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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been trying to identify an older Raleigh I've had for some time now. I bought it in 1993 at a bike swap and do not know the history. The frame had been chromed so there are no longer any identifying decals just the Raleigh badge on the front. I've been to http://retroraleighs.com and checked the serial number against the ones posted there, but mine doesn't match any of the criteria there. The number is 4B5R0346 with an "N" and a symbol for "registered trademark" under the serial number string. I have also been looking at pictures of everything I could find out there and the lugs and drop out don't seem to look like anything else. Finally, I'm not seeing anything that comes with the Campy group like this one has. Maybe the previous owner upgraded the group along with the fresh chrome. I do have pictures if that will help. I'd be greatful for any help in identifying this bike and age.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, I really don't know. I got it in 93 and thought it was around 10 years old at the time. The problem is they chromed the frame and there really aren't any identifying marks other than the head badge, serial number and the embossed Raleigh at the seat post. All the stickers are gone. So I can't even tell the tubing type. When did they start making them in America?

Michael
 

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BrooklynVelo
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What do the dropouts look like? Horizontal or semi? Eyelets or none? I can't really tell from the pics. The lugs look similar to my Raleigh USA which was a custom build done in England around 1987. Reynolds 531c and the same lugs that you have, but the seatstays have a semi wrap around. I would guess by my conversations with Harry Hanovian and Sheldon Brown that what you have is an early Raleigh USA. They were Asian made frames and usually straight gauge Reynolds 531 (as opposed to butted). If it is straight gauge the seatpost diameter should be 26.8, butted should be 27.2. The only problems that I was made aware of with the early frames (distinguished by the seat cluster) was that there could be dropout problems. Check your dropouts, if they're stamped with Campagnolo or another name brand company they were probably replaced.

Then again I could be completely wrong, but going by those pics I'd say that's what you have. It does look a lot like the early 80's Ralgeigh USA Competitions. I believe those were Raleigh 555 tubed frames.
 

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some hints

I used to have a Raleigh USA grand prix. Got in in Junior high -- maybe 1985. Your pictures remind me of it. it came with a fully chromed rear triangle and the decals were under a clear coat. All in all it was a decent ride. Double butted tubes, suntour sprint, or perhaps cyclone parts.

The brakes look to be early 90's croce d'aunes like the ones I have on my chesini.

I'd guess that someone had it refinished in the early 90's and put on the campy group, which was an ok group at the time, a step below chorus, probably something like centaur is now.

should be lots of fun.
 

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To start, that is a great looking bike...

I may not have this exactly right, so take it easy on me.....

Sometime around 1980 or so, an American bicycle company (Huffy?) bought the trademark rights to the Raleigh name -- in the United States only -- from Raleigh of Nottingham, England. New bicycles have, since that time, been designed and sold in the US as Raleighs that have no relation to the original company, save the name.

I know that your Raleigh is one of these based on the headbadge and stamp on the top of the seatstay. I'm guessing that it is made with Reynolds 501 tubing. It appears that the fork is an especially nice one.....I don't recall seeing forks that nice on the later Raleighs marketed in the US.

How about another picture of that fork?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Dropouts and Fork

Here are a couple of pics of the dropouts. In my novice interpretation, they appear to be semi. I have also included a couple of pics of the forks as well. They are chrome Tange Cro-Mo.

Thanks for your help guys, Mike
 

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The fork is almost certainly aftermarket. Tange Prestige was a heat-treated, high-strength steel, usually drawn 0.1 mm thinner than Tange's regular seamless cro-moly tubing (No. 1) I've never seen a Prestige Raleigh frameset, and nobody would pay for the Prestige fork blades unless they were building a whole frame out of the stuff.

The seat lug looks stamped, rather than investment cast (judging by the clamp / binder bolt area) That would tend to indicate a lower-end frame, but not always.

If I had to guess, I'd say that you've got a mid-range Raleigh frame from the early 1980's. The parts are probably not original (and the brakes are likely Athena, not Croce D'Aune... The Croces were a cheaper version of the C-Record Delta brakes.) I think I see a slant-parallelogram rear derailleur and a Syncro rear shifter, so that puts the parts at the late 1980s - early 1990s time frame. Say 1988 - 1991 or so. Certainly later than the frame, as I think Raleigh road bikes were all Technium (bonded) by then.

It's likely a nice-riding, well made, not-to-light frame. Ride the heck out of it, and don't worry much about what it is. It's a frankenbike now, and frankenbikes are cool.

--Shannon
 
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