Raleigh Grand Mesa

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dirtman

Finally riding a big boys bike
I picked this bike up a while back, its been sitting waiting for me to get around to it, and me to find a tire solution for it.
The decals say Mountain Tour Grand Mesa.
Its got the original Raleigh scripted Cheng Shin 26x1 1/2x1 5/8" tires on it now. basically they're 650x42B sized tires, or ISO 584 or 27.5"
The tires on it roll nicely, they're marked 70 psi but these are so rotted I don't dare go that high. They start looking iffy around 45 psi or so. 45 psi is not enough to protect the rims though.
The tread area is fine, the sides are pretty well cracked and starting to open up a bit.
The frame limits width. I did found a set of 26x1 1/2x 2" tires which when inflated look more like an old 26x2.125 balloon tire. They're so wide they rub on occasion. (less than 1/32" or so of clearance in several areas).
Overall tire diameter is also a concern, there's only 3/4" or so above the tire in the front and less between the brake bridge and the rear tire. The biggest issue with larger tires is the front of the chainstays which aren't much wider than many road bikes. There's only 1/4" clearance on each side with the stock tires which are narrower than even old school middleweight tires.
I was thinking of converting the bike to a three speed SA hub to simplify it a bit and to find some tires that weren't too aggressive for street and hard packed trail use. All I'm finding is $100/pr tires from overseas and too wide 27.5 sizes meant more for a full on modern MTB.

Condition wise the bike is decent, the decals are the worst part. The paint is actually decent, the bearings will be getting serviced and it'll get a good cleaning throughout.

The best part is its tall enough for me to actually use when ever I get around to it.


1602373
 

The Spokemaster

Finally riding a big boys bike
27.5 is actually 650b

650x42B - should be 650b x 42 ....notice the placement of the letter 'b'
 
Last edited:

J-wagon

Wore out three sets of tires already!
I've seen gravel / cx guys riding 650b tires. Should be some affordable ones out there
 

dirtman

Finally riding a big boys bike
I realize that 27.5 is 650b but all I find in the 27.5 category is big knobby tires and all I find under 650b seems to be skinny road bike tires or something more akin to an old middleweight tire.
For now, the old rotten tires are staying on it I suppose till I find something I like.
Local shops don't stock any tires, and since its got straight sided steel rims, the folding tires at Walmart aren't even an option. Nor is $50+ for tires online.
Chances are if it had been built with blackwall tires day one, they'd still be fine now 40 years later, the rot on these tires is only on the gumwall part of the tires.
The 2" tires I found are passable tread wise but they don't clear, they rub on turns despite the spokes being super tight. I suppose all bike wheels flex some and 1/32 or so of clearance just isn't enough.
 
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