A little bit of a quick random post but inspired by a recent online ‘incident’ from a seller of a bike frame.

Hopefully my blog gives enough information about custom built or off the peg Raleigh frames. Even if the frame is from Raleigh’s Lightweight Unit or the earlier Carlton works at Worksop, they can share similar frame details to SBDU TI-Raleigh frames built at Ilkeston and any seller should happily be able to provide details about their frame.

Just like selling a car, cars have a registration number and different models of car have different specifications and design details. Any seller should be able to provide that detail. If you are talking to a seller who cannot, or seems evasive about providing details, then your instinct should tell you that there is an issue somewhere.

Before committing to any purchase, make sure you have…

  • seen a good clear picture of the frame number – frame numbers will enable you to date the frame.

and you have…

  • seen good clear pictures of important frame details such as fork crown, dropouts and seat stays – these details, together with a frame number, will help to determine some kind of original specification and model and help to determine what tubing the frame is built from
SB1688 1977 SBDU Ilkeston TI-Raleigh Team Pro Reynolds 531
SB1688 1977 SBDU Ilkeston TI-Raleigh Team Pro Reynolds 531

If a frame has recently been renovated, then ask why? Ask to see some pictures from before the respray. Pictures from before the respray may give clues to its identification.

Ask about the history of a frame, see how detailed and lengthy the history is. Some frames have some brilliant histories and stories associated with them and will help to give you some confidence when buying.

If a Raleigh frame does not carry a stamped frame number, and I’m not talking about a number that can’t be read because it is obscured with paint or cable guides, then you need to do some good research, ask more questions or forward me some information.

Above all, it is always ‘Buyer Beware’. But in the case of Raleigh, I am always happy to respond to requests for frame IDs. In November 2016, I responded to almost 200 separate messages and emails about these frames and will always help where I can to give you some answers to your questions.

Just get in touch here or email neil@ti-raleigh.com

Thank you.

Neil

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About the Author Neil McGowran

Blogger of all things to do with the Specialist Bicycle Development Unit (SBDU) and TI-Raleigh Ilkeston.

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