Thursday, April 2, 2009

Evita: My Sister's Heavily Transformed Raleigh Grand Sports

I gave my sister a bike for her birthday last year. Enthusiastic as I am about the Rivendell Reader and Grant Petersen, etc., I am not really the sort of rider it and he cater to—I like riding fast, and I like my handlebars low. Not so my sister! She's not a cyclist by any means—but, with three young kids and lots of shopping to do, she wanted a bike she could use to take them out for rides, and buy groceries with. An interesting challenge!

The build began with a Raleigh Grand Sports I found on Craigslist. The frame is a nice Reynolds 531 DB, has lots of clearance for fenders, and a nice long wheelbase. The Simplex drivetrain came off, as did the wheels. The handlebars lived briefly on Niles and now reside on Alan, my cross bike. The Stronglight cranks are on my city bike. The saddle is on my mom's bike, below.

I bought handlebars from Rivendell, respaced the frame and added some wheels and derailleurs I had from previous projects, added racks, shellac, etc. The original brakes and stem came in handy.

The photos below are horribly overexposed. And the bike they show is somewhat clownish. But it's incredibly practical, very fun, and a pefect match to my sister's personality. She loves it!

Before. Trust me: I was tempted to leave things exactly as they were!

After. Trust me: I was tempted to use aluminum fenders! But apparently these are doing the trick.

Peculiar cockpit.

Genuine and imitation Reynolds decals! Red housing.

Happy sister.

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