If there is one brand that truly revolutionizes the biking industry, it is the Raleigh Bicycle Company. It is an iconic bike brand that has been in the business since 1885. The brand introduced to the world the Chopper, Grifter, and Burner BMX bike.
Since the inception of this British bicycle manufacturer, it continues to produce bicycles that cater to the needs of different users. Today, it focuses its production on hybrid bikes, electric bikes, and kids’ bikes.
With the range of bicycles the brand has produced since 1885, getting a vintage Raleigh bike will cause you to ponder – how old is my Raleigh bike? Determining the age of your Raleigh bike entails work and some research skills. You need to look for the serial number to know how old your Raleigh is.
Table of Contents
- How Old is My Raleigh Bike – Dating Your Raleigh Bike
- Raleigh Serial Number Information
How Old is My Raleigh Bike – Dating Your Raleigh Bike
The Raleigh brand is more than a century old company that created the oldest and best bike models. The business was established in 1885 in Nottingham, England, and has created an almost 130-year old tradition in bike manufacturing.
With its long and enduring presence in the bike industry, you will lose track of the number of models and bicycles produced by Raleigh. Thus, it is important to take note of the following to help you identify the age of your bicycle:
1. Always check the serial number
If you ever have obtained a vintage and old Raleigh bike, the first thing that you should look for is the Raleigh bike serial number. Serial numbers are stamped onto the bike during the production process. It is a great way to identify the bike from the rest of the brand’s models.
For Raleigh bikes, you would often notice both the model and the year the bike was made. You can see the serial numbers on the side of the seat lug, front of the seat lug, or even in the bottom bracket.
The serial number is the easiest way to determine the age of your Raleigh bike and the vintage Raleigh bike value.
2. Use both online and offline literature
Raleigh is an iconic brand that endures a longstanding history and manufacturing process. There is available literature about the brand that will give you an idea about the age of your own bicycle.
There are certain periods when the company introduced specific brand models. In this way, you will be able to know to which decade your bike belongs. Since it is a UK brand, you can refer to bike organizations like National Cycle Club that can provide information about Raleigh bicycles.
You can also consult the National Cycle Archive with a huge collection of bicycle models in its database. These institutions can help you determine the right age of your Raleigh bike.
3. Check for the specific parts
Another way that can give you an idea about the age of your bike are its components and parts. The bike parts and accessories can help you in dating your bike as well. Since vintage bikes can be passed on from one user to another, look for parts that have not been changed or replaced by old owners.
You can check for specific parts like frame, suspension forks, friction shifters as your starting point. These certain parts can also help you determine the correct age of your Raleigh bike.
4. Ask the experts
If you are looking for someone you can ask about the age of your bike, you can search no further as bike shop owners have ample knowledge about bikes. Most people working in bike shops have professional expertise on the different models of bikes.
With their help, you can get an idea of what year your Raleigh was made. It is easy to access information and get more knowledge about bicycles.
Raleigh Serial Number Information
Raleigh has specific periodization on marking and putting Raleigh serial numbers on its products. In this way, you will be able to determine which decade or year your bicycle belongs. It includes the following:
In this period, Raleigh included letters in its series and dating. The Raleigh bicycle serial number location is on the side of the seat lug, front of seat lug, or at the bottom bracket.
The serial convention during this period has six digits, usually followed by the letter P or T. The letter P was introduced and used until 1950, while T was used in the mid 1950s.
Another convention used specifically in 1948 had 4-5 digit serials, followed by two random letters like 12345AB.
After 1955, Raleigh introduced another serial system. The serial during this period commonly has the prefix RA or RB and is followed by 4 to 5 numerical digits. You can see the dating on the seat lug as well.
In this timeframe, the company also introduced the letter N in their dating technique. The N stands for Nottingham where the bike models were being manufactured.
The serial system changed again in this period. This time, it consists of a seven-digit serial, unlike the proceedings with only 4-5 digits. Most of the 7-digit serials are at the bottom bracket of the bicycle. It is also called the bottom bracket serial system.
In 1972, Raleigh again reintroduced the 5-6 digit serial system. During this time, the serial never exceeded six digits and can be seen in Grand Prix and Super Course models. The serial location can be found on the seat lug, left dropout, such as in the Grand Prix models.
Known Raleigh bike models like the Grand Prix, Super Course, and Grand Sports enjoy a more recognizable serial system. The serial usually starts with zero and comes in 7 digits. You can see the serial outside the left dropout of your bicycles.
6. 1973 – 1982+
These were the years the company came up with a more standardized serial system. The serials initially have two letters and are followed by a series of six digits.
The first letter corresponds to the production factory like the following:
- N – Nottingham
- W – Workshop
- E – Enid USA
- G – Gazelle
- M – Malaysia
- R – Canada
- D – Ireland
- H – Handsworth UK
Then, the number indicated the month when the frame was manufactured and the year.
7. Raleigh USA serial system
This type is only applied for Japanese and Taiwanese bike frames. The serials are stamped on the bottom bracket of the bicycle.
8. Ilkeston SBDU Team Professional Serials
This is the current serial system of the brand. It comes with an SB letter, followed by four numbers. These models are usually built in Raleigh’s Ilkeston factory.
Dating your Raleigh bicycle can be a complicated process, but it is worth knowing when your bike was made or manufactured. Since the brand has a long-standing history of bike production, you are guaranteed of its longevity and durability.
Owning a vintage Raleigh bike is a rewarding experience for most bikers. Thus, it is essential to know the model’s history and story that corresponds to it. May this guide pm how old is my raleigh bike help you understand the complicated process of determining the age of your Raleigh bicycle.
We have provided the essential information for you, and some tips and hacks on how you can easily identify the age of your Raleigh bike. If you have any more questions or suggestions, we are open to your queries. Just comment below.
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