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Might be a vintage Raleigh-Help identify

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Might be a vintage Raleigh-Help identify

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Old 06-20-18, 11:54 AM
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Might be a vintage Raleigh-Help identify

I went out on a limb yesterday and bought what could be a vintage Super Course from ebay. The seller, Lowkeymotors, has a 100% feedback score and a big presence on Instagram with many vintage bikes listed. The seller said this was his best friend's dad's bike way back in the day. According to the seller, the owner was named Hal and he was the president of the Marin Cyclist Club in the 70's. I know that people can say whatever they want, but these details came after I had already paid, so he had no monetary reason to embellish the story.

As far as he knew, this is the original paint. He thought it was a Super Course but he was not sure. From what I can tell, it has brake stops and a front derailleur cable stop like other Super Courses. But, I have no clue if those were exclusive to Super Courses. The serial number is located on the left dropout and it matches no Raleigh system I can find. From what I have read, inconsistencies were the not uncommon with Raleigh. The lugs don't match any Super Course lugs I can find. Any clues? The bike is on it's way to me and I will post more once it arrives.




24 tpi



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Old 06-20-18, 12:10 PM
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Those big ol' pop rivets on the head badge gave me a fright! About my size though
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Old 06-20-18, 12:33 PM
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Unbranded stamped drop outs, I think it is something else. Low end. Headbadge may not be original given the way it is attached. Fender mount on the rear drop out is in the wrong place, BB threading is wrong. But I am not a Raleigh expert for sure!

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Old 06-20-18, 01:05 PM
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The seat stays look wrong where they meet the seat tube. And yes, the headbadge rivets looked wrong to me as well. I bet that you could spot a fourth hole hidden behind the heron if you dropped the fork out of the frame.
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Old 06-20-18, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Aubergine View Post
The seat stays look wrong where they meet the seat tube. And yes, the headbadge rivets looked wrong to me as well. I bet that you could spot a fourth hole hidden behind the heron if you dropped the fork out of the frame.
I will definitely be checking the steerer once it arrives. Hopefully there will be some info on the steerer tube. Maybe evidence of a repaint.
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Old 06-20-18, 01:44 PM
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It's a puzzle. The fork crown looks like a Raleigh. So does the semi-circular rear brake cable hanger.

The seat stay caps don't look right for a Super Course.

Maybe this is a Raleigh or Carlton but not a US-market one.
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Old 06-20-18, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Unbranded stamped drop outs, I think it is something else. Low end. Headbadge may not be original given the way it is attached. Fender mount on the rear drop out is in the wrong place, BB threading is wrong. But I am not a Raleigh expert for sure!
As far as I can tell, the dropouts look similar to the early 70's Super Course drop outs and the fender mounts look to be in the same place to me. Some folks report 24 tpi BB shells as well.
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Old 06-20-18, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
It's a puzzle. The fork crown looks like a Raleigh. So does the semi-circular rear brake cable hanger.

The seat stay caps don't look right for a Super Course.

Maybe this is a Raleigh or Carlton but not a US-market one.
As I have said on a few other threads, I love a good bike frame puzzle.

I have thought about it being from a different market but I am not sure where to find catalogs for other markets. Kurt Kaminer's website has UK and American catalogs. Well, the worst case scenario is that I paid $40 for a $15 frame that will fit nicely. I had an old Schwinn Le Tour with the Xtra lite (not actually light at all) tubing and it rode quite nicely. If this is a 1020 frame, I might build it into a rainy day/winter beater bike.
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Old 06-20-18, 01:54 PM
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Some bikes ride better than their pedigrees suggest. The Super Course is a great example of that. Mine probably weighs about 29 pounds, but it climbs really well for some reason. If this is 1020, you may never know or care.
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Old 06-20-18, 02:44 PM
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I don't think the Super Course ever had that cable stop on the downtube; instead, it had cable guides above the BB shell.
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Old 06-20-18, 02:53 PM
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I think it's either a Carlton or a Carlton-built Raleigh. The dropouts look like the ones used on Super Courses, and on the Raleigh "Carlton" model that precedes it, as well as those used on Carlton Catalinas, AND the stamped numbers look like the right font and size. Carlton used Bocama lugs on a variety of bikes they built, and the fancier 80-84 models with type II sockets were used on Raleigh Grand Prix, Carlton Catalina, and other bikes. There are documented original finish c.1969-70 Super Courses built with the Bocama model 14/II lugs, we know all about the Nervex Pro to Carlton Capella to Prugnat 62S to whatever followed. Finally, go look here at this 1966 Raleigh Carlton on Kurt Kaminer's site and look at the lugs.

From what I have read in BF threads, it could be argued that Super Course BBs with 26tpi Raleigh proprietary threads are not standard at all, and that more of them may have been produced with standard 24tpi threading. I misremember which thread had that discussion, but it was most interesting.

But what about the chrome socks, you ask. If it was painted long enough ago, AND it wasn't originally chromed at the rear, it may be that it was chromed before the repaint. And I really believe it has been repainted, because those headbadge rivets do not look original at all.

The fork looks like it has the Vagner crown used on some Gran(d) Sport(s), as opposed to the smaller Vagner crown used more commonly. Or maybe it came from another Raleigh.

Really, truthfully, I am waiting to see what the seatpost diameter is. 25.4mm means Grand Prix with 20-30 tubing, 26.4mm means 531 plain gauge.
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Old 06-20-18, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
I don't think the Super Course ever had that cable stop on the downtube; instead, it had cable guides above the BB shell.
This one does. And they had them because how the stock Simplex front derailleur works - the cable itself is anchored by a screw in the derailleur body and the bellcrank that shoves the cage outward is operated by the housing pushing against it as the cable is tightened.
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Old 06-20-18, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by rustystrings61 View Post
This one does. And they had them because how the stock Simplex front derailleur works - the cable itself is anchored by a screw in the derailleur body and the bellcrank that shoves the cage outward is operated by the housing pushing against it as the cable is tightened.
You're right, of course. I should have checked the '73 Super Course in my basement before writing that response!
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Old 06-22-18, 08:44 AM
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I have been doing some research in anticipation of this bike's arrival. Nothing conclusive at this point, but it has been fun learning all this stuff. Here is what I have found so far. This may be old news for folks who love Raleigh/Carlton bikes, but it is new to me.

I have found conflicting info about the head badge. I have seen that it is the anniversary badge that was standard from 68-70 but I have seen it on Carlton branded bikes as early as 1966. One of the above posts suggested that it may not be the correct badge. I will pull the badge and check for evidence of a change when it arrives. I have a pop rivet tool so I can't make it look worse when I remount it. I will check around for some with smaller heads, though.

The lugs match the Grand Prix lugs for all of the years I could find examples. But, every version of the Grand Prix I can find from 1969 on had the distinctive wrap around stays. I can't quite tell what is going on with the stays on the one I bought from the pictures but I am 99.9% sure that they aren't wrap around like the Grand Prix has.

The 1968 Raleigh Catalog includes a Super Course and a Grand Prix. The Super Course is not offered in a 25 inch version but the Grand Prix is. I could not find a picture of a confirmed 68 Grand Prix to see whether or not it has the wrap around stays.

According to the spotty info I could find about Carlton models, the last year they used the letter followed by four numbers is 1967. The last confirmed letter I could find on a website that now only exists on the wayback machine is "Y" so it is not crazy to think that they got to "Z" that year. After that, they used the Raleigh system. 1967 is also the last year I could find the Raleigh Carlton model. The two examples I could find from that year have wrap around stays and different lugs. Also, the Carlton model was not offered in the 25 inch size.

Kurt Kaminer has a picture of a 66 Carlton on his website but it has wrap around stays.

As best I can tell, the treatment on the stays where they join the seat lug resembles those on the Carlton Flyer. Those were also offered in a 25" model. But, the resemblance ends at the stay treatment. Different lugs and the dropouts on the Flyer were cast, not stamped.

Unfortunately, the most enlightening information I could find is that you just can't count on the catalogs being accurate. Models that were shown in the catalog may have never been offered and models that showed up on showroom floors may not have been in the catalog. So, this bike may be forever an enigma. It is scheduled to arrive on June 25. Maybe I will be able to offer more info at that time.
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Old 06-22-18, 12:24 PM
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Any idea on the seatpost size?

Any markings on the bottom bracket?

fwiw, I have a 1971 Competition that has Zeus Competition stamped dropouts with the serial number on them, rather than the bb



I realize this does virtually nothing to help you get a handle on what you have, but rather serves to reinforce the posibility that Raleigh might have done almost anything in that era.
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Old 06-22-18, 01:11 PM
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According to the seller, there were no other serial numbers on the frame. I did not ask what the seat post size is but that is the first thing I am going to measure when it arrives. I'll post more pics then, too.
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Old 06-22-18, 01:23 PM
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One more thing I noticed. Every fork with this style of lug that I could find information for was made with 531. There were examples of that lug with no accompanying information. It looks like the Wagner No. 12.
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Old 06-22-18, 07:49 PM
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I took a look at the 1970 catalog again this evening and noticed that Raleigh offered a blue Super Course that year. I have never seen a blue one. I could only find pictures of one 1970 with the same lugs via google and it was an old completed auction on eBay. I downloaded the pics and took a close look. The lugs match and the seatstays are partial wrap around on the eBay bike. That might match the one I bought but the pics I have are inconclusive. A couple of the ebay bike pics below.




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Old 06-22-18, 09:58 PM
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Well, there you go. The thing keeping me from fully believing that it was a Super Course frame was the seat stay termination -- not like a Grand Prix, but not typical SC (in my imited experience) either. Does the Ebay bike have the same sort of fork? Most Raleigh Super Course forks have the Raleigh 26tpi threading though, some people have found, some of them had forks with 24 tpi. Looks like you'll need a headset, check the threading first. If you need one, it shouldn't be hard to find the Raleigh headset parts for the 26tpi threaded steerer. Bottom of the headset, you can use whatever matches the fork crown. Check that too, Raleigh often used 27.0 mm rather than 26.4 mm.

Should be a fun project. As is often said, Raleigh Super Course bikes ride better than they should.
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Old 06-23-18, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by desconhecido View Post
Does the Ebay bike have the same sort of fork?
I don't think so. The best pic of the fork is below. When I zoom in on the lug, it does not appear to have the middle prong that the one I bought has.


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Old 06-23-18, 11:54 AM
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That's interesting. The headset on the brown bike does not have the typical Nottingham headset top nut. I don't know enough to reach any conclusion about whether the brown bike has a 26tpi or 24tpi steerer.

Does anybody know if any of the Super Course bikes were made by Gazelle? How about Ireland -- weren't some Raleighs of the era built in Ireland? The thing that makes me wonder is the apparent absence of a Carlton decal on the brown bike along with a headset which may not be typically Super Course and seat stay terminations that are not typically Super Course.
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Old 06-23-18, 01:49 PM
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I searched more completed ebay listings today and came up with this 68 Super Course. Mostly more of the same except that it showed a similar serial number style as the one I bought. I was trying to link mine to the old Carlton system which a a letter followed by four numbers. The "Z" on mine matched up to the last confirmed one I could find from 1967 which is "Y". But with this 68 having a C as the letter, I think linking it to the Carlton system is dubious at best. The 68 also had that partial wrap around stay.


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Old 06-23-18, 05:39 PM
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I'm afraid I have little faith in consistency in the Raleigh serial # system as found on the Super Course, particularly those early ones. And even less faith in the correctness of an eBay listing when it comes to date claims. They could be right, of course, but things seem pretty murky when it comes to those late 60s Super Courses.
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Old 06-23-18, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
I'm afraid I have little faith in consistency in the Raleigh serial # system as found on the Super Course, particularly those early ones. And even less faith in the correctness of an eBay listing when it comes to date claims. They could be right, of course, but things seem pretty murky when it comes to those late 60s Super Courses.
Agreed. I am having fun looking for clues but there sure are a lot of conflicting pieces of evidence.
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Old 06-24-18, 09:16 AM
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Raleigh (or I should say Carlton) did use those semi-wrap seat stay terminals sometimes. I think that a couple of nlerner's early 70s Internationals have those. I'm having trouble putting the 1970-ish head badge together with those lugs, a serial number beginning Z and non-forged dropouts. Is is possible that, since the Alpha-followed-by-four-numbers serial seemed to be Carlton's scheme until 1974, they made over 16,000 frames in 1967, and went through Y and most of Z?


Oops, reading more closely, I see that beicster has already raised that possibility.

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