Re: [Classicrendezvous] Raleigh quality and the Tek 520

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Date: Fri, 10 Nov 2000 14:49:00 -0800
Subject: Re: [Classicrendezvous] Raleigh quality and the Tek 520
From: "Dave Feldman" <>
To: brian blum <>,

Re 80's Treks and head lugs, the 500 and 600 series, those bikes that had Reynolds 531 three main tubes and Tange or unlabeled forks and stays used the one-piece head tube, the 700 and 900 series used separate lugs which were Haden or Nikko until 1984 and then cast pieces for 1984 and 1985. Some of the 1985 bikes used a hideous Taiwanese cast system similar in appearance to Heron bikes but vastly inferior in execution. One piece head tubes were so thick that some steerers bulged enough to drag on their inside surfaces until a reamer was passed through. There was a totally idiotic design of rear derailleur cable routing with two nice, draggy holes for the cable to pass through, one in the bb shell and one in the cast rear dropout. This system had so much drag on the cable that many bikes just won't work with any indexed shifting system--this turkey flew onto the market the year before indexing hit it big, no wonder Trek went to aluminum in a big way shortly afterward. The dropouts themselves were too short in two dimensions, both axle center to derailleur mounting bolt center and in length of axle track, these bikes have a wheel slippage problem unless you take the axle placement adjuster bolts out. I worked on the worst English bikes immediately post bike boom and the worst Trek product in 1985-87, and Trek is capable of screwing things up much worse than Raleigh, Bob Jackson, or anyone else that you could name. They exhibit a peculiarly American problem wherein managers and marketers with no technical knowledge always trump those who know product. For insight into this, I recommend reading "The Reckoning" by David Halberstam. So, to make a short story long, that's the Trek/head lugs story. ----------
>From: "brian blum" <>
>Subject: [Classicrendezvous] Raleigh quality and the Tek 520
>Date: Fri, Nov 10, 2000, 1:43 PM
>Trek did seem to have a one piece head tube and head lug assembly on some of
>there 80's bikes. Funny I just made the exact same observation of one locked
>by a BART station in downtown Oakland and noted it was a Reynolds 531 frame
>with what initially seemed to have very fine lugs at the head tube.
>I also have personal experence with early 70's Raleigh quality. My 1972
>Supercourse which I bought March 1973 new, lost the left (front) deraileur
>guide after 2 days of ownership. The brazed-on guide just popped off when I
>pulled the shift lever back.. Later the right seat stay cracked through the
>brazing breather hole and is hugh almost through the whole stay at the
>joint. The stay caps are peeling off and while doing my winter overhaul in
>Dec 1973 I found I could pull the right rear chain stay out of the dropout,
>it was held in by the chrome. The appeal of these bikes is the beautiful
>paint and chrome not the great workmanship. They must have spent a lot just
>on the paint and chrome..