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Old 07-02-08, 03:32 AM   #1
supergymnast
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I found frame in trash..Raleigh?

Hi There - I'd appreciate some of your knowledge and experience to figure out who made this frame, what year it was made etc. Here is everything I can tell you about it from what I've observed and researched: I found it out on the curb in front of my building here in NYC. I've been looking for a good, inexpensive, vintage frame to build up an SS from, and think I've found it for free. I've done a TON of searching for frames that look like this and I'm pretty convinced that it's at least a Raleigh from the 70's. The lug work, wrap around seatstays and fork crown all seem similar. It has a Shimano Dura Ace head set which seems to be original. The serial # stamped under the BB reads: RA N 98220 (0 might be a C). I tried going to all the appropriate serial # I.D. sites but to no avail so far. On the front of the head tube are three dots in a triangular configuration that , from what I've gathered, most likely means there was a raleigh badge there(there is a close up of this in the 1st group of pics, bottom row, middle. Also, on the top of the BB is a little plastic/rubber valve, which I guess is to add lube to frame or BB innards? I think seatpost is 26.8 based on the SR LaPrade that was aleady in it. It's 21.5 inches from top of BB to top of seat tube.
Most of the braze-ons were hastily chopped off with a hack saw but not neatly filed down, and the frame has obviously been stripped, primed, and repainted white - rattlecan style - all probably done to convert to fixed or SS. There is a bridge on seatstays for center pull brakes.
OK, here are the pictures! I apologize if the resolution isn't great..I had to take them with my cell phone camera. I'm posting a lot of them because I always hear you guys saying that people don't post enough pics for this sort of thing.. and I don't want to get balled out!!
Thanks a million everyone.!! (later I'll have questions on what components to use in my rebuild.. need to be thrifty without sacrificing quality i.e nos vintage components to maintain some integrity - thinking about vintage Weinmann 610 center pull brakes. Don't know if I need to get 27" wheelset for center pulls to work properly. I plan on stripping the paint and having it beautifully powdercoated white, with a clearcoat)
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Last edited by supergymnast; 07-02-08 at 05:28 AM.
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Old 07-02-08, 03:35 AM   #2
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..here are a few more pics..
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Old 07-02-08, 03:35 AM   #3
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70s-era Raleigh Grand Prix, otherwise a Carlton.
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Old 07-02-08, 04:07 AM   #4
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what's better - carlton or raleigh grand prix? Did they both use 531 tubing? Either way, is this a decent frame to build up? thanks.
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Old 07-02-08, 04:24 AM   #5
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It looks to be a nice low to mid level frame. The lugs aren't too fancy and the dropouts are stamped not forged. If it's Seventies, it probably has a 120mm - 125mm spacing. Which is perfect for a fixed/SS. Good luck

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Old 07-02-08, 04:27 AM   #6
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what's better - carlton or raleigh grand prix? Did they both use 531 tubing? Either way, is this a decent frame to build up? thanks.
Some of the Raleigh experts can answer better than me. Raleigh bought Carlton, and (correct me if I'm wrong, Raleigh experts) for a time produced both Raleighs and Carltons. That ownership led to the use of Carlton's wrap-around seat stay treatment on the Grand Prix. Thus, this frameset is either a Raleigh Grand Prix or a Carlton.

The Grand Prix should be hi-ten tubing. Not sure about Carlton.

Taking a wild guess, I'd say Carlton is not as common, therefore more desirable. Just a guess, I'm not sure if one or the other is better. Again, the experts will know.
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Old 07-02-08, 04:28 AM   #7
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I would say late 70 early 80's Raleigh Grand prix 20-30 Tubing
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Old 07-02-08, 04:30 AM   #8
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Looking at the close-up of that head tube, there are three holes corresponding to the rivet holes on the Raleigh head badge. So unless Carltons have a similar rivet placement on theirs head badges, I'd say this is a Grand Prix.
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Old 07-02-08, 04:48 AM   #9
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I think you're all right about it being a Grand Prix...then 20/30 high carbon steel for sure.. I know in 1968 Carlton hand made bikes for Raleigh - but I don't know what year this is. Anyone know how I can find out the year using serial #? It' great that we've narrowed it down to being grand prix though... was grand prix mid-level for it's time... "close coupled geometry to give an exceptionally lively and responsive ride" is what one 70"s ad claimed!

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Old 07-02-08, 04:51 AM   #10
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what's better - carlton or raleigh grand prix? Did they both use 531 tubing? Either way, is this a decent frame to build up? thanks.
They both used Hi-ten tubing. They were low end bikes. Some of the late 1960s Carlton Grand Prixs used 531; you don't have one of them though.
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Old 07-02-08, 05:16 AM   #11
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The confounding detail for me is the BB oiler hole. That would indicate a 1960s bike (and would certainly mean the Dura Ace headset is not original). I'm not sure when that oiler was discontinued, but my 1961 Lenton Grand Prix had one, and my various 1971 Raleigh road bikes do not.

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Old 07-02-08, 05:24 AM   #12
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yeah Neal you're right... I've yet to see a post 60"s Raleigh, particularly grand prixs with that oil hole... thanks for pointing that out... now, what is it then? for sure a raleigh because of the rivet holes, but from the sixties? I need to find a way to ID using serial #'s .

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Old 07-02-08, 05:33 AM   #13
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I think you're all right about it being a Grand Prix...then 20/30 high carbon steel for sure.. I know in 1968 Carlton hand made bikes for Raleigh - but I don't know what year this is. Anyone know how I can find out the year using serial #? It' great that we've narrowed it down to being grand prix though... was grand prix mid-level for it's time... "close coupled geometry to give an exceptionally lively and responsive ride" is what one 70"s ad claimed!
The Raleigh Record was the entry level "10 Speed." The Grand Prix was the next step up, so llow-end, not mid-level. Still, a nice, unique vintage frameset, perfect for fixie or SS conversion...and somebody has already done some of the work for you. Best of all it was free!
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Old 07-02-08, 05:38 AM   #14
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I wonder if this could be earlier than 1970.
The BB oiler and the shape of bridge on seatstays for center pull brakes doesn't look like the 70s Grand Prix.
The round wrapover seat stay and the fork crown certainly look like Raleigh or Carlton.

Why don't you pull the fork. You may find the original paint color.
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Old 07-02-08, 05:40 AM   #15
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The Retro Raleigh site with their serial number data base is down, so here is a link to the Google cashed version of it. This should be able to tell you exactly when your frame was made.


http://209.85.135.104/search?q=cache...lnk&cd=1&gl=lv
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Old 07-02-08, 06:05 AM   #16
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thanks for the link Ziemas.. I've just been searching it and nothing seems to correspond to my number:
RA N 98220, unless I'm missing something.
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Old 07-02-08, 06:08 AM   #17
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Why don't you pull the fork. You may find the original paint color.

I just pulled the fork but don't think any of the 3 colors are original. There is a deep bright blue color, a green grey primer color and the whit which was last sprayed. Maybe the blue is original? who really knows though how many times it's been stripped and repainted... that was good thinking to check though.

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Old 07-02-08, 06:14 AM   #18
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I'm determined to find out. Why am I so determined? To know. Will I know? I don't know.
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Old 07-02-08, 06:48 AM   #19
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I have a frame that has a lot of the same detailing (though not exactly the same) that consensus here pegged as a Falcon. Thread's here (OP and I traded some frames, that's how I have it now)
How about another "what is it?" thread!!??

Mine definitely has two holes vertically disposed for headbadge, fitting the Falcon spacing. The precursor company to Falcon was Coventry Eagle, and their headbadge was different; perhaps with three holes, if I remember correctly. You should measure the hole spacing, and compare it to a Raleigh heron -- I don't think that they changed that, and it's possible that it's not a Raleigh/Carlton at all.

You should also check the brake bolt to dropout distances. On my frame (and many English bikes of that era), the rear needs a brake with larger reach than the Weinmann 610 will provide -- you will probably need a 750 there. Caliper sets are commonly available in 610/750 pairs.
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Old 07-02-08, 06:53 AM   #20
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I was reading through some of the other posts and noticed a reference to bottom bracket oil ports. It's mentioned that BB oil ports stopped in 1964 and that older BB oil ports prior to 1961 were made of steel and newer ones were plastic. That being the case, I've been estimating my dates incorrectly. My Raleigh has a plastic oil port, that would make it a 1961-1963 model. Raleigh colts and Sports had plastic ports on bb during this time, but that isn't what my frame is. Let me know what you think?
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Old 07-02-08, 07:02 AM   #21
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Charles - the falcon IS really similar to my frame - the lug work is a little different but everything else is right on.... and this serial number game I'm playing with raleigh is making me nuts..can't find a match.

I'm looking up Coventry Eagle right now...
and yeah, specs on badge hole spacing on head tube for raleigh would be helpful too.
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Old 07-02-08, 07:27 AM   #22
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I was thinking Falcon, too, based on the seat stay wrap, but I think a fair number of English builders did that, and the three rivet holes for a headbadge wouldn't likely be Falcon. Another detail that doesn't fit with Raleighs is the brazed cable stop on that rear brake bridge. I've only seen tapped/threaded stops on Raleighs.

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Old 07-02-08, 07:28 AM   #23
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couldn't find out how many holes for coventry eagle head badge, but hres a pretty cool site that sells nice vintage head badges for anyone looking: http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu...%3Den%26sa%3DN
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Old 07-02-08, 07:36 AM   #24
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ok Neal, thanks for that insight.. this is a good process of elimination. THANK YOU all for sticking with this one so far, it's much appreciated. So considering the bb plastic oil port seems, safe to say early sixties? Any idea as to who did brazed cable stops like that, but did have a three hole head badge and rounded, wrap around seat stays? Getting close, I can feel it!

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Old 07-02-08, 08:10 AM   #25
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Looking at a 1962 raleigh catalog..hhmmm... superbe? lenton? blue streak? sports or gransports? Actually the Gran Sport is the only 27" with wrap around seat stays and center pull brakes- cant tell if cable bridge is brazed though. Check out the specs on this page: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/retroral...talog-1962.pdf
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