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Raleigh Carlton Corsa Strada

Old 04-08-18, 11:16 PM
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barnfind
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Raleigh Carlton Corsa Strada

I bought this over the weekend, its complete and looks all original.
The gear changers are all Huret, the rims are 27" Sturmey Archer steel, the frame has over the top chainstays and somewhat fancy lugs.
The headbadge is the only place it says 'The Raleigh'. All the rest of the decals say Carlton
The stem is a hollow AVA with GB bars, GB brakes, and a Raleigh scripted half step crankset.
The front forks are chrome and look original as they have carlton decals and matching striping.
It looks older, but I'm not sure how old. It has low flange hubs, the saddle looks like a brooks but has no tag or place where one was attached. The saddle is obviously shot but it held long enough for a test ride up the bock a bit. To my surprise, everything works, it shifts and rides fine. The rims are dead true, not so much as a pit or ding in the chrome. The tires are matching but really old, but they held 70 psi for a test ride.

Does anyone have any info on this model? My Raleigh experience is pretty much limited to three speeds and late 70's models. This just looks and feels a lot older. The foil decals give me the late 60's to very early 70's feel.
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Old 04-09-18, 06:47 AM
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Agreed,this has a definite boom era, entry level feel to it. Raleigh acquired Carlton circa 1960 but the Svelto rear derailleur moves the oldest date up to 1963 while the the GB 68 brakes pushes it farther forward to circa 1969. Regardless, it should be easy enough to determine an exact date from the serial number, whose format is documented on many of the vintage Raleigh websites.
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Old 04-09-18, 07:05 AM
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Here's a copy of a catalogue page from Bulgier.net. It is reportedly from 1970, which seems about correct. We know it's no older than 1969 based on the reference to the 1968 champion. Two major differences are that it is a 5 speed and the use of Weinmann brakes. I would think the OP's model would be slightly newer, as 10 speeds would be a spec upgrade appropriate during the early years of the boom, while the GB brakes may be a substitution due to Weinmann shortages during the sudden increases in demand circa 1971-1972. The catalogue samples also exhibit a light boss on the forks, though this may have been market dependent.
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Old 04-09-18, 01:41 PM
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The calipers say "88", other than the spring shape, they look like rebranded Weinmann calipers. Same bushings, bolts, shape of arms etc.
The only numbers stamped on it are a 354 G faintly stamped on the seat tube near the top on the left side. The dropouts are stamped and look like those on my 1971 Raleigh Super Course. The bike weighs 28.11 lbs.
The hubs look like Atom/Mailard alloy LF hubs with what appears to be a Carlton logo in the center.
There's an 'X" stamped on the bottom of the BB.
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Old 04-09-18, 07:59 PM
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After looking at the catalog pics above, did these come factory with mud guards?
I did find a set of red metal mud guards in another lot of parts I bought at the same sale. Their a somewhat square profile steel fender with the Raleigh heron logo on the back.
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Old 04-09-18, 08:41 PM
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-----

Thanks very much for posting this machine; have been enjoying it.

Saw a similar model close in time yesterday at a flea market. Frame had same lugs, crown and ends. Colour was coffee. It had a Reynolds transfer on the seat tube. Cycle displayed upside down and wedged between others so could not read transfer. Assume it was three-tube plain gauge. Gear ensemble was Huret Allvit. Hubs were first generation Normandy Sport with solid axles. Williams chainset with small three-arm spider. Pedals looked to be Lyotard 15S. Estimate it was ~1965.



Upon getting home from flea market checked the same Carlton catalogue pages linked to by T-Mar above but could not discover an exact match. Suspect machine seen about two years or so earlier than those shown in the 1967 pages. It was without guards, which of course means nothing since they are so easily removed.

Unable to see any model name transfers. Some of the cycle's transfers were worn away or missing entirely. They are of course not clear coated...

Do the Carlton experts have any ideas as to its posible identity?

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Last edited by juvela; 04-10-18 at 09:19 AM. Reason: addition
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Old 04-10-18, 08:10 AM
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Thxs Juvela, your mentioning Williams prompted another dating tool. The crankset on the OP's bicycle does appear to be Williams and, if so, should have the Williams sword logo and a date code, stamped on the back of the crankarms and chainrings. Attached is a picture of a Wiliams logo with a "Y" date code and the Williams date code chart.
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Old 04-12-18, 02:06 AM
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The cranks on this bike don't look like the Williams cranks above. There are no stampings that i can see and the bolts look short as they are barely long enough to catch the threads on the inner nuts.
The inner sprocket looks almost like it was added.

Was there a certain year when they used a Raleigh headbadge on a Carlton decal frame?
The headbadge is held on with hollow rivets, not push pins.
The bike is not very light but its a a lot lighter than the same size Grand Prix or Record.
What I find odd is that in all my 45+ years messing with old bikes, I've never run across one of these before. I find all sorts of old Raleigh bikes and the occasional Carlton but never one badged both ways.
Would these have been sold through a Raleigh dealer back in the day?
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Old 04-12-18, 05:43 AM
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-----

Thanks for this image!

Also gives a look at the Tube Investments transfer.

There is some detailed history on Williams models & production here. Includes note of the Nicklin successor to the C34.

https://www.classiclightweights.co.uk...ification.html

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Old 04-12-18, 06:35 AM
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I doubt the inner chainring was added, though it might be a replacement. The presence of a brazed-on cable stop for the front derailleur cable housing indicates the frame was designed for a front derailleur and crankset with multiple chainrings.
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Old 04-12-18, 11:20 AM
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Love the "Carolina" blue color.
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Old 04-12-18, 12:27 PM
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The frame seems to be identical to a Raleigh Grand Prix.
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Old 04-13-18, 09:41 PM
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It likely is, I wouldn't think that they would keep separate frames for both brands.
The GP had plastic Simplex gear changers though and heavier or wider rims?
I've got a Grand Prix in the parts pile and its rims are marked Dunlop not Sturmey Archer and its got a GB stem and bars and a 14/28 Atom Freewheel.

I suppose the use of the narrower S/A rims, AVA hollow stem, Huret derailleurs, Brooks leather saddle, and the 14-24t freewheel were a step up from the Raleigh GP?
Side by side the forks are very different, the fork blades on the GP are longer and more curved at the tip, the Carlton's forks are straighter, have far more tire clearance, and the crown appears to be cast not stamped steel as on the GP. The forks on the Corsa Strada were clearly made so they could accept a wide range of fenders and tires.
The GP also has Weinmann Brakes with turkey levers where as the GB levers don't appear to have that option or ability. Both are 23.5" frames and the Carlton sits and rides much taller, likely due to the fork shape and length. The chainstays are slightly shorter on the Carlton as well. Both have the wrap over seat stay design frame, but the thin part that wraps over the top is thinner on the Carlton frame by about 1/3.
I don't suppose this Corsa Strada has had much actual use over the years. considering the tires are still Dunlop, and all the cables appear original, as does the bar tape and saddle, its likely it got hung up in the barn where it was found a long time ago and never touched again.
Its got little to no rust, plenty of dust, and so far, no pits or permanent marks on any of the chrome. I highly doubt anyone did any parts changing once it left the dealer back in the day.
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Old 04-23-18, 11:21 PM
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The Corsa Strada and the Grand Prix were similar in that they were both lower end models but both were still quality bikes back in the day.
The Carlton had pump pegs where as I've not seen an early GP with pump braze ons.
The forks on the Carlton are a step above as well, the forged crown and full chrome treatment both gave the bike a different feel and set it apart from the Raleigh The GB brakes were their own, they're similar to the Weinmann CP's found on the GP but I think the thought here was to use as many British components as possible. The AVA stem was probably a weight saving choice. The Huret gear changers were pretty much par for the course back then, there weren't many other options to choose from in that price bracket. It was basically Simplex or Huret for the most part. The Japanese stuff hadn't taken hold yet. If I remember right, the GP came with a Huret Luxe or Allvit and the Carlton had the Svelto. Not a lot of difference either way quality wise. Personally, the Svelto was a simpler derailleur.
The SA rims on the Carlton are a slight step up from the Dunlop wheels found on most GP's, they're a bit narrower and probably a bit lighter, if that matters on an all steel bike.
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