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Need Help Restoring 1974 Raleigh Grand Prix

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Need Help Restoring 1974 Raleigh Grand Prix

Old 11-11-14, 01:21 PM
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PennyF@rthing
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Need Help Restoring 1974 Raleigh Grand Prix

Hello everyone,

I'm new on this forum and this is my first post. I live around the Boston area and since the cold weather is fast approaching I just bought an old Raleigh Grand Prix 10-speed that I would like to fix up and ride this coming Spring. I found the serial number and it looks like it was built by the Gazelle company in Holland in September of 1974. My plan is definitely to get new rims, tires, and front and back brakes. I'm also thinking maybe new front and back derailleurs, a crank, and a bottom bracket? Also, I know that some people convert these old bikes to either fixed gear or single speed bikes. It would be great if you guys could provide some feedback on the pros/cons on each of these conversions and how difficult it is to do it.
Also, what's the best way to go about getting new parts for this bike that will fit? Feel free to offer any suggestions, restoring ideas, and tips that may help.
I have a little experience with bikes, but more importantly I have quite a bit of time until next Spring. So I would like to just go slow, do this right, and have some fun.

Thanks.
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Old 11-11-14, 06:02 PM
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If there is a bike co-op in your area, you might visit them looking for parts for your build. Some of them also act as "kitchens" where you can work on your bike using their equipment for a modest fee. Usually they are very helpful with advice on what should be done.
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Old 11-11-14, 06:45 PM
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New rims and tires, keep the brakes and change the pads, crank and bottom bracket change is good. ride it with the derailleurs you have until you know they do not work and then change them and the chain.

to find parts, cruise a local shop or co-op, check on ebay.
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Old 11-11-14, 07:05 PM
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Link some photos back to this thread, then the guys + gals can offer some friendly advice. There is enough wind and some rolling hills around Beantown that can make a single speed challenging.

The Grand Prix is 2nd in line to the Record for entry level Raleigh Road Bikes and is built with high tensile steel. They ride smoothly, but are considered somewhat heavy and rarely are worth more than $200 in pristine condition, unless it is a mixte. If you want to upgrade wheels and all, best to look for a donor bike, that has the components you want on it.

A donor bike by way of example, is a Raleigh Super Grand Prix I recently bid and won on ebay for about $120. I can use the barcon shifters ($40), the Raleigh pantographed crankset ($40), and the high flange hub alloy wheelset ($30), and probably resell what's left for $50 or more.
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Old 11-11-14, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by bwilli88 View Post
New rims and tires, keep the brakes and change the pads, crank and bottom bracket change is good. ride it with the derailleurs you have until you know they do not work and then change them and the chain.

to find parts, cruise a local shop or co-op, check on ebay.
Just be aware that if you change the bottom bracket, chances are you will have to chase the threads. Your bike co-op can probably help here. I've played with a few of these Grand Prix in the past. The brakes and whatnot clean up nicely with a little elbow grease.
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Old 11-11-14, 10:19 PM
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With respect to the bottom bracket threading - I'm 99% certain it will be 26tpi (threads per inch), not the standard 24 tpi. This may well create some complications with respect to changing the crankset.
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Old 11-12-14, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Ed. View Post
With respect to the bottom bracket threading - I'm 99% certain it will be 26tpi (threads per inch), not the standard 24 tpi. This may well create some complications with respect to changing the crankset.
I don't know; every one of the Gazelle-built Grand Prix that have passed through my hands had standard English BB threads.

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Old 11-12-14, 10:00 AM
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If you want to "do this right", don't go fixed gear. You want a commuter, right? Fixed gear is passé.
For parts, you might check out Bikes Not Bombs, a small shop in Jamaica Plain. Some nice guys in there.
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Old 11-12-14, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by top506 View Post
I don't know; every one of the Gazelle-built Grand Prix that have passed through my hands had standard English BB threads.

Top
I missed the 'Gazelle' note. It's been over 30 years since I've had my nose in a GP bottom bracket; you are most likely correct.
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Old 11-12-14, 02:05 PM
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Hello everyone,

Wow, thanks for all the comments and suggestions. This is great. I'll try to post some photos later of the bike so you can get more of an idea of what I'm talking about. I'm still not exactly sure what I'm looking to turn this bike into but it's probably not going to be a commuter but more like a fun weekend bike. I know this was never a top-of-the-line bike but I liked the look of the frame and it seems straight so I'm willing to put a little time and money into it to make it nice. I want to do this not only to be able to ride it once the warm weather comes, but also just to try new things and get better working on bikes.
The bottom bracket is still a little confusing to me. It seems like the consensus is that it will have standard English threads. So does that mean if I buy a new BB it will be interchangeable? Also, how do you know if the BB even needs changing? Will it grind or "catch" when you turn the crank? I think I want to change it because I've never done it before and I would like to figure it out.
An early idea for a plan is as follows (and please let me know if this is an ill-advised plan or of any snags that I may encounter along the way). I think I want to convert it to a singlespeed bike and not a fixed gear, because I would like to be able to coast and I don't like the idea of the pedals always turning while the bike is in motion. Also, I've always had geared bikes so this would be new for me. One reason for doing this is because the rear derailler is original and the front derailler is after-market and neither look good anymore. Therefore, I could just take these off and not have to worry about replacing them. Also, it has small plastic shift levers in the front that I think are original but don't really look that nice, so I could just take these off as well. If I go through with a singlespeed conversion, would I need a new wheel with a freewheel or a cassette? Once the drivetrain is done I might put on new brakes with new cables and that would pretty much be it.
The other option is a full restoration with new rims, tires, front/back deraillers, brakes, crank, and shift levers. That might seem too expensive and too time-consuming for this type of bike, and it might be, but I'm curious as to what you all might think.

Lastly, I will definitely check out Bikes Not Bombs, and what's a mixte?

Thanks and I look forward to the replies.
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Old 11-12-14, 02:25 PM
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If you're confused about the BB, your local bikeshop or co-op can help you. If the crank seems to turn ok, and doesn't wiggle side to side, it's probably fine. You will need to periodically pull off the crank arms and apply new grease to the bearings, though. This requires special tools.

If you're going SS and not fixed, you can keep your current wheel, no problem. In fact, if you want to do the really easy conversion, just take off the derailleur and put the chain on the cog you want to use. Job done.

This is a mixte:
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Old 11-12-14, 02:34 PM
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On the BB...you can get the experience of removing and replacing by simply taking this one out, cleaning it well and then reinstalling...that way there is no worry about the threads. Of course, while it is out, check the races to see if they are worn...if not...grease it up, reinstall it and there you go...
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Old 11-12-14, 02:45 PM
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Fixed gear is not passé here in NYC. I bet it isn't in Boston, either.
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Old 11-12-14, 05:11 PM
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Another shop that you might find helpful in the Boston area is Broadway Bikes in Somerville.
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Old 11-20-14, 08:20 AM
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Thanks guys, and yes I've been to Broadway Bikes in Somerville. Great little shop.
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Old 11-25-14, 12:09 PM
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Hello,

I've taken the BB off (picture below) and I would like to replace it. The BB shell or housing is 68 mm and the spindle measured end-to-end is 139 mm. Also 16GC was stamped on the spindle if that helps. I am trying to figure out what kind of BB to put back in. Also, I know I was mentioning singlespeed but I've gone back to wanting to build something that has some gears. So I'm going to try to get a new BB and a new crankset. Any thoughts on new BB sizes? Thanks.
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Old 11-25-14, 12:27 PM
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Use a thread pitch gauge and see if your shell is 24 threads per inch (tpi) or 26 tpi. 24 tpi is "standard" English, and 26 tpi is Raleigh threading. Chances are, yours is 26 tpi. You'll need to reuse the old cups or get a threadless BB. Another possibility is getting it retapped, but that has its perils.
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Old 11-25-14, 12:47 PM
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What you've got there is a spindle for cottered cranks. If you want to replace it with a modern bottom bracket, it will probably be a tapered one for cotterless cranks, which means you'll need a new set of cranks as well. If the races on this BB are still OK I'd suggest re-using this one.

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Old 11-25-14, 12:57 PM
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BTW, I like the Raleigh Grand Prix. Being sturdy and reliable, they make excellent commuters or tourers for not-too-hilly areas. Here's mine, before I got the bar tape on:

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Old 11-25-14, 01:40 PM
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Okay thanks.

Nice looking bike you got there. I noticed you replaced the old drop brake levers with new ones, do they help a lot more with the braking power? Also, did you replace the brakes or are those the original Weinmann center pulls?
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Old 11-25-14, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by PennyF@rthing View Post
Okay thanks.

Nice looking bike you got there. I noticed you replaced the old drop brake levers with new ones, do they help a lot more with the braking power? Also, did you replace the brakes or are those the original Weinmann center pulls?
I did replace the brake levers, but with the exact same levers. Except that the original ones were anodized black, which I thought did not look as good as these. So no change in braking power (which is decent enough, BTW). These were the originals:



The brakes are still the original Raleigh-branded Weinmanns 750/610 combo:



The things I did change: I removed the rear rack, added a Brooks saddle and replaced the brake cables and housing (had some NOS dark green stuff I thought would look nice).
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Old 11-28-14, 10:25 AM
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Cool. Thanks for explaining that.
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Old 11-28-14, 10:33 AM
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Not sure why you want to replace so many of the components. I would clean and service everything, replacing cables/housing/pads/tires/bar-wrap and see how it rides. A lot less money and then you can determine if anything needs to be upgraded at that point.
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Old 11-29-14, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by icepick_trotsky View Post
This is a mixte:
According to some here, that's not a mixte because it has a single top tube. I disagree. It's a mixte variant, but it's still a mixte.
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Old 11-29-14, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
According to some here, that's not a mixte because it has a single top tube. I disagree. It's a mixte variant, but it's still a mixte.
Agreed. It's the third set of stays that defines the mixte. Whether or not they run all the way to the head tube is of no consequence.
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