Thursday, July 6, 2017

Raleigh Grand Prix vs Schwinn Super Sport - Thoughts

I got my first extended ride on the 1972 Schwinn Super Sport the other day, and decided to take out my 1974 Raleigh Grand Prix for comparison.

The Grand Prix is a more "European" bike in terms of frame angles, downtube shifters, and cottered Stronglight cranks. Although the Schwinn Super Sport is fillet brazed Cro-Mo and has new, aluminum wheels, the Grand Prix is actually slightly lighter, at least lifting them both side-by-side. The Schwinn's one-piece crank and steel kickstand probably weigh it down a little, but the weights are not terribly different.

I will say the stem shifters on the Schwinn are easier to reach, but require more fiddling and more pulling to work. The Huret rear derailleur on the Schwinn really runs at high cable tension and needs a lot of lever manipulation. The Suntour I put on the Raleigh is rock solid - very crisp and reactive to lever use. It also has a more reasonable cable tension.

The Raleigh's Panaracer Pasela tires are tougher to fit with the fenders, but are substantially better than the Schwinn's Kendas. Both sets are perfectly workable.

Overall, I like both bikes as old, classic 10-speeds. I prefer internal gear hub utility bikes, but I like having a little variety and the 10-speeds do that. They're sporty, but certainly not racing bikes. If I could have only one, I'd keep the Raleigh (and this from someone who loves old, fillet brazed Schwinns).

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