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Thread: Raleigh Experts

  1. #1
    Senior Member 55/Rad's Avatar
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    Raleigh Experts

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...8699&rd=1&rd=1

    '84 Racing USA with 555RSL tubing and Super Record gruppo. Looks to be in pretty good shape.

    Thoughts? Too expensive?

    55/Rad

  2. #2
    If I own it, I ride it CV-6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 55/Rad
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...8699&rd=1&rd=1

    '84 Racing USA with 555RSL tubing and Super Record gruppo. Looks to be in pretty good shape.

    Thoughts? Too expensive?

    55/Rad
    My initial reaction is overpriced. But I got to thinking you might be hard pressed to find that SR group in that condition by itself for that price. I would maybe buy it, sell the frame, and look for a Team Raleigh frame to put the SR on.

    EDIT: There is not much on the net about 555RSL. Mostly people looking for info and saying they never heard of it.
    Last edited by CV-6; 05-08-07 at 01:25 PM.
    Lynn Travers

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    ISO: Lejeune Champion du Monde Ultra Leger Reynolds 753, 53-55cm

  3. #3
    Senior Member randyjawa's Avatar
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    Worth it..?

    The price is certianly fair considering the grouppo and its condition. I agree, sell the frame set and install it on a better frame of your choice. Or just keep the bicycle as it is. It will never be worth less in the days to come. At least, that's what I think.

  4. #4
    Seņor Member USAZorro's Avatar
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    Rad - While it's a nice bike, I doubt it will dislodge either your Trek or your Pinarello as favorites. I think the price is fair, considering the condition of everything.
    The search for inner peace continues...

  5. #5
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    555RSL has been confirmed to be either 501 or some form (butted?) 531 - these bikes usually have some form of Reynolds stamping around the steer tube area on the fork. Lowest in the lineup of the Team frame (you could get it in 531 C and 753 in '84), but an excellent machine regardless. English, not Taiwanese, purchasable as a frameset only.

    Rough finish and fit on these, as you will find on anything else that came out of Nottingham or Birmingham during the mid '70s to '80s. Price is fair, but no bargain - consider the gruppo on it. Strip the gruppo off, and you have a $200-250 eBay frame if you know how to sell it - $120 if you don't.

    Take care,

    -Kurt

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    Senior Member ollo_ollo's Avatar
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    I have to agree with everyone else, price is fair. Since it has a best offer option, I would be inclined to offer less & keep shopping for a better frame. Don
    visit my homebuilding blog: www.monoplanar.blogspot.com

  7. #7
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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    cudak888 is the Raleigh Expert abound and he's already weighed in. Got to say that's one clean Super Record group. Makes me want to go back over my rear derailleur with a finer tooth comb.

  8. #8
    If I own it, I ride it CV-6's Avatar
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    I was eyeballing the pictures again and noticed the front caliper is nutted and the rear is recessed. Seems rather odd. Kurt's comments on the tubing were pretty much verified by another source although that source is convinced it is 531, no 501 mentioned.
    Lynn Travers

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    ISO: Lejeune Champion du Monde Ultra Leger Reynolds 753, 53-55cm

  9. #9
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CV-6
    I was eyeballing the pictures again and noticed the front caliper is nutted and the rear is recessed. Seems rather odd. Kurt's comments on the tubing were pretty much verified by another source although that source is convinced it is 531, no 501 mentioned.
    I know this tubing has been confirmed as Reynolds, but I did not know that it had been definitely determined to be some form of 531. What puzzles me is what form of 531 was used under the 555RSL badging - it would have made no sense to use 531C, for 531C was already in the lineup as a more expensive tubing option for this model. Likewise, I doubt if they used 531 straight gauge, for that would make the lowest-end Team frame second to the double-butted, Japanese manufactured, 555SL-equipped Prestige, Competition, Super Course, and Grand Prix models, which were all below the Team in the '84 hiearchy, respectively.

    The fork is original - why they rigged a nutted brake over the recessed hole is beyond me, although I suspect that the shop or individual that built the frame up happened to have a pair of non-matching front and rear SR calipers. Why the mounting bolt wasn't simply ground down or replaced is a mystery - one not worth solving, IMHO - anyone can swap it to recessed.

    Take care,

    -Kurt
    Last edited by cudak888; 05-08-07 at 07:45 PM.

  10. #10
    If I own it, I ride it CV-6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cudak888
    I know this tubing has been confirmed as Reynolds, but I did not know that it had been definitely determined to be some form of 531.

    snippage

    Take care,

    -Kurt

    My source indicated he had one of these frames repainted and the fork was stamped Reynolds 531 and can only assume the remainder of the frame is 531. He also indicated the frames used the same serial number format as the 531 bikes. Your other comments raise some valid questions. Like why bother with another tubing designation.
    Lynn Travers

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    ISO: Lejeune Champion du Monde Ultra Leger Reynolds 753, 53-55cm

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    Rad for what it's worth, this is mine. I've had it over 20 years, paid 125 for the frame and fork, and used some spare parts stripped from an old Benotto to built it. It's 531c.


  12. #12
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by serotta
    Rad for what it's worth, this is mine. I've had it over 20 years, paid 125 for the frame and fork, and used some spare parts stripped from an old Benotto to built it. It's 531c.
    ^
    An '86. Got closeups of those seatstays? They don't look like traditional Raleigh USA stays.

    -Kurt

  13. #13
    Senior Member 55/Rad's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=serotta]Rad for what it's worth, this is mine. I've had it over 20 years, paid 125 for the frame and fork, and used some spare parts stripped from an old Benotto to built it. It's 531c.
    Well, in the tradition of me following in your footsteps every other year - see Santana Stylus - I better go get this bike. It's local too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cudak888
    ^
    An '86. Got closeups of those seatstays? They don't look like traditional Raleigh USA stays.

    -Kurt
    Gimme a few hours or a day, and I'll see if my digital camera can get close up and personal with those stays.

    john

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    [QUOTE=55/Rad]
    Quote Originally Posted by serotta
    Rad for what it's worth, this is mine. I've had it over 20 years, paid 125 for the frame and fork, and used some spare parts stripped from an old Benotto to built it. It's 531c.
    Well, in the tradition of me following in your footsteps every other year - see Santana Stylus - I better go get this bike. It's local too.
    Full Retro Campy group, how can you go wrong for the money? You'll just spend it foolishly if you don't use it on a bike.

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    I have one of those with 753 tubing. Looks pretty well made to me. Wish I had the change to pick that one up and swap parts over.

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    This is very interesting. The circa 1984 555SL frames that I recall had Chrome Moly on the labels, implying that if it was Reynolds, then it would be 501. My logic had always steered to towards Reynolds 501, but I recall another post where an owner had found a Tange stamping, I believe on the fork steerer. Now we have evidence of 1985 555 being manganese molybdenum like 531!

    As for some frames being 753 and others being 555SL, as opposed to 531, I suspect that it may be tied into the country of origin. The 753 frames probably came from England. The lower Raleigh USA frames (Prestige, Competition, Supercourse, etc.) that used 555SL were reportedly built in Japan. So maybe the team replica 555SL frames were made in Japan? Just speculation on my part.

    It is also accepted fact that many of true team Racing USA frames were built by Marinoni using Columbus, even though they had Reynolds decals. Did Marinoni also do the custom, non-team frames? Yet another possibilty. Very confusing.

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    My 753 frame is from Ilkeston, has stickers on the seat tube and an SB number on the BB shell.

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    Notice the wording in the ad link provided by Chuckk: the two tubing types referred to are "Reynolds 753" and "Raleigh 555T." For the bikes that they sourced from Japan and Taiwan and that were built with tubing produced in Asia, Raleigh USA used tubing names and decals reminiscent, shall we say, of Reynolds equivalents, hoping to borrow some of the cachet of the longtime Reynolds-Raleigh connection. Those of us selling the Raleigh USA bikes in those days had to explain to inquiring customers that Raleigh tubing is not Reynolds tubing. At least, that's what we did where I worked; there may have been dealerships where promoting the confusion was encouraged.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trakhak
    Notice the wording in the ad link provided by Chuckk: the two tubing types referred to are "Reynolds 753" and "Raleigh 555T." For the bikes that they sourced from Japan and Taiwan and that were built with tubing produced in Asia, Raleigh USA used tubing names and decals reminiscent, shall we say, of Reynolds equivalents, hoping to borrow some of the cachet of the longtime Reynolds-Raleigh connection. Those of us selling the Raleigh USA bikes in those days had to explain to inquiring customers that Raleigh tubing is not Reynolds tubing. At least, that's what we did where I worked; there may have been dealerships where promoting the confusion was encouraged.
    I think most us are well aware of the distinction between the tubing decals. The question is whether it is just a marketing marketing attempt to cash in a Reynold's look-alike decal or whether it is Reynolds but there was some reason why they could not the Reynolds name.

    In 1982 TI-Raleigh abandoned direct involvement in the US market and licensed the name to Huffy who formed the Raleigh Cycle Company of America. Part of the agreement may have prevented the use of the Reynolds name or it may have been in conflict with agreements that Huffy had with other tubing suppliers. I am not saying that this is the case, but it happens often enough in the corporate world that it could explain Reynolds tubing being renamed Raleigh 555.

    There appears to be conflicting evidence supporting both Reynolds and non-Reynolds tubing as 555. Even the labels for 555 conflict from year to year, with 1984 being chromium-molybdenum and 1985 specifying manganese-molybdenum, based on the ad. For all we know, there even the possibility that the source changed from year to year. That might explain the conflicting evidence.

    Given the conflicting evidence, perhaps it wisest to err on the side of caution, like your LBS did. However, in the end, I think there is too much hype regarding the difference between tubesets, regardless of the manufacturer. Most tubesets of a particular level will be sufficiently similar that the geometry and skills of the brazer will make far more difference than the properties of the tubing.

  21. #21
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Mar
    This is very interesting. The circa 1984 555SL frames that I recall had Chrome Moly on the labels, implying that if it was Reynolds, then it would be 501. My logic had always steered to towards Reynolds 501, but I recall another post where an owner had found a Tange stamping, I believe on the fork steerer. Now we have evidence of 1985 555 being manganese molybdenum like 531!
    You've got it confused, T-Mar. 555SL is cro-mo, used on the Taiwanese and Japanese production only, and 555RSL is manganese molybdenum, used exclusively on the Nottingham Team Pros and the Nottingham-made 1986 Prestige only (the Prestiege had been a Japanese 555SL machine in '84 and '85).

    If the '85 catalogue states 555RSL and 753 as the only two options (without any mention of 531), I'd venture to say that 555RSL is, without question, 531. Is there another English manganese molybdenum tubing that exists out there? Not that I know of. Good enough for me, thank you very much!

    There appears to be conflicting evidence supporting both Reynolds and non-Reynolds tubing as 555. Even the labels for 555 conflict from year to year, with 1984 being chromium-molybdenum and 1985 specifying manganese-molybdenum, based on the ad. For all we know, there even the possibility that the source changed from year to year. That might explain the conflicting evidence.
    See above. The various 555 suffixes determine whether it is Japanese cro-mo or English 531.

    The real question is, what tubing is 555SL? Or for that matter, 555T (used on some of the touring machines)? And what was their "triple-butted" 575SL? Wasn't Miyata the only company to make triple-butted tubing?

    Quote Originally Posted by T-Mar
    So maybe the team replica 555SL frames were made in Japan? Just speculation on my part.
    No, they came from England, and they were 555RSL, not SL. Anything 753/555RSL came from England, 555SL is found on both Taiwanese or Japanese made GP's, SC's and Competitions (I know the '84-85 Prestige came from Japan - I do not know if any came from Taiwan), and 555T appears to have come only from Taiwan. I forgot if the 575SL machines I've seen were Japanese or Taiwanese, but I seem to remember they were from Taiwan.

    Quote Originally Posted by T-Mar
    It is also accepted fact that many of true team Racing USA frames were built by Marinoni using Columbus, even though they had Reynolds decals. Did Marinoni also do the custom, non-team frames? Yet another possibilty. Very confusing.
    I highly doubt it. Marinoni's framework was far superior to the traditionally sloppy Nottingham craftmanship of the Team frames sold to the public.

    Take care,

    -Kurt
    Last edited by cudak888; 05-10-07 at 09:14 AM.

  22. #22
    Senior Member ricohman's Avatar
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    A pic of my 84 Olympian's tube decal. It does not suggest Reynolds tubing is used.

  23. #23
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    See above - that's 555SL.

    -Kurt

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    Cuda Here's the pictures you requested, the first two are the stays on the bike picture above, the third is the stay on an older Raleigh 531c frameset that broke at the stay and was rewelded (sloppily) to use as a fixie. The older frameset appears to have the stays wrapped across the front of the seat tube.
    I was wrong about the length of time I've had them. I got the oldest one in Jan of 88 as NOS from a local shop that was reducing inventory. It cracked 7 months later, and the Raleigh Rep. found as close a replacement as possible, with another NOS frame that was slightly newer. Both have Made in England decals.






  25. #25
    Seņor Member USAZorro's Avatar
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    Serotta. Looks like your seat tube needs to be .2 or .4 mm larger.
    The search for inner peace continues...

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