1980s Raleigh frame numbers

Discussion in 'Vintage and Classic Bikes' started by Dan B, 30 Mar 2015.

  1. Dan B

    Dan B Disengaged member

    I have a frame with a Raleigh headbadge, a 501 sticker, chromed forks and no other decals. The frame number on the bottom bracket is 5 digits, no letters. I know it's nothing special and it maks a perfectly good commuting bike, but when I registered it with Immobilise they asked for make & model and, well, I'm curious. All the internet guides to Raleigh frame numbers suggest that the frame number should have letters and what-not in it, but ...

    I'm guessing it's a 1980s Criterium, based on that being the only bike I've found pictures of that came in red with chrome forks, but it'd be nide to have a bit more to go on.

    16355324764_b0b4dd7cb4_n.jpg IMG_20150330_131509 by dan_b, on Flickr
    16951753656_9fa328c6a0_n.jpg IMG_20150330_131647 by dan_b, on Flickr
    16976777991_d5fb8dbc94_n.jpg IMG_20150330_131619 by dan_b, on Flickr
    16789990668_eea53c4559_n.jpg IMG_20150330_131545 by dan_b, on Flickr
    16976774031_4519c40077_n.jpg IMG_20150330_131529 by dan_b, on Flickr
  2. pubrunner

    pubrunner Guru

    It certainly looks like a Raleigh Criterium - an early one, which had the chrome forks (later ones were painted). It also has the sloping fork crown which is what I'd expect - I reckon it's about 1982 or 83, so a little over 30 years old.

    I'm surprised that there aren't any letters with the frame numbers; I'd have expected it to begin with WP.

    Have you looked on the steerer tube on the front forks ? (frame numbers are often put on there)

    I bet that'll be a very comfortable bike to ride.

    IIRC, the Criterium had an extra set of bottle mounts - does your frame ?
    Illaveago likes this.
  3. OP
    Dan B

    Dan B Disengaged member

    Made since I was born but before I learned to ride a bike, then. I've not taken the forks out since I got the frame. I don't remember there having been any numbers on them but I wouldn't have been looking either. Will have a look when I get home.

    Only one set of bottle mounts, in the usual place on the down tube. Looking at pictures on the web, though, that doesn't seem unusual.
    Illaveago likes this.
  4. Funky

    Funky Regular

    Hi Guys.
    Just found this old post and hoping to pick some brains.
    Can't post pics as yet, will do as soon as I can, but my son bought one of these I think. He's not been looking after it, so as bike repair dude, I've got it from him to sort out.
    I've been trying to ID it, can't as yet find any frame numbers. Can't find much online until this post sprung out at me.
    All the photos I've seen have
    :-Raleigh Racing painted onto the downtube just under painted stripes at a 45 deg angle. His has this.
    -Criterium painted in white small lettering on crossbar next to another 45 deg angled stripes in line with others. Doesn't have this.
    - chrome forks just like the pics. His has these.
    Here's my big question. Does anybody know if they were a 12 or 14 gear bike?
    I'm thinking 12.
    Reason I'm asking is there is a 7 speed rear on it. Can't select 7th without the chain rubbing on the inside of the dropout.
    I know there are other potential reasons for this occurrence, but is wrong freewheel a good place to start?

    Other question would be, did Raleigh make a 'down market' version of this bike without the decals but with the forks etc?
    Cheers for now.
    Last edited: 14 Feb 2018
    Illaveago likes this.
  5. OP
    Dan B

    Dan B Disengaged member

    Was 7 speed even a thing in the early/mid 80s? I can't help you with the specific question as I got mine as frame/forks/headset only, but I would have imagined that 5 or 6 speed would be much more likely (especially on a low-end frame)
    Illaveago and raleighnut like this.
  6. Funky

    Funky Regular

    That's what I thought, pretty much. Noticed yours is a single speed, was hoping you had done the full conversion.
    But, as yours is plain framed, I guess the mystery deepens for me still.
    Thanx for your response, nice to get one from a 3 year old thread.
    Drago and Illaveago like this.
  7. midlife

    midlife Veteran

    Raleigh were run by bean counters and they were pretty picky with numbering all adult bikes . Is the number stamped vertically on the seat tube under the seat bolt?
  8. raleighnut

    raleighnut Guru

    On 3 Wheels
    I'd expect 126mm rear spacing and a 6 speed freewheel as 7 speed is 130mm rear axle and more of an MTB set up on that age bike. you could try putting a washer on the drive side between the cone nuts, that'll give clearance and any misalignment will be negligible or failing that put a 6 speed freewheel on.
    Illaveago likes this.
  9. Funky

    Funky Regular

    Thanks all.
    OK. Had a better chance to look at this bike.
    Freewheel is Sachs LY 95??? 7 speed. 14-26t
    No number on BB shell underside.
    No number on downtube under seat bolt.
    No number on any part of bike I can see and no evidence of it being removed unless it was done very well and resprayed extremely well, which I doubt.
    Top tube decals were probably removed by previous owner??
    Spec on parts:-
    Shimano 600 front chainset 52-42t
    Alloy cranks have FG-6400 stamped inside.
    Shimano rear derailleur RD-A105. Looked up on www. It's a Golden Arrow. Cool!?
    Suntour front derailleur
    Has short fluted alloy seatpost, SR Laprade stamped into it.
    Raleigh alloy handlebars, alloy quill stem has Custom stamped onto the front.
    Weinmann alloy brake levers with holes along the front. No model number/name visible, maybe under covers?
    Chrome forks have the sloping shoulders mentioned earlier in the thread.
    Weinmann alloy rims, Maillard hubs.
    QR rear axle length 130mm end to end. (Ha ha, just discovered it's snapped in the middle.)
    My son kerb hops against all better judgement.
    Internal spacing of frame between rear dropouts is 122mm. May have been altered by trying to cram 130mm axle?
    Jeez Looeez, got some work to do on this old crate, but worth it in the end I hope.

    So, what say you all, folks?
    Last edited: 14 Feb 2018
    raleighnut and Illaveago like this.
  10. My later model Raleigh Criterion Triathlon 12 is a 12 speed. Reynolds 501 tubing with the frame number stamped into the seat tube near the bottom bracket.
  11. gilespargiter

    gilespargiter Senior Member

    N Wales
    That doesn't look like a frame no but a batch no. for the BB. shell.

    Another place Raleigh frame no's are often located is on the rear/L drop out. Sometimes at the bottom of the saddle tube.

    From your parts list it would seem it probably has contemporary parts but ones that have been replaced, as they don't seem a cohesive "set" (not to say they don't work perfectly well together). Replaced according to desire or maybe wear, If wear has the frame been re-painted/sprayed/enamelled and filled the frame no.?
    Illaveago, raleighnut and Drago like this.
  12. raleighnut

    raleighnut Guru

    On 3 Wheels
    You can do allsorts to an old Raleigh, this one has had 3x10 gearing in the past although it is currently set up as a 2x6 but with Maillard hubs that are actually 6-7years older than the frame and still has the 105 10 speed transmission although that runs friction shifters now.

    EDIT - the bike is an 85 or so Raleigh Equipe.

    Attached Files:

    • 002.JPG
      File size:
      214 KB
    dave r, gilespargiter and Illaveago like this.
  13. gilespargiter

    gilespargiter Senior Member

    N Wales
    Just occurred to me that as you say you have 122mm space between rear drop outs - it may be quite a bit older than you think and originally had 120mm drop outs but has had a wider wheel fitted susequently. It would be no problem and perfectly fine to spring the stays so that even a 130mm wheel was used.
    The forks in that case are not original - another thing that is quite common. Both Raleigh and Dawes amongst others often used to stamp the frame no. on the forks steerer tube - both to establish authenticity and for security.
    dave r and raleighnut like this.
  14. midlife

    midlife Veteran

    Hopefully the op has enough posts to sort out pictures :smile:
    raleighnut likes this.
  15. Funky

    Funky Regular

    Still working on this on and off between other projects. Have decided to keep 7speed as it works now, just need to sort rear drop out spacing which I can do no prob.
    When I put in a replacement rear axle which I had in the shed stash, I put a spacer nut in which did the trick on the drive side.
    I then thought I will need one the same on the other side to retain the symmetry of the rear wheel axle set up.
    Is this so?
    Photos will start when I have the time.
    Will check steerer tube for the frame number, it's gotta be somewhere!!
    Thanks for all your help.
    Last edited: 21 Feb 2018
    gilespargiter and raleighnut like this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice