MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

RALEIGH GRAND PRIX - INTRO

FINDING THE GRAND PRIX

INSPECT/BUILD THE MIXTE

 

BICYCLES OF CANADA

 

  

INSPECTING & BUILDING THE MIXTE

The Raleigh Grand Prix Mixte is not the sort of bicycle that I am particularly interested in owning, building or riding.  However, as I looked this lovely old example of the bicycle design, I came to appreciate them a bit more.  Not enough to want to own one, but certainly enough to develop a bit of respect for.

The Mixte bicycle is, anything, but new to the confines of The Old Shed.  Several Mixte style bicycles, including Peugeot, Raleigh, Sekine, Mercier and even an old, very high end, Bottecchia that I failed to take even a single picture of, have come my way.  But none have done anything to impress me, other, perhaps, than a seventies something Jeunet.  Now that old French bicycle was a beauty!

The Raleigh Grand Prix, is pretty much, an entry level road bicycle, targeting the recreational use crowd.  There is nothing exceptional about the bicycle itself, but the one picture here, is exceptional in the fact that it appeared to be in near mint condition - "as found".  It even had air in the tires.

"As found", the bicycle was surprisingly clean.  I cannot help but wonder if the bicycle had been purposely serviced, and cleaned up, prior to being donated.  Some people are like that.  "Donor Pride" is the term we have come to use at Bicycles for Humanity.

A quick glance at the bottom bracket, again near spotlessly clean, reveals tube type to be of Tange quality.  Entry level quality, but Tange, none the less.  While looking at the bottom bracket housing, I was impressed with the clean installation.  Though the bracket, itself was simplicity itself, there was no evidence of sloppy work.  Looking quickly to the rear drops, I wanted to confirm, or deny the possibility that this entry level bike was, actually, well put together.  I have witnessed and purchased another, entry level Canadian made Raleigh, that displayed horrible workmanship.

Sadly, and though the Mixte was miles better in construction than its Team Raleigh sibling, the workmanship did present an oops, or two.  But, over all, the bicycle was impressive, in its own way.  It certainly appeared vintage, which can, for some people be all that's required.  And, as mentioned it was in great shape.

The components fitted, were of a quality that fitted in with the Raleighs state or presentation.  Weinmann brakes, Suntour steel derailleurs, SR steering stem and bars, a combination typical of many different brands sold both north and south of the 49th parallel.

All in all, though, there was nothing wrong with the Raleigh Grand Prix Mixte.  It was a well built, reasonably well finished and comfortably fitted entry level road bicycle, designed to meet the needs of the recreational rider of days gone bye.

And, today, the Mixte frame set, and bicycles just like this lovely old Raleigh, are extremely popular in vintage bicycle circles, sometimes fetching more Ebay auction interest than some of the, generally more accepted, standard diamond frame style.

 

 

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