4 cog/derailleur combo. It seems like a clean marriage, as it doesn't have any bulky adapter, etc. Will take some photos during tear down. I've read online of a couple of instances where people have had an IGH hub w/ freewheel & derailleur, but no info was given as to how this was done. My LBS owner liked it, so I guess I'll leave it as is, as a 24 spd! (don't know how usable it is, but I've also read that it can just be left in 2nd in the IGH and used as an 8 spd.

The only thing I didn't notice before I bought it, is that the braze-on cable guides on the top tube have been split open. As you can see in the photos, the 3-spd shifter cable is run through the fulcrum clamp & pulley as on most other three speeds. The rear brake cable runs down the left side of the top tube through slip on clamps.

I'm currently working on another bike, but should start this one by the end of the month. I'll post if I have problems/concerns.

Nice bike, skyrocker!

Sailerbenjamin: Sorry, I'd already brushed off the dried mud.

Sherrill
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Old 03-05-12, 10:52 AM
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I can't access your pictures.
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Old 03-05-12, 11:15 AM
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Nor can I.
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Old 03-05-12, 11:54 AM
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Photos @ Flickr

I created a Flickr acct. Try this
http://www.flickr.com/photos/7763924...7629154882108/

S
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Old 03-05-12, 01:54 PM
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That is a very interesting bike, wish it was mine. I have never seen that combination of gears and brakes before on a single machine. I would suggest it didn't come out of the factory like that but was a period upgrade by a real enthusiast at some point in it's youth. I would strip clean and leave everything as it is it is great.

Regards
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Old 03-05-12, 02:39 PM
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1.



2.



3.

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Old 03-05-12, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by 385xza View Post
That is a very interesting bike, wish it was mine. I have never seen that combination of gears and brakes before on a single machine. I would suggest it didn't come out of the factory like that but was a period upgrade by a real enthusiast at some point in it's youth. I would strip clean and leave everything as it is it is great.

Regards
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Thx. I tend to agree on the 'upgrade by a real enthusiast at some point in it's youth'. It's definitely unusual. Makes you scratch your head and go, "hmmmm?".
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Old 03-05-12, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by old_dreams View Post
1.



2.



3.

Thx for your help posting the pix. S
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Old 03-05-12, 10:02 PM
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I think that is an incredible bike at an incredible bargain! Drop bars, 24 speeds, . . . drum brakes? Fantastic!
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Old 03-05-12, 10:33 PM
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That's the same rear hub setup I once had -- 14-16-18-20 cogset on a standard wide-range 3-speed hub. The cogset has regular prongs, just like an individual cog -- all freewheeling is done inside the hub. If you have 46-49 or 47-49 in front, you have a really nice half-step gear progression, with redundancies only at the top of first gear and the bottom of third gear. I'll bet you still have some 20 speeds. (I ran 40/14-16-18-20, giving me the equivalent of 53-40-30/14-16-18-20, for a range of 39 to 99 gear-inches w/ 26" tires.)
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Old 03-06-12, 08:59 AM
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Thank heavens it's not my size. That's super cool.
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Old 03-06-12, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
That's the same rear hub setup I once had -- 14-16-18-20 cogset on a standard wide-range 3-speed hub. The cogset has regular prongs, just like an individual cog -- all freewheeling is done inside the hub. If you have 46-49 or 47-49 in front, you have a really nice half-step gear progression, with redundancies only at the top of first gear and the bottom of third gear. I'll bet you still have some 20 speeds. (I ran 40/14-16-18-20, giving me the equivalent of 53-40-30/14-16-18-20, for a range of 39 to 99 gear-inches w/ 26" tires.)
Thx for the info. Then, maybe it's not so crazy afterall!

S
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Old 03-06-12, 10:40 AM
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Well, I will say frankly I think the setup is a pretty crazy. I had a '58 Lenton Grand Prix for a while, and was considering a similar build; but I was going to put only two sprockets on the hub, and relatively big ones, like 20 and 23; that would give twelve very evenly spaced gears. The way yours is set up now, you have a lot of very high gears that I would never use. But anyway, I didn't go there, the build was too crazy (even) for me. I eventually set the bike up with a 14-28 5-speed freewheel; the benelux derailleur wouldn't shift onto the 14t sprocket, but that was fine with me.

How are the hub brakes? I know they're cool, but my impression is the are not very powerful.
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