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'84 & '85 Raleigh Prestige Serial Number Question

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'84 & '85 Raleigh Prestige Serial Number Question

Old 10-02-20, 02:21 PM
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fords4life
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'84 & '85 Raleigh Prestige Serial Number Question

I thought the first number of the serial number was supposed to be the year of the frame, I'm not 100% certain of the rest. Any info would be appreciated.

'84 Prestige serial number 4C5S0033



'85 Prestige serial number 4L5S2243....was this a frame built in '84 but painted and built out in '85?

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Old 10-02-20, 02:45 PM
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Manufacturers typically start building the new models around September, in order to build up inventory, allow for transoceanic shipping and process through the distribution channels, yet still have the first shipments in shops for the lucrative Christmas season. It's very common to find an 'n' model year bicycle built in late 'n-1' year.
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Old 10-02-20, 03:03 PM
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Are there any differences between the 1984 and '85 prestige?
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Old 10-02-20, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by brian3069 View Post
Are there any differences between the 1984 and '85 prestige?
From what I've seen, only the paint colors. The frames were both black, but the accents and names were white and yellow on the '84 and a red, white, blue scheme on the '85.

My (Technically my Dad's) '84.... This is my current project, going through and cleaning and lubing everything and replacing bearings. Hoping to have her on the road in the next couple weeks.



My '85 I just picked up, still need to go through this one, but components are in fantastic condition.

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Old 10-03-20, 08:34 AM
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I know the '85 was part of the Racing USA Series; I had no clue there was an '84 in that regard.
I always thought the 1984 was a Reynolds 531 main triangle in a different scheme.
One of the prettiest black bikes I've seen. Exuded class.

Last edited by RobbieTunes; 10-03-20 at 08:39 AM.
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Old 10-03-20, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by fords4life View Post
I thought the first number of the serial number was supposed to be the year of the frame, I'm not 100% certain of the rest. Any info would be appreciated.

'84 Prestige serial number 4C5S0033



'85 Prestige serial number 4L5S2243....was this a frame built in '84 but painted and built out in '85?

Maybe both '85 and just a decal change?
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Old 10-03-20, 09:11 AM
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I have one of each year currently. The decals are the only difference. The only other difference between the four models between the years seems to be that the Supercourse paint changed from a metallic blue in '84 to the "black raspberry" in '85.

Last edited by La Brea Bike; 10-03-20 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 10-03-20, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
I know the '85 was part of the Racing USA Series; I had no clue there was an '84 in that regard.
I always thought the 1984 was a Reynolds 531 main triangle in a different scheme.
One of the prettiest black bikes I've seen. Exuded class.

The Racing USA series was introduced in 1984 to coincide with the '84 Olympics. Raleigh of America was the US cycling team sponsor. RoA started building the higher end frames with Reynolds 531 in 1986. I'm pretty sure the frames in previous years where built with Raleigh 555 tubing.
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Old 10-28-20, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by fords4life View Post
I thought the first number of the serial number was supposed to be the year of the frame, I'm not 100% certain of the rest. Any info would be appreciated.

'84 Prestige serial number 4C5S0033


'85 Prestige serial number 4L5S2243....was this a frame built in '84 but painted and built out in '85?
In the serial number the first digit is the year of frame manufacture, the second character (a letter) is usually for the month in that year.
The sequence of letters used for the month are not necessarily continuous. Some letters may be skipped.

The first serial number is 1984 March as the date of frame manufacture. Probably a 1984 model year.

The second serial number is 1984 for the year and the month letter "L" is possibly October, November, or December. Anyway, manufactured late in the year 1984, so possibly for a 1985 model.

Edit: My estimate for the month in the second serial number is based on observation of over 40 of this type of Raleigh serial number.

Last edited by Hummer; 10-28-20 at 10:04 PM. Reason: Additional comments
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Old 10-29-20, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by brian3069 View Post
The Racing USA series was introduced in 1984 to coincide with the '84 Olympics. Raleigh of America was the US cycling team sponsor. RoA started building the higher end frames with Reynolds 531 in 1986. I'm pretty sure the frames in previous years where built with Raleigh 555 tubing.
There was version of Raleigh 555 that was basically rebranded Reynolds 531C. It was introduced for the 1984 model year and called 555RSL. The decals indicate a manganese-molybdenum alloy and state Ti Reynolds manufacture. The frame were manufactured in England by Raleigh. Other grades of Raleigh 555 appear to based on various Tange tubesets.

Another interesting anomaly are the 1984-1985 Levi's-Raleigh team frames used by some Olympians. They were built in Canada by Marinoni using Columbus SL/SP tubing.
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Old 10-29-20, 09:07 PM
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I happen to live in Raleigh/Racing USA heaven and around here weve never even seen a 1985 serial number on a Prestige or a Competition, no matter how theyre decaled. Im beginning to wonder if 85s even exist. I have 3 Prestiges and 2 competitions in my shop right now and every one them has an 84 serial number. Four out of the five have the 1985 decal scheme. Even here on bike forums Ive yet to see an 85 serial # posted anywhere. Am I missing something? Did they make them all for both years in 84 with only a decal switch on the Prestige and a decal plus fork crown change on the Competition? Does anyone have an 85 serial #? Not that this matters at all, Im just curious.

85 decals 84 serial number

85 decals 84 serial number

85 decals 84 serial number

84 decals 84 serial number

85 decals 84 serial number
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Old 10-31-20, 09:38 PM
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@Pcampeau,

These are links to Raleigh's with 1985 manufacture date serial numbers. One Competition model, no Prestige.
1985 Raleigh Team America
1982 Raleigh Grand Prix Racing
https://budgetbicyclectr.com/vintage...ycle-58cm.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/g/album/9942189

The economics of sourcing bicycle frames from Japan changed in 1985 when the Japanese Yen was revalued against other currencies.
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Old 10-31-20, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Hummer View Post
@Pcampeau,

These are links to Raleigh's with 1985 manufacture date serial numbers. One Competition model, no Prestige.
1985 Raleigh Team America
1982 Raleigh Grand Prix Racing
https://budgetbicyclectr.com/vintage...ycle-58cm.html
https://www.bikeforums.net/g/album/9942189

The economics of sourcing bicycle frames from Japan changed in 1985 when the Japanese Yen was revalued against other currencies.
Thanks Hummer for the reply. The Competition model with 85 serial number is a Reynolds 531 model from 86. I should be a bit more specific. I was really wondering specifically about these two chrome models at the high end of the catalog. Your reply about the Yen against other currencies does make sense though as to the reason why production may have been moved to Taiwan and the material changed back to Reynolds 531. Perhaps there was a production gap at that time? Maybe extra frames were made in 84? I knew they made some 86 models in 85, I was just wondering if maybe some 85s were made in 85 as well.

Last edited by Pcampeau; 10-31-20 at 10:41 PM.
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Old 11-02-20, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
There was version of Raleigh 555 that was basically rebranded Reynolds 531C. It was introduced for the 1984 model year and called 555RSL. The decals indicate a manganese-molybdenum alloy and state Ti Reynolds manufacture. The frame were manufactured in England by Raleigh. Other grades of Raleigh 555 appear to based on various Tange tubesets.

Another interesting anomaly are the 1984-1985 Levi's-Raleigh team frames used by some Olympians. They were built in Canada by Marinoni using Columbus SL/SP tubing.
My 555 RSL for reference, and the Levi's you forgot, the John Slawta (Landshark) contract frames.

Yeah, the wife is going to have to be careful what she sells for what if I kick-off, lots of things that look the same...


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Old 11-02-20, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Pcampeau View Post
IlDid they make them all for both years in 84 with only a decal switch on the Prestige and a decal plus fork crown change on the Competition? Does anyone have an 85 serial #?
I just checked both my '85 Prestige and '85 Comp, they also are '84 frame production. I am guessing as they were more expensive and a harder sell, they just made one frame contract for those.
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Old 11-03-20, 08:16 AM
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The 1985 Yen revaluation would have had to no effect on the 1985 models as the Plaza Accord didn't happen until September.
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Old 11-03-20, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
The 1985 Yen revaluation would have had to no effect on the 1985 models as the Plaza Accord didn't happen until September.
Good info! Thanks T-Mar.
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Old 11-03-20, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Another interesting anomaly are the 1984-1985 Levi's-Raleigh team frames used by some Olympians. They were built in Canada by Marinoni using Columbus SL/SP tubing.
Very cool.
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