Buying a Vintage Raleigh - Advice, Please!!! 1950 Grand Prix vs 1980 Sovereign


New Member
Hello! I'm looking into two vintage bikes and I'd love some input on which would be the better choice. Both are in working condition, and neither seems like anything is rusted/potentially wrong.

The 1950s Grand Prix is white and listed at $120
The 1980s Sovereign is red and listed at $180

I live in an area with lots of hills, so I'm looking for something lightweight that can handle a lot of commuting.

Thanks in advance for the advice!!!
- Bishop

All uphill

I didn't recognise you but I knew your bike

Raleigh bikes from the 1950s to 1980s are well made, reliable and enjoyable.
I'd suggest buying the one that appeals most to you so long as it has been cared for.

Do you have pictures?

Good luck.


Über Member
Chances are the later bike will be more versatile in terms of availability / range of gear ratios, braking efficiency, availability of parts, compatability with modern components etc.

There are many legit reasons to go with a vintage steel bike, although they do lose out to modern offerings in terms of practicality.. which is something you probably want to take a good hard look at before committing if you want it for a practical ride rather than a weekend wafter.


Deplorable Brexiteer
I'm in general agreement that the more modern machine is likely to be easier to keep on the road as it will have bits on it that are readily available and/or interchangeable between bikes.
However, when I consider buying a bike, a big factor is the frame and what it is made from. If I'm buying a "good" bike; i.e. not just a beater for leaving outside the pub or chucking in the back of my work van I am looking for a quality frame, preferably Reynolds 531 tubing. If I had the choice of an old one made of 531 and a not so old one made of cheap gas pipe, the 531 would win hands down,
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