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1973-74 Raleigh Professional Mk.IV anomalies

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1973-74 Raleigh Professional Mk.IV anomalies

Old 01-12-22, 01:51 PM
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retroman57 
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1973-74 Raleigh Professional Mk.IV anomalies


1973-74 Raleigh Professional MK.IV

Serial No.WK000502

Carlton Worksop decals on painted fork crown

I'm trying to pinpoint date of manufacture of this Raleigh Professional frameset as I slowly collect the kit of components to put it back together. Lug, bottom bracket, and fork rake details are consistent with 1973-1976 Professional MK.IV but there are a couple of curious anomalies that have me scratching my head. The first two digits of the serial number (WK) indicate that the frame was made at Carlton Worksop no earlier than late 1973, and in the month of July. The third digit of the serial number should be a number between 3 and 6- Worksop serial numbers begin late 1973, and the MK.IV was replaced by the MK.V in 1976. Certainly not either 1970 or 1980...
All of the Professionals with Cinelli type fork crowns that I've seen are chromed, and not painted as this one is. I suppose that it is possible that this frame has been repainted, but the triangular Worksop decals on the fork crown look pretty official. A couple of details that may indicate a re-paint: the silver bands on the seat tube are bordered with 1/16" wide black pinstriping tape, no lug lining anywhere, and the oval Campagnolo decal is located at the top of the seat tube rather than on the downtube above the shifter lug.
What do y'all think? TIA
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Old 01-12-22, 02:22 PM
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I think we need to keep in mind that "Raleigh" is often synonymous with "anomalies".

Always wondered if some of it was on purpose to "Yank" some American chains aside from the oft sited 3 pint+ lunches.

All that being said, I have seen plenty of crappy Raleigh's that are still holding up just fine, nothing more iconic than a Pro, regardless of "anomalies".
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Old 01-12-22, 02:31 PM
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A 1970 MKII repainted?
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Old 01-12-22, 02:49 PM
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I'm with Merziac. Anomalies. The height of the bike boom. Standards always plural. I have a '73 Competition, also Carleton. Makes your Professional look very uniform.
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Old 01-12-22, 03:54 PM
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I agree with the "anomaly". But, most likely 74 given the CC cutouts. My 74 serial is WS4003954. That crown is weird, I have never seen decals on the top like that. It has the Carlton on the seat tube. I believe the triangle Carlton should be near the bottom bracket on the seat tube. Scratch the paint on the crown and see if it's chrome under. I have seen several 73's start with an A, although that should mean a 60's frame. Worksop is different from Carlton location.
Good luck, a good question for sure.

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Old 01-12-22, 04:08 PM
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Do we have any potential examples of 1970-72 Professionals with the Carlton CC cutout in the bottom bracket?

Because if so, I'm with @nlerner here. The SN lines up with a '70 Mk.II, and the details aren't really different between the II and the IV, so it's a possibleworking theory that this frame was left in the rafters for a bit before it was painted and thrown out the door. Wouldn't be the first time that happened with Raleigh/Carlton.

The painted fork crown is the primary oddity if one overlooks the S/N, but that seems within the weirdness one might expect from Raleigh. It does show all the hallmarks of a factory paint job and the decals are also period transfers, though the Carlton sticker on the crown is supposed to be at the base of the seattube.

-Kurt
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Old 01-12-22, 05:13 PM
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Please do not think I am arguing with "The Headbadge", but I always thought 71 Pros were F sn, 72 were G sn. And 70 didn't have chrome rear triangle? My other usual source of info is usually Sheldon Brown. Would love to find a way to confirm, other than Raleigh's idiocy. Although my experience with 70-73 Competitions confirms almost anything goes or went back then.
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Old 01-12-22, 05:39 PM
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Thanks all for your input

The lugs, bottom bracket cut-outs, and fork rake support the notion that this is a 1973 or later MK.IV.
A couple of discourses on the 'net mention that the "W" serial number begins in late 1973 for Worksop-made Raleighs- I can't substantiate or refute this, so taking it at face value.
The 1972 MK.IV is listed in the 1972 catalog as using "Carlton Special" lugs- elsewhere described as Hayden/birdsmouth (?) lugs.
The more that I study pictures on Flickr and here of 1973-1976 MK.IV examples, the more I'm inclined to think that mine has been repainted:
Decals are in wrong places
Demarcation lines should be hand-painted in gold
The Carlton decal on the seat tube is the wrong colorway
Both colors are just a little off...

If anyone here is in the Greater SF Bay Area with a good original example to study and compare, I'd be most grateful for a chance to see it!
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Old 01-12-22, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by retroman57 View Post
Demarcation lines should be hand-painted in gold
My '74 has lug lining only on the headtube, and most of it has worn off, especially in the blue areas, where one wouldn't know it was ever lined without a really close examination.

With exception to the top tube on mine (which someone ripped the paint off from), it's very similar in condition to yours.

-Kurt
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Old 01-12-22, 06:17 PM
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It’s been a while since I overhauled the headset on either my 72 Pro or 75 International, I can’t remember, is there a corresponding serial number on the steerer tube?
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Old 01-12-22, 06:43 PM
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No eyelets on the dropouts along with CC cutout suggests 1974 onwards, right? I have a Professional with eyelets, no cutout in the BB and a serial number of H1643, which would indicate 1973 but before the Wxxx format began.
Regarding the serial number, this would be an early example of the Wxxxxxxx format and perhaps the last number of the year was not included initially.
The "K" looks like it was struck at a different time than the "W"
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Old 01-12-22, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
I think we need to keep in mind that "Raleigh" is often synonymous with "anomalies".
You said it

DD
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Old 01-12-22, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Drillium Dude View Post
You said it

DD
Yes I did, I think they did a fantastic job regardless, their production numbers were staggering by any measure.

Especially when you consider the quality level they did achieve much of the time.

The internal struggle had to have been mind numbing trying to balance quality, quantity and pints.
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Old 01-12-22, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Schreck83 View Post
No eyelets on the dropouts along with CC cutout suggests 1974 onwards, right? I have a Professional with eyelets, no cutout in the BB and a serial number of H1643, which would indicate 1973 but before the Wxxx format began.
I stand corrected on my previous theories. Completely missed the lack of eyelets. Ditto on the five-digit to W change on the S/Ns.

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Old 01-12-22, 09:06 PM
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Here is a '73 (I think), that I repainted here. I got it spray painted black.

...so I have no idea what the original paint looked like.








I think yours has been repainted, because of the positioning of the seat tube striping. If you look at a lot of original example photos on the internet (as I did), you soon discover that the seat tube striping needs to be asymmetric on the seat tube, to allow the lowest stripe to rise above the front derailleur mount. This is one of the more common errors in repainting these. You need to allow space for the cranks, chainrings, and front derailleur before the striping begins to give a cleaner look overall.

I don't know about the rest of the stuff people are mentioning, because I only have three Professionals, and they are all different year and model bikes.
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Old 01-12-22, 09:07 PM
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Old 01-12-22, 10:01 PM
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My dart toss is repainted, 1974ish

the transfer location to me shows decaltosis
a terrible desease.
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Old 01-13-22, 02:23 AM
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The Raleigh’s I have seem to be well made. As far as anomalies, I wouldn’t know because I have never worked in the bike industry where I would notice. I sure love my Competition GS and looking forward to building my Pro Mk V. My daughter has a Super Grand Prix that is in my possession plus a Dutch 1971 or so Grand Prix frame. My ‘78 MkV is a bit rusty so it will need paint but I would really like to ride it a while before having it done. I have been riding my Competition GS lately and it feels lightly and responsive but I hear the MkV’s are even more so.
Oh, and by the way … LOVE all the tall boys!

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Old 01-13-22, 10:45 AM
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We have a member here, hobbs1951 that has researched and written, and been published, extensively on the Raleigh marque, the SBDU bicycles, and such, for Classic Lightweights website. Perhaps he will respond to the call out just sent in this reply.

Bill
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Old 01-15-22, 01:07 PM
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I think I’ve read that “A” serial also indicates ‘73? My Mk.IV has eyelets, no CC cutouts, and chromed Cinelli style fork crown.
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