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Old 02-10-09, 02:38 PM   #1
ibo
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Motobecane and Raleigh Supercourse

Hi,
I bought 2 bikes over the last 6 months and just started to clean and look at them more in detail as a hobby.

I took pictures. The Raleigh Supercourse looks like it has handmade lugging. What do you think?
The black "cross painting" on the seat tube says "Carlton" on it. Is that maybe the frame builder's name?
It's a Nottingham made Raleigh. What year could this be? It has cotter pin cranks.
The fork is not original. I bought it at a shop and they cut it to size for me. The original was bent.
Thanks for any knowledge.

The Motobecane has a registration sticker from 1974. There is a lot of color wear on the top tube.
Would like to know the model name. The top tube says "tour de france". Maybe that's the name. Anyone knows anything about this?. The front logo says Motobecane "Pantin".

Thanks.
Ibo
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Old 02-10-09, 02:53 PM   #2
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Carlton is a British bicycle manufacturer that Raleigh bought in the 1960's. I'll grant that the lugwork on that Supercourse looks pretty involved, the bike was absolutely made on an assembly line.

There should be a serial number somewhere on the frame. If you can find it and post it, we can tell you when, and probably where exactly it was made.

The Motobecane? I have no idea.
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Old 02-10-09, 03:20 PM   #3
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Those are Capella lugs on the Raleigh. I've seen them on Professionals, Internationals and Competitions, but never before on a Super Course.
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Old 02-10-09, 03:44 PM   #4
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I saw some capella lugs on a supercourse last weekend. the frame looked nearly identical to the OP's except smaller, it look like they trimmed the points off the capella lugs to accommodate the head badge on the frame i saw.
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Old 02-10-09, 03:57 PM   #5
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I'll grant that the lugwork on that Supercourse looks pretty involved, the bike was absolutely made on an assembly line.
But wasn't an "assembly line" at that point literally a line of guys, torches in hand, building frames? I don't think there was any robotics involved at Raleigh or any European factories in those days. I assumed that most all frames, even the basic entry level European bikes of the time were "hand made". The lugs I believe would have been stamped steel so I assume those were made on an assembly line and then finished by hand but I thought again that they pretty much all were even on high-end bikes.

A guy here at work described his brief experience working on a frame building assembly line in the 80's - he said they were "hiding" him there during a round of layoffs and he wasn't really a welder but he said there was a line of guys assembling frames by hand. They had agressive quotas to meet. He did say that they had a robotic machine in the plant but no one knew how to program it or service it so it wasn't used.
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Old 02-10-09, 04:25 PM   #6
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I saw some capella lugs on a supercourse last weekend. the frame looked nearly identical to the OP's except smaller, it look like they trimmed the points off the capella lugs to accommodate the head badge on the frame i saw.
I've seen them with the lug points cut off like that, and it wasn't done neatly. The points aren't cut on my Carlton, but the headbadge is trimmed to fit between them. It doesn't say Worksop at the bottom.
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Old 02-10-09, 05:04 PM   #7
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If the fork was bent, is the frame also bent?
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Old 02-10-09, 06:07 PM   #8
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Wiki's your friend - Pantin was the location of Moto's plant in the burbs of Paris. That Supercourse looks quite nice to me. Too bad about the fork. Hope the frame's OK. Can you feel any bumps on the top or downtube behind the headtube, or see any cracking paint?
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Old 02-10-09, 06:24 PM   #9
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Those are Capella lugs on the Raleigh. I've seen them on Professionals, Internationals and Competitions, but never before on a Super Course.
This is from my Super Course. Are these Capella lugs as well? I believe that my SC is a '73.

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Old 02-10-09, 07:05 PM   #10
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Those lugs were more commonly found on Raleigh Competitions, but they built up some number of Super Courses with them, too. The Competitions only had them in 1973 or 74, I believe, so your Super Course is likely from around then, too.

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Old 02-10-09, 07:32 PM   #11
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This is from my Super Course. Are these Capella lugs as well? I believe that my SC is a '73.

Are you related to Andre the Giant?
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Old 02-10-09, 07:53 PM   #12
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Are you related to Andre the Giant?


Definitely picture distortion going on there. It is a 25 inch frame.
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Old 02-10-09, 08:11 PM   #13
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Chrome Capellas. They were originally exclusive to Carltons. Raleigh acquired them when they bought the company in 1960.



Competition Capellas.

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Old 02-10-09, 08:32 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Kommisar89 View Post
But wasn't an "assembly line" at that point literally a line of guys, torches in hand, building frames? I don't think there was any robotics involved at Raleigh or any European factories in those days. I assumed that most all frames, even the basic entry level European bikes of the time were "hand made". The lugs I believe would have been stamped steel so I assume those were made on an assembly line and then finished by hand but I thought again that they pretty much all were even on high-end bikes.

A guy here at work described his brief experience working on a frame building assembly line in the 80's - he said they were "hiding" him there during a round of layoffs and he wasn't really a welder but he said there was a line of guys assembling frames by hand. They had agressive quotas to meet. He did say that they had a robotic machine in the plant but no one knew how to program it or service it so it wasn't used.
Well, yes. This was pre-robotics, and wouldn't have been like the later Japanese assembly lines, but the point is, these were not individual, made-to-order bicycles. Definitely there's some craftsmanship involved, though not at all like how one of today's custom frame builders goes about it.
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Old 02-10-09, 11:08 PM   #15
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Hi Everyone,
thanks for all your replies! Very helpful. I guess I should start doing some Wiki, Google searches next time.
I don't know where to start for a serial number, am not that detail oriented...yet.
When I bought the Raleigh I didn't even see the bending of the fork.
So if I understand correctly the frame was made on an assembly line, the lugging is stamped steel, but still someone in the assembly line had to do "some filing", some handwork??? It does still look "handmade" to me, or the steel stamp wasn't as "clean". But I get the point! I hope.

Thanks again for all your answers and help!!!!!! Very much appreciated.
The stem says "GB", what's the brand name?

Ibo
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Old 02-10-09, 11:28 PM   #16
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Well, yes. This was pre-robotics, and wouldn't have been like the later Japanese assembly lines, but the point is, these were not individual, made-to-order bicycles. Definitely there's some craftsmanship involved, though not at all like how one of today's custom frame builders goes about it.
Ok, that's what I thought. Kinda like my coworker descibed - a bunch of guys standing at brazing (or in his case welding) stations turning out standardized frames to a quota, probably paid by the piece. Hand built but as you say, nothing like today's frame builders. Then again, maybe that's not a fair comparison. Today's frame builders pretty much only build ultra high-end top of the line custom pieces made to order. Mass produced mid-range and high-end bikes today are likely to be carbon fiber or TIG welded aluminum so there is no comparison to the old days.
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Old 02-11-09, 01:39 AM   #17
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Motobecane Tour de France
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Old 02-11-09, 01:41 AM   #18
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Note that your fork is the same as the fork in my pics, so it may in fact be the original fork, and not a replacement, as I originally thought.
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Old 02-11-09, 06:13 AM   #19
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The stem says "GB", what's the brand name?
Ibo
GB or Gerry Burgess is the brand. Stock item on almost all Raleigh road bikes in the late 60s to mid 70s.

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Old 02-12-09, 11:24 AM   #20
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Thanks Neil!
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Old 02-12-09, 02:16 PM   #21
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...so there is no comparison to the old days.
Correct. It's comparing apples to oranges. I just wanted to make sure the OP wasn't entertaining notions of having come across something that is especially rare or valuable.
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Old 02-12-09, 02:23 PM   #22
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Maybe not rare or relatively valuable, but that Supercourse is a real looker that I would not mind having at all!
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