Pete Kohl writes:
> The GS is let down a bit also by those lovely Weinmann concave rims which
> strike me as a mite heavy But the frame geometry of this model is sublime and
> wonderful; I've taken her on 70 mile roundtrips and she's as comfortable on
> longer trips as on short courses. The Raleigh Competition has to be one of the
> great '70s-80s "classics" I don't know of a single owner of one who doesn't
> rate it as an absolute joy to ride. One still sees them around here and
> indicative of their owners'
> pride in them, the two I've seen recently are immaculate. I know the model
> has little appeal among some due to its very popularity and its mass market
> Raleigh qualities, but for the money and in its day, it was a sweet bike.
> And still is.
> I picked up a NOS GS frame about 3-4 years back, but have had to reclassify it as RBSGS (ridden but still great shape). The ride is outstandingly comfortable, which amazes me with those 74 degree parallel angles. It's nimble yet so sure-footed and comfy I actually used it for fully-loaded pavement touring for a while. Handled front/rear panniers like a champ. The "way back" SR MTE seat post I used may have been a factor in the comfort and stability. The chrome superb, the paint excellent. Too big for me, though, so I'm going to sell it. Interestingly, given it's fine riding characteristics and good finish, this frame also exhibits a trait of English production frames of this era I call "Duck, here comes the Fall of the Empire". It went out with about a half centimeter long/millimeter wide gap along one of the head tube lugs. Barely noticeable but still there. Someone bent the lug, threw it on anyway, brazed as best they could and passed it on. An NOS '82 Holdsworth Special of mine has a twisted point on the seat lug. Again it looks as if it was dropped, and they just brazed it that way. Kind of cute. The head tube lug on my '79 Mistral is slightly askew. Stuff like this doesn't really bother me, though it might others; I figure just the nature of production hand builts and lends an element of uniqueness(?). On the other hand, the lug work on my early 50's Viking and pre-War Bates (even with its rather clunky Chater Lea lugs) is immaculate. Maybe it was the just-post-Bike Boom intensity that allowed quality control to slip or maybe I have the only examples of this on the planet. But just goes to show you that good bikes can have their little faults (like the rest of us) and still be good bikes.
Craig Montgomery to a fault in Tucson