Saturday, February 6, 2010

1986 Raleigh 'Grand Prix' restoration (sort of)

Here are just a couple of photos of a winter project I have going. Waay back when I was in high school and just starting in the world of bike addiction, my friend Joe used to have a Raleigh Grand Prix in an odd metallic aqua green color with an even stranger metallic lavender head tube. We used to spend epic hours riding in the hills above Milpitas, CA, high above the Santa Clara valley. At the time, I could keep up with him just fine on my 1985 Peugeot (which I MIGHT write about later!). Anyway, he had this Raleigh with the "new" Shimano 105 group.. Ooh, "index" shifting! It was also made of Reynolds 531 steel tubing to boot! Nice.
From time to time, I'd pop into this shop just over the city limits in San Jose (cannot remember the name now!) and they used to have these red and black Raleigh framesets hanging on the wall. They were roughly the same vintage as the one on which Connie Carpenter-Phinney won the Olympic gold medal in the women's road race in 1984.
Sooo... a couple of years ago, while out in CA visiting my parents, I happened to have spied a beaten up 1986 Raleigh Grand Prix on craigslist and figured it was worth the $100 for some nostalgia.
Here is the project so far. Decent power coat job. I will probably just use it as a "heavy" training bike from time to time and on long, easy Sunday rides.
For now though, I'm thoroughly enjoying just looking at it from different angles, admiring the lugs, and daydreaming about the miles we have ahead of us.