Re: [CR]Moral quandary: my sister's new Raleigh Grand Sports

Example: Books:Ron Kitching
From: "David Snyder" <>
To: "Classic Rendezvous" <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Moral quandary: my sister's new Raleigh Grand Sports
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2008 18:47:55 -0800

Don, I probably shouldn't answer to this troll-like post, but you've so abused my words that I can hardly resist.

"Snobbery", you kiddin', right?

I faulted the defective head-tube junction, that's all, and the Grand Sports is, tho mid-pack among my mostly bottom-feeder collection, still a relatively cost-conscious, i.e. low-end machine. The pretty paint doesn't cover for structural defects imo, as Brian Bayliss so aptly noted. I collect Raleighs, even road-raced (and won) on a '70 Record back in 1976 with steel rims, and I still ride this faulty one hard at my own peril, so snobbery ain't applicable unless I am supposed to worship at the altar of lower-end Carltons. I've had at least 6 of each, Peugeots and Raleighs, From U0-8's to Pro's, and the sloppy brazing on most (but not all) of the Raleighs is second to none from what I've seen. How about Capella lugs so adorned with smeared brass as to be almost unrecognizeable, bb cable guides that pull right off, and I could go on, but it sometimes looks like they were perhaps rationing the torch gas at the factory, maybe good for the base metal but bad for the overall joinery.

The PFN-10 you've shown is, I believe, similar vintage and just one step down from my 1980 "PKN-10E Competition", yet the frame craftsmanship of even your Peugeot is much cleaner than my Raleigh SuperCourse or Grand Sports. The Peugeots simply seem to be made with far fewer excess globs of brass, and no gaps that I can find. It appears to me that their brazing operation was perhaps decades more advanced than Carltons imo. I wouldn't fault Peugeot's use of spot welds for cable stops and tacking because they designed it all that way, and no doubt tested their designs. I do fault Carlton's hit/miss craftsmanship that might give any designer a heart attack. I applaud your modest Peugeot's more-uniform quality level since that's what cost-conscious design is all about! The expensive Stronglight cranks on the Raleigh, by comparison, will never make up for a failed frame or cracked Nisi Evian rim, and my Peugeot's modest Simplex dropouts (same as yours) are not easily bent like the Raleigh's Zeus pieces. I'd go so far as to say that your Peugeot looks raceable to me, tho it's still a relatively low-end bike.

As an engineer involved in manufacturing, I have the very highest respect for cost-conscious end-users and minimal-cost designs, and have specialized in this area in a production environment. But quality control that is forgotton during manufacturing can have dire consequences and is most unforgiveable. In my opinion, the production supervisors at Carlton, some of them, were overworked, or just lazy, and the quality of brazing on my Grand Sports most certainly does ruin the value of this bike since I wouldn't sell it without disclosing the partially-brazed lower head lug. Would you?

I'm glad your Grand Sports' give good service, and their geometry is particularly well suited to touring, but unless yours were brazed "on a good day/year" (as was my Pro MkIV, thankfully), my opinion of their quality ranks well below Peugeot for the reasons I mentioned. I also agree that, at least by the early 80's, Peugeot had pretty much fallen from grace in producing decent lower-end bikes, while Raleigh, perhaps wisely, were already sourcing from Japan.

David Snyder Auburn, CA usa

> 'It's a pretty low-end bike, all things considered. UO-8 frames
> were much better brazed imo.'
> This is the kind of snobbery I only expect to hear from Colnago
> owners. The fact is, in the U.K. the focus was on making an
> 'every-man's bike'. A bike that was not just for the rich americans
> ONLY. A bike that ANYONE could afford. It's clear to me that you
> share the alternate, elitist view, that perfect welds and lots of $$$
> and paint are a REQUIREMENT to make a 'mid level' bike. And, you have
> the misguided notion that an imperfect brazing job will ruin the value
> of any bike.
> I can show you a million billion peugeots from the late 70's with crap
> workmanship that will make you thank god in heaven that you've got a
> gransport and not a peugeot. Let's start with this peugeot as an
> example :
> Now maybe your message is just a troll. You might consider why there
> are a zillion of these gransports still available on the used bike
> market. This model basically killed the PFN-10, which is exactly the
> same thing in Peugeot's lineup, same parts, same frame tubing, 2nd
> from top of the line. What kind of person calls the 2nd from the top
> of-the-line peugeot 'low end' ??
> - Don "Who has 2 gransports and loves and rides them both" Gillies
> San Diego, CA