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Raleigh Grand Prix - The Next Assignment

Welcome to phase two for this bicycle. It's first incarnation as Raleigh Rain Bike was successful. But after donating it's wheels to the Bottecchia Professional project this frame sat idle for a spell. Not until a series of Summer family vacations populated the calendar did it find it's next calling.

Stripped of fenders and re-wheeled with a left over low end wheelset it was ready to go on a few vacations. The Grand Prix got the call for a couple reasons. Primary among them was its built in theft deterrent - it's kinda old and ugly. Over the course of three separate week long trips it was ridden just a few hundred miles.

Raleigh Grand Prix

Despite the low miles it still received plenty of abuse. The most egregious event was it's first day of a Puget Sound boating trip. A small rowboat was being towed behind a sailboat. The Raleigh was safely lashed to the inside of the rowboat. Safely lashed even after the rowboat capsized on a passing powerboat wake. The bike spent about twenty minutes submersed in Puget Sound's salt water. The sight of streams of water shooting out the various frame vent holes when we finally retrieved it was memorable. The following day I dropped the entire bike into a shallow stream (for a freshwater rinse) while my daughter and her puppy played on shore.

But being a set of 'Vacation Wheels' was not a full time gig. Not until a cycling friend convinced me that I needed to try Cyclocross racing did the Raleigh have a true second life.

Raleigh Grand Prix

The low end wheelset with six speed freewheel was not going to do. A discarded set of Shimano road wheels with nearly worn through rim walls was mounted as was a set of new Michelin Mud 2 tires. To allow shifting from the hoods a right side nine speed Campagnolo Ergo brifter was installed. This was mated to the Shimano rear derailleur and eight speed cassette by carefully clamping the shift cable slightly out of position on the rear derailleur. No left side Ergo brifter was available in the parts bin so the aero brake lever and left side clamp on downtube shifter were retained.

The old school centerpull brakes stayed in place as they have considerably more mud clearance than modern dual pivot calipers. Chainrings are 42 and 32 tooth although the 32 is seldom needed with the wide range XT cassette.

Although not light, sleek, nor fast, the Raleigh has proven reliable during off-road testing and training.

Read about the Grand Prix's first Cyclocross event.

Components:
Salsa Short 'n Shallow 46cm bars
Japanese quill stem (unknown brand)
Generic left aero brake lever
Campagnolo Ergo Mirage Brifter 9 speed
Unknown brand centerpull brake calipers
Clamp on Shimano 333 friction shifters (right side unused)
Shimano XT FC-739 Triple crankset with 175mm arms 42 and 32 tooth chainrings (smallest chainring is removed)
Shimano Deore 9 speed front derailleur
Shimano Alivio rear derailleur
Shimano XT 12-32 8 speed cassette
Shimano WH-R550 wheelset
Michelin Mud 2 tires
SR fluted seatpost (turned down to 25.4mm from 26.?mm)
Performance X-Ti saddle with titanium rails
SPD style pedals (might be Performance house brand)