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Old 06-02-03, 06:16 PM   #1
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Raleigh Carlton - a classic bike?

I have a Raleigh Carlton 10 speed that I bought new in 1967 or 68. The metal plate on the head tube says Raleigh - Nottingham, but Carlton is the only name on the tubes. It's a beautiful red frame with wide black bands on the tubes in which "Carlton" is written in white. "GB" is molded into the casting on the handlebar stem. The handlbar is embossed with GB on one side and and an outline of the British Isles on the other side. The top cross tube says "Carlton Catalina." On the rear fork beside the wheel slot is stamped W8773 which I assume is a serial number. A sticker on seat tube indicates 531 alloy. The original derailleur was a Simplex and the original wheels were steel. The tube fittings are all chrome. It's a classy looking bike. But is it a "classic?" What might it be worth, assuming good condition?
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Old 06-02-03, 06:32 PM   #2
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Carlton was more of a classic when it was an independent builder than after it was bought out by Raleigh. I should point out though that the Carlton shop was in responsible for Raleighs high line bikes for a period of time.

The Reynolds sticker indicates at least a good frame and maybe a top one. Are the 531 numbers diagonal? What is the rest of the text on the decal? Your looking for words like "double-butted" and "stays."

Regardless of the pedigree of the frame I'm surprised to see steel rims. Before the mid-1960s or so steel Dunlop rims were considered superior, even on racers but by the time of your bike that idea had gone away. At the least your frame would be comparable to a Raleigh Super Course which came with alloy rims. Replacement perhaps? What's the name on the hubs or rim decals, if any? The Gary Burgess bars and levers sound right for the bike.

A clean Super Course from the late 1960s might get $150 or so on eBay. A Carlton might get a bit more. If it's a full 531 frame lose those steel wheels. Sell it as frame only, cheap wheels will drag the price down.
“Life is not one damned thing after another. Life is one damned thing over and over.”
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Old 06-02-03, 08:02 PM   #3
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Nice bike! Swapout those wheels for some old Wolber Super Champions and keep riding! The full 531 frame on my Gitane makes for a wonderfuly comfortable (but not noodly) ride!


Last edited by stumpjumper; 06-02-03 at 08:08 PM.
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