Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking
This is the inaugural post for the Raleigh Appreciation Society, dedicated to the appreciation of all Raleigh bicycles.
I'll start with mine:
1972 Sprite (As it was after purchase from a garage sale)
1958 Sports (As I bought it - with hardly worn Dunlop Roadster tyres!)
Last edited by stumpjumper on Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I have a 1982 Raleigh Royal, set up as a fully-customised tourer. I bought it off this forum in fact! Its previous owner had this set-up.
And this is how it is now:
I plan to add a few more things to it, such as a set of lowrider front racks, and a small rack/decaler to suit a VO Campagne Handlebar bag (oh, and I still have to purchase that bag too!)
The rear mudguard is second-hand stainless steel item off an old women's bicycle. It came cut-off like that, but I've found this handy for when I need to hang up the bicycle by its front wheel on bike hooks in my garage or on trains. One day I'll get around to fitting mudflaps!
Last edited by hartleymartin on Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
Not to mention that I am big on the Raleigh Twenty (pun intended)!
1979 Carlton. Dunno which model, but badged as a Raleigh:
Since the photo was taken, I've upgraded the wheels to some Fulcrums and put some Campag brifters on it, as well as some new bar tape.
I've ordered a "Super Course" sticker set from the guy on ebay, but they haven't showed up yet.
Will post an updated pic after the stickers are on.
What beautiful machines. They look a bit flimsy though.
I read on Sheldon Brown that the American 'Raleigh Sports' models were shipped without the chainguard because there was a tax on bikes weighing over 40lbs (18kgs)!
They say that by the mid 20th century, the steel bicycle had been improved to the highest efficiency attained by a mechanical form of transport. The mid 50's is also supposed to be Raleigh's high point in manufacturing for longevity (certainly not for minimum weight, so excluding their racing bikes), and that this high point is represented by the Superbe and Sports models.
That's why I'm so glad to have found this one, and in the condition it's in. I'm not much of a photographher, but I'm thinking of enlarging a better shot of the crank and BB area (third pic from top in previous post). It's pure machine, an engineer's dream without a superfluous bit of metal.
The tyres as mentioned are Dunlop Roadsters, marked 'made in Malaya'. I think I'll take them off and put them aside.
I'm going to be very careful about cleaning up this bike. I certainly won't touch the paintwork. I might dab gloss black KillRust paint very carefully into the chipped areas, and I'll try cleaning the chrome with aluminium foil then Autosol. I've never restored a bicycle before, and I don't want to f*ck up a valuable classic.
Any suggestions would be welcome.
Here are some more pics:
Interesting steering lock!
Can I recommend a rust converter called Fertan for the paint chips? It's made from tannins (like tea, and it actually looks like strong tea) and converts the rust to a black, inert paintable form and is non-toxic. You just clean the rusty bits with very soapy water first, then rub them lightly to expose the rust a bit; soft wire brush, glasspaper or steel wool (helps the stuff work). Then you brush on a 50/50 solution of this stuff and it goes black in about 10 mins. Then a full strength treatment, and voila. Then you just clean it up and paint as you please.
This is a great thread.
I don't know much about these bikes; can posters please describe them a bit more (frame material, component spec, hierarchy in the range etc)?
Thanks for the rust converter tip, Stuey. I'll give it a go, but I'm not keen on using abrasives because of the effect on the paint and transfers. I've restored cars and motorbikes, but this bicycle is a relatively delicate thing. I know it's not the world's rarest or greatest bike, but it's very complete and I consider myself a custodian rather than an owner, and I don't want to be the guy who trashes it or makes experts shake their heads.
The steering lock puts a pin upwards into one of three recesses machined into that thick tang, locking the front wheel straight ahead or about 30 deg to either side. I need to find a locksmith who can cut a key for it. I have an exploded drawing of the lock. Some other Raleigh products had fork locks too - the Superbe, some BSAs, Rudge and Humber too, I think.
I'm very far from an expert on Raleighs or even bicycles, but I'm learning and there's a lot on the net. Raleigh was a vast operation that ended up making a lot of brands. Wiki has a good overview of Raleigh, WestcoastPete.
AFAIK, this Sports is made from Raleigh's own 'high tensile tubing' (before they bought Reynolds?). It's 'All Steel' as the signage says. The saddle is a Brooks B66, nicely run in. I think the Sports was near the top of the range for touring/daily transport bikes, with the Superbe at the top of the range.
The rims are Raleigh pattern 26" x 1 3/8", made for rod brakes.
I rode the bike for the first time on Sunday. Very smooth, no squeaks or groans, very comfortable, shocking brakes.
A good site:
AFAIK, from the early 70's onward, all Carltons (Most? Definately Nottingham production at least) exported to the Commonwealth were head badged as Raleighs but retained their Carlton transfers. USA and other markets seemed to get a mixture of headbadges in different batches, possibly depending on the factory of origin.
This apparently was a marketing decision by the geniuses at TI Industries to link them to the 'prestige' of the Raleigh brand as it was expected that the poor ex-colonials wouldn't recognize the Carlton brand
Well on a par with most of their other marketing decisions......
Yeah, I saw the pin thingy for the lock.
You don't need to rough up the rust, it just makes the stuff work slightly better. You could even just carefully rub the surface of the rust (only) with a small sharp screwdriver, but this is mainly because you want any bulk rust off so the touch up paint doesn't look naff. However, Fertan will work on any thickness of rust. Check out the web on it. You just have to make sure the rusty bits are cleaned with detergent because being water based, it won't penetrate oil.
Here's some pics of my Raleigh TI Competition which I picked up today. I think it's early 80s? An eBay find.
Frame ready for work
Raleigh TI Competition by benatherton71, on Flickr
The frame was advertised by the seller as Reynolds 501. But one of the cable ties attached to the frame was obscuring the sticker. It's really 531. Result. On the minus side, those Campag shifters are stuck on - the mounting screws won't come loose.
Reynolds 531 and Campag shifters by benatherton71, on Flickr
The business end. The custom Raleigh stem is made by Sturmey-Archer. To paraphrase Miles Davis, that sht is hip.
Raleigh stem made by Sturmey by benatherton71, on Flickr
Campagnolo rear derailleur. Seems like quite a basic model. Anyone knows the vintage, please let me know.
Campagnolo rear derailleur by benatherton71, on Flickr
These days, Brooks don't brag about how they once made saddles like this. Brown velour on plastic.
Brooks Vitesse velour saddle by benatherton71, on Flickr
Made In England. 'Nuff said.
Made in England by benatherton71, on Flickr
The downside. This dropout adjuster screw is both seized in AND sheared off. I tried tapping it out but it didn't work, obviously, because it's threaded. I know that now. Any ideas on how to get it out gratefully received.
Seized drop-out adjuster by benatherton71, on Flickr
Death before Di2!
So I bought a bottle cage locally, went to pick it up and came home with this a Carlton Rapide mid to late 70's. Don't know if its any good or what I'll do with it.
It has a 531 frame and fork SR crank, Huret deraillers and shifters, Weinmann 610 brakes, GB stem, 27"wheels aren't original but nice, R.E.D made in Italy frame pump still works.
The Carlton hoods look new and there's a nice amount of chrome under the forks and stays paint.
Last edited by jbchybridrider on Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:31 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Here is my Raleigh Grand Prix I use to commute to work on. I absolutely love riding it. So responsive and smooth to ride. Can't see myself ever getting off it.
I've put the B17 Brooks seat on, new Panracer gum wall 27 1 1/4 tyres on it.
I have the new bar tape just need to put it on.
Still working on it and building it up.
Wow. That's a better bike than I thought it'd be. Nice find.
I'd douse the rusted bolts in WD40/RP7 or Penetrene. They'll come out.
Tip: Don't lose the little cable ends which go into the ferrules on your top tube. You can't buy them in shops, you have to buy them online. They're not exactly uncommon, but it's the sort of thing that can hold you up for a few weeks.
You should be able to date it by the serial number. Check under the BB.
My absolute favourite brand is Raleigh (and Carlton) and my collection now is virtually all Raleighs and Centurions.
A 1980 Worksop track bike
One of the earliest 753 bikes ever made from the first 20 or so in 1976. Sadly, cracked.
A 753 TT special from 1979. With original receipt of sale. about 17lb
A Raleigh Professional oddity from 1968, nearly two years before the Raleigh Professional model was first released
There are a couple more including an ex 82 team bike ridden by Frits Pirard. Pics are here http://www.flickr.com/photos/rogerrabbit1964/sets/72157628132893584/ along with more pics of my other bikes. I also have an 82 Worksop Team Pro which is not documented.
I am eyeing up an early 70's Carlton at the moment, but something else will have to go to make room
1974 - 1980's
In 1974, an entirely different numbering system was introduced for the higher end (531 and subsequently 753) Raleighs. Serial numbers should begin with a "W", which stands for Worksop, the facility that produced theses frames. This is followed by another alphabet. This alphabet indicates the fortnight in which the frame was built (i.e. A = 1st fortnight, B = 2nd, etc.). The third character is always a numeral. It indicates the year of manufacture, the decade being assumed (i.e. "4" could be '74 or '84; it is up to the interpretor to know enough to tell if the frame is from the 70's or 80's). What then follows is a series of numbers. At this point, these appear to be some sort of sequence, but this has not been substantiated.
W - Workshop
L - 12th fortnight
2 - 72/82?
001011 - 1011th to be built?
It's a 1982 model, made in the Carlton factory at Worksop:
Vaeske, a couple of things:
Worksop. Without the "h".
And it's poor form to rip something off a website without citing a reference. Especially the work of the late, great Sheldon Brown.
I beg your pardon... yes its a direct copy and paste job from Sheldon Brown on my part...
So to tell the difference on if it was 72 or 82, would you 1, check the period components on the bike and 2, whether the brakes were recessed or nutted?
The giveaway is the under-BB cable routing. They (Raleigh/Carlton) didn't start doing that until 1980. Before then, they had brazed-on cable guides on top of the BB shell. Recessed nuts didn't come until later still.
ahhh of course!thats the difference with my 74 flyer which had the braze on guides over bb and the 84 team replica with routing under bb...thanks for that.
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