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  1. #1
    Senior Member sykerocker's Avatar
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    The keepers: 1960 Raleigh Lenton Grand Prix, 1968 Ranger, 1969 Magneet Sprint, 1971 Gitane Tour de France, 1973 Raleigh Tourist, 1973 Lambert, 1973 Schwinn Super Sport, 2 - 1988 Rossins
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    The Raleigh doesn't match the catalog (so what else is new?)

    A couple of weeks ago I got a call from someone who'd seen the sign in the driveway, who said he had a few bikes and a bunch of parts he'd like to get rid of. Now, this has been a particularly bad summer for what's been showing up at the shop. Way too many cheap first generation Taiwanese knockoffs of Japanese bikes (decent frames, the world's worst chrome). To the point that I've been seriously considering pulling in the sign and just working on my own bikes for awhile. I set up an appointment for the guy to drop by and make a note to be around.

    He shows up right on time, and as I look in the back of the pickup I immediately realize I'm not looking at the usual junk that's been plaguing me all summer. First thing I see is a 24" sewup wheel. On the top of the box of parts is a very nice condition Brooks B-17. A set of long-plate TA shoe cleats. A LOT more parts underneath. And the bikes.

    There's four of them: a Raleigh Super Course (I guess '73 but it looks heavily upgraded), a Motobecane mixte (2040 tubing, Weinmann alloy rims, SR five pin cotterless crank), a 70's something Trek (still working on the provenance), and a Panasonic DX-3000 (very tall frame). What's getting me excited is that, with the exception of the Panasonic (which was stored badly), somebody actually understood how you put a bike away and then forget about it. We're talking dirt, cobwebs, and light patina. No need for oxalic acid, rotary wire brushes, etc. Try Mother's Wheel Polish, Meguiar's Cleaner Wax, plus soap and water. OK, I'm interested.

    The usual hemming and hawing to start the price negotiations, and I've only got $80.00 in the shop's bike buying fund. Then the guy mentions that he's a long time mountain biker (talking to him it was obvious he at least understood what he had sitting there, even if he didn't know the fine details), and he's trying to put some money together to get his first road bike. Light bulb goes off. I suggest to him that he keep the Raleigh, I give him the $80.00 for everything else, and he leaves the Raleigh with me to do my usual restoration and put it back on the road for him. He's in immediate agreement.

    Now, my memory of the Raleigh timeline is that 1973 was the last year for the Super Course. Simplex Prestige and cottered crank. In '74 they brought out the Super Course Mark II which lists a Nervar Star crankset and Huret derailleurs. Well, we're looking at the Nervar crankset, but it's got a 42/38 chainring set and they're badly mounted 130 BCD rings. The Star needs 128's. The rear derailleur is Huret Jubilee, the front Huret Allvit. Which, I'm starting to notice is very close to the '74 specifications. I check the serial number which comes out (I'm doing this from memory) WA40001?? which means it was built in the first fortnight of 1974.

    OK, here's pics of the bike:





    As I wasn't able to come up with proper chainrings for the Nervar, I traded him his crank for a 7400 Dura-Ace near-NOS I've had laying around for years. Otherwise I put it back just the way he brought it in. Yes, the color is Coffee. That's a '73 color, wasn't done in '74. And the top tube says "Super Course" not "Super Course Mk II". Anybody got any ideas on this one? Or am I just trying to give Raleigh too much credit for organization back during the height of the Bike Boom.

    By the way, I got the Motobecane finished yesterday. Someone's certainly going to find a home for this one. Only things I don't like about it is the stem shifters and brake extension levers. Both seems too cheesy for a bike that is obviously not the bottom of the line model.

    Syke

    "No wonder we keep testing positive in their bicycle races. Everyone looks like they're full of testosterone when they're surrounded by Frenchmen." ---Argus Hamilton

  2. #2
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
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    The Super Course has Capella lugs, which to me says 1973 or very early 74 like the serial number says. I'd guess that they used the old 1973 frames and decals, with a mixed bag of new specs and sold it as a 1974ish model. I bet there was a lot of bleed over between years where the models changed.
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  3. #3
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkeller234 View Post
    I bet there was a lot of bleed over between years where the models changed.
    Raleigh didn't have bleed-over - they overturned a blood donation truck. Anything is subject to 6 months of wiggle room, (though not everything - particularly with the Sports decals and 1974 switch to TT braze-on cable stops).

    -Kurt

  4. #4
    Large Member realestvin7's Avatar
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    Pics of cranks removed from Raleigh? I may have rings.
    Build a drop bar do-it-all MTB!
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  5. #5
    Senior Member sykerocker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
    Raleigh didn't have bleed-over - they overturned a blood donation truck. Anything is subject to 6 months of wiggle room, (though not everything - particularly with the Sports decals and 1974 switch to TT braze-on cable stops).

    -Kurt
    You have a wonderful gift for understatement. I forgot to mention that the color the frame is in (coffee) did not exist in the Super Course Mk. II palate. Seems for '74 Raleigh was hell bent to get rid of the traditional coffee and metallic dark green in favor of much louder colors . . . . . . . just in time to watch the American bike boom completely collapse. I don't think I ever saw a Mk. II pass thru the shop, although admittedly I was winding down to part time and occasional by that year.

    In all fairness to Raleigh, at least they were much harder-assed regarding the components on their bikes than other manufacturers. We'd often have shipments held up because "the factory couldn't get enough components from the suppliers to complete the latest batch of bikes" (from the regional rep, getting chewed out by Merle). The secondary French brands we carried would happily stuff anything on a frame just to keep delivery numbers up.
    Syke

    "No wonder we keep testing positive in their bicycle races. Everyone looks like they're full of testosterone when they're surrounded by Frenchmen." ---Argus Hamilton

  6. #6
    Senior Member sykerocker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by realestvin7 View Post
    Pics of cranks removed from Raleigh? I may have rings.
    I'll shoot something later tonight. I got a 52t for it, still need a 42t . . . . . . and . . . . . . . assuming they exist, would love to find something between a 48 and 50t, the range I actually ride.
    Syke

    "No wonder we keep testing positive in their bicycle races. Everyone looks like they're full of testosterone when they're surrounded by Frenchmen." ---Argus Hamilton

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