Excited about this Raleigh Lenton

  • REMINDER: There is a 2-day bump rule for Classifieds forums. Please take a moment to review the rules by clicking HERE.

This ad disappears when logged in

bikerbluz

Look Ma, No Hands!
Oct 15, 2016
99
81
62
Richmond, IN
#1
Picked up this project that was listed as a 1960’s Raleigh Grand Sport. After looking at it closely, I realized it was a Grand Prix, that is missing the Lenton part of the decal. Pretty complete and original, I think. I do not believe the derailleurs are original, though. Really cool bike that has set a long time. Got to reading everything I could find on these, I believe it was Bulldog, that recently redid one which came out fantastic. I think this one is either a 1960 or 1961. I am looking forward to getting some feedback from some members. I read after the Gran prix became the grand sport in 62, that they were not Reynolds 531 but were equipped with campy components. I wonder if this could be a late 61 and might explain the front derailleur?

720F0331-51F5-49B5-BC1B-B85CE9E17206.jpeg


13794B58-E40A-4109-B9B8-808CFA3A8B05.jpeg


9756D0D0-8FA0-48E5-9EC7-91FD0AD5661D.jpeg


697FBDB8-CDB7-4AED-86E5-EA2873CCDC1A.jpeg


FE2AAB70-1565-419F-9CE0-3F9B53706F7C.jpeg


FCFBCE53-EA1A-420D-8F63-D633092C1382.jpeg


E89BCF0E-9334-47B0-AA83-4D5F55F9712D.jpeg


81309FDD-2780-43D1-A1C2-F41D0F89E49D.jpeg


A146D906-A237-400D-9C12-2D1C2135A280.jpeg


95683C20-0066-47A2-A572-1BCF513EB716.jpeg


7050C5B5-51C3-4327-825E-A207888A5AA2.jpeg


1D8126A4-60AD-4083-96C3-BBF287CC77BE.jpeg


756046B9-A88B-4CE2-996C-E409B8D9B5CC.jpeg


C76AFEAE-9516-4AD9-B97E-A86FB9F541AC.jpeg
 

LouB

Look Ma, No Hands!
May 5, 2017
49
80
69
San Antonio, United States
#2
Very cool. Yes 531 Reynolds tubing. Classic example of the English club bicycle. Mine came with all Cyclo-Benelux draileurs (half step crank), GB brakes, levers and handlebars. Also a Brooks Swift B15 saddle. Gotta have the coolest decal set ever!
RLGP 03.jpg
RLGP 03.jpg
 

rhm

'Lil Knee Scuffer
Mar 1, 2015
19
15
#4
Congratulations Bikerbluz, that's a cool bike! Good condition all round.

These were the last Reynolds 531 frames built at the Nottingham plant. After the last Lenton Grand Prix left the building, Raleigh didn't build with 531. When they started putting the Raleigh name on frames again, summer fine years later, they were made at the Carlton plant in Worksop.

I had one a Lenton Grand Prix as well, probably a 1958 one. It was pretty tatty but I loved it.

The early ones (1958-?) had a lever operated Cyclo Benelux front derailleur, so only one brazed on shifter boss. I really liked the lever operated derailleur, in some ways one of the best front derailleurs I've ever used-- though of course it was shifting between 46t and 49t chain rings, and i really couldn't tell the difference.

The original rear derailleur, a Cyclo Benelux four speed model, was trouble. They shift well if adjusted right, but no matter how stoutly built (a lot of steel!) they would bend if the bike fell on the right side. Once bent, the derailleur would shift into the spokes automatically. That's likely why you have a Frame rim and a Svelto derailleur!

The original rims were Dunlop Special Lightweight, 27". They were chromed steel but no heavier than most aluminum ones and really the nicest steel rims ever. No matter how badly they got banged up, you could true then again.

Looks like you have the original Racelite hubs, which are excellent.

The earlier ones had a Williams chainset (crankset) with Raleigh herons on the outer ring. I'm not knocking your crank, though. It is a Raleigh product, also quite nice. The Gran Sport you mentioned had the same crank.

I am puzzled by your brakes. I think those are the (very desirable) 1950-53 model. I believe the original brakes on your bike were more likely Weinmann 730's. Needless to say, I could be all wrong about that.
 
Likes: bikerbluz

bulldog1935

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jan 21, 2013
3,564
4,805
Bulverde, TX
#5
Lenton Grand Prix were introduced in fall '56, and made the first catalog in '58.
I'm sure mine is a '57.
'61 was the last year, and they were replaced in the line with the '62 Gran Sport.

I think Lou's '60 with 5-sp rear has the same brakes and definitely the same shifters, though Cyclo FD and RD.
 
Likes: bikerbluz

bikerbluz

Look Ma, No Hands!
Oct 15, 2016
99
81
62
Richmond, IN
#6
Thanks everyone for the kind words and input. I had noticed that the brake levers on mine were different, more plain, then others I had seen. I wondered if the Fiame rims were replacements, and I remember reading somewhere that the 60, 61 models were supposed to have Weinmann 730’s on them. Although most I have seen still have had the GB brakes. Didn’t realize these were the last 531 frames built in Nottingham, pretty cool. I really enjoy digging into the history part of our hobby. Anyone know what year the campy front derailleur might be? The rear Huret is kind of strange and I’m not sure it is still usable.
 

bulldog1935

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jan 21, 2013
3,564
4,805
Bulverde, TX
#8
Thanks everyone for the kind words and input. I had noticed that the brake levers on mine were different, more plain, then others I had seen. I wondered if the Fiame rims were replacements, and I remember reading somewhere that the 60, 61 models were supposed to have Weinmann 730’s on them. Although most I have seen still have had the GB brakes. Didn’t realize these were the last 531 frames built in Nottingham, pretty cool. I really enjoy digging into the history part of our hobby. Anyone know what year the campy front derailleur might be? The rear Huret is kind of strange and I’m not sure it is still usable.
I would expect the Lenton to come with Dunlop steel rims - upgrade to alloy is a very typical and very smart move - really changes the nature of the bike.
Changing parts to make a bike better is a good thing - don't let the catalog-perfect mentality get you down. Any bike that was loved and ridden was changed.
Velobase is always the first place to search parts - write the part and the word velobase in your google search
http://velobase.com/ListComponents.aspx?Category=113&BrandID=547f3aa0-e86c-41a3-b5a6-f75628ea75e7
Campy Gran Sport FD introduced in 1952.
Mine is a custom fast and versatile drivetrain, and attempt to make the top look correct.
gQwsmFu.jpg
 
Last edited:

bikerbluz

Look Ma, No Hands!
Oct 15, 2016
99
81
62
Richmond, IN
#9
Bulldog, thanks for all the info and advice. During the week I was waiting to get my bike I read everything I could find on the Raleigh Lenton Grand Prix. Your makeover of your splendid machine was an inspiration for me. Is that a Brooks Swallow on yours?
 
Likes: bulldog1935

bulldog1935

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jan 21, 2013
3,564
4,805
Bulverde, TX
#10
yes, I love them for drop-bar bikes - most invisible saddle I've ever ridden. Especially on the aggressive riding position of the Lenton.
Swallow (B15) was also the stock saddle on Lentons.
btw, whatever you paid for the bike, the Campy FD is probably worth the full amount.
 
Last edited:
Likes: bikerbluz

bikerbluz

Look Ma, No Hands!
Oct 15, 2016
99
81
62
Richmond, IN
#11
I fell in love with the Raleigh and probably paid too much, $275. Shipped. But I am ok with that. Are the Swallows still available new? I have a B-15 and tool bag I think is going on it. Good to know about the campy. Hey Bulldog would you be able to get me a year with the serial number? Sn# 31146 RA. I think it is probably a 61.
 

juvela

Finally riding a big boys bike
Aug 2, 2014
367
439
Playa del Rey, United States
#13
-----

Thanks very much for sharing this fascinating find.

Do our Tube Investments experts know the years/models on which this fork crown cap was employed?

-----
 
Likes: bikerbluz

bikerbluz

Look Ma, No Hands!
Oct 15, 2016
99
81
62
Richmond, IN
#14
Thanks for the link Bulldog, and that food is making my mouth water. Hey Juvela, I am by no means an expert, but from what I have read that fork crown cap was only on this model and only for 1960 and 1961.
 

bulldog1935

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jan 21, 2013
3,564
4,805
Bulverde, TX
#15
I'm pretty sure the use of 531 (straight gauge) in both this frame and the earlier Raleigh Record Ace (1947-54) are only in the main triangle.
Making the top-grade production frames of the 50s closer to the Super Course of the 70s rather than the Pro or International.

9lj7aQj.jpg
guXTy9L.jpg


Certainly the forks are all-Raleigh, and the rear triangles are TI tubing (same with the Super Course). The drop-outs, of course, are stamped (also Super Course).

qFTDjCk.jpg
8AaEaQW.jpg


There were a few examples of Raleigh Record Ace custom factory racers as late as 1956 that used butted 531, 531 forks and stays, Nervar lugs, and Campy dropouts.
You can also tell these RRA's because they're wearing chrome socks.
 
Last edited:
Likes: bikerbluz

bikerbluz

Look Ma, No Hands!
Oct 15, 2016
99
81
62
Richmond, IN
#16
I have a 86 Grand Prix that is double butted 531, and has an upgraded set of wheels on it. Got it from a friend whom bought it new. One of my better riding and quicker bikes. And like the one I just bought, it will remain with me till I am gone.
 
Likes: bulldog1935

bulldog1935

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jan 21, 2013
3,564
4,805
Bulverde, TX
#18
Those are Nitto T (for touring). I found them on-line for half-price in a CA consignment shop.
They copy the old Coloral cages, but with that top extension that makes them grab a modern bottle better.
AKa6uDi.jpg

They're held on with king-cage universal support bolts, which are a stainless hose clamp with stud-welded M5s.
 
Last edited:

bulldog1935

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jan 21, 2013
3,564
4,805
Bulverde, TX
#19
I'm going to add again, whoever owned your Lenton loved it and rode it.
The upgrades he made to the derailleurs and rims were conscious choices to keep riding it while others were buying newer bikes.
The upgrade to alloy rims improved the response of the bike, its climbing ability, and especially the braking.
His changes might have ruined the bike for some collectors, but you got a better bike for them.

The catalog-perfect thing created the market for parting out historic bikes. When I tackled my Lenton bare frame, I knew it would cost as much to hunt down the original Williams crank, wheels, derailleurs, etc. in the buy-back market, as it would to design and build my custom. I ended up with a better bike for it.
CYj3Evv.jpg


@LouB a project for you might be to take the rims you just removed from your Charrel, and have them rebuilt on your Lenton hubs (you've already changed gearing and RD).
Those wide rims would go great with the reach and travel of the GB brakes.
Wheelbuilding charges at Howard's shop are much less than most, and the work quality is higher than most.
Also, you can't simply swap out wheels, because the axles on the Charrel wheelset are too big to fit the Lenton dropouts.

DgLjVMX.jpg
 
Last edited:
Likes: bikerbluz

rhm

'Lil Knee Scuffer
Mar 1, 2015
19
15
#20
I'm pretty sure the use of 531 (straight gauge) in both this frame and the earlier Raleigh Record Ace (1947-54) are only in the main triangle....
You can also tell these RRA's because they're wearing chrome socks.
The post war RRA was full 531. Butted frame tubes, forks, stays. I used to have one, and the frame was one of the lightest frames in my size I've ever weighed. Specifically I have two that are lighter, which I believe to be Accles&Pollock "Kromo". They weigh 68 and 69 oz (bare frame, no fork). The RRA was 72 oz. Other 531 frames were in the 74-78 range.

As for the original rims on the Lenton Grand Prix, it's a moot point since this one doesn't have them. That said, aluminum rims are generally an upgrade over steel, but Dunlop Special Lightweight rims are really an exception, especially if we're taking about 27" aluminum rims from the early 60's.

I grant you that aluminum gives better braking, especially in wet conditions, but that is really the only advantage they offered.
 
Likes: bikerbluz

This ad disappears when logged in
Most Recent BUY IT NOW Items Listed on eBay
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture