Raleigh Marathon help / info needed
A guy down the street has a Raleigh Marathon for sale for $50. Here is everything I could find written on the bike:
Sport Touring Geometry 12 Speed 39 - 100
Shimano FD Z202
Shimano RD Z503
Shimano shifters Z401
575 SL Trible Butted Main tubes chrome moly
Sealed bearings on front hub, rear hub and bottom bracket
Araya rims 27x1 1/4 Japan
Crank Sakae SA 52, 40
Dia-Comp brakes and levers, with suicide bars levers
I can't find any information on the Marathon on the web - all the Raleigh sites don't list this model. It does say Raleigh America on the tag but everything is metric hex and nuts / bolts.
The size fits pretty good, if a bit on the large size. It rides very smooth, breaks work good - pads not worn at all. The chain rings look good - not worn and it shifts very smoothly.
The bike is a dark green with a silver head tube and the red dragon emblem on the front. Raleigh decals are on the down tube and seat tube and hard stamped in the metal on the upper rear triangle, rear wheel holder and bottom bracket. The paint and decals are almost perfect - very good shape including the tires - they are holding 90 psi with me riding it (I'm 250 lbs).
The cranks are bolt on as are the front chain rings. The seat holder is alum. The wheels have quick release levers but the seat is has a metric hex bolt to hold it in place.
The bike strikes me as very nice and good quality. I found something on the web that said the Shimano Z series came out in 1986 which would mean the bike is from the late 80's???? The guy doesn't know what year it is.
Does this sound like a good price? Any idea of the year? Was the Marathon a low production model? Was this a road or touring bike? Any help would be appreciated.
I bought a Raleigh Marathon in 1984 during college. I think it cost $350, which was a lot of money for me at the time. I still own it. I had it overhauled a couple of years ago to do a 150 mile bike ride. I'm not a consistent cyclist, but I get into it every few years. I was really shopping for a new bike when I had this one overhauled. The mechanic at the bike shop talked me out of buying a new bike. He encouraged me to overhaul the Raleigh Marathon because he thought the frame was far superior to anything in the price range I was considering (< $600). I've now got the cycling bug again, thanks to recent OLN coverage of the TDF. I'm again considering buying a new bike. Or I may replace the components on the Raleigh Marathon. Would be interested in hearing opinions about whether it's better to sink a couple of hundred $'s on this old bike, or just to buy a new one.
Originally Posted by markm109
The bike you describe is very similar to one I bought at the Denver Velo Swap a few years ago. The only obvious difference from what you describe is the gearing range (mine lists on the chain stay 36-108. Mine also came with Shimano bar end shifter but this is likely a retrofit. I love the bike though its a bit on the heavy side. I bought it as a winter and mud bike and with the goal of potentially using it for loaded touring. I have repeatedly tried to research the bike but to no avail. I just today tried to look for serial numbers but found nothing significant. It has 73 stamped on the head tube and the letters YO on the bottom bracket. I would judge it to be a good buy at $50 or twice the price based on all of the good service I have had from mine. I have always assumed it was early 80's based on components on the bike. I hope this helps and that you bought the bike and are riding it by now. tom fritts
Yes, I bought the bike. I tuned it up and that's about all it needed. I rode it a few times and it handled very nice and gave a smooth ride. It's a bit big for me and I'm 6'1" - top tube standover if you know what I mean. My nephew (13 years old) was in town from Florida (I'm in Michigan) at the time and really took a liking to the bike. He is as tall as I am but his legs are longer so the bike fit him better than it fit me. So I put a new computer on it and gave it to him for his birthday. He was very happy.
I called to Florida the other day, checking on everyone, and he was out riding his bike
His sister said he rides it almost every day. I feel good I got him interested in cycling.
I have the same bike that a my old landlord gave me while moving out of his place.
It needed a tune up and new tires but is a good bike.
my frame is a 502. Manufactured in Taiwan. Sport touring geometry 38-100
I also have an old Raleigh sportif 502 10 speed with 39-100. I like the marathon better. it more my size.
as for the old raleighs I head that the japanese ones were the best. Tawain one were hit or miss. If you have a japanese built its a good one. Not sure if any were actaully made in USA would be nice though
I'm not sure I know how to find whether the bike was made in Japan or elsewhere. The insignia says Raleigh USA, but where is the manufacture country shown? For an older bike I sure do enjoy riding it when I need the triple chainring. Cheers. tom