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Old 06-20-11, 07:39 PM   #1
AZORCH
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1973 Raleigh Carlton Super Course, reporting in



Some weeks back I started a thread about the Raleigh Carlton Super Course I'd acquired. I've a lot more experience with French and Italian bikes than English so I really appreciated the information fellow forum members shared; the Capella lugs and serial number helped to definitively date it as a 1973. The clean up was surprisingly easy and I've had it on the road for several test rides, so time to report in.

I replaced the nearly new Serfas that were on the bike when I got it with Pacelas (of course!) and gave the Brooks some serious TLC. Bear in mind that I put in 600+ miles over six days riding the KATY Trail on my Shogun 2000 and just got back from that last week. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I put in some decent Ozark hill mileage on my OT Cannondale Synapse, and then a good long morning today riding laps on my PX-10. So getting on the SC this afternoon offered me a chance to compare a wide range of rides under some pretty diverse riding conditions.

The ride is so surprisingly supple! It's comfortable without being "draggy" and I'm tempted to stick a computer on it to find out just how fast it's actually going because it sure feels fast. And that's just not something I associate with comfortable riding. I have other bikes that really fit me well, but that's a different kind of comfort - the kind that comes when clothing or shoes fit you perfectly. The comfort of the Super Course is the kind you get from those same shoes after they've been broken in following years of use. The only problem I've run into so far is the drive side pedal came apart on me during the evening ride! (The dust cap and the retainer clip popped off, leaving me to ride a greasy rod for five awkward miles.)

I'm anxious to hear how other's SC rides stack up, and I'd be interested in seeing how they're built up. (I plan to keep mine pretty much stock, other than probably replacing the pedals.)
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Old 06-20-11, 08:18 PM   #2
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The Super Course was a great bike and the first step above your basic carbon steel bike boom UO-8s et al. There is nothing wrong w/ a straight-gauge 531 main triangle -- I have one myself on Capo #1, which is less whippy than double-butted Capo #2.
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Old 06-20-11, 08:34 PM   #3
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My 72 SC checks in to say hi. Oh, how it wish it were a bit larger as it is a bit too small for me for anything other than short rides.

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Old 06-20-11, 08:43 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
My 72 SC checks in to say hi. Oh, how it wish it were a bit larger as it is a bit too small for me for anything other than short rides.

CB, you appear to have posed your bike in front of my garage door!
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Old 06-20-11, 08:53 PM   #5
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CB, you appear to have posed your bike in front of my garage door!
No, you had your bike in front of my garage!
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Old 06-20-11, 09:37 PM   #6
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There have been threads here devoted to the beloved Super Course, one of the great values in bike history.

Here is mine, and it's gone through many, many changes. I've used it as my testbed bike, so I'm changing it more often than my (many) other bikes.

I found it in the trash about four years ago. I moved most of the parts over from my previous commuter bike, a UO-8, expecting the ride to be similar. I found the Raleigh tremendously exceeded my expectations. There's something so sweet about it. If you ride easily, it's happy to stay upright and tame. But if you push it hard, especially climbing, it says, "Sure, I can do that."

The tires you chose help a lot. They're very lively.

Last year, I met the man who built my Super Course up the second time. I'm the third owner. Jonathan had also found it in the trash. He built it for a recently divorced woman who needed transportation. He recognized the bike because it had odd paint smears on it. More recently, I met Danna, the woman Jonathan had given it to and had tossed it out. She was happy I was enjoying it.

I haven't ridden my Super Course for months. I'll soon be rebuilding it as a fixie.
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Old 06-20-11, 11:41 PM   #7
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Love me some Supercousres. My lady has one, which most have probably seen.

I also just picked up a frameset in the same color as yours. It's a big'un though. Too tall for me.
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