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Raleigh Competition: age?

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Raleigh Competition: age?

Old 07-28-16, 10:45 PM
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vintagerando
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Raleigh Competition: age?

This is my latest purchase. I researched dating the Carlton Raleigh Competition. According to the sources I read, the serial number of the 1970s Carltons should start with a "W". The serial number on mine starts with an "A".
I don't have a pic of the serial number, but it is the following: A4985. Does anyone know when and where this frame was made? I have read the bikes with "W" were made at Worksop, but what about "A"?
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Old 07-28-16, 10:59 PM
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Your Competition is the 1974 model. Not sure where it was made without doing some research but it may have been built in Holland.
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Old 07-28-16, 11:52 PM
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I agree with the 1974 estimate, by then they had introduced the sloping fork crown and non-capella lugs but didn't yet have chromed rear fork ends.
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Old 07-29-16, 05:28 AM
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Read thru Kurt's info at 'The Headbadge': Classic & Vintage Bicycle Resources & Appraisals Under Resources is a page on Raleigh SN patterns and location et al. That may help a lot.
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Old 07-29-16, 05:40 AM
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Looking at Kurt's Headbadge site, I think you may have an additional letter, before the "A" you have listed in the serial number of your Competition. Perhaps the first letter got filled with paint, as Kurt addresses at the Headbadge's serial number page. The "A" would indicate a January month for the build, and the "4" fits in with it being a 1974 model bike.

Not any kind of a Releigh expert, not even close, but the two I owned are the two bikes I honestly wish I had kept over the years, and would happily pursue doing builds of them. (A 1979 Super Course, and a 1974 International, both purchases as new, in July 1979.) Best wishes on your bike, it looks to be in great condition, enjoy it.

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Old 07-29-16, 06:39 AM
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The ones with the Huret Jubilee derailleurs and TA crank were my faves. Had one back then.
Nice find.
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Old 07-29-16, 07:59 AM
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Mine is exactly like that one, but has Nervex head tube lugs. They are very nice, and I don't ride it as often as it deserves. A couple of times a year I will put some wheels on it and go for a spin. Something about the bars and stem makes my fore arms ache though. Someday I will iron that out though.,,,,BD

I changed the stem either before or after this picture, it was a shorter one before I believe, or maybe the pic was before it was changed? I am foggy on it, since it was 3-4 years ago. The stem change may have helped, but I have ridden it only once since then, for about 10-12 miles


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Old 07-29-16, 08:35 AM
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I was inspired, so that got me to take it down off of the hooks, and I aired up the tires. I may ride it Sunday morning. I have NO earthly idea where the brown Professional went. It's not on any of my bikes? I don't remember selling or trading it, but I may have I guess. No other explanation for it being MIA.,,,,BD
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Old 07-29-16, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by spock345 View Post
I agree with the 1974 estimate, by then they had introduced the sloping fork crown and non-capella lugs but didn't yet have chromed rear fork ends.

I find Raleigh to be really inconsistent with this stuff, though. I had a '79 with a sloping crown, but in the catalog the crown is flat, and most of the other '79's I have seen were as well. I dunno!
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Old 07-29-16, 10:26 AM
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74 for sure. Mine has a SN that starts with an A
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Old 07-29-16, 11:05 AM
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Mine starts A also. It's A3733. It's also an oddball, since the 1973 catalog shows flat crown forks, and Capella lugs. Mine is sloping and Nervex Pro lugs,,,,BD

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Old 07-29-16, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post
I find Raleigh to be really inconsistent with this stuff, though. I had a '79 with a sloping crown, but in the catalog the crown is flat, and most of the other '79's I have seen were as well. I dunno!
Well my '73 has the sloping crown even though the catalog shows a flat wagner crown. I just know that around 73/72-ish they started using the sloped crown and a majority of them in following years until they started using campy parts had it. It would seem that other than in '73 (when they had the cappella lugs) they would either use plain lugs or nervex professional lugs. My theory is that they would use certain parts a majority of the time for a given year and when they ran out for the day they would just use whatever was on hand. Either way the carlton built raleigh's are pretty nice and the variation leads to some interesting and unique combinations. If you can get past the sometimes sloppy brazing.
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Old 07-29-16, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by spock345 View Post
Either way the carlton built raleigh's are pretty nice and the variation leads to some interesting and unique combinations. If you can get past the sometimes sloppy brazing.
+1 on both counts.

I might sound like a broken record here, but I've been following J.P. Weigle's lead, these make excellent "donor frames" for 650b conversion. The long chain stays give room for 42mm wide tires with fenders.
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Old 07-29-16, 02:05 PM
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Not mine. I wouldn't do a 650 conversion on a bike originally spec'd with tubulars. A super Course maybe, but not a Comp and above.,,,,BD
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Old 07-29-16, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
+1 on both counts.

I might sound like a broken record here, but I've been following J.P. Weigle's lead, these make excellent "donor frames" for 650b conversion. The long chain stays give room for 42mm wide tires with fenders.
I have been meaning to try fitting 27 1 3/8 tires on mine or maybe wider if I get 700c wheels.
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Old 07-29-16, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Bikedued View Post
Not mine. I wouldn't do a 650 conversion on a bike originally spec'd with tubulars. A super Course maybe, but not a Comp and above.,,,,BD
It can be a costly conversion. Another way to look at it, however, is it's a lot cheaper than buying a new frame if you're looking for a rando bike. This guy seems to think it's a pretty good idea.

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Old 07-29-16, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Bikedued View Post
Something about the bars and stem makes my fore arms ache though. Someday I will iron that out though.,,,,BD

I changed the stem either before or after this picture, it was a shorter one before I believe, or maybe the pic was before it was changed? I am foggy on it, since it was 3-4 years ago. The stem change may have helped, but I have ridden it only once since then, for about 10-12 miles

Looks to me like the nose of the saddle may have been tilted down a touch too much, though you mentioned using a different saddle on it now. Might be worth giving that an adjustment if you're still chasing the issue.

Beautiful bikes.
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Old 07-29-16, 03:15 PM
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I had just put it on for the picture about 5-10 minutes before. That was an odd Pro too, as it had more of a Swallow width. It was the same width as any other Pro in back, but it narrowed very quickly. It's also a notch clamp, and may have been one or two off. It wasn't a rail mount post, it was a clamp on alloy post. The original. I am going to look around in my stash for a micro adjust. I may just have one.,,,,BD


Come to think of it, that may have been why I got rid of it?
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Old 07-29-16, 03:33 PM
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I think I may have over-paid for it, but......will it really matter in 5-10-15 years? My father passed-way on July 4th, just 3 weeks ago. While he was sick, I would chat with him about my latest purchases and potential new acquisitions. I chatted about bikes to get his mind off his current situation. My father was a big collector: early American clocks, colonial American furniture, Lionel trains, etc. He said to me a short time before he died, "just buy it...when you see one you like, just buy it." Something to that effect. So, this Competition is in the garage, in the que to get new grease, cables and tires. I think I will move it to the front of the que so I can ride it this summer.
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Old 07-29-16, 03:34 PM
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This bike has its original reflectors, cables and housing, tires......don't think it was ridden much.
It definitely needs a Brooks saddle and different pedals. The pedals looks like they may be the most cheaply made pedals ever.

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Old 07-29-16, 04:01 PM
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Nah, pedals were made that way back then. They didn't change a whole hell of a lot til the mid to late 80's, when Shimano and other manufacturers started trying to reinvent the wheel. Those pedals may be original too, but usually came with toe clips.,,,,BD
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Old 07-29-16, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by vintagerando View Post
This bike has its original reflectors, cables and housing, tires......don't think it was ridden much.
It definitely needs a Brooks saddle and different pedals. The pedals looks like they may be the most cheaply made pedals ever.
If you want I would swap you for a set of raleigh 501 pedals (maybe toe clips, I have to check) I have lying around. If I recall correctly those were the original equipment on the pre-campy competitions. PM me if you are interested.

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Old 07-29-16, 04:43 PM
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I had a 1978 Competition, black, that I won on eBay. I really enjoyed riding it. Comfortable, handled well with clinchers at 100psi. However I erred in not checking the crank bolts and messed up the non drive side crank. Finally sold it on CL, took a $150 loss on it. For some reason they are difficult to sell if asking more than $300 nowadays.
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Old 07-29-16, 04:51 PM
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I did notice there is a lot of space for fatter tires with this bike .
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Old 07-29-16, 05:12 PM
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That's funny I have them in the $650 and up range in the last few years. The last few Pre GS models have gone for $500 and up . GS models seem to be going in the 2-3 hundred range, despite the Campy bits. I guess Gran Sport doesn't count for much now?,,,,BD
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