Classic & Vintage - Raleigh 555 tubing
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12-02-04, 11:12 PM
So what is it and how does it compare to Reynolds/Columbus/Ishiwata/Tange etc?
dunno how long they made it. i do remember it back in the mid eighties. i recently bought a 84 raleigh racing usa frame that is made of 555 http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=72853 .u had a choice in the ad in the magazine of 753, 531 or 555.
I always assumed that Raleigh 555 was re-badged Reynolds 501, based on the following:
1. During the mid-80s when this tubing was used, Raleigh was still owned by Tube Investments, the manufacturer of Reynolds tubing.
2. As Lofter points out, Raleigh USA was still marketing Reynolds 753 and 531 frames along with Raleigh 555, so Raleigh 555 would not have been either of those two tubesets and would presumibly have been a less expensive tubeset, which was Reynolds 501's position in the Reynolds line-up.
3. Raleigh 555 was a chromium-molybdenum tubeset. Reynolds only chromium-molybdenum tubeset at time was Reynolds 531.
4. Raleigh 555 was unique to the US market. At the time Raleigh USA was using 555 tubests, Raleigh bicycles in other markets were being marketed with Reynolds 501.
5. The Raleigh 555 decal is remarkably similar to a Reynolds decal. If for some reason, Raleigh USA was using non-Reynolds tubing, I seriously doubt that Tubing Investments would have permitted the use of a decal design that consumers would associate with Reynolds tubesets.
6. There was a lighter version of both the Raleigh and Reynolds tubests, called 555SL and 501SL repectively.
Basically, Reynolds 501 was a seamed, butted tubeset intended for mid-range, sports bicycles. It was about 0.5 lbs (225 g) heavier than a Reynolds 531 tubset and about 0.9 lbs (425 g) heavier than the top of the line Reynolds 753. However, the 501SL tubeset gave away little weight advantage to 531, being only 0.16 lb (75g) heavier.
Comparable seamed, butted tubesets from other manufacturers would have been Columbus Cromor, Ishiwata EXO-M and Tange Infinity.
nice t-mar, i was wondering myself about 555, thanks.
12-04-04, 09:27 PM
I bought a Raleigh 555 frameset in 1984 that had the red main tubes and black stays and fork and looked exactly (as near as I can tell) like the one pictured. It also had a metal head badge and a "made in England" sticker on the seat tube. It had Campy chromed dropouts. The stays seemed bigger or fatter than normal SL type stays.
The odd thing about the bike, was the fork whistled in crosswinds and I had to keep the vent holes covered with black tape. :)
I think I have a picture of the bike with my wife crossing the finish line of a race. If I can find it, I'll scan it and post it.
12-04-04, 09:46 PM
Here's a pic of my wife in 1986 winning a 30+ women's race on a Raleigh 555 frameset. I don't remember the components, but they were probably Campy NR since everything I owned at the time was NR or SR. Looks like Superbe Pro brake levers, though.
yep looks like mine cept better shape
head badge says raleigh cycle company of us,raleigh 555 sticker says 555 rsl, sticker below that sticker says designed and engineered in us, made in england, for sale in us only.
12-05-04, 04:53 AM
yep looks like mine cept better shape
Yep, I (and she) was in better shape back in 1986 too. ;)
The frame became my beater/winter bike in 1990 after my wife got a new bike. I rode it through the winter of 1990 and it finally cracked where the seat tube enters the bottom bracket.
Yep, I (and she) was in better shape back in 1986 too.
lmao amen to that , the good old days
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