When I got this bike it had rotten tires and only strips of peeling cloth bar tape. It was my first road bike. I rode it just the way it was. First only around town, but gradually the trips grew longer and the hours disappeared. I took my first weekend tour on this bike. I changed the bar tape. Tuned it up and bought Panaracer Pasela TGs for it. Put on some fenders that I had painted white. What a love affair.
It’s a 1973 Raleigh Gran Sport, their most affordable, all 531 bike. The parts weren’t notable, but I’m a cheap skate. I named it the British Queen.
But years past, I put together a faster bike and realized that this bike rode like a freight train in the city. So it sat. Then I thought I’d paint it and build it up, only this time sticking to all French parts. As I came across stuff for cheap I’d stick it in a box and when I almost had everything ready I began to realize that it is almost impossible to find english threaded Stronglight BB cups. Totally impossible if yer trying to stay on the cheap. Soooooooo… back in the box.
Then one day I got the idea to build up an english racer style bike and this is what came about.