Many thanks to all those who have filled in so many gaps in the TI Raleigh Pro history.
Suffice to say like most anything connected with Raleigh, it's convuluted, contradictory and complicated!
If we agree that the SB Unit at Ilkeston dates to 1974, it remains to be
confirmed that TI Raleigh Team bikes were manufactured elsewhere since, I
believe, the Team was organised at least a full year prior to that (or
shall I say re-organised from TI Carlton). Previous postings by Richard
Sachs in the archives indicate these were the team bikes with Brampton
fastback stays, Cinelli style forks, chrome, yellow head tubes, 531 tubing
and (usually) NR components although there is evidence of team bikes with
even French components. I would suggest that these "real" team bikes were
indeed made by Carlton, Worksop. Ditto the team replicas shown in the USA
catalogues c. 1973-75.
>From what I've read and gleaned from posts, the Worksop operation was wound down c. 1983-86 and all lightweight production transferred to Nottingham. This may have coincided, too, with the phase out of the Special Build Unit at Ilkeston and the creation of Raleigh USA. The US market saw very little of the this final Nottingham production and most of the models like the final version of the Record Ace were only available in the UK.
Finally, I remain to be convinced that TI Raleigh Team bikes were actually manufactured in the Netherlands. Why Raleigh would establish their own Special Build Unit and then farm out production is a headscratcher.
"Cycling" magazine (27.11.82) had an article on the Ilkeston operation and at that time it was certainly making frames for the team. It was mentioned that these were marked on the bottom bracket: "J.R.1.83" meaning the first frame built in 1983 for Jan Raas or L.V. for Leo Van Vlier etc. And also mentioned that 28 machines had been built that year (1982) for the team with another 12 to go. The unit was completing a time trial machine for Beryl Burton at the time as well. So definately a production line not for punters.
Peter Kohler Washington DC USA
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