My fellow classicists,
I must now humbly bow my head and acknowledge that I have flunked this test of my abilities to decipher manufacturers from frame construction. I post this here in the hope that the more experienced souls on the list can gently assist me in correcting my errors!
The mystery bike stumped me, but I suspected it was a product of Derby - until tonight, when I got curious and started gently scratching off the multiple layers of paint, hoping I'd find some fragments of a Mercian head tube decal.
No dice. What I found instead were three holes from a headbadge. Three holes that match up perfectly with the familiar Raleigh heron headbadge - and I fished one out of my parts bin to be sure.
So now I must turn to our Raleigh enthusiasts with a question - which Raleigh had these features (listed below)? Now I am truly puzzled. Consider - this bike has -
Nervex Pro lugs - but no sign of the lugs ever having been chromed Forged, flat crown with epaulets - but no inner stiffeners, and again, no sign of chrome No signs of chrome on fork or stay tips Huret dropouts (amazing what you find when you scrape off layers of spray paint) 27.2 seatpost size, English threaded BB Round section chain stays with a very fast taper to a very small cross-section
Interesting notes - the headset (I know, might not be original) is devoid of all markings - steel, good chrome, and the lower race (above the fork crown race and lower bearings) has ten wrench flats (dexagonal? I dunno).
The paint on the fork steerer, as well as the paint that seems closest to the metal, is white. The lugs are also white when you get down far enough.
What the bike makes me think of is an International, but with Huret ends. I have a vague memory of an early version of the Competition coming with Huret ends and Nervex lugs, but weren't those all black? Back when we had a lively thread, it seems to me the earliest Comps came with Zeus cranks, Simplex derailleurs, etc. Then the Comp Mk. II, Comp GS, etc. - which this bike definitely isn't.
I thank you for your indulgence, y'all!