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Old 11-09-09, 02:45 PM   #1
1989Pre
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555 Steel Raleigh Competition

I'm looking for my first (entry-level) racing frame and I have found an older Raleigh Competition at a LBS. They have told me that the steel used is 555. Has anyone heard of that? Any comments on this frame?
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Old 11-10-09, 11:27 AM   #2
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Oh what size? That was my first bike (racing any way) back in '83....
It is what it is, an entry level racer. Not extremely light, not extremely heavy. I remember it riding pretty descent also (maybe that's the years)...
I loved the Green Pearl it had for a color....
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Old 11-10-09, 08:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1989Pre View Post
I'm looking for my first (entry-level) racing frame and I have found an older Raleigh Competition at a LBS. They have told me that the steel used is 555. Has anyone heard of that? Any comments on this frame?
"555" steel was just your basic high-tensile steel, used on entry-level bikes.
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Old 11-11-09, 12:36 AM   #4
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It was a little bit better than high tensile steel.

Previous discussions here
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Old 11-11-09, 05:48 AM   #5
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I had them measure the top tube and they said 21", and I'm 5'9 1/2, so it should fit. Thanks for the replies on this frame and material. I had searched Wikipedia, and assuming that 555 was Reynolds, I looked at their list of Reynolds tubing materials. They list a 525 (chrome-moly), but no 555. I'll have the LBS weigh that frame for me, but it sounds like I'd be better off with 753.
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Old 11-11-09, 09:35 AM   #6
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It is not reynolds tubing. It was just a Raleigh engineered double butted chrome-moly tube set. Most of the frames back then measured center of bottom bracket to center of top tube for size (the frames were usually 21", 23", 25"). I raced on the frame I had for two seasons.
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Old 11-11-09, 10:47 AM   #7
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In the 1985 Raleigh catalog, Raleigh 555T tubing is described on page 1 (which features the Competition) as "doubled-butted manganese molybdenum steel tubing", while on the specifications page, the Competition is described as being built with "555 SL chrome moly frame and stays with D.B. main tubes"...

It's pretty apparent 555 is Raleigh (not Reynolds) tubing, but it seems odd they would use the same number, 555, to represent both MnMo (555 T) and CrMo (555 SL) tubing. In any case, the 22 pounds weight specified for the Competition would indicate a very decent tubeset.

Sorry for the large jpg, but it's as small as possible while still legible.



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Old 11-11-09, 12:03 PM   #8
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Scooper, thanks a lot for posting the 1985 catalog page. Clever move by Raleigh USA, calling their Asian tubesets "Raleigh 555T" and "Raleigh 555 RSL"; if it weren't for the fact that they refer to Reynolds tubing on the same page, it would be easy to leap to the conclusion that "Raleigh" tubing is rebadged Reynolds tubing.

The motivation behind the tubeset names and the use of frame decals slyly hinting at a Reynolds connection is obvious: Reynolds tubing was associated with high-end bikes, Raleigh was associated with Reynolds tubing, so what better way to differentiate the Asian Raleighs sold in the U.S. from the UJB competition? Those decals, plus the striking graphics and finish, made the bikes an easy sell for those of us working in U.S. Raleigh dealerships back then.
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