A UPS flight instructor comes into the shop with two very tired looking 1970s Raleigh Professional Mark II bikes and proceeds to share their history with us.
They had been purchased new by his grandparents and for many years the couple toured the country on them. The purchase price at that time would have been around $200, which would calculate to about $1,300 in 2019 money.
The bikes had several modifications over the years including Campy bar-end shifters replacing the down-tube shifters, along with new Brooks Swallow saddles.
The grandparents divorced and the grandson acquired both of the bikes that hadn’t been ridden in decades.
In August, 2019 Vic began restoring them to top mechanical condition while preserving the patined finish on the frame from the years of mileage the bikes had seen.
Raleigh Professional MKII serial numbers 146 and 370 will soon be proudly displayed in our client’s family room.
One of the most iconic of racing bicycles during the 1970s bike boom in America, the Raleigh Professional also represented the heyday of their mark in the USA.
Raleigh’s trademark blue-mink and silver paint, gold lug linings, lashings of lustrous chrome, characteristic fastback rear stays and the much coveted Campagnolo componentry made it one of the most aesthetically pleasing and desired lightweights of the era and often a pipe-dream machine for a generation of young cyclists because of its high cost.
For those fortunate enough to own one, then or now, it remains one of the most distinctive and pleasing of racing machines in appearance and ride.