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1969 Raleigh Competition

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1969 Raleigh Competition

Old 07-01-20, 10:46 AM
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Andy_K 
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1969 Raleigh Competition

I just got this road worthy again, so it seemed like a good time for a build thread.

I'm calling it a 1969. According to Sheldon Brown's decoder ring, the serial number says it was built in 1967, but the Competition doesn't show up in the Raleigh catalog until 1969 and when it does it has the components that were on this when I bought it.



I bought this a couple of years ago from a guy who has a pretty cool bike collection in the back room of a movie theater in Eugene. I was born in 1969, so I had been looking for a bike from that year. The seller's Craiglist ad claimed it had essentially the same frame as a Paramount. Here's how it looked the day I brought it home.



I know it's blasphemy to take the original parts off a 50 year old bike when they're working, but I really didn't want to ride a bike with Delrin Simplex derailleurs. The Zeus crank was a harder decision, but I do not now and never again will have the fitness needed to use a 52-45 crankset. In my first build I used a set of Raleigh-branded SunTour derailleurs.



Those were cool but not quite what I wanted for this bike. About a year later gugie gave me a 3-pulley LePree rear derailleur as thanks for schlepping his bike to Eroica California and back. That was more like what I wanted. Unfortunately, it didn't even last long enough for me to take a picture. About 6 miles into the first ride after I installed it, a spring broke.

The bike then sat for over a year before I got around to fixing it. In that time, I toyed with the idea of having it re-chromed and repainted. Of course, if I was going to do that, I'd want to have a few braze-ons added first. I ultimately decided to put off the repaint, but I sent it to L'Atelier for water bottle bosses and front rack mounts anyway. The theory was that gloss black is one of the few agreed upon colors, and I could make it look decent with some primer and Rustoleum.


(Yes, I did cover the lower parts of the fork before painting.)

How did it work? Well, either age has affected my vision more than I realized or it's amazing (maybe both). It turned out so well that I decided to also touch up a particularly bad rust spot on the top of the drive side seat stay (after the picture below was taken). The one major blunder was that I put masking tape directly on the Reynolds 531 fork decal to "protect" it. Who knew that Reynolds fork decals would come off so easily? I mean, besides anyone who has ever owned a bike that once had a Reynolds 531 fork decal.



I liked it so well that I decided to replace the chrome bands on the seat tube. (For $12 I got 50' of chrome tape. Now I need to figure out what to do with the 49' I have left over.) I'm even thinking about getting replacement decals, though the flaking chrome on the NDS chainstay will probably convince me not to go that far. Here's the "finished" build.



The mounting bracket for the Nitto rack would have gotten in the way of the straddle cable on the centerpull brakes, so another original component bites the dust.

The current build spec is as follows:
Specialized "flag" crankset with 46-36-24 rings
SunTour XC 3-pulley rear derailleur
SunTour AG front derailler
SunTour Perfect 14-28 freewheel
Tektro R559 brakes
Simplex Criterium shifters (original!)
Weinmann brake levers (original) with Rustine hoods
27" Mavic Module E rims with Specialized hubs
Panaracer Paselas
Brooks B17 pre-aged saddle
Campagnolo 2-bolt seat post

I'm kind of sad that the handlebar bag covers the lovely head badge.



Finally, for those of you looking at this and thinking, "Wait a minute, that's not a Competition, it's an International." (which is basically true in a very real sense)....

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Old 07-01-20, 01:16 PM
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Well done, sir!

Now I don't feel so bad about giving you that bunky 3 pulley LePree.
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Old 07-01-20, 01:45 PM
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Looks Eroica ready!
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Old 07-01-20, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Looks Eroica ready!
I might need a smaller granny gear, but at least the tires hold air!
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Old 07-01-20, 04:08 PM
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That is a neat bike. Black Bikes are *****'n. Digging the ad too. A white PRO? With Campy center pulls? And looks like Mafac brakes on the Comp? And why West Coast Only?
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Old 07-01-20, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
That is a neat bike. Black Bikes are *****'n. Digging the ad too. A white PRO? With Campy center pulls? And looks like Mafac brakes on the Comp? And why West Coast Only?
They were Weinmann with (I believe) the better levers and the white Carlton hoods. Rims were most often Ava tubular. It had Record hubs, cranks, pedals, shifters and derailleurs. (spent stupid amounts of time researching when I bought a frame with a stuck post on eBay and wanted to build it up as a mostly correct project).
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Old 07-01-20, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
And looks like Mafac brakes on the Comp?
Mine had Weinmann Vainqueur (red label) brakes and Weinmann levers when I bought it, but I don't suppose that's in any way definitive. Your eyesight is much better than mine if you can distinguish the model of the brakes from the ad picture. Of course, I've heard that even when details were provided Raleigh catalogs were more of a suggestion than a specification.

Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
And why West Coast Only?
East Coast people weren't cool enough for these bikes.
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Old 07-01-20, 06:14 PM
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Yours is a beauty. I have a 1970 - identical to yours but apparently not in the catalogue for that year. It demanded to be set up as a randonneur, and who was I to say no? Significant toe/fender overlap so I have to be careful, but worth it. Decals were barely legible so I got a set from Greg at Cyclomondo, great stuff.

Last edited by PilotFishBob; 07-01-20 at 06:14 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 07-02-20, 08:04 PM
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My first bicycle lust object. Would ride my Schwinn 5 speed to Hector's in Sherman Oaks or to Hans Ohrt on Sta. Monica Blvd. to gaze at the Raleighs and Bertins. It took about 30 years but I did have a dark bottle green bike for awhile.
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Old 07-02-20, 08:12 PM
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That is a sharp bike. Nice job
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