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Raleigh Grand Prix for recycling.
#1
Picked this Raleigh Grand Prix up at the thrift store today for $80.
Made in England in the early 70's maybe?
10 speed. see pics. 20-30 high carbon tubing and 27X 11/4 tires.

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"Where ever we go, there we are"
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#2
It's been suggested that the frame is bent were the top tube meets the bottom tube at the headset?
Wondering if others can see this damage from the pics and whether the frame needs replaced? The forks look ok but they could be bent as well i would guess?
"Where ever we go, there we are"
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#3
I would still try to save the frame no matter what
southern pride
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#4
(06-19-2015, 02:40 AM)elmore leonard Wrote:  It's been suggested that the frame is bent were the top tube meets the bottom tube at the headset?
Wondering if others can see this damage from the pics and whether the frame needs replaced? The forks look ok but they could be bent as well i would guess?

Maybe. It is hard to tell with the photos because they all look at the frame from an angle. But those two patches of missing paint on the top and down tubes look suspiciously like places the frame was tweaked. 

Look at the frame from the side, is the top section of the fork perfectly parallel with the head tube of the frame. If not, the fork is bent. If there's no serious damage, this kind of fork can be bent back safely from a minor bend. But I'd leave that to someone with some experience and the right tools. Not worth paying a professional to do on a bike like this, but if you know someone...

Probably rideable as is either way with a new seat, tires, front brake cable, and brake pads. Classy looking, but this isn't anything to invest too much into. Entry level bike in its day.
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#5
(06-19-2015, 08:42 AM)DaveM Wrote:  
(06-19-2015, 02:40 AM)elmore leonard Wrote:  It's been suggested that the frame is bent were the top tube meets the bottom tube at the headset?
Wondering if others can see this damage from the pics and whether the frame needs replaced? The forks look ok but they could be bent as well i would guess?

Maybe. It is hard to tell with the photos because they all look at the frame from an angle. But those two patches of missing paint on the top and down tubes look suspiciously like places the frame was tweaked. 

Look at the frame from the side, is the top section of the fork perfectly parallel with the head tube of the frame. If not, the fork is bent. If there's no serious damage, this kind of fork can be bent back safely from a minor bend. But I'd leave that to someone with some experience and the right tools. Not worth paying a professional to do on a bike like this, but if you know someone...

Probably rideable as is either way with a new seat, tires, front brake cable, and brake pads. Classy looking, but this isn't anything to invest too much into. Entry level bike in its day.

(06-19-2015, 08:42 AM)DaveM Wrote:  
(06-19-2015, 02:40 AM)elmore leonard Wrote:  It's been suggested that the frame is bent were the top tube meets the bottom tube at the headset?
Wondering if others can see this damage from the pics and whether the frame needs replaced? The forks look ok but they could be bent as well i would guess?

Maybe. It is hard to tell with the photos because they all look at the frame from an angle. But those two patches of missing paint on the top and down tubes look suspiciously like places the frame was tweaked. 

Look at the frame from the side, is the top section of the fork perfectly parallel with the head tube of the frame. If not, the fork is bent. If there's no serious damage, this kind of fork can be bent back safely from a minor bend. But I'd leave that to someone with some experience and the right tools. Not worth paying a professional to do on a bike like this, but if you know someone...

Probably rideable as is either way with a new seat, tires, front brake cable, and brake pads. Classy looking, but this isn't anything to invest too much into. Entry level bike in its day.

Maybe I will just clean it up, take it for a ride and hang it on the wall until I find another grand prix or another bike with 27 inch wheels to match up with.. Anyway I learned something about checking frames. Glad it wasn't a expensive bike. Maybe a interior decorator will want it to hang on the wall of a café or something. Or maybe I will put it on Craig's List as a parts bike and recover some of my jingle. I posted this on another forum and got similar feedback.
"Where ever we go, there we are"
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#6
A few more bits to add to the knowledge base:
  • the plastic Simplex RD and straight line FD are awful (most politically correct word that I could think of).
  • cottered cranks can be a pain - make sure that they are in good shape before you buy.  Generally, if you have to remove the pin, you should replace it with a new pin, they used to be (35 years ago) very easy to find, now not so much.
  • look for Reynolds 531 or Cro-Mo framed bikes, many can be had in the $50-$100 range that need just a little work.  2030, Carbolite 103, HiTen Steel, 1024, etc are all low end steel, and usually not worth much effort.
  • take a 2 or 3 foot long straight edge along when looking at bikes.  A bent frame is a pass.  A dented frame depends.  Steel is not going to fail from a few dents or a bend.  A bend may alter the geometry enough to transform the bike from a sweet ride to not so good.
  • steel rims should be replaced with aluminum for safety.
  • always budget for new brake pads and cables.
  • always budget for new balls and grease for the wheels, headset and BB.
  • 70's and 80's Suntour derailleurs are very desireable, some Shimano are okay, some Campagnolo too.
  • check the seat post is not stuck.  With the correct equipment it is not a big deal (4-6 hours) to remove if the bike is worth it - for me double butted cro-mo or db 531, and under $50- in otherwise very good shape.
  • spokes - all should appear the same in a given wheel, or plan on wheel rebuild.
  • take a short straight edge (1" is plenty) to check rim brake track wear.  1mm (.040") peaks to central valley means that the rims should be replaced.  Rim failure is not fun.  Trek Matrix hard anodized rims should not have huge areas of aluminum metal (silver) showing through the dark grey anodize - they will crack.
Nigel
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#7
Thanks Nigel.

I had a chance to work on the bike this afternoon and put a straight edge on the frame. The bend was less then 1/16th of a inch on both the top frame and the bottom frame. The forks look straight as well. The deraileur set up easily and works good. The front wheel is shot. Not sure if I can get a rim and put it on or not. But I'm wondering if the damage is really that serious now? The post fittings are perfect with perfect paint in both the seams.
"Where ever we go, there we are"
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