I've been following this thread closely. I have a 753 Team Raleigh frame that I purchased a few years ago from a source in Belgium or the Netherlands (I forget which). I was told that the frame was built for the racer Bert Pronk who raced for the Dutch national team. I was also told it was built in Ilkeston; the serial number on the bottom bracket is BP1.76, presumably for Bert Pronk and the year 1976. This does not fit with some of the other postings in this thread, did bikes built for particular racers receive special serial numbers?
After much use, the bike was reduced to training purposes and repainted in the later Panasonic colors, after adding some braze-ons (brake cable, shifters?). I can't be certain that all of this is true but the bicycle certainly is a blast to ride; the frame feels about as light as my (very off-topic) carbon Calfee Tetra Pro but of course has a very different (more) road feel. I had intended to repaint it in the original red/black scheme and even purchased the decals, but the paint was better than the seller had indicated and I feel better riding it with its somewhat shabby paint; I tend to focus on the nicely cut out lugs, drilled dropouts and (imaginary) sense of increased speed. Now that I have the matching Panasonic jersey and plastic model kit, I guess I'm stuck with this paint scheme.
One problem with this the messages posted on this thread is that now I have to worry about the chainstay on the Raleigh falling apart while I'm going downhill at speed. I guess that's better than the fork coming apart as on my first ten-speed, a Gitane. Thanks all.
P.S. That was a great buy on German eBay!
Gary Chottiner Northeast Ohio
I couldn't resist and bought a Raleigh Team Pro yesterday on eBay,
regardless of the bad picture and description.
Your answer that Raleigh frames were Dutch is only partially correct... Raleigh maintained several teams across the globe and the UK team was based in Belgium (or the Netherlands?)
The fact remains that base frame materials (lugs & tubing, etc.) came from Raleigh England and some pro frames were custom constructed under contract by several high-end frame builders in different countries. Pro frames were often painted in racing colors and styles that would only reach the general market "production" frames a year or two later.
Raleigh Ilkeston constructed most Raleigh pro frames but when Raleigh started to franchise its corporate name out to companies in other countries, the franchisee would often select other frame builders. For example, his "outsourcing" occurred with Raleigh USA and Marinoni in 1983 - 85.
It seems that the higher stature or importance a cyclist was to his racing team, the greater the likelihood the rider would get a custom frame from whomever they chose. This is why some pro teams raced on relabeled frames to satisfy their sponsors.
Regards, Steve Neago