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1973 Raleigh Gran/Grand Sports

Old 12-31-20, 10:08 AM
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Gashepherd
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1973 Raleigh Gran/Grand Sports

I am currently looking at a 1973 Raleigh Grand Sports, I'm a little bit confused in the catalogs it's listed as a Gran Sports, but on the bike decals it's Grand Sports, is there something hinky going on here or is this normal (for Raleigh). Thanks for your input - Gerry



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Old 12-31-20, 10:13 AM
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calling gugie who knows more about Raleighs than I ever want to,

I wouldn't mind owning and rebuilding one of these white blue grand (or gran) sports.
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Old 12-31-20, 10:28 AM
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That's a nice looking GS. The crankset is quite a piece, if you wanted to you could remove the chainguard and use the long bolts to make a triple (need a longer axle of course). Check the front mech for cracks, they all do that sooner or later.
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Old 12-31-20, 10:30 AM
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Typical Raleigh hijinks. They switched back and forth on Gran/Grand a few times.
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Old 12-31-20, 10:34 AM
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This was normal in that period... it was the height of the bike boom and things were flying out of the Carlton workshop at a frenetic pace. Perhaps someone knows the actual reason for the disparity, but I think someone just made a mistake while ordering the decals and they just went with it. It does make googling the a pain. My GS looks just like yours.
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Old 12-31-20, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by oneclick View Post
That's a nice looking GS. The crankset is quite a piece, if you wanted to you could remove the chainguard and use the long bolts to make a triple (need a longer axle of course). Check the front mech for cracks, they all do that sooner or later.
----

-----

note placement of chainguard, occupying the spot normally held by outer chainwheel

triple spindle in use here so that inner chainwheel not pressed hard into chainstay


-----
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Old 12-31-20, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Mogens View Post
This was normal in that period... it was the height of the bike boom and things were flying out of the Carlton workshop at a frenetic pace. Perhaps someone knows the actual reason for the disparity, but I think someone just made a mistake while ordering the decals and they just went with it. It does make googling the a pain. My GS looks just like yours.
you answered one of my next questions, wether the Grand Sports was a Carlton built frame, next question, is $150 a decent price with a non-original rear derailleur and a broken shift lever and no idea on the condition of the front derailleur?
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Old 12-31-20, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Gashepherd View Post
you answered one of my next questions, wether the Grand Sports was a Carlton built frame, next question, is $150 a decent price with a non-original rear derailleur and a broken shift lever and no idea on the condition of the front derailleur?
I think that is a fair price. I have one of these, itís a great bike.
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Old 12-31-20, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by mkeller234 View Post
I think that is a fair price. I have one of these, itís a great bike.
+ 1 on the price.
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Old 12-31-20, 11:20 AM
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Buy it and throw on some Suntour mechs if you want. You won’t regret it. Yes it’s a Carlton frame.
I would go a step further on the price and call it a bargain.

Last edited by due ruote; 12-31-20 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 12-31-20, 11:40 AM
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I’ve seen a Grand Sports. And a Gran Sport. And a Grand Sport. And a Gran Sports. And I think @gugie has at least one of each.
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Old 12-31-20, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
I’ve seen a Grand Sports. And a Gran Sport. And a Grand Sport. And a Gran Sports. And I think @gugie has at least one of each.
You forgot my Grander Sportier. To the OP, I've modified several of these, they're good enough to spend some time and money on.

Least expensive all Reynolds 531 double butted tubing set frame in the early 70's Raleigh lineup, a bit shoddy craftsmanship on brazing, but that's hidden by the chrome socks and wonderful cream/lagoon blue paint job. They're a great rider.

The original equipment was kinda crap, the trick BITD was to upgrade to SunTour derailleurs. Modern derailleurs work even better. Having one of these in all original parts means you haven't upgraded it yet.

For $150, $50-60 on some Pasela 27" tires on it and you've got a great rider at a very good price. I think the one you show in the picture has an integrated derailleur hanger instead of a bolt on claw, which is a definite step up.

To this day I haven't read of an explanation for the various spellings, when I post here about them I just call them Gran(d) Sport(s), covers all the bases.

edit: Of course it's a 1973. They're all 1973's, far as I can tell. I think they made so many of them the same bikes were sold for a couple more years. A buddy of mine bought his in 1975 brand new, serial number shows it was built in '73.
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Last edited by gugie; 12-31-20 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 12-31-20, 12:53 PM
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And then there's the Competition dressed as a Gran(s) Sport(s):

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Old 12-31-20, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Gashepherd View Post
.......my next questions, wether the Grand Sports was a Carlton built frame, next question, is $150 a decent price with a non-original rear derailleur and a broken shift lever and no idea on the condition of the front derailleur?
I would argue that the bike is worth more without the original derailleurs!

Back in the mid 70's, I made a deal with the bike shop to buy a Gran Sport without the derailleurs, wheels, pedals, bar, stem, seat, seat post... and I think that was it. My opinion was that these parts were mostly crap, and I already had nicer parts on hand. A bit unusual, but I never regretted it, especially the part about getting rid of the Simplex derailleurs. Rode that bike for 14 years!

I know that most of the folks here already know what a Gran Sport looks like, but too bad. Here's a shot of my beloved Gran Sport.



Steve in Peoria
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Old 12-31-20, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
And then there's the Competition dressed as a Gran(s) Sport(s):

There is a version with Nervex Pro lugs too! Raleigh must have been an interesting place back then, always changing things up a bit.
I'm thinking of the one that @76SLT , aka Bernie, owns and brought to my vintage ride in September. Beautiful bike!





The "lagoon blue" and white scheme is a carryover from the Carlton Cycles company that Raleigh bought, and is wonderful.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 12-31-20, 01:47 PM
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The original Simplex derailleurs work great. Only problem was the clamp cracking on the front. Your FD is present so if not cracked I would get a replacement simplex criterium RD some replacement simplex shifters (both of which can be had form very little because of everyone’s aversions to them) get a Brooks b15 or 17 , paselas and roll out!
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Old 12-31-20, 01:47 PM
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Time for me to defend the Simplex derailleurs. Its my preferred gear changer and the long cage version which the GS came with are extra nice.
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Old 12-31-20, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
Time for me to defend the Simplex derailleurs. Its my preferred gear changer and the long cage version which the GS came with are extra nice.
I'm not very familiar with simplex but unfortunately the rear derailleur has been replaced with a shimano tourney derailleur and I've noticed that the prestige maxi rear derailleur is very difficult to find, I have parts for the simplex shifters and several broken front derailleurs
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Old 12-31-20, 04:04 PM
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personally... I think a SunTour VGT rear derailleur would be a good replacement without being expensive. I suspect that a lot of Gran(d) Sport(s) ended up with these.

btw, I think the photo shows Weinmann dimpled rims. I built a set of wheels with these way back when, and remember them as being fairly nice.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 12-31-20, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Gashepherd View Post
... is $150 a decent price ...?
Thread moved from C&V to C&V Appraisals.
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Old 12-31-20, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
personally... I think a SunTour VGT rear derailleur would be a good replacement without being expensive. I suspect that a lot of Gran(d) Sport(s) ended up with these.

Steve in Peoria
I have a set of suntour superbe pro derailleurs and a suntour cyclone II rear derailleur with a cyclone front derailleur, which would be the best match for this?
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Old 12-31-20, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Gashepherd View Post
I have a set of suntour superbe pro derailleurs and a suntour cyclone II rear derailleur with a cyclone front derailleur, which would be the best match for this?
The Cyclone II is a better match than the Superbe, both chronologically and level of sophistication/technology. I've got a first generation Cyclone on my Gran Sport in the photo above.
Sounds like you are pretty well equipped to fix the bike up!

Steve in Peoria
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Old 12-31-20, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
personally... I think a SunTour VGT rear derailleur would be a good replacement without being expensive. I suspect that a lot of Gran(d) Sport(s) ended up with these.

btw, I think the photo shows Weinmann dimpled rims. I built a set of wheels with these way back when, and remember them as being fairly nice.

Steve in Peoria
Mine came from the bike shop in 1973 upgraded with the SunTour VGT derailleurs; or at least that's what the guy I bought mine from told me. I paid $90 for mine, but I think I got a crazy deal. I wouldn't bat an eye at $150.
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Old 12-31-20, 07:15 PM
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I mean really, if you built a new one it would cost, what, $2000?
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Old 12-31-20, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Mogens View Post
I mean really, if you built a new one it would cost, what, $2000?
I wonder what it would cost now.

I wonder where you would go to get similar quality too.

Around the year 2000, I had a local frame builder make me a touring/commuting/travel frame from the latest True Temper tubing with S&S couplers. I even adapted the Gran Sport's paint scheme... at least in the sense of having a contrasting head tube and two contrasting panels on the seat tube. The cost was $1600, and about $400 of that was the S&S couplers.
Even as a small frame builder, the quality was much better than the Gran Sport ever was, and the paint was much, much better quality! I think I had $2600 in the bike when it was built up....



This bike has dimensions that were evolved from the Gran Sport, including the fairly low bottom bracket. The top tube is a bit longer, though, and the chain stays were made longer to handle rear panniers. Less fork rake too.

Steve in Peoria
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