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1980s Raleigh USA question

Old 02-02-09, 11:40 AM
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Mine 83 Competition has Tange on the steer tube also, but can't remember the .4.C. My vote is Tange tubing also. How can you check to see if the tubes are seamless? Look down the seat tube? Bridgestone didn't use Tange tubing did they?
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Old 02-02-09, 11:47 AM
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According to this thread (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...light=4c+tange), the Centurion Elite RS was Tange #2, and the fork steerer had the same markings on it. Conclusive? Not necessarily, but it is a start. Certainly proves that it is Tange.

Going to pull the forks on my Competition and Super Course - be back in a bit.

-Kurt
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Old 02-02-09, 12:50 PM
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Just came back from the photos. I'm starting to wonder if the stampings are related to the tubing or if they are simply an unrelated identification mark.

1984 Raleigh USA Competition
This is the only one in the lineup (south of the Prestige that is) that was touted to have Raleigh 555SL tubing throughout, including the fork blades. Stamped TANGE 4J:


Headtube tubing is seamed - might be a sign:


1984 Raleigh USA Super Course
Supposedly, these were 555SL on the main tubes and I believe the stays as well. No decals on the fork. Stamped TANGE 4A:


Closeup:


1985 Raleigh USA Super Course:
Same specs as the '86, though this one was equipped with a sloping-crown. For the record, this fork is wrecked - I have a replacement on it presently. Stamped TANGE 6D:


-Kurt
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Old 02-04-09, 02:07 AM
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I just looked down the seat tube of my competition, I see no seamed. Does that mean it is seamless? Kurt can you check yours. Thanks
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Old 02-04-09, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by abarth
I just looked down the seat tube of my competition, I see no seamed. Does that mean it is seamless? Kurt can you check yours. Thanks
I'll check the seat tubes. Mind you, make sure you shine a bright light down your post - seat tube seams are usually bored off a couple of inches down to make way for the seatpost.


Originally Posted by Chuckk
While I agree that 555 is probably Tange, wasn't (and maybe still is?) Tange also the largest supplier of premade forks to fabricators?
True - but if a TANGE-tubed fork claims to be built with tubing of the Raleigh nomenclature on it, either the theory of Raleigh 555SL as being one in the same with Tange is correct, or there was dishonesty in marketing (nothing unusual, of course ). Yet, the latter wouldn't make sense - the obvious alternative to Tange was Reynolds - why dilute the Reynolds brand with a lookalike badge?

No, I'm convinced that Raleigh USA management was not content with the TANGE tubing sticker stuck over their machines, which would have loudly called attention to the fact that it is a Japanese or Taiwanese-made product. As it is, the actual decals that betray this fact are tiny in the first place:








Originally Posted by Chuckk
I bet the number letter code on the forks probably represent style, size, rake for a production fork?
Good theory, but it would not explain the 4J and the 6D forks. Both are identical, with possible exception to the quality of tubing used in the Competition vs. Super Course, and I would have expected at least one of the digits to match (i.e., one digit stands for fork design, the other for tubing used).

Take care,

-Kurt
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Old 02-19-09, 09:18 AM
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Holy mackerel - big thread bump time by my own admission.

Just checked something here:

See the following:

https://www.velobase.com/ViewSingleFr...994C&AbsPos=65

https://www.velobase.com/ViewSingleFr...B145&AbsPos=66

https://www.velobase.com/ViewSingleFr...5986&AbsPos=67

If Tange 1 and Tange 2 are seamless, it would not explain the seamed head tube on the Competition. Would the main tubing be exempt from this?

Anyone with a wrecked Raleigh USA willing to cut their frame to find out?

-Kurt
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Old 02-19-09, 06:32 PM
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Relative to the 555=Tange theory, and seaming: Tange Infinity tubing was (I read somewhere in addition to VeloBase) seamed, double butted, produced in the mid-80s. I have a Nishiki frame that's Infinity -- happens to be the same "Prestige" model with chromed seatstay caps that I believe is pictured on the third link above -- and it's not a heavyweight either; compares favorably to my Raleigh built of 531C -- frame a bit heavier than the Raleigh, but fork lighter. Fork is marked Tange.5.C on the steerer tube, which does not have a seam that I can see (on the interior). The head tube is definitely seamed, but the seat tube -- I'm not sure at all -- there's a faint line running down the back side of it, that looks like a rust stain more than anything (right below the seatpost slot, too); but I can't feel a seam and if there's one there, it was pretty much erased by mandrelling/drawing the tube. 26.6 mm seatpost, by the way. I've always thought that it was funny that Nishiki's "Prestige" logo is the same typeface used for Tange Prestige tubing, but the tubing decal says Infinity.

The Falcon frame I have that has seamed tubing -- the seam is quite evident all the way down the seat tube.

I know -- too much information -- but there it is.
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Old 02-19-09, 07:05 PM
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I've got a fork from an 85 Gran Prix that's stamped with this only: 239x363. Can't tell if the tubing is seamed though there does seem to be a seam<s> visible on the steerer tube externally.
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Old 02-19-09, 07:12 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by IceNine
Sorry to revive an old thread, but I have another data point on the Raleigh 555T. My 1984 Raleigh Portage has Raleigh 555T. The seat post size is 26.8, same as my tange 2 Schwinn Voyageur. When I removed the fork, I found this:

For what it's worth, Tange will build forks and sub assemblies to customer spec. Trek had forks and rear triangles for 600 series frames made in Japan using Reynolds 531 tubing.
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Old 04-25-10, 06:50 PM
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Nothing like reviving an old thread....

Just took the Raleigh out for my first ride of the season: 10 miles up in the mountains (and 10 back, of course). My buddy has four lower gears, but I still kept up.
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Old 03-31-11, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888
Holy mackerel - big thread bump time by my own admission.

Just checked something here:

See the following:

https://www.velobase.com/ViewSingleFr...994C&AbsPos=65

https://www.velobase.com/ViewSingleFr...B145&AbsPos=66

https://www.velobase.com/ViewSingleFr...5986&AbsPos=67

If Tange 1 and Tange 2 are seamless, it would not explain the seamed head tube on the Competition. Would the main tubing be exempt from this?

Anyone with a wrecked Raleigh USA willing to cut their frame to find out?

-Kurt
1985 Raleigh Racing USA Prestige, made in Japan (wrecked)

I did some cutting tonight, and found out 2 things. The top and down tubes are butted at both ends, and neither tube is seamed. I will try to get more details on the tubing thickness. I'm toying with the idea of sending all of the pieces I cut to you, Cudak888, I think you could glean much more insight from them than I can. Let me know if you would like any other portions of the frame cut.



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Old 03-31-11, 11:01 PM
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Very interesting - is the headtube and seattube on that Prestige seamed? If so, it looks as if the top and downtube were seamless at least. What's the thickness?

PM me if you'd like my address - indeed, I'd be rather interested in seeing these pieces. How long did you cut them, and at what junctures?

Is there any chance you might be able to cut the BB out and slice it in half? If not, could you cut the BB (with a few inches of the downtube, seattube, and chainstays sticking out) and send it here? Mike Terraferma should be able to cut it in half; I'd like to see the amount of brass penetration at the BB, if only out of curiosity of perceived build quality vs. actual.

-Kurt
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Old 03-31-11, 11:24 PM
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Head tube is seamed, seat tube is not seamed. I can cut out the bottom bracket, and send you all the pieces so you can get the exact measurements. This is my 2nd 1985 Japanese Prestige, and I did not realize it was damaged when I bought it. My other one is in extremely nice condition, and is my daily rider. I can also tell you the forks on both are unicrown, and identical in every way except for steer tube length. This one had all black AGC brake handles/hoods, while my rider had silver/gum hoods. Incidentally, I had read a comment of yours somewhere about the availability of AGC brake pad replacements, and after much searching I wound up using Clarks Ultegra housing/pads which seem to work phenomenally well, and integrated with the AGC brakes very nicely. Here is a pic of my daily rider:

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Old 04-01-11, 04:38 AM
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Just want to point out that no visible seam does not automatically equal seamless tubing, since the method of joining the tubing can in some cases obscure the joint to an extent that makes it impossible to detect (and in a way that does not leave the seamed area any weaker than any other part of the tube). Nor doeas a seamed headtube always automatically tell you anything about the rest of the tubing.
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Old 04-01-11, 05:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Picchio Special
Just want to point out that no visible seam does not automatically equal seamless tubing, since the method of joining the tubing can in some cases obscure the joint to an extent that makes it impossible to detect (and in a way that does not leave the seamed area any weaker than any other part of the tube). Nor doeas a seamed headtube always automatically tell you anything about the rest of the tubing.
Most steel has a seam. The term you are looking for a DOM. "Drawn Over Mandrel". A process to smooth out the seam and make the wall thickness uniform.
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Old 04-01-11, 05:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Grim
Most steel has a seam. The term you are looking for a DOM. "Drawn Over Mandrel". A process to smooth out the seam and make the wall thickness uniform.
Yes - I didn't want to get technical, especially as I'm not a technician.
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Old 10-26-16, 11:17 AM
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1986 Raleigh USA Lightweight production site?

Old thread, but I have been researching the mid 80's Raleigh USA bikes, as I am looking to buy one. A couple of observations. First, weren't production for the 1986 steel bikes (Prestige, Competition, Super Course and Grand Prix) moved from Asia to the Washington State plant, as it was started up for production of the Technium line? Thus the switch from "Raleigh 555SL" (Asia sourced) to Reynolds 531 for these bikes. (Also the loss of the chrome from 84/85 to 86). Second, there is a lot of discussion (and perhaps a consensus ) that "Raleigh 555SL is Tange 2. The description of Raleigh 555T used for the "Lightweight" touring line says same tubing as 555SL, just a little heavier and stronger. Leads me to the obvious (sic) conclusion that 555SL is Tange 1, and 555T is Tange 2. Tange 1 was commonly used in this level, Japanese manufactured road bikes during this time period. See the Panasonic catalogs for the various DX-x000 series and the Centurion Ironman bikes (a couple of years later). All Tange 1.
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Old 10-26-16, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by skullnroses
Old thread, but I have been researching the mid 80's Raleigh USA bikes, as I am looking to buy one. A couple of observations. First, weren't production for the 1986 steel bikes (Prestige, Competition, Super Course and Grand Prix) moved from Asia to the Washington State plant, as it was started up for production of the Technium line? Thus the switch from "Raleigh 555SL" (Asia sourced) to Reynolds 531 for these bikes. (Also the loss of the chrome from 84/85 to 86). Second, there is a lot of discussion (and perhaps a consensus ) that "Raleigh 555SL is Tange 2. The description of Raleigh 555T used for the "Lightweight" touring line says same tubing as 555SL, just a little heavier and stronger. Leads me to the obvious (sic) conclusion that 555SL is Tange 1, and 555T is Tange 2. Tange 1 was commonly used in this level, Japanese manufactured road bikes during this time period. See the Panasonic catalogs for the various DX-x000 series and the Centurion Ironman bikes (a couple of years later). All Tange 1.
See post #22 of this thread.
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Old 10-26-16, 11:47 AM
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Thanks. Missed that one.
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