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Oilit

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Dec 30, 2015
798
Concord NC
I finally dug out my Carlton Competition and I am bored so I figure I share some pics.

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What year is this bike? Going by the cranks, I'd guess late '70's?
 

Mr.RED

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 17, 2017
164
36
Massachusetts
Yes my guess is late 70's also the rear derailleur is marked 78 patent. I tried doing some research on this model but didn't find much info online. It looks to be on par with the US Raleigh Competitions but has the Gran Sport color scheme .
 

dweenk

Finally riding a big boys bike
Nov 13, 2014
212
Maryland
Yes my guess is late 70's also the rear derailleur is marked 78 patent. I tried doing some research on this model but didn't find much info online. It looks to be on par with the US Raleigh Competitions but has the Gran Sport color scheme .
The paint scheme looks like a Raleigh Gran(d) Sport(s). Carlton built the Super Course AFAIK. Did they also build the Gran(d) Sport(s)?
 

non-fixie

Look Ma, No Hands!
Jun 5, 2011
55
Yurp
Nice bike! Excellent parts selection, too. Thanks for sharing it.

I am intrigued by the little yellow sticker on the seat tube. What's that?
 

juvela

I live for the CABE
Aug 2, 2014
1,207
Playa del Rey, United States
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suspect wheels, front mech, rear mech, chainset, pedals & seat binder to be non-original.

note that while shift levers are Huret they are noticeably earlier than mechs...

there were even some Competitions which came with this white with Lagoon Blue livery.

the BOCAMA Professional pattern lugset is the same one employed on the Gran Sport.


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49autocycledeluxe

I live for the CABE
May 29, 2017
1,310
59
fremont california
what was that show where the people lived in apartments and every time the door man called them he would say "this is Carlton, your door man". even though they knew it was him already.
 

hopkintonbike

Look Ma, No Hands!
Sep 21, 2019
77
60
Hopkinton, MA
Was there a cut off date where Carlton ceased making complete frame sets and bikes under their own name and became the frame shop for Raleigh? If memory serves I thought I read very early 70s somewhere...I had the white with lagoon blue panel and head tube paint scheme (Gran Sport) version of the Raleigh Competition up until a few years ago and I placed the age at around 1971 IIRC. The top tube script decal shown on the OP's bike was a dead-match for the ones that appeared on my bike's chain stays. The bike was set up pretty stock if I remember, and it had simplex drivetrain, nervar crank with guard, mainline Normandy hubs laced to alloy tubular rims, weinmann centerpulls with Carlton hood levers, a brooks B-15 saddle, GB stem and standard drop bend bars (not rando like the GS), I also recall that the frame geometry as measured by the fork bend and chain stay length was tighter than the GS. The closest Competition model to the one I had was that early 70s lilac-colored one. All that said, the Carlton looks too similar to the mine not to think it was also an early 70s build. The only thing that places it later than 1973 is the block-style of the downtube CARLTON decal as I think that's the year the script-to-block style transition occurred on the Raleigh lightweights and I would assume Carlton followed the same convention, very cool bike, deserves some love this winter, Todd

PS I also seem to recall that in many instances, Carltons in the 1970s on a model to model basis were a slightly poorer cousin to the corresponding Raleigh model. It that really is the case, perhaps the Huret down tube shifters shown here actuated the Alvit group derailleurs, remember, even as late as around 1970-71, the infamous and rare chromed GS and the early Super Course sported "Huret "Luxe" stuff, Todd
 
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Mr.RED

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 17, 2017
164
36
Massachusetts
I wonder if this was a frameset only model because the parts seem to be all over the place . I bought the bike out of used bike shop where the owner said the customer had this built up in the 1970's. As for the yellow sticker on the seat tube that looks to be some sort of bicycle identification # . I am no Raleigh expert by any means so all your info and input is greatly appreciated. I checked the BB for the serial # and what I can make out it is WP 6??892 I can't make out the 2 numbers following the 6.
 
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hopkintonbike

Look Ma, No Hands!
Sep 21, 2019
77
60
Hopkinton, MA
You might be right about the frameset only but I grew up here in the Boston area and I do not remember seeing Carlton framesets being offered as a stand alone item, what I have seen here in the HUB are lots of British bikes imported to shops in our area that don't show up in other parts of the country, my guess is what you have is a early/mid 70s Carlton build that's been re-arranged over time, I have never seen that rear hub on ether a Raleigh or a Carlton, and the anodized rims are definitely much later in the decade, if not into the early 80s and the Brooks Professional saddle was not fitted to anything lower than Professional and International. One item that might help in the dating are the drop outs, if they are Zeus I am pretty sure you only saw those on 1972 or earlier, Todd
 
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schwinnderella

Finally riding a big boys bike
Sep 21, 2009
394
Palatine, United States
and the Brooks Professional saddle was not fitted to anything lower than Professional and International.
My carlton competition has a Brooks Professional which I suspect is original. Retro Raleighs indicates Brooks Pro was original on 79 Competition GS.
 

hopkintonbike

Look Ma, No Hands!
Sep 21, 2019
77
60
Hopkinton, MA
I don't know about the cataloged Carlton specifications but as far as the later Competition GS you are correct, at the model's introduction in 1977 the Professional was fitted, I was referring to the early to mid 70s Raleighs, IIRC no Professional saddle was fitted to a Raleigh below International except that rare 1970 chrome Gran Sport that you hardly ever see, on the early (1970) Competition and the much more common black Competition Mk II it was either B15 or B17. If you have pics of your early and original Carlton Competition it might be helpful as a point of reference for the OP and the CABE, that model does not pop up that often. Todd
 
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juvela

I live for the CABE
Aug 2, 2014
1,207
Playa del Rey, United States
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The GB allen key stem was the one fitting which made me suspect frame might be slightly later than early seventies. Since we now have the information that it had been assembled into a cycle by an individual from the frame up it is moot.

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