Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My Raleigh Grand Prix

So what's this all about. I build frames so why build up and ride a bicycle I didn't build? Well it's all about compare and contrast. I want to build a randonneur/touring/commuter bicycle, so I have to have something to compare it to. If you read earlier in my blogs, you know I built my current road bike to match my Time Trial bike position. It sacrifices comfort for a more aerodynamic position.

So there you have it. A Blue 23-1/2"( 59.5 C-T, or 58 C-C) Raleigh Grand Prix.

It a heavy Steel, Lugged Frame, it's not top of the line, yet this frame has some nice features. I like the head-tube badge.

The frame and fork was built in the Carlton Factory.

The bike came with center pull brakes. I like Center pulls so it's not a problem for me, exspecially when it came with 27" wheels, I'm going to use 700c. I'm going to able to do that because I acquired a set of Dia-Compe long reach calipers, This is also going to give me a little more room for fatter tires and fenders

I love the flat crown. This gives longer fork blades and more flex for road shock.

I like the chrome fork blade to elimated chipped paint from road debris.

Ahhhhh The bottom bracket. If you know anything about this frame, you know about the proprietary threading. Raleigh used 26tpi (1 3/8" X 26 tpi), not 24tpi. I had to ream out the thread, then re-thread the bottom bracket to Italian (70 mm width, 36 mm x 24 TPI).

I also had to face the ends of the bottom bracket from 71mm to 70mm, luck for me Italian isn't 68mm like English standard thread.

A purest my cring at the thought of not keeping it original, but this bottom bracket is a lot better than the original, also it's easy to replace. The original BB is for a cottered crank. I could probably search around to find something to work, but why when I can get something together faster, better, or all together more functional?

Nice! . . . Braze on center pull cable stop

Wrap around seat stays. If you look close you will see a 72 stamped on the lug. I suspect the seat-tube angle is 72, but builders can manipulate lugs to different angles.

Now the dropouts. They are horizontal, or are the semi-horizontal? They are angled so if you move the wheel back you will not exceed the reach of the brake caliper.

(It's funny how today if you get a single speed frame the dropout are true horizontal, like those on a track frame, but remember a track frame does not use brakes . . . so are those frame putting form over function? )

And last but not east an old vintage panel paint scheme.

Tommorow I'm going to measure the frame and make sure it's alligned.


The Unabashed Blogger said...

I like it. One of these days I may be able to build a commuter bike the way I want it. Till then...

idotel said...

I have a similar GP in Red. I've been struggling with the BB for months now. Trying to keep it original is not working out. You made the right choice re-tapping it.

CurbDestroyer Chronicles said...

Philwood makes bottom brackets to fit the Raleigh threading also. I found threading it to italian a lot cheaper. I was going to keep it original, but a didn't see many crank choices for 175mm to fit the spindle the original BB had, and that's another can of worms.