[CR]Humorous "caveat emptor" story


From: Mark Bulgier <mark@bulgier.net>
To: Classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Date: Sun, 4 Feb 2001 19:06:30 -0800
Subject: [CR]Humorous "caveat emptor" story

I bought a '74 or so Raleigh Pro frame and fork - or is it? Those who want to see the picture before you hear the answer to the mystery, go to http://bulgier.net/pics/Our_Pics/Bike/RaleighPro.JPG and think "What's wrong with this picture?"

I'm a bit embarrassed that I didn't spot it in the store, but y'all will surely remember that Raleigh Pro frames of that vintage have internally-lugged fully-sloping crowns. I didn't notice the wrong crown 'til I got it home - then I quickly noticed the Reynolds fork decal was in French - then I noticed that dumb oversized, swaged-down steerer that came on Motobecane Gran Records of the same era.

In my defense, the color match is uncanny. Silver metallic with black accents and gold pinstriping, chrome dropouts and halfway up the blades - and an externally lugged crown, which in a way matches the frame better than the original did. This is the original paint on both the frame and the fork; neither is resprayed to match the other. Motobecane and Raleigh just used the exact same color scheme!

I got the F/F so cheaply that I'm not going to return it. I had a French stem and NR headset so I'll just put it together and ride it, and see if anyone spots the mismatch.

Cutting the crown race seat to Campy dimension was made more difficult by aforementioned stupid swaged steerer. It's bigger than 1", so the pilot on Campy-style crown race mills (incl VAR, Park, etc) won't fit over it. Of course it's 25.0mm where it's threaded, and where it's inserted into the crown, the only places a fork might break, so the larger diameter part in the middle is just extra weight. The bottom isn't even butted; rather there's a cheezy extra piece of metal rammed up in there, which isn't even a tube - it's a "C"-shaped piece of bent-around sheetmetal that doesn't even reach all the way around to make an "O". I wonder how they justified putting the all Reynolds 531 decals on those Grand Records and Jubilees, with the obviously inferior steerer?

As I said though, I'll just ride it anyway. I rode across the continent fully loaded in '76 on a '74 Grand Record, and lots of people have ridden them many miles without braking the steerer; but I needed to vent. There, I feel better now.

Mark Bulgier