Old Ned wrote:
I always liked this bike, it was good value at the time.
Sue Fenwick of Essex RC rode and won lots of races on one of these at the time.
Sue Fenwick here. How lovely to see a photo of the Gran Sport and in pristine, original condition too including the toestraps, saddle and brake hoods.
I bought mine at wholesale price (£180 or 280, I can't remember) from Brown Brothers in Sarf London in October 1982 (my Dad had an account with them).
Apart from borrowing posh 28-hole sprints with Clement Number Three tubs for national championships, I rode all my races (time trials and road races) on the bike exactly as sold.
It handled beautifully, it rode beautifully, and it was kept alongside my bed so I got to know every inch and wiggle of the transfers, lines and shapes on it.
It took me to gold in the 83 national 100, silver in the 83 50, silver in the 83 best-allrounder, and it won the Cambridge road race which was one of the events in the women's national (Jo Bruton) series in July 84 too.
Never had any technical probs with it and brakes were fine. They were "of their time" - ie not as good as today's brakes
Surprisingly, I never saw anyone else in the UK racing scene at the time using one.
What happened to mine? Well as it got to the age where it needed bits replacing on it, instead of doing that, I had a 753 racing bike built which I never really got on with. Meanwhile the poor old GS, showing scars from road race crashes and general wear and tear, became my commuting bike... When the gears needed replacing, it became a commuting fixie...
When the paint and chrome got really bad, I handpainted it with black hammerite. Total travesty! Hid its true pedigree well. Still a responsive light bike to ride. Some scumbag saw through the hammerite and nicked it one day from Mile End London.
Never saw another one in real life until I saw a pristine one, one day only, locked and parked in a cycle rack at Cambridge University.
Good memories of it. Enjoy yours!