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1979 Raleigh Pro Mark V

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1979 Raleigh Pro Mark V

Old 06-12-20, 05:56 PM
  #1  
gstein
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1979 Raleigh Pro Mark V

Found a extremely grimey, dirty and semi-neglected 1979 Raleigh Professional a few weeks ago. The layers of dirt and grime were a blessing in disguise, as I believe it kept all the chrome from becoming rusty and preserved the bike quite well. I literally spent 4+ hours cleaning the bike...can't believe the how beautiful the bike underneath was. Changes I made to the bike include: replaced the tri/aero bar, installed new leather grips, installed new cable housing and reupholstered the seat. Adjusted the derailleurs and brakes and took it for the first ride ever yesterday. I will say this, I was not expecting all that much from a 40+ year old bike (even after some of the reviews I read) but oh man what a ride. I can't believe how smooth of ride and probably had the cheesiest grin on my face for the entire ride.

Anyway, here's a few before pictures. Several components are not original (seat, stem, handlebars and pedals). I may at some point update the bike to make it original again but for now will just ride and enjoy it.






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Old 06-12-20, 06:00 PM
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And here are a few after pics with the upgrade.










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Old 06-12-20, 06:03 PM
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Boy, talk about cleaning up nicely! Great score and great job.
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Old 06-12-20, 06:05 PM
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Beautiful!


56cm?
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Old 06-12-20, 06:10 PM
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gstein
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cb400bill - great guess, yes 56cm. I'm 6' so the frame may be a little too small for me but I don't care...just raise the seat a little more and no worries!
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Old 06-12-20, 06:48 PM
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dang... did you have to use a putty knife to get the crud off that poor bike?!
Glad that the poor thing found a good home and some love! It looks great!

Steve in Peoria
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Old 06-12-20, 07:19 PM
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I always wanted one of these when I was a kid. I could only afford a Supercourse in 1974.

Your bike looks great! I'm glad you saved it. You did a great job cleaning it up. I'm envious of your wonderful find.
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Old 06-12-20, 07:34 PM
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Fantastic. And I know exactly what you mean about these putting a silly grin on one's face. These ride the way a road bike should. I have a 56cm '78, and it's still one of the greatest riding road bikes I've experienced to-date. Coincidentally, I rode a '19 Specialized Venge Pro once - and had ridden the Pro just a few days prior. The $8k Venge was lighter and stiffer, but it didn't even come close to the Pro for excitement when sprinting.

The other benefit is that Raleigh got their act together in regards to the Mk.V's build quality vs. the Mk.IV. Some folks seem to look down at the V for doing away with the shotback stays and the sloping fork crown, but they have no idea what they're missing.

If you want to see what it's really capable of, run it with tubulars - even if on a borrowed wheelset. It's worth experiencing at least once.

-Kurt
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Old 06-12-20, 07:51 PM
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Kurt - I'm going to have to find some tubulars and give them a ride.

I'll have to be honest, when I purchased this bike my only thought was to flip it to make some good money. However, after doing some research (didn't know much about vintage Raleigh Pros) and after taking it for a ride, there is NO WAY I'm going to sell this bike. I've ridden a decent amount of road bikes, some of decent quality, but have not had as much fun as I had the other day on this bike.
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Old 06-12-20, 08:57 PM
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Fantastic job and inspirational too!

where did you find the saddle?
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Old 06-12-20, 09:15 PM
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Thatís a fantastic bike and you did a great job of cleaning up! Iíve got a 78 that Iíll never part with for all of the reasons youíre experiencing now. Cudak888 is correct about tubulars, Iíve got a 72 Schwinn Paramount with Vitoria Corsa G tubulars and I swap wheels from time to time. The ride is even better that way. Congratulations on a sweet score!
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Old 06-12-20, 09:37 PM
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Flying G - the saddle is the one that came with the bike, it's a Selle Italia Turbo. As you can see in the picture it was in rough shape with several scrapes and holes. I purchased a 12" x 12" leather swatch and reupholstered the saddle. I think this is a great inexpensive way to reuse a decent saddle and to give the bike an upgraded look. This is the second saddle I've done, it's actually a lot easier than I thought it would be.








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Old 06-12-20, 09:53 PM
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Great find. Sensible changes.

My suggestion - if you can find an International from the 70's, take it for a ride and compare. (you might end up with another bike)
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Old 06-12-20, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by gstein View Post
Kurt - I'm going to have to find some tubulars and give them a ride.

I'll have to be honest, when I purchased this bike my only thought was to flip it to make some good money. However, after doing some research (didn't know much about vintage Raleigh Pros) and after taking it for a ride, there is NO WAY I'm going to sell this bike. I've ridden a decent amount of road bikes, some of decent quality, but have not had as much fun as I had the other day on this bike.
Well put. I've taken to calling my Mk.V the Bad Girlfriend. It's always goading me to go just a bit further - through the turns, for the most part. It just seems to never get to that point where you lose confidence at the speed you take a corner at.

Of course, Bad Girlfriend is going to wrap me around a tree this way, but it'll be fun while it lasted

-Kurt
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Old 06-14-20, 11:02 AM
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gstein -
You may have seen this already but if not.......
https://on-the-drops.blogspot.com/20...p-raleigh.html
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Old 06-14-20, 11:40 AM
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So nice!
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Old 06-14-20, 04:48 PM
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gstein
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bertinjim - thanks for the link, some great Raleigh information for sure.
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Old 06-14-20, 05:26 PM
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Well done, great looking results. Nice pickup.
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Old 06-14-20, 05:44 PM
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Nice, very nice. I, too, have a 79 Mk V. Best riding production bike I have ridden, and I have ridden everything from production big 3 carbon to production Ritchey's. None of them matched the ride quality of the Raleigh. Considering putting 11 speed Campag on it next year.
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Old 06-14-20, 05:56 PM
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#grailbike
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Old 06-14-20, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by gstein View Post
cb400bill - great guess, yes 56cm.I'm 6' so the frame may be a little too small for me but I don't care...just raise the seat a little more and no worries!
Sounds Extremely dangerous !!... Since a Raleigh Pro was my first race bike, and I ride a 56, I can save you from certain injury, if you send it to me.
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Old 06-14-20, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
If you want to see what it's really capable of, run it with tubulars - even if on a borrowed wheelset. It's worth experiencing at least once.

-Kurt
Yup. I put tubulars back on my old steel race bike and it made a huge difference.

Criterium Seta Extra ....Fond memories.
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