[Kevin sent us this photo of his Raleigh Gran Sport. —ed.]
This picture shows my 1982 Raleigh Gran Sport acquired on eBay 2 years ago. I wanted a bike that echoed the ones I admired in the 60’s and 70’s; a Reynolds 531 steel framed, English classic. This ‘top end’ frame was built in the Special Products division alongside the race team bikes.
This Raleigh has been with me for a year and a half and I decided to rebuild it, not as a faithful restoration but as a base for a modern, reliable and effective day tourer. Here you see it in it’s penultimate form. I made some mistakes in choosing the cassette and crankset rendering the beautiful Nuovo Record rear derailleur obsolete. While it would reach across the 10 speed cassette it fouled the 29 cog with the sprocket cage. The bike now has a Daytona derailleur and works perfectly.
The frame was resprayed by our local metal sprayer, powder coated in a deep burgundy, the cream detailing I did with a spray can and Replica decals were obtained from H Lloyd in the UK.
The Campagnolo seat post, Cinelli Bars and Stem are original, as are the Gran Sport levers. The leather bar tape, bar end plugs and saddle came from Gilles Berthoud.
The original Weinman concave rimmed wheels were still in decent shape but are heavy and have old style cotter bearings which I did not want to keep servicing and so I fitted Mavic Aksium wheels, a Campag Centaur 10 speed cassette, bottom bracket and cranks. Token pedals and toeclips keep my feet comfy and a Velo Orange bottle cage finishes the bike nicely.
The picture was taken early one summer morning in the Surrey Hills at the top of Boxhill (only 600 feet in elevation, nothing too exigent). There is a cafe and National Trust exhibition centre there, much loved by the cycling community from all over the South east as a destination. Boxhill will be included in the 120 mile London Surrey cycle race that forms part of the preparations for the 2012 Olympics to be held in London.