Your comments had me walking into the back room to look over my Grand Sports. Tubing is "butted tubes", not butted stays, and the brazing is nothing short of atrocious. There's a 3/4" long section of the downtube lug that has a visible gap (missing brazing) extending down to the miter! That's a head tube breaking off waiting to happen. Incredibly hasty construction. The Zeus dropouts are so soft that I've bent the hanger while carefully changing a rear tire! The wheels are UO-8-quality, but with poorly-welded Nisi-Evian rims, and I've seen these singlewall alloy rims crack at the weld. The paint looks nice. The Simplex changers and shifters work well enough, but again, are shared with the UO-8 for a reason. The Weinmann brakes are good, as are the cranks since I ditched the "chainring" guard and fitted a more symmetrical spindle.
I think the cranks, the frame tubing, the paint and the saddle were the features that got these bikes sold, it sure wasn't frame craftsmanship.
It's a pretty low-end bike, all things considered. UO-8 frames were much better brazed.
David Snyder Auburn, CA usa
Jerry Moos wrote:
>I beg to differ. The Grand Sport(s) was double butted 531 throughout,
>hardly what I would call "lower end". Granted, this may have been the
>least expensive full 531 DB Raleigh of the time, but besides the frame it
>had quality components, even including the Normandy Sport hubs, which were
>relatively inexpensive, but still one piece alloy bodies with QR's. The
>Grand Sport, like the Compertition and Super Tourer, were real bargains in
>531 DB bikes with good components.
> John Wood <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Great find Adam, she looks in great shape. Since this is a lower end,
> boom era bike of no historical significance, no problem in my book in
> striping her down and building it up the way you want. And then of course
> make sure your sister rides the heck out of it. It ought to be a great
> rider! If you have any pangs of guilt at all though, just toss the
> parts in a box, label it, and store it away for possible later use. Have