I’m definately dipping my toes into the unknown with this one. This MK. IV Raleigh Professional frame is a break from the norm for me. After seeing it pop up on Hilary’s Facebook feed, the part of my head that normally tells me to hit the button and buy stalled for a few days before I finally convinced myself. Now that I’ve got it, I’ve given myself the same problem I last experienced when I bought SB4059 all those years ago. The problem is that I know very little about either the MK. IV Raleigh Professional, or that era of Raleigh/Carlton, or even the Worksop facility that built it. However, this is a TI Raleigh UK Team frame and I’m really looking forward to learning about the team and the bikes, and especially confirming this one.
Reasons for Buying
There were two things that swayed my decision to buy G4582.
The first reason was to broaden my collection and expand into the periods before and after SBDU Ilkeston. I’ve planned to expand my collection for a long time. I’ve already started that expansion on the higher range of SB numbers after adding a handful of SBDU Nottingham frames. They took me past the SBDU Ilkeston years. I pushed things further with the addition of a Raleigh Special Products Division SB numbered frame. But even then, everything I had started with SBDU Ilkeston; everything I had was from the SB numbering era. This frame fits perfectly into my plans to expand as the ‘G’ serial frame number on the bottom bracket dates this frame to 1972. This was the top model frame built by Raleigh at that time (pre SBDU).
The second reason was the link this frame has to TI Raleigh. Hopefully, if you know me and my blog, you get the fact that I’m all about the bikes and frames rather than the glory of the TI-Raleigh team. My collection is huge and varied and demonstrates as many details about these frames as possible. However, some frames do peak my interest and it is always nice to be able to include something with links to TI-Raleigh. 1972 was the very first year that a team used the TI Raleigh name. This is believed to be one of those TI Raleigh UK Team bikes. I couldn’t really pick a better frame to start this voyage into the unknown.
Why do I say believed so much?
I say ‘believed’ because I like to be sure of my facts. Yes this frame was sold as Dave Rollinson’s 1972 TI Raleigh team frame; it does have ‘DR’ stamped under the bottom bracket; it’s a 1972 frame; it does have remnants of paint that match the 1972 team colours; it does come with a good proportion of team spec components. That is a lot of confirmations, but I still need to check and confirm for myself. However, at the moment, this is just a ‘new arrival’ post and I’ll continue with basic details for now, and cover any further checking and research I do in future posts.
The price included the headset, bottom bracket, front and rear derailleurs, gear levers, chain set, brake calipers and top tube cable clips. That is a good amount of kit and means that I don’t have to pull too much together to complete a build. I already have a good 27.2mm Record seat pin and a nice Brooks Professional saddle, so I only need wheels/tubs, bars/stem and brake levers.
The Huret Jubilee components made their debut in 1972 (based on the best information I have at the moment). The front derailleur is the earlier design with 5 holes in the front plate instead of the later 4 holes. The rear derailleur is also the early type with a short spring. They were known as being much lighter than anything else available at the time. The rear derailleur, especially in its factory drilled form went on to be a favourite with time trialists. The front derailleur however does have a reputation for being a bit fragile, so I’ll be careful with that.
G4582 gives me another opportunity to build a beautiful bike that isn’t based around Campagnolo.
G4582 doesn’t look its best at the moment and has a covering of primer. Some of that primer also extends over the chrome of the rear stays. However, it does have clues of its original colour. There are patches of red on the fork column and the remains of white on the inside the head tube.
The 1972 TI Raleigh UK Team line up image shows how this frame should look. It is a red frame with a contrasting white head tube. There are also white and blue panels on the seat tube. I’ve seen the fork on these team bikes depicted at least three different ways. I’ve seen full chrome, I’ve also seen red crown and upper blades with lower chromed blades, and also chrome crown and chrome lower blades with approx 4″ of red just below the crown. Based on the polished appearance of the crown and dullness of the upper 4″ of blade, this frame should have a chrome crown and chrome lower blades with a section of red at the top. The rear seat and chain stays are also partially chromed.
For the following 1973 season the TI Raleigh team adopted the more well known red/black/yellow team colours for the first time (including the short lived yellow head tube).
The number on this frame is G4582. This system of a single letter followed by a sequence of numbers on the bottom bracket was used at Worksop on some models in the late 60s and ended in 1973 – the more well known ‘W’ reference took over soon after. Most online sources I’ve seen quote the sequence of letters representing the year, for example, ‘E’ = 1970, ‘F’ = 1971 & ‘G’ = 1972.
The stamp along the centre of the BB shell looks to be a postcode and door number – coincidentally, that address is only 20 miles from me! The opposite end of the BB shell has some stamped initials. Their appearance is crisp and sharp and match the size and appearance of the frame number stamp. There is something in between the ‘D’ and the ‘R’ though, but it doesn’t seem to be the same size or as well made/struck, it could be a mis stamp of the ‘R’ or something completely unrelated; but it definately doesn’t appear to be the same size or have the same clarity as the DR initials or the G4582 frame number.
The snippet above is from the 1972 Carlton Cycles Framesets list, an example can be found on the VCC Library site. It describes a single “Professional MK. IV” with two colour options. The 1973 description below is similar. But in this catalogue they list the Team Raleigh Professional MK. IV and Team Carlton Professional MK. IV separately even though the only difference is the available colour.
In both of those snippets, they mention the available colours. The first (1972) has the TI Carlton colours of Lagoon Blue/White or TI Raleigh Racing Red/Blue/White. The second (1973) demonstrates the switch to the TI Raleigh colours which was now Red with Yellow and Black Panels.
Both descriptions also mention the ‘Direct fitting seat stays – this was a feature on the MK. II MK. III and MK. IV Professional.
Whatever resource I read, I see that Campagnolo frame ends are specified on the MK. IV Professional. But this frame has Huret ends and I haven’t seen those detailed anywhere yet. So is this change in spec something specific to this frame and the TI Raleigh Team and was it specified to match the Huret Jubilee component specification? You can also see additional reinforcement on the inside of the fork blade at the join to the fork crown. I’ve had a quick measure of G4582 and it appears to have the standard fork offset (rake) for this model of approx 48mm. It is mentioned that later ‘G’ serial numbers and later frames had an obvious increase in rake up to 65mm.
G4582 TI Raleigh UK Team Bike
That was a very quick and basic look at the frame that has just arrived. I’m very happy with what I have and what I’ve been told about this frame. Everything I can see about G4582 does fit the story of Dave Rollinson’s 1972 bike. I just want to see if I can go that little bit further with my research and turn the bits that ‘fit‘ to bits that ‘confirm‘.
My opening sentences in this post were “I’m definately dipping my toes into the unknown with this one. This MK. IV Raleigh Professional frame is a break from the norm for me.” I’ve already found that there aren’t too many resources for me to turn to for information about these frames, so should I simply believe what I’m reading online? I really don’t like doing that, prefering to find out for myself. – and obviously share as I go!
I feel I’ve only just lifted the lid on this topic and peered into the murky waters of this period of Carlton and Raleigh and the MK. IV Professional, let’s see where it leads…
References, Credits & More Reading
- VCC – Carlton Catalogue 1972
- Peter Kohler – On The Drops, Raleigh’s Bike Boom Flagship: Raleigh Professionals Marks II-V, 1971-1981
- Ipernity – 1972 Raleigh Professional MK. IV
- Sheldon Brown – Retro Raleighs The Raleigh Professional
- Yahoo – The Carlton Raleigh Professional