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81-82 Raleigh Superbe

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81-82 Raleigh Superbe

Old 01-21-22, 10:27 AM
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tfbike 
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81-82 Raleigh Superbe

Yep, one of those. I bought mine as a frame set around 85, and it had been painted orange with regular 531 decals. When I had some work done on the frame, including ditching the orange for yellow, I discovered the frame was chrome. Let the search begin. I found out it was the early 80's Chromovelato Superbe, made in Japan. At that time I understood they were built with Tange tubing. No worries, I still love the bike. Recently while stumbling through google pages I noticed some pics from a couple of years ago here, showing Reynolds 531 in red.
Search # 2. Really! I never gave much thought to possible alternatives until I saw those red on black decals, and several look original, so willing to believe they are real.
My serial # starts with MOE. How can I be sure what tubing was used? It does have Suntour dropouts.
I did notice my front fork crown is a smooth transition Cinelli type, where a couple of others have a crown detail/transition.
What say ye?
Thanks.
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Old 01-21-22, 11:50 AM
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Bikes: 1980 Raleigh Competition G.S., 1987 Schwinn Tempo, 1987 Schwinn Voyageur, 1982 Raleigh Superbe, 1983 Specialized Sequoia, 2002 Lemond Buenos Aires, 1998 Marin Eldridge Grade

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I created a thread a few years ago for my Superbe entitled “1981? Raleigh Superbe” (sorry I didn’t know how to link it) I posted quite a few pics of the Reynolds stickers and lugwork, as well as the serial #. Others posted pics of their bikes as well. On my bike, the defining factor on tubing is that every main frame tube, as well as the fork blades, are stamped with “Reynolds Butted”. It is very faint and hard to see even with the cromovelato, so if yours has been painted, they may not be visible, but it’s worth a check. On mine, the stamps are near the ends of each tube, but that could be random. Good luck!
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Old 01-21-22, 12:26 PM
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The Japanese built Raleighs with Reynolds tubesets typically have serial numbers with an N-prefix. The OP's serial number is consistent with a 1980 model manufactured by Miki of Japan. Offhand, I don't recall seeing any Miki built Raleigh nor any Miki built frames with Reynolds tubsets. Regardless, we may be able to tell if it is Tange or Reynolds from the seat post diameter. Reynolds used single butted seat tubes with 27.0-27.2mm seat posts, whereas Tange typically used double butted seat tubes, which use smaller posts, around 26.6-26.8mm.

Edit: Please post photos.
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Old 01-21-22, 01:22 PM
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Well, if I knew then what I know now a couple of braze ons would not have been added. In my defense this was late 80's when the work was done. Found out where dirt hides! Thinking there were two years? The couple I looked at with 531 had slightly different crown and under bottom bracket cable guides. This looks more like Pastor Bob's, but seat tube is 27.2. There should be a 1 after the MOE, according to my notes.

Last edited by tfbike; 01-21-22 at 01:25 PM. Reason: serial # clarify.
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Old 01-21-22, 01:39 PM
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Wow, that looks great wearing paint!

Used to drool over the Raleigh Superbe hanging up next to the Professional at my local Raleigh dealer back in the early 80s. The gold-chrome look was over the top and enticing to 17-year-old me and if I'm honest the silver/mink paint of the Pro paled in comparison. But the current yellow/chrome presentation looks the business.

You noted the addition of some braze-ons; would those be the front derailleur mount, second set of bottle bosses, and what appears (due to the slightly-discolored chrome) to be a chainkeeper?

Beautiful bike. I'd personally like to see even more details

DD
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Old 01-21-22, 02:09 PM
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Pearl yellow? Are my eyes playing tricks on me?

Looks like a beautiful bike.

Last edited by BFisher; 01-21-22 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 01-21-22, 03:20 PM
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Thanks DD and BFisher. Yes it is pearl yellow. Ray G (Romic) in Houston did the work for me. DD you missed the pump peg! Like I mentioned earlier it was orange when I bought it, never really liked the look. I will have to start a Flickr account I guess, too easy to share pics. I will have to do some clean up first.
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Old 01-21-22, 03:56 PM
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I remember this frame having very clean transitions at the rear dropouts, so when you get around to cleaning/posting a few more pics, that's one area I wouldn't mind seeing more of. And yeah, I did miss the pump peg!

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Old 01-22-22, 08:54 AM
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Same year as yours with serial# MUJ5591
The only decals that were on the frame when I bought it 10 years ago were the ones shown in the Fotos. Probably original. Original Superbe/Rampar decals for the bike are not available and a bit too detailed for velocals to recreate (I think). I could never figure out how to duplicate the gold over chrome paint job to make it showroom/wallhanger condition.

Hope this helps you out.




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Old 01-22-22, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by rancho66 View Post
Same year as yours with serial# MUJ5591
The only decals that were on the frame when I bought it 10 years ago were the ones shown in the Fotos. Probably original. Original Superbe/Rampar decals for the bike are not available and a bit too detailed for velocals to recreate (I think). I could never figure out how to duplicate the gold over chrome paint job to make it showroom/wallhanger condition.

Hope this helps you out.
The "U" in the serial number is almost certainly an inclomplete zero. While it was manufactured in 1980, the same calendar year as the OP's bicycle, it may be 1981 model year.
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Old 01-22-22, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by tfbike View Post
Well, if I knew then what I know now a couple of braze ons would not have been added. In my defense this was late 80's when the work was done. Found out where dirt hides! Thinking there were two years? The couple I looked at with 531 had slightly different crown and under bottom bracket cable guides. This looks more like Pastor Bob's, but seat tube is 27.2. There should be a 1 after the MOE, according to my notes.
A 27.2mm post is atypical for a standard Tange tubeset but there are some cases where Tange has provided custom, single butted seat tubes, such as those found on the Centurion Turbo and Ironman variants. Consequently, I would perform one more (easy) check. Remove the front wheel and look into the bottom of the fork's steerer tube. A Tange steerer from this period will have six helical ridges, whereas Reynolds had none. The ridges are not very thick and can be difficult to see due to corrosion or foreigh material, so examine closely with a good light. Of course, the more labour intensive alternative is to remove the fork and examine the outside of the steer tube. Tange typically stamps their logo on the steerer and if the fork was manufactured by them, it will also have an alpha-numeric date code.
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Old 01-22-22, 11:05 AM
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Thanks rancho and Tmar. Every serial # helps. I found a post from 2018 with an MOE like mine. DD mentioned wanting one of these back in the day, I might have walked right past one in 81. I wanted to get in shape and went looking for a "10 speed". Saw a Super Grand Prix on the floor and bought it, didn't look at anything else. Never mind it was a 25 1/2", too big for me but I didn't know any better. I had a Grand Prix in high school. I watched an ebay sale for most of 2020, woman had it listed as a 79 Rampar Superbe. Very very clean and complete. My but hurts from kicking myself over not buying that one.
Such is life!
Working on more pics but camera/computer aren't playing nice.

Tom.
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Old 01-26-22, 10:36 AM
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I looked further up into the fork but could not make out any details.

The re-enforcements inside the fork. Give away?

These are nice transitions.

The more pictures of others I look at I am 99% sure this is Tange. The weird part I have seen #1 and #2 decals on different bikes?
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