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  1. #1
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    Help ID'ing Raleigh

    Hi, looking at a "new" Raleigh. Found a '85 Raleigh Custom 555 that's actually my size (long legs, short torso. I love that old bikes actually have sizes that fit me!) Anyways, Raleigh catalogs posted online don't seem as detailed as the old Schwinn catalogs, so I'm not really great at confirming ID on this... She's got a red frame with black stays, head tube and fork, white "RALEIGH" on seat tube and down tube, "RACING USA" on the top tube, 12 speed drivetrain. 531 badge on the frame and it looks like on the fork as well, Campy dropouts. Shimano 600 kit all around. Any educated opinions on what this beauty is in the Raleigh heirarchy?

    00v0v_4s7OyAuf3pt_600x450.jpg01717_gMIKTAVIMiU_600x450.jpg

  2. #2
    Senior Member Proofide's Avatar
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    Searching for Raleigh Racing USA team brings up several photographs with links to web pages. One is to the Sheldon Brown site, where he describes bikes built by Raleigh in England for the Racing USA team. These were built in Reynolds 753. In 1985, he says that a 531 version was available to the general public as a frameset. Maybe this is what you have. It certainly looks very similar. A similar situation existed somewhat earlier, I think, with the Raleigh Team Banana, where a replica was built to cash in on the team's racing success. I had one of these replicas, although it wasn't in the same class as what you appear to have. It was made from something calling itself 18-23, I think, which I suspect was just high-tensile steel with a fancy name.
    Заступи, спаси, помилуй и сохрани нас, Боже, Твоею благодатию

  3. #3
    Senior Member zukahn1's Avatar
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    It looks like basic retail version of Raliegh Racing USA Team bike to me circa 1985 close to the top of there Hierachy at the time . With the the nice paint with full decals labels there shouldn't be much doubt or confusion these where exceptionaly nice mid level race bikes. I see quit few come up for sale so there not all that rare.

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    Cool, that's what I was thinking, I'm just used to being to see a scan of a catalog page with the exact same paint job, a component list, etc. I'd found some other pages that sounded like it could be a plain mid level bike...

    Seller is asking $275, thoughts?

  5. #5
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    Have you seen this '86 catalog?

    http://threespeedhub.com/wp-content/...g-1986-US1.pdf

    Could be a Prestige, which was a high-end bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
    Could be a Prestige, which was a high-end bike.
    Well, definitely not the Prestige (that would have been cool, not buying more ShimaNO components ) it is the 1985 555 frameset. All is as described by Sheldon Brown here: Raleigh Racing USA Team Frames (would Sheldon ever lead us astray?) While his contact had frame #1128 , mine is #1540 and a wonderful 63cm example, which suits me wonderfully with a trim 57cm top tube

    This bike is barely used! No chainstay protector, yet only a nick or two there and the paint is glossy everywhere. My legs aren't quite up to the 52/42-14/23 gearing so I may have to swap a freewheel for now. Really looking forward to a spin on some nice biking paths, but I really need new tires first. Of course, then the Campy dropouts and headset make me wonder if the rest of the components should match...

  7. #7
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    What I'm confused by is what you mean by a "555 frame set." I don't see a reference to that model in the SB link you provided. And I usually associate 555 with Raleigh's proprietary tubing as shown in this decal:


  8. #8
    Senior Member Proofide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
    Have you seen this '86 catalog?

    http://threespeedhub.com/wp-content/...g-1986-US1.pdf

    Could be a Prestige, which was a high-end bike.
    But the colour scheme is wrong, surely? The OP has black rear triangle and forks. This seems to be an option on the 753 frameset in the catalogue. I also wonder where the OP got 555 from, when the photograph clearly shows his bicycle has a 531 transfer. Maybe he would care to clarify. From the previous post, it would seem that 555 is chromoly (as sold under the name Reynolds 501 here in Britain), rather than 531 (manganese-molybdenum). Must be one or t'other. Can't be both.
    Заступи, спаси, помилуй и сохрани нас, Боже, Твоею благодатию

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
    What I'm confused by is what you mean by a "555 frame set." I don't see a reference to that model in the SB link you provided. And I usually associate 555 with Raleigh's proprietary tubing as shown in this decal:
    Hmmm, good catch, guess my frame is identical to the one in my link aside from that decal. The 555 is a decal at the back end of the top tube, just in front of the seat tube. It is NOT an alloy decal, just the numbers "555" in white on either side of the top tube. I had taken it as a model designation. There is a 531c alloy label on the bottom of the ST and on both fork blades.

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