Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

What exactly is Raleigh 555 Tubing anyway?

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

What exactly is Raleigh 555 Tubing anyway?

Old 09-30-21, 04:45 PM
  #1  
tjfastback66
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
tjfastback66's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 79

Bikes: 1983 Raleigh Prestige Grand Sport / 1983 Raleigh Competition /1998 Specialized Hard Rock / 1970 Raleigh Twenty /1981 Univega Specialissima

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 28 Post(s)
Liked 58 Times in 19 Posts
What exactly is Raleigh 555 Tubing anyway?

To this day I really don't know who really made the tubing on my 1983 Raleigh Prestige Grand Sport. The frame and fork have Raleigh 555 Tubing. Did Raleigh contract with Reynolds or some other maker? Does anyone out there have any details they could share?
tjfastback66 is offline  
Old 09-30-21, 05:00 PM
  #2  
La Brea Bike 
RaleighHouse Hoser
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 413

Bikes: 02 Litespeed Ultimate, 84 & 85 Raleigh Grand Prix, 84 & 85 Raleigh Super Course, 84 Raleigh Prestige, 85 Raleigh 555 RSL, 2020 Raleigh Tamland, 38 Raleigh, 85 Landshark "Raleigh", SB4484, SB7979, Raleigh SSCXWC, 88 Raleigh USA 531 Prototype

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 185 Post(s)
Liked 111 Times in 62 Posts
Originally Posted by tjfastback66 View Post
To this day I really don't know who really made the tubing on my 1983 Raleigh Prestige Grand Sport. The frame and fork have Raleigh 555 Tubing. Did Raleigh contract with Reynolds or some other maker? Does anyone out there have any details they could share?
Oh man, do a search... There are 20 threads on this...
La Brea Bike is offline  
Old 09-30-21, 05:19 PM
  #3  
jamesdak 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Utah
Posts: 7,109

Bikes: Paletti,De Rosa Neo Pro,Pinarello Monviso,Duell Vienna,Giordana XL Super(2)Lemond Maillot Juane (2) & custom & Versailles,PDG Paramount,Serotta CSI,Fuji Opus III,Davidson Impulse,Pashley Guv'nor,Evans,Fishlips,Jan De Reus,Prologue TT,Y-Foil,Softride

Mentioned: 126 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1782 Post(s)
Liked 1,505 Times in 740 Posts
Sorry we're usually a little more helpful around here.

Try this thread to start:

Reynolds 555 Tubing
__________________
Steel is real...and comfy.
jamesdak is offline  
Likes For jamesdak:
Old 09-30-21, 07:57 PM
  #4  
3speedslow
Senior Member
 
3speedslow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Jacksonville, NC
Posts: 9,046

Bikes: A few

Mentioned: 114 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1860 Post(s)
Liked 769 Times in 491 Posts
The bike like it’s mystery are all good!

happen to have a pic of this “other” Raleigh?
3speedslow is offline  
Old 09-30-21, 08:03 PM
  #5  
nlerner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 14,889
Mentioned: 365 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2496 Post(s)
Liked 2,519 Times in 1,225 Posts
They originally labeled it 666 tubing, but, well, that didn’t work out too well.
nlerner is online now  
Likes For nlerner:
Old 09-30-21, 08:11 PM
  #6  
verktyg 
verktyg
 
verktyg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 3,730

Bikes: Current favorites: 1988 Peugeot Birraritz, 1984 Gitane Super Corsa, 1981 Bianchi Campione Del Mondo, 1992 Paramount OS, 1990 Bianchi Mondiale, 1988 Colnago Technos, 1985 RalieghUSA Team Pro, 1973 Holdsworth

Mentioned: 175 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 896 Post(s)
Liked 744 Times in 455 Posts
Raleigh 555 Tubing

Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
Try this thread to start:
Reynolds 555 Tubing
Good link James...

As T-Mar pointed out in his post, in the early 70's there were several bicycle books that tried to explain tubing including the cryptic Reynolds decals:

531 Straight Gauge 3 Main Tubes
531 Straight Gauge 3 Main Tubes plus 531 Forks and Rear Stays
531 Butted 3 Main Tubes
531 Butted 3 Main Tubes plus 531 Forks and Rear Stays and so on...

Then there were the French versions...

Marketoids plus naive and not so naive bike shops took advantage of inexperienced buyers during the US Bike Boom Fad. Reynolds 531 became the iconic standard for identifying a "top quality" bike regardless of what the decals indicated.

Back then there were a lot of European bikes made with some sort of Reynolds 531 main tubes but gas pipe forks and stays! The 531 main tubes may may have saved a few ounces but the bikes still rode like entry level gas pipe models.

About 1976 I received a 3 page mimeographed copy of Reynolds 531 "Stock List" from them that showed all of the bicycle tubing dimensions that they produced. It included straight gauge main tubes with thicknesses down to 0.3mm!

They could provide just about any combination of tubes they offered as long as they included enough tubing to build at least 100 frames. Lesser quantities had to be purchased through a "Stockist" which in the UK was their primary vendor Holdsworth.

This chart is from the 1974 edition of DeLong's Guide To Bicycles & Bicycling. It shows the commonly available Reynolds 531 tubing sets from that era (along with Columbus Tubing).

Reynolds 531 Sprint tubing with 1.02mm x 0.71mm main tubes was the standard wall thickness used on most production frames up into the early 80's.. Schwinn Paramounts were made with that tubing - straight from the horses mouth - Richard Schwinn.


A number of people in the US made fake Reynolds decals like these from a 1974-75 bike magazine ad. Reynolds' lawyers came down on all of them like a ton of bricks. They fiercely defended their trademarks.





verktyg
__________________
Don't believe everything you think! History is written by those who weren't there....

Chas. ;-)

verktyg is offline  
Likes For verktyg:
Old 09-30-21, 10:43 PM
  #7  
Gonzo Bob
cycles per second
 
Gonzo Bob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1,910

Bikes: Early 1980's Ishiwata 022 steel sport/touring, 1986 Vitus 979, 1988 DiamondBack Apex, 1997 Softride PowerWing 700, 2001 Trek OCLV 110

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 40 Post(s)
Liked 66 Times in 44 Posts
I think it is the tubing you would use to make a telephone call in a Hollywood movie.
Gonzo Bob is offline  
Likes For Gonzo Bob:
Old 10-01-21, 01:33 AM
  #8  
La Brea Bike 
RaleighHouse Hoser
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 413

Bikes: 02 Litespeed Ultimate, 84 & 85 Raleigh Grand Prix, 84 & 85 Raleigh Super Course, 84 Raleigh Prestige, 85 Raleigh 555 RSL, 2020 Raleigh Tamland, 38 Raleigh, 85 Landshark "Raleigh", SB4484, SB7979, Raleigh SSCXWC, 88 Raleigh USA 531 Prototype

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 185 Post(s)
Liked 111 Times in 62 Posts
Jeez, despite the slight about my recommendation to check the amazing revelations in the past marathon posts, I own (I think) 6 555sl framed bikes right now. Regardless if was made by Ishiwata or Tange, it's really respectable stuff.
La Brea Bike is offline  
Old 10-01-21, 02:29 AM
  #9  
tjfastback66
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
tjfastback66's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 79

Bikes: 1983 Raleigh Prestige Grand Sport / 1983 Raleigh Competition /1998 Specialized Hard Rock / 1970 Raleigh Twenty /1981 Univega Specialissima

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 28 Post(s)
Liked 58 Times in 19 Posts
Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post
The bike like it’s mystery are all good!

happen to have a pic of this “other” Raleigh?
Sorry but I did not have the time to post a pic of the decal or bike and to correct, it is 555SL.





Last edited by tjfastback66; 10-01-21 at 03:05 AM.
tjfastback66 is offline  
Old 10-01-21, 06:25 AM
  #10  
thinktubes 
weapons-grade bolognium
 
thinktubes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Across the street from Chicago
Posts: 5,699

Bikes: Battaglin Cromor, Ciocc Designer 84, Schwinn Superior 1981

Mentioned: 40 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 762 Post(s)
Liked 1,112 Times in 504 Posts
Gonzo Bob
thinktubes is online now  
Old 10-01-21, 06:36 AM
  #11  
T-Mar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 21,905
Mentioned: 580 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4160 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1,777 Times in 1,244 Posts
My current belief is that mid-1980s 555SL is based on Tange No. 1, though the evidence is circumstantial. Most of these bicycles surface with Tange steerer tubes and the seat post diameters suggest a double butted seat tube as employed by Tange. There was heavier gauge, double butted, 555T which was most likely based on Tange No.2.

Last edited by T-Mar; 10-01-21 at 06:38 AM. Reason: typo
T-Mar is offline  
Likes For T-Mar:
Old 10-01-21, 07:24 AM
  #12  
tjfastback66
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
tjfastback66's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 79

Bikes: 1983 Raleigh Prestige Grand Sport / 1983 Raleigh Competition /1998 Specialized Hard Rock / 1970 Raleigh Twenty /1981 Univega Specialissima

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 28 Post(s)
Liked 58 Times in 19 Posts
Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
My current belief is that mid-1980s 555SL is based on Tange No. 1, though the evidence is circumstantial. Most of these bicycles surface with Tange steerer tubes and the seat post diameters suggest a double butted seat tube as employed by Tange. There was heavier gauge, double butted, 555T which was most likely based on Tange No.2.
Hey T-Mar Thank you!


tjfastback66 is offline  
Old 10-01-21, 08:26 AM
  #13  
mstateglfr 
Sunshine
 
mstateglfr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 13,532

Bikes: '18 class built steel roadbike, '19 Fairlight Secan, '88 Schwinn Premis , Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara Trionfo

Mentioned: 108 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6702 Post(s)
Liked 3,766 Times in 2,170 Posts
Originally Posted by tjfastback66 View Post
What exactly is Raleigh 555 Tubing anyway?
What it is, is the ultimate troll job. Brand marketers wanted to mess with cyclists for decades to come, so they made up a tubing logo and slapped it on frames. Those guys had some real twisted humor.
mstateglfr is online now  
Likes For mstateglfr:
Old 10-01-21, 10:18 AM
  #14  
jamesdak 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Utah
Posts: 7,109

Bikes: Paletti,De Rosa Neo Pro,Pinarello Monviso,Duell Vienna,Giordana XL Super(2)Lemond Maillot Juane (2) & custom & Versailles,PDG Paramount,Serotta CSI,Fuji Opus III,Davidson Impulse,Pashley Guv'nor,Evans,Fishlips,Jan De Reus,Prologue TT,Y-Foil,Softride

Mentioned: 126 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1782 Post(s)
Liked 1,505 Times in 740 Posts

From the Team USA bikes.

If one of these ever shows up in my size I'm in trouble. I love the paint scheme.
__________________
Steel is real...and comfy.
jamesdak is offline  
Likes For jamesdak:
Old 10-01-21, 10:44 AM
  #15  
francophile 
PM me your cotters
 
francophile's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: ATL
Posts: 3,837
Mentioned: 77 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1098 Post(s)
Liked 489 Times in 377 Posts
Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
What it is, is the ultimate troll job. Brand marketers wanted to mess with cyclists for decades to come, so they made up a tubing logo and slapped it on frames. Those guys had some real twisted humor.
Basically this was going to be my reply, but with less words. "Gimmick"

Originally Posted by verktyg View Post

verktyg
Oh man ... I need to find this on a t-shirt. Totally love it!
__________________
███████████████

francophile is offline  
Likes For francophile:
Old 10-01-21, 11:42 AM
  #16  
tjfastback66
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
tjfastback66's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 79

Bikes: 1983 Raleigh Prestige Grand Sport / 1983 Raleigh Competition /1998 Specialized Hard Rock / 1970 Raleigh Twenty /1981 Univega Specialissima

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 28 Post(s)
Liked 58 Times in 19 Posts
Originally Posted by francophile View Post
Basically this was going to be my reply, but with less words. "Gimmick"



Oh man ... I need to find this on a t-shirt. Totally love it!
Yeah! My thoughts exactly!!
tjfastback66 is offline  
Old 10-01-21, 05:24 PM
  #17  
La Brea Bike 
RaleighHouse Hoser
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 413

Bikes: 02 Litespeed Ultimate, 84 & 85 Raleigh Grand Prix, 84 & 85 Raleigh Super Course, 84 Raleigh Prestige, 85 Raleigh 555 RSL, 2020 Raleigh Tamland, 38 Raleigh, 85 Landshark "Raleigh", SB4484, SB7979, Raleigh SSCXWC, 88 Raleigh USA 531 Prototype

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 185 Post(s)
Liked 111 Times in 62 Posts
La Brea Bike is offline  
Likes For La Brea Bike:
Old 10-01-21, 06:08 PM
  #18  
SurferRosa
Señor Member
 
SurferRosa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Pac NW
Posts: 4,826

Bikes: Old school lightweights

Mentioned: 61 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1982 Post(s)
Liked 2,332 Times in 1,268 Posts
Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
They originally labeled it 666 tubing...
Damien would have nothing less for his tricycle.


.
SurferRosa is offline  
Likes For SurferRosa:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.