AGE / VALUE:   80s Raleigh Gran Sport? posted by: MSC on 12/27/2005 at 5:19:01 PM
I've been riding an old Raleigh touring bike for years, mostly as my commuter bike, but I've never been able to identify its age (my cousin, who gave it to me said it was early 80s, but was not more specific). Unfortunately, the various websites on old Raleighs (e.g., don't seem to list this bike - at least according to the various serial # listings. Anyway, this is mostly curiosity- I doubt the bike's worth much, but I'm thinking of replacing some parts as a way to practice some bike building skills, so I wanted to nail down the model.

Here's what I know:

Serial # N1C1027
"Raleigh high-tensile tubing" label at bottom of seat tube
Made in Japan (so not one of the "classic" Gran Sport models of the 1970s with the nice Reynolds tubing)
Raleigh-branded derailleurs/crank
SunTour Power shifters
Dia-Compe brake levers

Any info would be appreciated. Thanks!


   RE:AGE / VALUE:   80s Raleigh Gran Sport? posted by Douglas on 12/27/2005 at 6:32:39 PM
Search for date codes on individual components, assuming the parts are original they will give you a ball park manufacture date.
Parts to check are hubs, rims, seatpost, underside of saddle, back of brake calipers, derailleurs, the lock ring portion of the freewheel, etc. There's plenty of places to look.

These codes can be straight forward numbers signifying month and year or letter codes specific to each manufacturer. An online search for "bicycle date codes" will give you the information to decipher these.

If the dates are consistent with original parts being on the bike then add a few months and you can be reasonably sure of the year the bicycle was assembled in the factory.

   RE:AGE / VALUE: 80s Raleigh Gran Sport? posted by Warren on 12/28/2005 at 1:19:49 AM
If you've got steel rims, I would replace them. Otherwise the bike is well suited to it's components. As you say, it's not worth lots but it's a good functioning bike (with alloy rims) and any change of parts will just cost money without returning any value. Like those loud mufflers on Honda Civics.

Why not start fresh with another frame? Find a straight, double butted frame/fork of some sort and collect components to suit. And you've still got a bike on the road.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   80s Raleigh Gran Sport? posted by Ralph on 12/29/2005 at 3:44:13 PM
I worked for a Raleigh dealer in college and was there in 1983 when Raleigh sold the right to manufacture & sell in the United States to Huffy. Raleigh Cycle Company of America (the name that Huffy created) Started off not too bad. Huffy tried to do it right and introduced a completely new line that lasted about 2 years. In about 1985 or 1986 they changed things around and brought back some of the old Raleigh names. I think that was about when the Gran Sport came out. But it's been a long time.

I hope this helps.


   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   80s Raleigh Gran Sport? posted by Ken on 1/16/2006 at 4:04:37 PM
I have one of these Raleighs - I think it was sold as a "Super Course" All Reynolds 531 w/ Campy Dropouts. Raleigh headbage with slashes through the place where they normally put the city of origin. I bought it in 1993 or 1994 from Mike's Cyclery in Iowa for $200 mail order. I always thought this was a weird time for Ralieghs, but never knew the whole story. Is my bike realy a high end Huffy?

WANTED:   Pair of Weinmann 27" rims posted by: Kurt K. on 12/24/2005 at 1:32:22 AM
Looking for a pair of Weinmann 27X1-1/4" aluminum, hook-bead rims, drilled 36h, for my Raleigh Sports Roadster project (see the English Roadsters forum). Must be the hooked-bead type.

If you've got em, give me a buzz at


MISC:   Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year posted by: Bryant on 12/23/2005 at 7:26:26 PM
I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. This forum has brought me knowledge, entertainment and enlightenment throughout the year. May all your finds be special and all your frames lugged cro-moly.

AGE / VALUE:   Free Spirit? posted by: Eric on 12/20/2005 at 2:35:38 AM
Hello Everyone. I came accross a Free Spirit Road Bike with a Sears Stamp right above the crank. It has the numbers 01-85 on it. Does this mean Jan. of 1985? It was $25 and I would like to use it to start training a bit. Im a newbie to the biking world. It's light and in great condition. Anyone have more info on this type of road bike? I have a serial # that is right next to the front on the front logo. It is: 02 471830N008100. Thanx for any replies.

      Free Spirit? posted by John E on 12/20/2005 at 3:56:19 PM
In the 1960s, Free Spirits were made in Graz, Austria by Steyr-Daimler-Puch, and they were not bad basic road bikes. Look for a lugged frame and a 3-piece crankset, which is held together by two press-in nutted pins, which are customarily mislabeled "cotters." (Those who work on cars know that a true cotter pin is shaped like a hairpin with a bulbuous top. One secures it by bending the ends outward.)

By the 1970s, Free Spirits were "boat anchors" made by Huffy or Murray, featuring one-piece Ashtabula cranks and real "gas pipe" steel tubing.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Free Spirit? posted by David on 12/22/2005 at 4:03:01 AM
They may be mislabelled "cotter pins," but "cotter" is the correct term for those "press-in nutted pins."

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Free Spirit? posted by Gralyn on 12/22/2005 at 6:28:27 PM
You should read through some of the posts here - and educate yourself somewhat about some of the old lightweight bikes out there. Most of the Sears Free Spirit bikes I have seen have not been very good quality lightwieght bikes. For $25 you might be able to find a pretty decent bike - with good quality tubing, good alloy components and wheels, etc. Consider also: Department store bikes vs. bikes you would find in a bike shop.

   cotter vs. cotter pin posted by John E on 12/22/2005 at 11:37:40 PM
David is correct. The nutted wedged keys which retain a steel crank are correctly called cotters, but not cotter pins.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Schwinn ?? posted by: Jon on 12/17/2005 at 6:55:09 PM
Hi everyone. I'm new to this discussion area and not even sure I'm IN the right area but perhaps someone knows.. any info on a Schwinn "High Sierra"? Is it a lightweight road or MTB or what? I suspect foreign made but where and when? Thinking about buying and what's a good price for a good one? Thanks!

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Schwinn ?? posted by Gralyn on 12/18/2005 at 12:55:47 AM
Check here:
I believe if you look in the 80's links - there are some High Sierra bikes.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Schwinn ?? posted by Ron on 12/18/2005 at 10:18:05 AM
The High Sierra was an early '80s Mountain Bike. I think Schwinn made the first ones, but around 1985, they started importing bikes made by Giant in Taiwan. I have a 1986 Sierra, which is one step down from the High Sierra. has a spec chart.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Schwinn ?? posted by Joe on 12/18/2005 at 2:21:05 PM
The High Sierra began in 1984 and was made by Giant from the start, the Sidewinder was the last US built mountain bike that I know of. I had a 1987 High Sierra in Black Chrome that I bought new, it was an ok bike, but more along the lines of today’s comfort bikes than a real mountain bike. I got rid of it after a few years, I never could get used to the index shifting, and the black chrome was starting to peel in spots, which I later found was a common problem. I think they still make a High Sierra, but as we all know, they are department store bikes now.
The early mountain bikes were more or less just heavy duty road frames, made to take wider tires, which is why they make such good town bikes.
I now have a Mesa Runner converted to a fendered ruff road and trail bike that I set up more like a straight handlebar road bike with a narrow street tread and a set of those old silver plastic fenders and a Blackburn rear rack. I tossed all of the steel components in favor of alloy bars, rims, seat post, and newer Suntour ratchet style shifters. I like this bike far better than I did my High Sierra, which has a lot to do with the added rake on the earlier fork. The High Sierra was lighter though, but only due to its frame being chromoly. The chart at should help you figure the year. There is a catalog page of a Sierra at:

If you look at your rear dropouts, there should be a white sticker that says Giant, if the dealer didn't remove it. I believe the Giant numbers give the date of manufacture.

Price wise, I paid $15 for my Mesa Runner, but it was in need of some work when I got it, but mostly just a few spokes, and a good service and relube to make it ridable.
I bought my 87 High Sierra for $401.05 with sales tax including a rear rack, and an insolated water bottle, and a Cannondale rear bag which sat on top of the rack back in March of 1988.
There really doesn't seem to be much collector value to these, and it's not uncommon to find these on ebay cheap.
I just picked up a black '89 Cimarron which is one model above the HS for $25 at a local public auction house, other than a set of rotted tires, it's ready to ride and in near mint shape.
Got any pics of the one you are looking at?


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Schwinn ?? posted by Jon on 12/18/2005 at 3:58:48 PM
Thanks everyone for the replys! The bike I was looking at is Item 7204673763 on ebay and with your advise I think I'll pass. Only plus would have been that I could have picked it up so no shipping. Will continue to look for more frames to build into single speed "errand runners". Thanks again!

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Schwinn ?? posted by John on 3/12/2007 at 11:27:44 AM
In late 1981, I bought a Schwinn High Sierra that was one of the first mountain bikes made. It was an experimental prototype specially made in the Schwinn Paramount factory, so the High Sierra goes back farther than people realize. No one on campus had one and I got a lot of comments on the straight handlebars.