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1985 Raleigh RacingUSA Series(Warning Long/Big Pics

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1985 Raleigh RacingUSA Series(Warning Long/Big Pics

Old 06-30-16, 07:16 PM
  #26  
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It's been my privilege (and yes, I'm bragging) to have had a hand in 9 of the above bikes, with a 10th sitting here and an 11th in pieces... We'll get there. I'll try to get pics of my Competition. Coleman taught me to hold on, be patient, and the bike would come. He was right. I did, I was, and it did.

Folks left it on their porch and said "if you like it, leave the money under the mat." Hard to beat that.

There's an 86 Competition here in eastern NC, but they wanted too much. "Steady," he said.
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Old 06-30-16, 07:20 PM
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Nice group of Raleighs there, sir.

Glad to see you are feeling spunky enough to ge tthem out, take some pictures, and put a few miles on them.
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Old 07-01-16, 12:42 AM
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Originally Posted by rccardr View Post
Nice group of Raleighs there, sir.

Glad to see you are feeling spunky enough to ge tthem out, take some pictures, and put a few miles on them.
You should have seen the LOCKED GRIN that was on my face when I rode each one. Priceless..

As it is, the lower models, Grand Prix and Super Course, IMO, got a couple notches in looks over the Competition and Prestige..I know it would be overkill, but I am thinking wheel/tire and seat change on the Prestige, and wheel/tire change on the Competition, and see what happens.
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Old 07-01-16, 12:57 AM
  #29  
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The rare 85 Prestige and a 85 Grand Prix are trending on Ebay now..

I was really fortunate to catch mine at good price..

Raleigh Racing USA Grand Prix 50 cm Bike Red 6 Speed Suntour Road RARE Used | eBay

Vintage Raleigh Prestige 62cm Bicycle Suntour Superbe Mint Condition | eBay
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Old 07-01-16, 06:10 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by cehowardGS View Post
Sweet, the top of Raleigh RacingUsa Series is the Prestige, and believe me, the 85 Raleigh Prestige is a rare, rare bird.

You are good to just find one, and to find one your size is very fortunate. The good thing is, a lot of people are not privvy to the 85 RacingUsa Series. That is how I was able to really lay low, and snipe most of mine.

I seen a Competition on Ebay for upward of $700
Thanks, I forgot to compliment you on your "fleet", very cool and I like the personal touches you put on them. My first "real" bike was a new Irish built red 1971 Grand Prix. I'd been searching for another just like it for several years when this popped up on my local CL. It was advertised as mint condition which it is clearly NOT, if it had been the asking price would have been pretty fair. I beat the seller up pretty hard on all the cosmetic issues, offered considerably less and told him that was as high as I was going. He accepted and confessed he only had about $30 in the bike, his old boss had given to him when he moved and he just put some cheap tires on it to sell it so we both made out like bandits. The Prestige is getting very close to it's turn under the wrench and I will finish it this year. I'm still hoping to find a red '71 but I could easily console myself with a red '85 GP in the meantime.
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Old 07-01-16, 07:04 AM
  #31  
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I like these frames a lot, the white and chrome is especially nice----what is the clearance like on that red one with the fender eyelets? Enough room for some chrome fenders and 25mm tires?
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Old 07-01-16, 08:52 PM
  #32  
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My cehowardGS tribute bike. He's a baaaaad influence. He knows of what he speaks!

1985 Competition. Suntour GPX and tubulars. I have the GPX pedals, but I ride this at least weekly, weakly.


















Last edited by RobbieTunes; 07-02-16 at 07:23 AM.
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Old 07-01-16, 08:56 PM
  #33  
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^well done RT! Gotta give you points for vision, that's for sure. I'd never think to put that group on the Competition but you pull it off wonderfully.
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Old 07-02-16, 12:19 AM
  #34  
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Wow, those are beautiful
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Old 07-02-16, 02:38 AM
  #35  
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Nice collection of Raleigh's, Glad to see you're feeling better.
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Old 07-02-16, 08:38 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Murray Missile View Post
Thanks, I forgot to compliment you on your "fleet", very cool and I like the personal touches you put on them. My first "real" bike was a new Irish built red 1971 Grand Prix. I'd been searching for another just like it for several years when this popped up on my local CL. It was advertised as mint condition which it is clearly NOT, if it had been the asking price would have been pretty fair. I beat the seller up pretty hard on all the cosmetic issues, offered considerably less and told him that was as high as I was going. He accepted and confessed he only had about $30 in the bike, his old boss had given to him when he moved and he just put some cheap tires on it to sell it so we both made out like bandits. The Prestige is getting very close to it's turn under the wrench and I will finish it this year. I'm still hoping to find a red '71 but I could easily console myself with a red '85 GP in the meantime.
To find a matching red 85 GP to go along with the 85 Prestige, IMO, would put a locked grin on your face for long, long time. IMO, the 85 RacingUSA Series are some dam handsome bikes, just plain out right pretty in my book. The 86 models which have better tubing, and components can't touch the 85 models LOOKS WISE with a stick..

Luck to you, and make sure I see that finished Prestige.. I am going to bug Robbie, and try to have him bring my Competition and Prestige up to the level of my two GPs and Super Course..

And the hunt and getting the bikes a good prices are a joy unto themselves too.

Life is dam sweet, I tell you that!!

Last edited by cehowardGS; 07-02-16 at 08:44 AM.
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Old 07-02-16, 08:43 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Michael Angelo View Post
Nice collection of Raleigh's, Glad to see you're feeling better.
Thanks, and I am glad to be feeling better too... Lately, I have been riding the one of the Raleighs every morning, something like a 5 mile ride around my neighboorhood.. And I noticed that my Centurion Ironmans are getting jealous.. Now I got to pull them and give them a blast..

Be safe, and thanks again..
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Old 07-02-16, 09:26 AM
  #38  
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For those wondering about "Raleigh 555 SL" tubing. Part of Tom's explanation leans toward a lighter version of Reynolds 501, but the 555 was chrome-moly, and the only chrome-moly by Reynolds at the time was 531. To further confuse things, the decals favor Reynolds. My steerer tube is stamped TANGE. Go figure.

I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that 1985 was a very, very good year to buy a bike from just about anywhere. Perhaps I'll start a thread.

Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
I always assumed that Raleigh 555 was re-badged Reynolds 501, based on the following:

1. During the mid-80s when this tubing was used, Raleigh was still owned by Tube Investments, the manufacturer of Reynolds tubing.

2. As Lofter points out, Raleigh USA was still marketing Reynolds 753 and 531 frames along with Raleigh 555, so Raleigh 555 would not have been either of those two tubesets and would presumibly have been a less expensive tubeset, which was Reynolds 501's position in the Reynolds line-up.

3. Raleigh 555 was a chromium-molybdenum tubeset. Reynolds only chromium-molybdenum tubeset at time was Reynolds 531.

4. Raleigh 555 was unique to the US market. At the time Raleigh USA was using 555 tubests, Raleigh bicycles in other markets were being marketed with Reynolds 501.

5. The Raleigh 555 decal is remarkably similar to a Reynolds decal. If for some reason, Raleigh USA was using non-Reynolds tubing, I seriously doubt that Tubing Investments would have permitted the use of a decal design that consumers would associate with Reynolds tubesets.

6. There was a lighter version of both the Raleigh and Reynolds tubests, called 555SL and 501SL repectively.

Basically, Reynolds 501 was a seamed, butted tubeset intended for mid-range, sports bicycles. It was about 0.5 lbs (225 g) heavier than a Reynolds 531 tubset and about 0.9 lbs (425 g) heavier than the top of the line Reynolds 753. However, the 501SL tubeset gave away little weight advantage to 531, being only 0.16 lb (75g) heavier.

Comparable seamed, butted tubesets from other manufacturers would have been Columbus Cromor, Ishiwata EXO-M and Tange Infinity.

Last edited by RobbieTunes; 07-02-16 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 07-02-16, 12:12 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
For those wondering about "Raleigh 555 SL" tubing. Part of Tom's explanation leans toward a lighter version of Reynolds 501, but the 555 was chrome-moly, and the only chrome-moly by Reynolds at the time was 531. To further confuse things, the decals favor Reynolds. My steerer tube is stamped TANGE. Go figure.

I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that 1985 was a very, very good year to buy a bike from just about anywhere. Perhaps I'll start a thread.
RT it is Tange. The post you dredged up is from eleven years ago. Much has come to light in the interim. The only 555 tubeset from Reynolds appears to have been 555RSL. The R in the suffix indicates it's a Reynolds tubeset.

You're also confusing 501 and 531. Reynolds' chromium-molybdenum tubeset at the time was 501. 531 was manganese-molybdenum.

Last edited by T-Mar; 07-02-16 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 07-02-16, 12:42 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
RT it is Tange. The post you dredged up is from eleven years ago. Much has come to light in the interim. The only 555 tubeset from Reynolds appears to have been 555RSL. The R in the suffix indicates it's a Reynolds tubeset.

You're also confusing 501 and 531. Reynolds' chromium-molybdenum tubeset at the time was 501. 531 was manganese-molybdenum.
I was just going by your post, which mentioned 531 as being chrome-moly. I wouldn't know it from a tuna can.

So, Tange it is, in a version called Raleigh 555 SL? which was chrome-moly, and certainly had a Reynold-like decal?

The heft and feel of the tubing reminds me of my '84 Lotus Classique; the bike rides a lot like it. The attention to detail is a couple % below the Lotus.


I'm good with confused: it avoids people perceiving that I know anything.

Last edited by RobbieTunes; 07-03-16 at 06:17 AM.
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Old 07-02-16, 02:52 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
RT it is Tangehttps://www.bikeforums.net/18801418-post40.html. The post you dredged up is from eleven years ago. Much has come to light in the interim. The only 555 tubeset from Reynolds appears to have been 555RSL. The R in the suffix indicates it's a Reynolds tubeset.

You're also confusing 501 and 531. Reynolds' chromium-molybdenum tubeset at the time was 501. 531 was manganese-molybdenum.
I'm not convinced it's Tange but you sound pretty certain it is. Clearly some of the forks were Tange which Raleigh started to publish in 1986. Is there anything out there confirming the frames were as well?

My 2c on the subject:
https://www.bikeforums.net/18801418-post40.html
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Old 07-03-16, 06:15 AM
  #42  
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Thanks for that. This is in line with what a Raleigh collector told me: Tange fork steerer at least; blades of 555SL, made by whomever. Frame of 555 SL produced in Japan by someone. In fact, he said "if you work as hard on this as you did on the (Cinelli) Centurion Equipe, you'll get your answer." He may be right but I won't have that combination of luck and circumstance again. As a half-arsed researcher, I'm just happy to have the Competition, sure am, and to know Coleman.
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Old 07-03-16, 07:49 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by plonz View Post
I'm not convinced it's Tange but you sound pretty certain it is. Clearly some of the forks were Tange which Raleigh started to publish in 1986. Is there anything out there confirming the frames were as well?

My 2c on the subject:
https://www.bikeforums.net/18801418-post40.html
Good point/post, and since I got a lot of Phd class vintage posters right here in a group, could somebody answer this MYSTERY QUESTION. It is concerns the DIFFERENT fork crown/with emblem on my 85 Super Course, that is not on the other 85 Raleigh RacingUSA Series..

Here is the fork on my 85 Raleigh RacingUSA Super Course..



You all can see that emblem, which has been GOLD INLAYED by RT, that type fork crown is not on the other 3 1985 Raleigh RacingUSA models. However, on my 1986 Raleigh Grand Prix(the beater), it doesn't have a chrome fork, but it has the same type fork crown and emblem..

Somebody explain, please...
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Old 07-08-16, 05:44 PM
  #44  
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I wish I knew, but the fork is very similar to that on the Lotus Classique. I've always wondered if there was a connection. I just think they wanted to set it apart a bit, or it just occurred to me, it may be a non-Tange fork, so it was panto'd Raleigh? As good a reason as any. If I find one of those blue beauties in 56 or 54 cm, my wife is gonna kill me.

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Old 07-08-16, 05:47 PM
  #45  
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So the general opiniln is if you can pick one of these framesets up cheap, it would be a good idea?
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Old 07-08-16, 05:50 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by nesteel View Post
So the general opiniln is if you can pick one of these framesets up cheap, it would be a good idea?
Very much so IMO. It took a while to be convinced, but working on them kind of got me interested, and then riding one pretty much cleared the air. As Coleman has shown, they are an excellent blank canvas on which to build something cool. I lacked the vision to really think ahead on them and just went by his choices. When they came together, I was pretty much determined to find one.

I've still got my eye on an '86 with full tricolor, but it's still at $300.
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