As many know, the shop suffered a devastating fire which resulted in the loss of nearly everything. Bikes, clothing, memorabilia... all of it. Except a few things.
I never got around to digging through a collection of classic bikes I had stored in the basement, and lucky for them they only received some minor water damage from the amazing fire crew who battled the blaze and won.
So, I dug through what was left and came up with this Raleigh. I never paid much attention to it as it was a model I was unfamiliar with, and the components were nothing super fancy. However, paying closer attention to it, it is unique in its own way.
While it may not be adorned with the greatest campy or Shimano of the time, the frame does have some unique touches. Raleigh stamped into the fork crown and the rear dropouts, and the 55SL tubing.... While I can not be certain, a little research has suggested that the 555sl tuning may actually be or Reynolds origin, but more likely a special tube for Raleigh by Tange. Regardless, it was a short run tubing, likely only used for 2 or 3 years giving this model a little bit of "uniqueness!"
Beyond that, I am also stoked to have discovered that among the recovered items the stock wheels made it as well. So this is a 100% (maybe except for the tires and tubes) original bicycle. Raleigh sealed hubs, Raleigh sealed Bottom bracket still on the bike, Turbo seat which appears to be original as well, and all the Sugino parts. Including a rather kewl looking crank spider set-up.
Now, she is proudly displayed in the store, a reminder of what happened, a reminder of what I love about riding and maybe, just maybe, she will find herself riding to Balzacs for coffee, in La Bici Classica 2017 or perhaps as a future "eroica" bike..... time will tell.
That was the first road bike I ever purchased. I mowed lawns all summer for it in '84.. Glad yours survived.
I have a similar bike which I have kept inside a garage for ever. It has a THE RALEIGH insignia in the front.
These bikes will forever be amazing to just get on and ride... Don't give them up
Love my Olympian! Had since bought new in 1984. A class act for sure.
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