The thing about the British bikes, and when I say that I'm thinking mostly Raleigh, is that you could get clones of bikes from five countries just from Raleigh --
Want an Italian bike? Raleigh Pro, Team Pro. Want a Peugeot PX-10? Raleigh RRA. Want a Holland Bike? Grand Prix, Super Course (Gazelle) Want a Legnano Citybike? Raleigh Super Tourer Want a French Bike? Raleigh Competition Want a British Bike? Raleigh International Raleigh Gran Sport
both are classic grand touring bikes, what today would be called Audax or Randonneur bikes.
All but the Pro & Team Pro had an eclectic mix of parts from all over the world - France, Spain, Italy, Holland, Switzerland, Japan, Britain.
What other countries had the equivalent of "Hetchins" or "Carlton International" with such overblown lugwork? I'm not saying that overblown lugwork is something to be proud of, but diversity of offerings is what makes life interesting ...
I think that, in Italy, Campagnolo and Cinelli were actually too dominant, and so most of the Italian bikes mostly had parts from these two makers, and nothing else. After a while you get bored with Campy, and want to ride Stronglight, TA, GB, Brooks, Philippe, Simplex, Suntour, Weinmann, Mavic, AVA, etc. etc. etc.
- Don Gillies
San Diego, CA