1975 Raleigh Professional Mk.IV - CHROMED - Rolling Frameset

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Price
500
Location
Miami, Florida
Zipcode
33134

cudak888

Look Ma, No Hands!
Perhaps you've seen it on FeeBay, but listing it here with a lower price than that. $500 + actual shipping cost via BikeFlights.

Here's the extensive description and a link to the full Flickr album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/43240189@N03/albums/72177720295959277

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This is a 1975 Raleigh Professional Mark IV that I bought a few years ago at a local bike shop. It was chromed at some point in its life along with a few other frames from said shop (just to be perfectly clear on this point, this is not a factory chrome Professional, nor have I ever heard of such a thing).

I started building it up with spares I had around, but have decided to part with it as the build has been languishing for too long, and other interesting things are vying for my attention. Put simply, I fell into the trap of buying a project frame too small for me, and this Pro fell into the abyss of always being the second banana in line for project builds.

Frame size is 56cm CTC seat tube, 55.5cm CTC top tube. Almost square, but not quite.

But that aside, let's delve into the nitty gritty of this frame, and the important part...

The chrome frameset:

While I'm familiar with how terrible most "after-the-fact" chrome jobs look, this one is definitely above the average junk I often see. Most of it is pretty smooth - especially the rear triangle - and the dropouts are still crisp. Left one is better than the right, as the right one had part of "Brev. Campagnolo" polished out, but not too terribly.

The chrome is bright and for the most part, smooth - but it does have some wavy areas, particularly on the seattube below the seatlug cluster, and around the headlugs. I've included tons of extra photos on my Flickr account, cudak888. Look for the album "1975 Raleigh Professional Mk.IV - Chromed."

That said, there are some locations where the chrome plating did not take ideally; specifically, at the fastback seat lug cluster, where some "light" spots can be seen below the lug and on the inside of each seat stay. The other location is the bottom bracket, where the chrome is fairly thin, and has a surface coating of rust on it - though I've seen this same phenomenon on factory-chromed Schwinn Paramounts too, so the BB must be fairly difficult to plate. While I can't pass judgement on the seatlug area, I'm pretty sure the bottom bracket rust would come off with an oxalic acid dip.

The lug shorelines are pretty good in regards to the chrome finish, average in regards to Worksop's generally shoddy approach to cleaning off excess brass. There is one spot on the brake bridge where a tiny sliver of blue paint is still present; one of the Flickr closeups has this. There's a tiny bit of Mink Blue on the right shoreline of the seat lug cluster as well, also present in the Flickr pictures.

My personal peeve is that the headbadge was left on for the chroming. However, the plating has not visibly bridged the brass badge and the frame, so it shouldn't be impossible to pull the chromed badge and install a proper, unmarred Raleigh badge. I had intended to drill out the rivets and reinstall something decent, but never got around to it. It's a bit of a bonus that this Pro happens to be drilled for blind rivets, which will make an accurate reinstallation a bit easier over the solid rivets often seen on other Raleigh models of the time (mostly Nottingham instead of Worksop).

There is one area of chrome loss around the lower headlug, where a sliver has flaked at the front. There are some additional stress cracks (in the chrome, not the steel) at the rear edge of the lug as well. I assume someone did a poor job of installing a headset in this at some point. It looks as if the surfaces were not completely faced and chamfered. Not much I can do about it. Also some small cracks in the chrome at the front brake nut on the fork crown.

Also note that there are three tiny dents (with no ill effect to the chrome) on the frame. One on the downtube, about 4" below the shifters and offset to the right. There's a tiny one on the top tube, also right side; and one on the seattube on the left side, about 5" down from the top, near the wavy part of the chrome. I've done my best to try to photograph and show this in the Flickr pictures.

On the topic of the frame - but not the chrome - both frame and fork had been drilled for recessed brakes (don't get me started on how much I detest this practice). I made it a point to sleeve both the back of the fork and the rear brake bridge with 8mm OD / 6mm ID stainless steel tubing before installing the brakes. This ensured the nutted brakes would sit tight and square. I know the nut and washer does most of this job, but didn't want to open it up to any wiggle room.

So yes, it's not perfect. But it's not a bad chrome job on a '75 Pro.

As for the build:

What you see is how I last left it when I was in the process of building it up. It is wearing a post-CPSC 1979 Campagnolo Nuovo Record rear derailer on it and a more appropriate pre-CPSC front derailer. The Record crankset is pre-CPSC as is the bottom bracket. The rings are SR on the inner 42t, and the outer is a Nuovo 42t which someone subjected to questionable home drillium. Hey, I had the ring, might as well use it, right? The chain is chromed Sedis, but a bit rusty and could use an oxalic acid dip to look prettier.

The wheels are some later Mavic 36h clinchers laced to low-flange Record hubs. Not exactly period, but they got the bike on wheels.

Brake calipers are the correct pre-CPSC pieces, nutted. They have a bit of surface rust on the quick release arm and pad nuts, but could be cleaned with a quick OA dip. Note that while the holders are present, there are no pads.
 
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