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1973 Raleigh Competition frame tubes

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1973 Raleigh Competition frame tubes

Old 08-02-20, 02:02 PM
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Narhay
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1973 Raleigh Competition frame tubes

I have a 1973 Raleigh Competition frame set with Reynolds 531 Frame Tubes decal and the remnants of a Reynolds 531 sticker on the fork. The catalog of the same year notes butted 531 frame, stay and forks for the international and professional but just frame tubes for the competition.

Am I to assume the frame and fork are 531 and the stays and head tube are some other tubing?

Last edited by Narhay; 08-02-20 at 02:07 PM.
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Old 08-02-20, 02:10 PM
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That has been my interpretation in cases like these. All with Raleighs, coincidentally.
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Old 08-02-20, 02:18 PM
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Well it will have to go in the trash now. How can I ride pig iron like this?!?
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Old 08-02-20, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Narhay View Post
I have a 1973 Raleigh Competition frame set with Reynolds 531 Frame Tubes decal and the remnants of a Reynolds 531 sticker on the fork. The catalog of the same year notes butted 531 frame, stay and forks for the international and professional but just frame tubes for the competition.

Am I to assume the frame and fork are 531 and the stays and head tube are some other tubing?
Your 73 Competition is all 531 except the head tube, which is seamed, lower quality tubing. Unless, of course, they ran out of the cheaper head tube the fortnight yours was built.
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Old 08-02-20, 03:37 PM
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Old 08-02-20, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Your 73 Competition is all 531 except the head tube, which is seamed, lower quality tubing. Unless, of course, they ran out of the cheaper head tube the fortnight yours was built.



‘74 International

and since when is the head tube not part of the frame?? 😆😆😆
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Old 08-02-20, 03:46 PM
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Seamed head tube is pretty darn common "oversight"....

I think the Competition has a Reynolds fork... the stays...? Were they feeling generous that week?
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Old 08-02-20, 03:49 PM
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I bought a '73 or '74?? Comp new in '74. My stickers were the same and I think back then we all assumed just the frame tubes and fork were 531. At the time I figured the stays were something else, never considered the head tube.
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Old 08-02-20, 03:53 PM
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I’m not complaining, I’m excited to have found one, and even more so to build it up!
But if I bought a frame and fork to build up, and it came without the head tube... 😆
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Old 08-02-20, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Chr0m0ly View Post
I’m not complaining, I’m excited to have found one, and even more so to build it up!
But if I bought a frame and fork to build up, and it came without the head tube... 😆
I have a spare if you need it.

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Old 08-02-20, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Chr0m0ly View Post
and since when is the head tube not part of the frame?? 😆😆😆
Ever since Reynolds allowed companies to sticker them with this:

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Old 08-02-20, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Ever since Reynolds allowed companies to sticker them with this:


“with”!
What was the previous sticker?
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Old 08-02-20, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Chr0m0ly View Post
“with”!
What was the previous sticker?
Previous? Which one? There are as many variations of Reynolds 531 stickers as there are Raleigh Gran(d) Sport(s)...
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Old 08-02-20, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Previous? Which one? There are as many variations of Reynolds 531 stickers as there are Raleigh Gran(d) Sport(s)...
I thought “ever since” indicated that there was an earlier sticker saying something like “Made exclusively from Reynolds 531” or something along those lines. 🤷🏼‍♂️
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Old 08-02-20, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Chr0m0ly View Post
I thought “ever since” indicated that there was an earlier sticker saying something like “Made exclusively from Reynolds 531” or something along those lines. 🤷🏼‍♂️
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Old 08-02-20, 06:25 PM
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The '72 Competition I have in house has the same Reynolds decals as Narhay's. As far as stays go, they look like the same ones that are on a (believed to be, painted over) International from '74: "rapid taper" type chain stays, and similar seat stays, kinda chunky at the top with the flat oval caps.
The "International" frame & fork weighs 3.1 kg, the Competition nearly 100 g more (both 62 cm), though the "International" has top tube that's 1 cm shorter.
I'll check the head tubes tomorrow.
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Old 08-02-20, 07:27 PM
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I’ve wondered sometimes about this distinction, along with wondering about the legend that the rapid taper chainstays were old stock from an order placed in the 1950s. Did Raleigh ever use the lesser Reynolds A tubing used by Bertin and others? It seems to me the weight of my 1973 Competition is largely identical to that of the Gran Sport frameset that is next in line ... on the other hand, does it matter? My understanding (and experience) is that above 58 cm, decent but not name brand stays are pretty indistinguishable from 531.
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Old 08-02-20, 07:50 PM
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First they put French dropouts on my British bike and then they seam the head tube. The nerve.
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Old 08-02-20, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
I have a spare if you need it.

For some reason this picture reminds me of this:
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Old 08-02-20, 08:39 PM
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Narhay, does your Competition have the chainstays that neck down a lot right behind the BB and continue almost as skinny as seatstays? HTose chainstays were drawn by Renolds exclusively for Raleigh in the '50s. I thought i was told they were 531.

My Competition (virtually certainly a '73) has those chianstays. Frame, fork and headset is light!
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Old 08-02-20, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
Narhay, does your Competition have the chainstays that neck down a lot right behind the BB and continue almost as skinny as seatstays? HTose chainstays were drawn by Renolds exclusively for Raleigh in the '50s. I thought i was told they were 531.

My Competition (virtually certainly a '73) has those chianstays. Frame, fork and headset is light!


Not sure to the degree of tapering but here it is.
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Old 08-02-20, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Charles Wahl View Post
The '72 Competition I have in house has the same Reynolds decals as Narhay's. As far as stays go, they look like the same ones that are on a (believed to be, painted over) International from '74: "rapid taper" type chain stays, and similar seat stays, kinda chunky at the top with the flat oval caps.
The "International" frame & fork weighs 3.1 kg, the Competition nearly 100 g more (both 62 cm), though the "International" has top tube that's 1 cm shorter.
I'll check the head tubes tomorrow.
Both of the '74 Internationals that I have been working on have seamed head tubes. They also both have the rapid taper chainstays, as does my '74 Super Course MkII. I'm curious - did anyone besides Reynolds make those rapid taper stays?

My wife rides a Super Course mixte which has the Reynolds 531 Frame Tubes decal but otherwise looks like a Grand Prix wrt lugs, wrap-over seat stays and the absence of chrome socks in the rear. But the seatpost is 26.8, just like the other Super Courses here so maybe there is at least one 531 plain gauge tube in it. Or does the Grand Prix take that same size seat post?
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Old 08-02-20, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Narhay View Post


Not sure to the degree of tapering but here it is.
That's it. No other chainstay has that rapid neck down roughly an inch behind the chainstay bridge. I didn't pull out the ruler because being Raleigh, the exact measurement is meaningless. It' sjust where that worker cut the tube that day,

I went back and read the posts in your thread after I posted the previous. Got reminded how few "standards" Raleigh had. Even Internationals seemed to have gotten the butted chainstays. What? Isn't the International a club race bike? Those stays are for comfy touring and what we now call gravel. And saw someone's Competition weight of 3.1 kg (6.8 lbs) frame and fork. Mine was well under 6 lbs, closer to 5. (Decent bathroom scale; me with and without frame. Frame felt in line with the calculated weight.) Now, there was an area where Raleigh (actually Carleton) saved weight on my frame. They filled the lugs with paint, not bronze solder. Yes, seriously. I saw gaps and had TiCycles sent it out to be stripped. Then Dave Levy inspected it. No or little braze. He brazed all the lug joints like it waa a new frame. The lugs drank the braze again like they were new.. (My theory - a Friday bike. Got aligned and tacked or pinned in the morning. Worker never made it back from lunch. Monday morning it went down to paint. Painter saw the gaps and did a masterful job of producing a bike that could be sold. In line with this theory - Dave said the alignment was right on. A middle model 1973 Raleigh right on? How often does that happen - unless it never saw the heat of a brazing torch? Oh, several tubes were cracked at the lugs. Like you would expect decades later and no braze save the tacks.)

Ben
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Old 08-02-20, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Charles Wahl View Post
The "International" frame & fork weighs 3.1 kg, the Competition nearly 100 g more (both 62 cm), though the "International" has top tube that's 1 cm shorter.
I'll check the head tubes tomorrow.
Early 70's Raleigh's varied so much, even in the same model and production year that I'd say 100g difference is within manufacturing tolerance.

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