Sunday, May 04, 2008

1977 Raleigh Super Grand Prix, Pt. 2

This is my main commuter bike, Gentle Reader. I noticed quite a few hits on my Raleigh Marathon. And then a few on my earlier Raleigh Super Grand Prix post--you can read the bike's colorful history there, should you have time to kill. I thought it would be nice to post some better images of this bike, which my father bought for me new in 1977, at Vendables Bicycles in Tulsa, Oklahoma, when I was still in High School.

The bike is all original except for the saddle--which is now a Brooks B-17. I still have the original saddle but it was just tourture as it was so freakin' hard! The back wheel I had to replace after a crash years ago. I put the fenders back on recently as the rains will be here soon. They're the very light German-made -- and kind of tricky to get right without rubbing.

SPD pedals replaced the old stirrup clips--and those Italian shoes. They had little clips in them, more like slots--since the intructions were not in English, I'm not sure I ever figured out if I had them on right, They were dangerous to wear on the pavement as the soles and the cleat were like walking on ice. I recall several times back in the day when I stopped at a light, put my foot down only to have my foot slip out from under me--and I'd smack down on the road with a thud...

Better view of the Dragon emblem.

Made in Japan, not England.

30 year old componets have worked perfectly.

Decals are a bit faded. All the components are Sun Tour.

An awesome bike. Right now she's the main commuter bike, and had been my back up bike for brevets. I rode a 300 Km brevet in pouring rain on this bike because it had fenders--and I stayed a lot dryer and more comfortable than my mates. This is a perfect brevet bike--if only I was the perfect randonneur!

1977 Raleigh Super Grand Prix. My attempt as making things look a bit more interesting. This is a sturdy bike and I have the thicker tires on the wheels. Part of my commute home was at one time about six miles of jeep road through the desert.


david m. said...

Hi. Hope this doesn't come across as snarky but the animal in the headbadge isn't a dragon, it's a heron.

Bruce's Bike Blog said...

Hi David--Thanks for reading my blog. You know, I always thought it looked something like a heron, and somewhere I heard/read it was a dragon--so I wrote that. I need to get around to correcting this, and I will! This is great bike, by the way--do you have one like it?

Cheers! Bruce

Nelson Ohl said...

Hello Bruce,

Delighted to find this post. I have a 1978 Super Grand Prix. It's awesome. It's my primary commuter as well.

Last year I was stoked to find a mint condition 1978 Raleigh Super Grand Prix (Champaign green) in Bakersfield CA on eBay. The SGP I found was the very same make, model and color that I bought in high school - a quality UK built, great riding and touring machine then, and now.

I bussed a lot of tables to be able to afford that bike in '78, so when it was stolen in Washington DC while I was in Grad School, I was crushed to say the least. Unpacking the SGP was like meeting a long lost friend at the airport and picking up a thirty-three year old conversation right where we left off.

Incidentally, I Just started a bicycle commuter blog at my work. I look forward to reading some of your earlier posts.

o/o' Nelson

Bruce's Bike Blog said...

Hello Nelson-- Thanks for stopping by my blog. I've had my SGP since 1977--my father bought it for me new when I was still in high school. It is by far the best bike I've ever ridden. When I lived in Tucson, AZ, it was my main commuter bike to work--about a 25 mile round-trip commute. I ride it often now here in KS and I receive a lot of great comments when riders see it. My SGP was made in Japan, not the UK--so really I don't know much about what Raleigh was doing and who owned and ran the company--Japan or UK aside, my Super Grand Prix is an awesome road bike. I look forward to seeing your blog too--send me the link soon. Good Luck! Cheers! Bruce

David in Idaho said...

Hello, Bruce. Nice to find your blog. I just picked up a nice 1978 Super Grand Prix, rideable condition, that's been sitting in the back of a local bike shop in Idaho for about 20 years. It's a made-in-England model. My LBS is looking it over now, and I'm looking forward to putting a Brooks saddle on it and taking it for a spin. It's my first "10-speed" since a 1975 Vista that I bought at ... Venable's in Tulsa. How about that? Nice blog. I'll keep checking in.

Anonymous said...

Like others' experience, I found that the Japanese Raleigh Super Grand Prix is not well documented. So I was happy to just find your site because mine is very similar. I'm adding a little info here in case it helps anyone else. I bought my SGP new 1981 or 82. Serial#N1B2024. 12 speed. The aluminum rims are stamped "Araya 27x11/4 W/O Japan". All other components are labeled or stamped "Raleigh" even the wide-flange hubs. Head badge and seat tube decals have the "////" bars. Top and down tubes are written in cursive script. It has down-tube shifters. Comparing to your pics(thank you!!), where I might expect to find a Made in Japan sticker, instead I have a sticker applied by the LBS. (As the shop was in the Akron-Cleveland rust belt my guess is he didn't want to advertise the bike as being from Japan.)

Long ago, I wore out and replaced the original drive train, BB and rear wheel. A couple times, in fact. I began riding the bike again recently after a few decades off and still enjoy it. But I must admit to lusting after some of those spiffy index shifters!