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1984 Raleigh Racing USA Prestige - I think I scored Ok on this one.

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1984 Raleigh Racing USA Prestige - I think I scored Ok on this one.

Old 10-21-23, 05:21 PM
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1984 Raleigh Racing USA Prestige - I think I scored Ok on this one.

Spotted this bike the local ads a few of weeks ago. Listed as a "Yellow and Black Bike" which is probably why no one spotted it. There were four not so good pictures in the ad but I could tell it was a Prestige and appeared to have the original Superbe/Ofmega parts. It was an hour and a half away though and I just kept having problems setting up a time with the seller to come see it. Finally hooked up via text today after my ride and I took off to get it. Precursory inspection only as the price was really good for a Superbe equipped bike so I wasn't going to argue. Brakes are sticking, hoods missing on the levers and then headset and BB need looking at. Both were loose in fact the lockring for the BB turned by hand, LOL! Paint seems pretty good with some minor touchup and one small ding in the top tube, sigh. The hube feel great though so another plus. She's a hefty old girl though at 23 lbs 14 ozs as in the pics below. Shouldn't be any problem trimming a pound or two off of it though as I sort it out.

Here's a series of pics from how I brought it home. I'll start stripping it down tonight.










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Old 10-21-23, 05:21 PM
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Old 10-21-23, 06:37 PM
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Awesome find! 1984 yellow decals are cool. You can probably shed a good amount of that excess weight just in shedding saddle gel, yellow tires, and pedal reflectors. Except for the pedals, saddle, consumables, and seat post it looks like retains it originality.
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Old 10-21-23, 07:07 PM
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-----

ROA did a series of these to commemorate the Los Angeles games of MCMLXXXIV

there is a poster over at thecabe who has made a collection of them

at last count he had at least four examples

let me see if can find his id & posts for you

ah, here is his initial post where he explains the series -

https://thecabe.com/forum/threads/ra...ng-usa.177731/

he has made additional threads on them since as he continues to find an purchase more examples...

those junko pedals certainly look odd on such a nice cycle

likely previous owner had clipless of which they were fond and so put these on for the sale


-----

Last edited by juvela; 10-21-23 at 07:16 PM. Reason: addition
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Old 10-21-23, 07:30 PM
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I've never been a fan of that crankset, but that's just aesthetics. I'm sure it works just fine. As juvela mentioned, the pedals are out of place, but pedals and saddle are quite likely going to get changed by a buyer - even if you leave your best on it, so may as well sell with generic. It does look like you you picked up a very nice bicycle there.

I'm curious about what's adjustable about that stem. Never seen one like that before. Is that how you tighten it on the bar?
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Old 10-21-23, 08:03 PM
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Went over it better, wiped it down, starting degreasing, etc. Both wheels look pretty true but I noticed a hop on the front. Looked closer and saw what looked like the tire bead not seated by the valve stem. Nope, tire sidewall separating from the bead, LOL!

Seat post is one of the longest I've ever seen, there's a lot of unneeded weight. Under the thick gel pad on the saddle was a soft, thick foamed Velo saddle. All of that will go. Bar tape pulled off and that rear reflector was removed. I think these take a 26.2 seatpost but need to check into that.

Chrome is as good as I thought other than the non-drive side chainstay. Some cloudiness there. I read the chrome on these is clear coated and normally the clear coat goes but the chrome underneath is good.

I'll give the drivetrain a deep clean and all tomorrow and attack those brakes to see what's going on. Pretty sure I've got some GP 4000s II 700 x 23 I can throw on this or see if the GP 5000 in 700 x 25 will fit.

Pulled off the funky bar tape and adjusted the bars for now. No flickstand on this one but that's no big deal. I have one on the 1985 Team USA I can swipe if I want. It won't work on that bike with it's big 700 x 35 gravel tires.

I've got to figure out the headset and how to get into it. It's not ID'd in the specs and I don't know what it is yet.
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Old 10-21-23, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by USAZorro
I've never been a fan of that crankset, but that's just aesthetics. I'm sure it works just fine. As juvela mentioned, the pedals are out of place, but pedals and saddle are quite likely going to get changed by a buyer - even if you leave your best on it, so may as well sell with generic. It does look like you you picked up a very nice bicycle there.

I'm curious about what's adjustable about that stem. Never seen one like that before. Is that how you tighten it on the bar?
I like the throwing star look to the crank. Was a bit sad when I didn't get the Raleigh version in my Team USA bike.

I think this bike belonged to a serious rider before it wound up with the young guy I got it from. Not sure who put on these pedals and saddle but yeah, expendable to me. It'll get some Look Keo's for my use and I'll dig something out of my saddle stash.

You are right about the stem. You loosen that assembly to rotate the bars. Haven't taken it fully apart to see how it really works.
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Old 10-21-23, 08:52 PM
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The flick stand on your Team USA Raleigh wont fit here either, the clearances are too tight. Ive already tried that trick. The Prestige and Competition take only a very small flick stand.
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Old 10-22-23, 07:39 AM
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That is a serious score! The chrome is in great shape. I like tying into the yellow decals but those tires gotta go!
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Old 10-22-23, 10:11 AM
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Well....back to my usual tricks. I'm at the utility sink which is surrounded by a small tile surface. Overhead is a cabinet where I keep supplies. I reach into the cabinet, get the degreaser, pour some in a small container and then clean the heck out of the freewheel, getting off the hard, dried, grease off. I don't go anywhere and this is in the laundry room, very small. I get done without ever walking away from the sink. I go to put the cap back on the degrease so I can put it away and no cap. It's way too big to have fallen into the drain and it's not on the floor, up in the cabinet, etc. I don't know how I do this but it happens all the time the last couple of years. Just love how I can't even trust my own mind anymore. Take care of those heads injuries people or it will mess up your life when you get older. I walked away for now but I'll probably go back in there in ten minutes and it will be sitting right on the sink...

On a positive note the freewheel feels great.

I started mounting up the 700 x 23 tires on this realized the tread is separating on one. So into the bin that will go. I have some new Bontrager T2 700 x 23 I can put on it or see in new Continental GP 5000 700 x 25's will fit. RIght now the rear looks tight and one drop out adjuster is rusted and stuck. If I can get it free I can back those out to let the axle go deeper into the dropout and maybe get more tire clearance.

And the 700 x 25 fit. So with those one with Vredestein latex tubes I'm down to 22 lbs 4 ozs with a box on new bar tape added. Those nasty yellow tires were heavy cause I know all the dried grease on the freewheel and in the RD jockey wheels didn't amount to much. I took the RD all apart to and cleaned/lubed it up.
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Old 10-23-23, 06:30 AM
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Continued on this yesterday until I got to the brakes. The cables are sticking in the housing and I don't have enough black housing on hand to swap it out.

I found a 26.6 generic seatpost in my stash and it fit just fine. I tried a 26.8 Thomson for the heck of it but that wouldn't go in. So I cut a few inches off the long 26.6 post, mounted on a Flite Gel saddle for now and put that one. I also got rid of that funky seatpost binder setup and put on a proper keyed binder bolt. The heavy, flat pedals got swapped for some ISSI Keo compatible pedals I had. Drivetrain got a deep going over to include pulling the jockey wheels off the RD, degreasing and cleaning them, then relube and reinstalled. Teeth on the freewheel were cleaned and degreased also along with the chainrings. Freewheel seems to be working just fine but I did try and get some lube into it. BB was sorted out too. Both wheel hubs feel fine and showed some evidence of fairly fresh grease. Did not open them up yet. Found some loose spokes on the non-driveside of the rear wheel and tightened those for now. I suck at truing wheels so I'll drop these off at my LBS to have them detension all spokes and then bring them all back up to spec. Hand tightened the headset for now but will open it up and service it sometime this week. Not sure how I'm going to tighten the locknut on it but I figure worse case I can just take off the stem and put something like a file across the two notches to torque it down. I don't think I have any kind of wrench that will work on it. Although as I type, I wonder if a BB lockring hook wrench will work.....hmmm....

This is basically what the headset is:

https://velobase.com/ViewComponent.a...5a1b4&Enum=111

Mounted on an alloy bottle cage yesterday and some decent fitting gum hoods. Weighed it again with a box of bar tape and it's at 21 lbs 6 ozs now. To me that is very respectable for a 40 year old steel bike with the "mystery" 555SL tubing.

A lot going on this week as I get things setup around the house in prep for the next knee replacement but hopefully I'll finish this. It would be nice to get it on the roads this weekend to see how it rides.
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Old 10-23-23, 07:06 AM
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Nice score! I don’t know anything about the USA Raleigh’s . Was this one made in Japan? I look forward to seeing photos once you finish getting it ready . The weight is about the same as my 62cm Colnago Super. That is pretty light , unless you go full “weight weenie” on it .
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Old 10-23-23, 09:27 AM
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Very Nice, those Suntour shift levers, in my opinion are the best downtube shifters, ever!
Tim
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Old 10-23-23, 10:07 AM
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I just want to know if, and where, you found the cap to the degreaser.........
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Old 10-23-23, 10:14 AM
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These are fantastic bikes and can clean up wonderfully. The chrome on the Prestige I had was some of the finest I've ever seen. Of course, the top notch Superbe parts, with their milky chrome, also didn't hurt to make it look even better either.

The sad part about mine was that it was a sold to a guy who said he was using it as art to hang on his wall. I hope it's found a new home by now and is actually ridden, as it should be.
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Old 10-23-23, 10:39 AM
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The components on this bike are awesome. The Aero Levin headset, SR Aero stem and complete Dia Compe Aero Gran Compe brakeset by themselves are worth whatever you paid for this bike!
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Old 10-23-23, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by SW84
I just want to know if, and where, you found the cap to the degreaser.........
This will forever remain one of the great mysteries of life....

Maybe I was abducted by aliens and had the cap in my hand still when they took me?
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Old 10-23-23, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by The Thin Man
These are fantastic bikes and can clean up wonderfully. The chrome on the Prestige I had was some of the finest I've ever seen. Of course, the top notch Superbe parts, with their milky chrome, also didn't hurt to make it look even better either.

The sad part about mine was that it was a sold to a guy who said he was using it as art to hang on his wall. I hope it's found a new home by now and is actually ridden, as it should be.
I read your blog post a couple of weeks ago when I first spotted this bike, sweet write up!

Have always loved the Superbe parts since I first rode my '85 Fuji Opus III.

Any special advice on that headset, I've never dealt with one of those.
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Old 10-23-23, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by tkamd73
Very Nice, those Suntour shift levers, in my opinion are the best downtube shifters, ever!
Tim
Yep!



Yep!



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Old 10-23-23, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by jamesdak
Any special advice on that headset, I've never dealt with one of those.
You know, I purchased that bike as a time capsule. If I remember right, I didn't service the headset because it was still smooth as silk. I'm guessing there is a specific spanner available to unscrew the top nut but it might be product/brand specific. Which of course means rare and spendy. But, there is always the possibility of borrowing one from someone on the forum?
Sorry I don't have more information!
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Old 10-23-23, 06:05 PM
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Waiting on cable housing for the bike so just playing around a bit tonight. BB hook spanner no go on the headset. But my largest (green handled) pin spanner actually seemed to tighten it pretty good while I was just messing around with it. I just had to keep a lot of downward pressure on both ends of the spanner as I turned it. Probably be real easy with another set of helping hands.

Then, just for the heck of it I threw on a set of Mavic Ksyrium SSL wheels on it. Dropped a full pound of of it with some older GP 3000 tires mounted. I don't plan to run it like that but was just bored and curious.

Purist stop here.....do not scroll down!




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Old 10-23-23, 06:55 PM
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I think this one’s going to average 19+ with one leg!

BTW, I have a set of older Ksyrium SLs (red hub) that I earmarked for the ‘84 Competition. I’ve stuck with the Ksyrium Elites instead because the yellow decals work so well with the yellow USA on the frame. Gotta admit, those SSLs work pretty darn well too.
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Old 10-23-23, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by plonz
I think this ones going to average 19+ with one leg!

BTW, I have a set of older Ksyrium SLs (red hub) that I earmarked for the 84 Competition. Ive stuck with the Ksyrium Elites instead because the yellow decals work so well with the yellow USA on the frame. Gotta admit, those SSLs work pretty darn well too.
I know, those black and silver wheels look like they just belong on there.
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Old 10-23-23, 08:50 PM
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Got MNF on since it's getting so dark early. I've been sitting here prepping the brakes for the new housing that's coming in. The old cables were corroded feeling and even with free from the calipers and levers were really dragging in the housing. Put a new cable in the front housing and it really wasn't much better.

Pulled the levers off and cleaned them thoroughly. The levers still didn't rotate as well as I felt they should, fair amount of drag. Wanted them better as the springs on these brakes don't feel all that strong. So I punched out the pin that the lever rotates on and took those off. Found a plastic/nylon spacer of sorts in there on both sides. Should have taken a picture. Anyway, with everything apart I cleaned in more and then took metal polish to everything. Mostly concentrated on the area's the various parts might rub against each other and then polished the pivot pins really good. Assembled dry and it felt a lot better but still a tad rough. Decided to go with a really light coat of lightweight white lithium grease so took them back apart. Light coat everywhere they pivoted or rubbed, wiped off excess and reassembled. Smooth as butter now, oh yeah!! Hopefully the grease was a good idea and doesn't gum up over time. I have some black Dia Compe hoods that fit nice and tight on the body but are a bit long on the front and over the top pointy end of the lever. I'll see if I can find what fits these perfectly and if they are available quickly. I want to finish and ride this baby!

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Old 10-24-23, 12:55 PM
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I've had some of lthe 555 tubing bikes with lower level components..I found the ride very firm responsive. For my tastes a bit too firm. Be interested in hearing your evaluation.

I rather preferred the later paint jobs without all the chrome and the 531 tubing. I also seemed to like the ride better, but it could be just in my head..

Glad you ditched the tires! Never understood why folks go cheap on tires.... a critical component.

I will agree, you scored a nice bike!
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