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Raleigh Professional question

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Raleigh Professional question

Old 11-04-15, 01:22 PM
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marius.suiram 
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Raleigh Professional question

Somebody said in the Forum that the 1973 "Professional" was "at the top of the pile in 1973", but "were certainly some equal but I don't think you can find a better racing bike from the era than that".
What is your opinion about this and which were the bikes equal or almost equal with the Professional?
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Old 11-04-15, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by marius.suiram View Post
What is your opinion about this and which were the bikes equal or almost equal with the Professional?
I replaced a '68 Paramount (because someone offered "stupid $$$" for it) w/ a '74 MKIV Raleigh Pro which suited me very well.
Each had it's subtle ride/handling/sprint/descend/cornering idiosyncrasies but neither was "better" than the other.
I got some decent race results on either.
Both were factory mass produced,"hand made", machines with good quality control, excellent materials and solid design.

Many Italian frames of the period we built for customers were rife w/ poor quality control, bad finish and in need of alignment, BB facing, head milling and thread chasing.
When fought into complete status they were nice rides, but certainly not for me.

French machines like the early PX-10 were good bikes for lousy roads and long miles, which was not what the US racing scene offered.

Custom "Criterium" bikes were the epitome of the "hot set-up" in my day. Twitchy, rough riding and bespoke/expensive and often crashed but Cool/Trick.

Top of the Pile? In terms of real performance/race results it didn't really matter.
It's not about the hardware and never has been.

For a C&V race bike of the period today buy one that fits, that you like to look at.



Edit: The Raleigh Pro of the era was ridden to US National Road Championships in '72 & '73 by John Howard and in '74 by John Allis.
That would be the Top of Our Pile 3x.

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Old 11-04-15, 02:19 PM
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The Professional was the "top of the pile" in terms of models Raleigh offered. The Raleigh Team Professional (a completely different machine) was offered starting in 1974, and most folks would consider that as replacing the Professional at the top of the Raleigh pile.
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Old 11-04-15, 05:07 PM
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What's your reason for asking? Are you thinking of acquiring one or getting rid of one? If you have one and like it, enjoy it. It's more valuable and better made than some bikes but less valuable and less well made than some other bikes. It's not the finest bike ever made, but you knew that, right?
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Old 11-04-15, 06:15 PM
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The reason is simple: learning. I am in this business only for four years. I try to focus on old steel road/touring bikes.
I don't have a Professional yet, but I want to make my lessons and when it shows up, to get it.
Last Saturday I found a Falcon with Reynolds 531 and Campagnolo and I didn't know if I should pay or not the money.
Anyway I have some bikes more or less valuable. But everything is for sale.
thank, Marius
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Old 11-05-15, 08:41 AM
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It's a good enough question. And needs no justification in my view.

When I walked into the bike shop in 1971 to purchase a bike, the top shelf bikes they had were;
Cinelli Super Corsa
Pogliaghi Italcorse
Masi Cran Criterium

None of which I could afford.
And the Raleigh Professional.
Which I couldn't quite afford either. Though I really wanted one.
I placed it one notch down from the Italian bikes, for no particular reason
other than it was was cheaper than those 3. A fine bicycle by any measure.
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Old 11-05-15, 10:44 AM
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I would say these where about the best of the bikes for there era that where realistic in terms of price and availability. They where typically about the nicest of the bikes that dealerships actually stocked.
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Old 11-05-15, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by zukahn1 View Post
I would say these where about the best of the bikes for there era that where realistic in terms of price and availability. They where typically about the nicest of the bikes that dealerships actually stocked.
They were in a sweet spot in value for some. I preferred somewhat less expensive stuff like the Peugeot PX-10 and below but you wouldn't be crazy to pay full value for a Raleigh Professional.
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Old 11-05-15, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
It's a good enough question. And needs no justification in my view.

When I walked into the bike shop in 1971 to purchase a bike, the top shelf bikes they had were;
Cinelli Super Corsa
Pogliaghi Italcorse
Masi Cran Criterium

None of which I could afford.
And the Raleigh Professional.
Which I couldn't quite afford either. Though I really wanted one.
I placed it one notch down from the Italian bikes, for no particular reason
other than it was was cheaper than those 3. A fine bicycle by any measure.
In 1971 retail price, and everyone paid retail, was what $350-400. And that was just crazy money for a bicycle. I remember Raleigh Pros would sometimes sit all year in the bike shop showroom. The same bike, just so few that would actually spend that kind of money. And it was the 20 something year old recreational cyclist that would buy it eventually. I can't recall anyone over 30 years of age riding a bike back in the 70's. Times have changed for sure.
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Old 11-05-15, 11:40 AM
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It took me long enough to save up my $234 or whatever it was, for my PX-10.
Four hundred bucks for a Pro? I just couldn't swing it.

I STILL can't afford one! heh.
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Old 11-05-15, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
In 1971 retail price, and everyone paid retail, was what $350-400. And that was just crazy money for a bicycle. I remember Raleigh Pros would sometimes sit all year in the bike shop showroom. The same bike, just so few that would actually spend that kind of money. And it was the 20 something year old recreational cyclist that would buy it eventually. I can't recall anyone over 30 years of age riding a bike back in the 70's. Times have changed for sure.
Yup. I worked at a Peugeot/Nishiki dealership in 1972-74, and the PX-10 price was $250-$260. The Nishiki Competition was heavier than the competition, but a decent value at $150 (1971, when I bought mine) to $170 (by 1974).
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Old 11-05-15, 12:43 PM
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As to "which bike is best?" -- the most important component is still the man or woman sitting on the saddle.
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Old 11-05-15, 01:47 PM
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Think of it in terms of Tour de France mountain categories. The Peugeot PX-10, Schwinn Paramount and Raleigh Pro were all Category 1 bikes. The high-zoot marques from across the Atlantic were hors categorie, at least in people's perceptions.

As has been stated, the best bikes you were likely to see in the flesh in your hometown bike shop were the Paramount, the Pro and the PX-10. Especially true of the Paramount - Schwinn dealerships blanketed the country, and many of them kept a Paramount on display. Many a Raleigh dealer had a Pro on display and many a Peugeot dealer had a PX-10 hanging up, but there were fewer such dealerships, at least in small-town America.

Outside a few select markets, seeing a Cinelli or a Masi or even a Lejeune, to name but three examples, was unlikely.
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Old 11-05-15, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by bikingshearer View Post
Think of it in terms of Tour de France mountain categories. The Peugeot PX-10, Schwinn Paramount and Raleigh Pro were all Category 1 bikes. The high-zoot marques from across the Atlantic were hors categorie, at least in people's perceptions.

As has been stated, the best bikes you were likely to see in the flesh in your hometown bike shop were the Paramount, the Pro and the PX-10. Especially true of the Paramount - Schwinn dealerships blanketed the country, and many of them kept a Paramount on display. Many a Raleigh dealer had a Pro on display and many a Peugeot dealer had a PX-10 hanging up, but there were fewer such dealerships, at least in small-town America.

Outside a few select markets, seeing a Cinelli or a Masi or even a Lejeune, to name but three examples, was unlikely.
Interesting analogy, but PX-10s were actually raced in major events (doesn't get more major than the Tour de France) by well-known European professional teams. I'm not sure the same can be said about the other two models.

Does this make them better bicycles? Perhaps not, but the cache is there for some.
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Old 11-05-15, 02:04 PM
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Isn't inflation funny? A PX-10 for for under $300? Less than $500 for top of the line Raleigh? You want something top of the line now, expect to pay $4000+

Now if I could only find a new/barely used PX-10 for $250....hmmm
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Old 11-05-15, 02:05 PM
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The Raleigh Pro for a time distinguished itself by being a volume production bike with Record sidepulls, at a relatively low price.

Software is still ery buggy today a manycharactrs are elete upon typigtem thisis get software I have o say.

Hell outthere?
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Old 11-05-15, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
Interesting analogy, but PX-10s were actually raced in major events (doesn't get more major than the Tour de France) by well-known European professional teams. I'm not sure the same can be said about the other two models.

Does this make them better bicycles? Perhaps not, but the cache is there for some.
Sorry if I didn't make it clear, but the analogy was meant to deal with perceptions, not necessarily reality. Of course, the "reality" was every bit as subject to hype and individual preferences then as it is now. As always, one man's all-day-comfy rider is another man's whippy noodle, etc. YMMV, and 'twas ever thus.

As for PX-10s winning the Tour de France, query whether Roger Pingeon's win in 1967 was on a PX-10 or some custom that was built by a master and painted to look like a PX-10. I don't know the answer to that, but it was a common enough practice at the time that one cannot just assume that Peugeot made the bike. I recall having read many moons ago that Bernard Thevenet actually rode Peugeot-built PX-10s and PY-10s, including in his two TdF victories. Whatever he was riding certainly did not hold him back in 1075 or 1977.
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Old 11-05-15, 03:17 PM
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I raced in High School back in the mid 70s. I rode a Peugeot UO-8, until I upgraded to a PX-10 (pretty much when I started driving, so the biking went out the window until recently)

Here's a youtube I posted elsewhere on C+V - to give you an idea of the vibe

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENK_BKPmI7o

Popular bikes were Raleigh Grand Prix, Fuji S-10-S, a few Raleigh Grand Sports + Comps (the black one with Campy GS), A couple Motobecanes and Bianchis. One guy had a Sekine, which we all proceeded to call a Zucchini - but Nothing with Campy Record components

BUT a couple guys were really good - they went out of state to race - maybe some type of national championship?. Anyway, these guys got the Raleigh Pros, with the full Campy NR setup - and we were all very jealous - they were beautiful machines
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Old 11-05-15, 03:53 PM
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The Raleigh Pro was the most expensive bike in the shop where I worked, but they only sold Raleighs, Peugeots and Columbias. Nobody bought a Pro while I was there and the only PX10 sold was sold to me. Very few adults bought bikes for themselves. They bought bike for their kids.
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Old 11-05-15, 04:20 PM
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Bike shops that cater to Joe and Jane Average hang a topline model from the ceiling (or wherever) to build credibility for the shop and the brand. It's not so much to make money.
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Old 11-05-15, 04:23 PM
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Sooo.... Did you buy it?
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Old 11-05-15, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
The Raleigh Pro was the most expensive bike in the shop where I worked, but they only sold Raleighs, Peugeots and Columbias. Nobody bought a Pro while I was there and the only PX10 sold was sold to me. Very few adults bought bikes for themselves. They bought bike for their kids.
Wish I could go back in time to my late uncle's shop. By far, the bulk of the shop's sales were to non-racers, but they did sell Raleigh, and Peugeot and also a few Frejus. I have no ideas of the numbers, but I saw sales of Pros and a couple Frejus.
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Old 11-05-15, 04:53 PM
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So Raleigh Pro, Schwinn Paramount and Peugeot PX-10 were like the most popular bikes.
I have the PX-10, a project actually.
It is a Pro for sale for 500$, but is not original and the price is too high for what I want to spend.
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Old 11-05-15, 04:55 PM
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Not the most owned, but they were the top of their respective "lines". Way more Grand Prix, Varsities and U-08's were sold.
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Old 11-05-15, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by marius.suiram View Post
So Raleigh Pro, Schwinn Paramount and Peugeot PX-10 were like the most popular bikes.
I have the PX-10, a project actually.
Those were the top of the line bikes that were the most seen in bike shops in most of America during the 60's and 70's. In large cities like NY, LA, Boston, etc. you could probably find Cinelli's, Masi's, etc., but in cities like Portland, OR or Omaha, NE these would be very rare bikes indeed.

But as others have said, in the 60's and 70's, bikes were sold mostly to school kids and college students. All of these top end bikes were out of the financial reach of most of them. A new 1970 Chevy Nova would have cost $2200 so spending almost 20% of that on a "toy" would have been out of the question for the average person.
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