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1985 Raleigh Team Racing USA frame + fork

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1985 Raleigh Team Racing USA frame + fork

Old 05-13-09, 09:09 PM
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1985 Raleigh Team Racing USA frame + fork

1985. 53 cm (c-t).

Reynolds 555RSL tubing (not to be confused with 555SL which appeared on the Grand Prix model that same year, 555RSL is Manganese Moly). Campagnolo fork tips and dropouts. Cinelli lugs.

Check out this page from the 1985 Raleigh catalog (https://www.sheldonbrown.com/retroral...5/pages/1.html). It shows their line of racing bikes which includes 4 complete bikes of varying quality. The frame shown below was nicer than any of the 4 completes and only available for purchase as frameset.














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Old 05-13-09, 10:03 PM
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Be aware that the frame comes from the period when Raleigh Cycle Company of America was simply a name licensed from Raleigh of Nottingham to Huffy. They weren't Huffy bikes though; they were sourced from Taiwan and Japan.

It is a high end frame though, even if it doesn't have the most genuine pedigree. I won't venture a guess to its value because I look more closely at the low-end vintage offerings.
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Old 05-13-09, 10:03 PM
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I'd say that's only a step above the normal Raleigh USA Competition and with the paint that way, I'd only give a max of $125 for the frame. That'd be a fight though. I'd probably not bid on it at all.
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Old 05-13-09, 10:28 PM
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Doohickie,

Thanks for the link. However, this frame was built in the Nottingham factory. From Wikipedia (my italics below):
In 1982, rights to the Raleigh U.S.A. name were purchased by the Huffy Corporation. Under the terms of the agreement, Raleigh of England licensed Huffy to manufacture and distribute Raleigh bicycles in the USA[4], and Huffy was given instant access to a nationwide network of bike shops. The renamed Raleigh Cycle Company of America sold bikes in the US while the rest of the world, including Canada, received Raleigh of England bikes. At that time, production of Raleigh's better models were shifted to Japan; Bridgestone produced most of these machines. By 1984, all Raleighs for the American market, except the top-of-the range Team USA and Prestige road bikes (Made in Nottingham), were produced in the Far East.

In the photos, what you can't see at the bottom of the downtube are 2 stickers. The first says:
RALEIGH
555 RSL
ALL TUBES MANGANESE MOLY
Manufactured for Raleigh Cycle Company
of America by TI Reynolds Ltd.
Birmingham England
The second sticker (just below the first) reads:
Designed and engineered
in the USA
by the Raleigh Cycle Company of America
MANUFACTURED IN ENGLAND
For sale in the USA only
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Old 05-13-09, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by dannyg1 View Post
I'd say that's only a step above the normal Raleigh USA Competition
I think your judgment of the paint is fair, however, it went Grand Prix < Supercourse < Competition < Prestige < Team USA. So it would be more accurate to say it is "at least 2 steps above the normal Raleigh USA Competition." See the link to the '85 catalog in my original post.

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Old 05-13-09, 10:49 PM
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Ah... good research.

I have a 1983 Marathon, and despite its Huffyness, I really enjoy riding the bike. I ran it as I found it (in a dumpster) for a while, with all the original parts (I did clean and repack the bearings). The Marathon is at the lower end of the Raleigh of America line, but it performs very well- smooth running, nice gear changes, a good quality bike. Perhaps the best bike I own presently.

I was going to suggest a value in the area of $100 earlier but didn't feel qualified. Alongside dannyg1's guess, maybe that's not so far off.
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Old 05-14-09, 06:11 AM
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It's an interesting frame. Would be really nice to build it up with period-correct parts, and use it for tooling around town.

We've seen it's got some provenance. Any Raleigh experts care to hazard an estimate?
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Old 05-14-09, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
Be aware that the frame comes from the period when Raleigh Cycle Company of America was simply a name licensed from Raleigh of Nottingham to Huffy. They weren't Huffy bikes though; they were sourced from Taiwan and Japan.
On the contrary - this is a Team Professional of English origin, badged for the Huffy-managed U.S. market back in '85. No different then any other Team Pro.

Mike has it right about the hierarchy, though I believe the full lineup ran something like this:

Grand Prix < Supercourse < Competition < Prestige < Team Professional 555RSL < Team Professional 531c < Team Professional 753.

That said, I've never been able to figure out the difference between the 555RSL Team Pro and the 531c Team Pro. Both of them are unquestionably 531 (nothing else that I know of is manganese molybdenum), hence, I am puzzled at the difference, if any.

753, of course, is a separate form of Reynolds tubing - I think I've seen one of those here on the forum (an '84?), but they're pretty hard to come by at any rate.

EDIT: Surprise, surprise - Hilary Stone just posted a 753 for sale here at C&V. 245 GBP - one of the most reasonable prices I've ever seen for one:
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=541511

-Kurt
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Old 05-14-09, 10:19 AM
  #9  
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How does my '85/6 Competition with Reynolds 531 fit into all of this?
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Old 05-14-09, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by miamijim View Post
How does my '85/6 Competition with Reynolds 531 fit into all of this?
If it specifically states Reynolds 531, then it is an '86. White w/purple stays, fork, and headtube?

If so, same place as the previous hierarchy. '86 made a one-shot change to genuine 531 - I gather the 555 decals set off too many potential purchasers:

'83-85:
Grand Prix (555SL main tubes w/cro-mo fork) < Supercourse (555SL butted main tubes w/555SL fork - '85s supposedly have 555SL stays according to the catalog, but the frame decal does not correlate this) < Competition (all 555SL) < Prestige (all 555SL) < Team Professional 555RSL < Team Professional 531c < Team Professional 753.

'86:
Grand Prix (531 main tubes - I do not recall if butted or straight gauge) < Supercourse (531 butted main tubes) < Competition (all 531) < Prestige (all 531) < Team Professional 555RSL < Team Professional 531c < Team Professional 753.

-Kurt
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Old 05-14-09, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
If it specifically states Reynolds 531, then it is an '86. White w/purple stays, fork, and headtube?

If so, same place as the previous hierarchy. '86 made a one-shot change to genuine 531 - I gather the 555 decals set off too many potential purchasers:

-Kurt
Thats the one!!!

thanks,

Jim
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Old 05-14-09, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by miamijim View Post
Thats the one!!!
You better supply pictures, Jim. The first and last '86 Competition I saw (on this forum) was photographed in part, in a dimly-lit workshop.

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Old 05-15-09, 05:33 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
You better supply pictures, Jim. The first and last '86 Competition I saw (on this forum) was photographed in part, in a dimly-lit workshop.

-Kurt
I will, its todays project.
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Old 05-16-09, 08:52 AM
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Can anyone provide an indication as to what these have sold for in the past?

I see Hillary Stone's '89 753 is listed for 245 GBP (~$350). Repainted 5 yrs ago, comes with headset + BB.

But what about a bike more comparable to the one shown in the original post (1985, 555RSL)?

Are they rare (I've never seen another in Miami)? Do people generally recognize it as the bike the US Olympic team rode to gold medals in the 84 Los Angeles games?
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Old 05-16-09, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by mcarcaise View Post

But what about a bike more comparable to the one shown in the original post (1985, 555RSL)?

Are they rare (I've never seen another in Miami)? Do people generally recognize it as the bike the US Olympic team rode to gold medals in the 84 Los Angeles games?
The bike in the OP is a "Team Pro" if it has an SB-prefix serial number. Otherwise, it's not. The Racing USA frames I'm familiar with, circa '85, that were available in the US were built with 531C, and I don't believe say "Team" on them, either. They were built at Worksop, and I think would more correctly be called "Team Pro" replicas, or "USA Team" frames something along those lines. Not the same thing as a "genuine" "Team Professional."
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Old 05-16-09, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Picchio Special View Post
The bike in the OP is a "Team Pro" if it has an SB-prefix serial number.
i.e., Ilkeston vs. Worksop?

-Kurt
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Old 05-16-09, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
i.e., Ilkeston vs. Worksop?

-Kurt
Yeah, that's where I was going with that.
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Old 05-16-09, 11:37 AM
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The serial number will be on the bottom of the BB shell. If the frame was one of the SBDU sets the serial number will begin with SB followed by 4 digits the frame size will follow the serial number. There should be decals on the chainstays indicating Special Bicycle Development Unit, Ilkeston.
My first thought is the frame is a team replica and not one of the SBDU frame sets. Lp

Here is a link to my team pro: https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ight=pic+heavy

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Old 05-16-09, 02:14 PM
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Team Professional replica then, for I recall it had the typical serial system as typical of the Raleigh USA machines. Worksop.

Quick question about the SBDU machines though - were they not purchasable by the general public? What would determine whether you would get an SBDU machine or a Worksop-built frame back when these were new?

-Kurt
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Old 05-16-09, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Team Professional replica then, for I recall it had the typical serial system as typical of the Raleigh USA machines. Worksop.

Quick question about the SBDU machines though - were they not purchasable by the general public? What would determine whether you would get an SBDU machine or a Worksop-built frame back when these were new?

-Kurt
You would order directly from SBDU, I believe. You could probably do this through your local bike shop if they were a Raleigh dealer. If you said you wanted a custom bike, or you wanted one built with 753, this was basically the only way to go. You could order custom through Worksop, but then you'd have to specify that as well. Most people who wanted custom would probably have gone the Ilkeston route.
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Old 05-16-09, 06:33 PM
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Now we are getting somewhere. Thanks, Picchio and Kurt.

The serial number stamped underneath the BB shell is WE5000319.

Is W for Worksop? 5 for the year 1985, right? Do you guys know what the rest of the SN means?

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Old 05-17-09, 06:42 PM
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The secret sauce in 555SL

If the reynolds frame is manganese-moly and double-butted, but it's not reynolds 531c (8/5/8 dimension) seamless tubing, if instead it's a lower-grade of tubing, then perhaps it's a seamed version of 531 tubing, or perhaps has a slightly different alloying to otherwise save on costs. The only differences between seamed and seamless is that seamed tubes are hard to make in thinner gauges, i.e. 531p/753 dimensions (7/4/7), and so therefore it's probably an 8/5/8 frameset. It would be good to weigh this frame+fork, if it weighs 2850-2950 grams then it's an 8/5/8 frameset, like my 1977 competition G.S.

After Worksop was closed in 1982, due to a strike, Raleigh re-hired a few of the best Worksop frame builders, moved them to Nottingham, and continued to make 'W' series framesets in Nottingham. In later years these were labeled as coming from "Raleigh Special Products".

Only the first 3 digits of the serial number have special meanings, "SB" = ilkeston (special build), W=worksop(until 1981)/nottingham(1982 and later), and then a letter indicating a fornight (A=1st fortnight), then the first digit of the year, then the production number for that particular model. You have the 319th frame built in 1985, it was built on the 5th (E) fortnight of 1985.

You have a 2nd-tier Nottingham frame. In my experience, first-tier Worksop frames are every bit as good as the best Ilkeston frames in workmanship, but second tier frames are sometimes sloppy.

Last edited by systemBuilder; 05-17-09 at 06:50 PM.
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Old 05-22-09, 03:43 PM
  #23  
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Interesting Racing USA frame in light of this recent discussion:

https://tinyurl.com/pvksqm


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Old 05-22-09, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Picchio Special View Post
Interesting Racing USA frame in light of this recent discussion:

https://tinyurl.com/pvksqm
I am not doubting that it is one of the Carpenter frames, but I am skeptical of his claim that it is an Ilkston frame. Sheldon's site ( https://www.sheldonbrown.com/retroral...acing-usa.html ) has two reasonably informed sources that cite that the frame was made by Marinoni for the team.

Considering that the seller cites it as being built with Cinelli lugs - when in fact this team frame uses Prugnats - I wonder whether his information is simply cut-and-paste; after all, the production Team/Team Replica frames used the Cinelli lugs.

-Kurt
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Old 05-22-09, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
I am not doubting that it is one of the Carpenter frames, but I am skeptical of his claim that it is an Ilkston frame. Sheldon's site ( https://www.sheldonbrown.com/retroral...acing-usa.html ) has two reasonably informed sources that cite that the frame was made by Marinoni for the team.

Considering that the seller cites it as being built with Cinelli lugs - when in fact this team frame uses Prugnats - I wonder whether his information is simply cut-and-paste; after all, the production Team/Team Replica frames used the Cinelli lugs.

-Kurt
It has an SB serial number, which I highly doubt the Marinoni frames did. That feature is pretty much a slam-dunk (as per the aucton photo). Plus, while Sheldon's site does indeed indicate that Marinoni built Carpenter's LA Games frame, as well as other Levis Raleigh frames, it also states that Ilkeston built some of the Levis Raleigh team frames (using 753 and some 531, vs. Columbus for the Marinoni frames). I'm betting this frame is an Ilkeston frame, but not one of those built for the Olympics. I think the fact that the frame has the decal headbadge, the under-TT cable guides (very unusual), the number tab hanger (indicative of Ilkeston) and the drilled DO's, is pretty telling. Ilkeston did use more than one lug type, as well, AFAIK (agree that the seller may not be completely well-informed).
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