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Old 08-27-12, 03:37 AM   #1
jo1010
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What is this British Steel?

I'm having a hard time deciding exactly what this is - a Raleigh / Carlton of some kind I think - the BB frame # of "DD 136" suggests its a 1969 going by Kurt's published codes - but that's the only code on the BB - or the frame for that matter.

It has Campy dropouts but no chroming - and no decals for id, apart from the Reynolds ones - which do incidentally look original, but I'd be more definite about the originality of the paintwork (lagoon blue possibly?). Lugwork detail is nice but not overfancy as on some of the later professionals I've seen....

Any ideas? Your advice and input will be greatly appreciated - TIA!







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Old 08-27-12, 05:06 AM   #2
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From the details I'm seeing I'm thinking its an early to mid 80's frame. Beyond that ?????
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Old 08-27-12, 09:09 AM   #3
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that "leaf" cap on the seat stays was something favored by Bernard Carre (France) but also by Jan LeGrand who was chief mechanic for Raleigh TI and probably had some influence on the SBDU frames. Besides that little bit, I have no idea about this particular frame...looks good, though. I'm sure it wouldn't have those details (under-BB cabling, braze-ons, short dropouts) if it was built in '69.
If it was a LeGrand "Presto" (his own brand) it would have other give-away details like a diamond-section brake bridge and "XXX" marking on the BB shell, etc.

Last edited by unworthy1; 08-27-12 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 08-27-12, 09:13 AM   #4
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What's the seatpost size? BB threading?
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Old 08-27-12, 10:18 AM   #5
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What's the seatpost size? BB threading?
Seatpost is 27.2mm and BB adjustable cup is marked up with BC 1.37 (no pitch is shown)
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Old 08-27-12, 11:31 AM   #6
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That actually looks a lot like my 3Rensho built Specialized Allez Comp. Seatstay cluster and fork look that way, anyhow. Decals can come from anywhere, of course. Mine doesn't have the cable guides under the BB or the stamped shell, but dang, it's close.
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Old 08-27-12, 03:36 PM   #7
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No headbadge holes are there?
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Old 08-27-12, 03:48 PM   #8
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I'm not seeing anything that shouts Raleigh or Carlton.
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Old 08-27-12, 04:41 PM   #9
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No headbadge holes are there?
That's right - I don't think there is any evidence of headbadge fitting or filling of headbadge holes. Intriguing since I really don't think it's been repainted - looking at the numerous scratches there is only one layer of paint. Then again I haven't inspected the head tube really closely - will do so tomorrow and report back if findings are any different....
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Old 08-27-12, 04:58 PM   #10
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Let me give a quick update on what I'm thinking. Definitely not 'Raleigh' - there is nothing in Raleigh catalogues that is remotely similar. However, I did find this site giving details of a Carlton Professional:
http://www.mytenspeeds.com/My_TenSpe..._2_Finding.htm

On that page about half way down is a pic of seat lug detail that seems similar to my example. Many of the other details of the bikes are different, but that's not necessarily surprising if the dating estimate of 1969 based on the stamped frame code is correct (and the date code format does seem to correspond to that used by Raleigh/Carlton). It also seems that Carlton did produce their own cycles alongside Raleigh production and also had their own catalogue - a 1970 Carlton catalogue is on Bulgier, but again this is for a year later than my case so I wouldn't expect it to correspond exactly.

However, all this is fairly loose and could quite easily be completely wrong...just my current best guess really..... until someone comes up with a better one!
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Old 08-28-12, 10:32 AM   #11
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If I were the owner, I might bother Don Gillies to take a look at this frame...if it's anything from Raleigh or Carlton (or not), he might know.
gillies(AT)cs.ubc.ca
Since I don't know how he'd feel about a "blind email request" for his participation, I should approach him very politely.
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Old 08-28-12, 11:01 AM   #12
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Thanks for that suggestion *unworthy1* - I will very politely enquire, and update the thread accordingly....
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Old 08-28-12, 01:03 PM   #13
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I agree that both the under-BB cable routing and the style of Reynolds sticker say "probably 1980s, definitely not 1969." BTW, a 1969 Reynolds 531 frame sticker would have the "531" on a slant (at least for the butted tubes), and the fork stickers would be triangular in shape, with a flat top side.
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Old 08-28-12, 04:55 PM   #14
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Doesn't say Carlton to me. I believe that Reynolds decal was for an anniversary, 1984.
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Old 08-28-12, 05:42 PM   #15
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Thanks to those who have contributed so far and have nudged things (and me) in the right direction (perhaps) of the 1980s. I've collated more evidence, which doesn’t necessarily lend itself to a consistent conclusion

1) All the components are shimano – Tange headset, shimano light action shifters/mechs, biopace chainwheels, 105 cranks, Rigida rims with Maillard hubs, Weinmann 570 sidepulls, Shimnao SLR brake levers. Sounds like mid-80’s. So is this really an 80’s bike (eg a Raleigh Ritmo?) that somebody has painted in Carlton colours? Paint does not look like a factory finish, the Reynolds decals do look wrong (too new) for even an 80’s bike, and I can’t see where any headbadge placement was – so the frame must have been filled, painted, and newer Reynolds decals applied. However, if this is true somebody went to a vast amount of trouble with all the lug highlighting – which was then detracted from with the Shimano component build. Seems a little self contradictory to expend the effort, but then everybody’s different (and perhaps the original owner really wanted a Carlton but couldn't afford/obtain one).

2) However, the frame numbering is still anomalous. Later Raleighs (I thought) all had the 'Raleigh system' of numbering which is not like the AAnnn stamped on the bottom bracket of this bike. So is this really an older frame (seat clamp bolt is threaded into the frame itself unlike all 80’s Raleighs that I’ve seen) that has been updated with Shimano components – but then that also would seem a little pointless.

So the search goes on, and I’ll research more into 1980’s Raleighs to see if I can find any similarities....
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