• JC

    what kind of wheels, tires, and headlights are those?

  • http://www.berkshireboids.com Alicia Holmes

    I really really love those white tires!!! haha! They are classy!

    I should consider getting one of those brown seats. they look so nice on some of these bikes it makes me a tad jealous.

  • Juhas


    It looks great! That is real oldtime 10-speed bike, i will vote for your bike in OTSOTM.

  • http://www.wrn.com Bob H.

    Where can I get some of those white tires/tyres?

  • Mark G

    White tires rock! They tires are Vittoria Randonneurs 700c 28mm purchased off ebay. They seem to always be in and out of stock so check often. All in all they ride nicely, although they do get a bit grey in the middle from the road. (Easy enough to clean with a wet rag, so that’s a plus.) The light is an old school bullet casing taken from a dead Schwinn 🙁 Just replaced the guts with an LED wired to a set of batteries. Pretty easy. Directions here:

  • Hugh

    I gotta admit it, White tires look really cool!. But I must add “Schwinns Never Die”
    As someone recently mentioned on OSTG The last survivor will be a Cockroach riding a Chicago Schwinn.

  • JC

    what 700c wheels are you using? I am curious because I am thinking of pulling 700c on a 70s centurion frame but do not know what to look for

  • tomshiba

    Very nice. This gives me some great ideas. I once owned a 1976 Competition. I rode it until the frame was ready to break. Miss it greatly.

  • J. Valentin


  • Mark G

    OTSG- Thanks for posting the bike and all the great comments! JC- the wheels are Weinmann 700c 36 spoke concave rims which came original with the bike, although the rear rim/hub was replaced by the previous owner. Got very lucky with a local bike shop that had a dusty one hanging around. They might be a bit scarce, so check around.

  • http://markfarmerstudios.com Mark Farmer

    I have a 23.5″(c to t)1979 or 1980 Raleigh Competition G.S., that I bought for $500 on September 1980. I want to date it accurately. The serial# is: W 34 located on the BB shell. Can anyone help me ID it? I also have a 24.5″ (c to t) same as above, serial# WM0003999 also located on the BB shell. Any ideas where I can search for their pedigrees?
    Thanks in advance for any assistance.

  • kbbpll

    I have a 1980 Competition GS (65cm!) which appears to have WE0005898 on the BB. Perhaps useful to mark Farmer (above). Purchased in June 1980 for about $600. I toured 10k miles on this bike fully loaded (US, Aus, NZ, Europe) in the 1980s and it probably has 30k on it. I swapped out the hubs early on for Campy Record (~1982) and been through 3 rear rims, but the front is still Weinmann concave I built for the Record hub in 1982. Probably 25k on the front rim and I’ve never trued it again, still straight as an arrow. Hard to believe this bike is now considered a “relic”. What’s old is new again. After 30 years I’m finally upgrading to a Colnago Master X for the rest of my life.

    • Mark Farmer

      Very interesting. My one owner, ’79 or’80 Raleigh Comp GS is a 59cm (23.5″)C to T with a Carlton frame. And the serial # may be a poorly stamped W______34, to be specific.
      Love hearing that you toured on yours and upgraded so much yourself. Back in the late’80s, I upgraded the GS rear der. for a dusty, new Nuevo Record and an allen mounting bolt. Then, in the late ’90s, a buddy gave me a black, alloy allen mounting bolt! Very cool and very nice of him.
      Congrats on the Colnago Master X. I’ll have to look it up online. Sounds top drawer!
      Thanks for the post!!
      Judging from your post and others, my W______34 must be missing a letter after the “W” followed by 3 “0”s and a couple of numbers, but they just are not stamped. 🙁
      Thnx again!

      • kbbpll

        I was wrong. My 1980 Competition is WE0003855 or 3853. It’s lightly stamped and there’s corrosion at the last two digits. I crawled under the trainer with a flashlight and a magnifying glass.

        That makes more sense relative to yours. The “W” is for Worksop, where the Carlton frames were made. The second letter is the fortnight when the frame was made. The first number is the year. So your WM0… indicates Worksop 13th fortnight (July 1ish?) 1980. It now makes sense that your 3999 is after my 3855. Your other bike you’d need the two digits after the W to be sure.

        Don’t quote me on any of this, I’ve gleaned it from several websites and figuring out how they numbered these bikes 30 years ago, when the Raleigh company was changing ownership, appears to be a challenge. But it’s a little bit fun when you’re bored and you love your old bike.

        • Mark Farmer

          Thnx, kbbpll, for the benefit of your online searches and your willingness to share. I have much less skill in that regard, but maybe someday! Just searched online for Worksop and found it’s in Nottinghamshire. Interesting.
          I just further cleaned the BB shell on my primary (59cm) Comp GS and the fortnight letter after the “W” is simply not there, not even the faintest stamping.
          However, I did manage to make out faint, partial stampings of numbers on the right end. The numbers to the left of the last numbers(34), seem to be 23. So the last four numbers seem to be “2334”. I feel that the year number after the nonexistent fortnight letter is “0”, since it was purchased at about the same time as the WM0003999 62cm bike.
          I bought this bike new locally in Sept’80 for about $500 total, including accessories such as frame pump, bottle cage, water bottle and sales tax. The dealer said at the time, that this bike was among the last year models made in Nottingham, England for export to the US, a definite selling point.
          My secondary Comp GS (WM0003999), bought used, measures 62cm C to T, too tall for me. But I bought it locally, for parts, even though it is still in running order.
          You’re right, my secondary Comp was made in late June to July 1 ’80. This is very cool info!

          Looks like yours was made in early March ’80. You’re right about the boredom and the love of old bikes, but I’d add a burning curiousity about how my classic stead came to me, to the mix! Now, if it could only TALK!!
          Thnx again for your comments. After 4.5 months since my appeal, I’d almost forgotten about having posted the question.

          • Mark Farmer

            Another thought. I realize that the serial # refers to the frame manufacture, not necessarily the full bike manufacture!

          • kbbpll

            Your Jul ’80 3999 and my Mar ’80 3855 makes about 150 frames in 4 months; about a frame a day for one guy likely doing batches between other frames. Your 2334 seems quite off though. But they made thousands of these, and obviously they weren’t too concerned about the quality of the serial number stamp. If the components match and you bought it in ’80, I’d think the odds are good it’s an ’80.

    • DCD

      How did the Competition work out for fully loaded touring?

      • kbbpll

        DCD (don’t know if you’re still following this thread…) – I was young then. 52-42 front and (I think) 13-26 5 speed rear these days would be an abomination for touring, but it was a fine bike to ride across continents. It came with rack mounts on the dropouts, which today seems odd for “race” geometry. My heels hit the panniers because the geometry is so tight (and I have long feet), but it was resolved on the first day (1980) by yanking the panniers rearward and tying them off in that position. I spent a lot of time standing up in lowest gear when climbing the Rockies and the Alps, etc. Did I say I was young then? But I appreciated the efficiency of the bike overall. That Brooks saddle was nasty though (sorry Brooks fans). The latter two of three tours I used a Spenco gel seat cover over it.

  • Mark Farmer

    I concur. Earlier today, when I closely examined the “2”, I could only make out the bottom, horizontal stroke, which could only be a “2”.
    The “3” only showed the bottom curved portion, which could have also been a “5” or even a “9”, but since it looked a lot like the more well defined “3” to it’s right, I came to the conclusion that it, too, was a “3”. Assuming the year code was a “0” signifying 1980, the fortnight letter could have been an “A”, meaning it was made in early Jan ’80. In that event, the quantity made per month would be more uniform.
    Not knowing what other models were being built in the same time period, it’s hard to know how much time was being devoted to any one model and in an undetermined variety of sizes.
    Also, it would seem to me, that one builder could build several frames in one work day. Granted, I have no experience as a frame builder nor have I ever spoken to a frame builder or toured a shop or plant. I’m sure, though, that there would be quite a bit of custom fitting (dry fitting),requiring much filing.
    At any rate, it’ very interesting to consider. Thanks very much for weighing in on this issue. You’ve already provided significant insight into the birth of my bikes!
    Safe and happy cycling!

    • Mark Farmer

      One more thing, I, too, have had little or no “out of true” problems with my 36H concave Weinmann rims. They seem to be extremely well designed and built, a big “ata boy” for the Belgians!

      • Mark Farmer

        I left out one key statement from my previous 2 posts. I, now think, thanks to your input, that my 59cm and 62cm Comp GSs are indeed ’80s.
        Since I bought the 59cm new in 9/80, I called it an ’80. But in recent years, given the shop owner’s habit of buying bikes on discount or close out from the manufacturer, trying to move older inventory to make room for new inventory, I’d come to think the 59cm was a ’79.
        But you’ve shown me that my original thought that it was an ’80, was correct all along.
        Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

    • kbbpll

      Well we’ve totally hijacked MarkG’s 1980 thread, but since this is where I first landed when searching for 1980 Competition perhaps others find it helpful.

      Here’s where I got some info on dating yours by serial number:

      Same site, old catalogs down the page:

      The Competition specs are in the 1978 “Team” catalog.

      This thread has a 1979 picture and specs:

      It appears to me that the 78-80 frames were identical. The 78 crank on both the Pro and the GS appears to have a chain guard. The 79 in the thread above looks totally identical to the 80. “Closing out old inventory” in Sep 80 could be making way for ’81 models, or it could be he had a ’79 to unload. Unless we can decipher something from your serial number, using CSI infrared technology (I’m making that up), I don’t know whether we can conclusively state that yours is a 79 or an 80. Since it seems they are identical anyway, Raleigh could pretend, or the shop could pretend. My gut says your serial number is too low to have technically been make in 1980 calendar year, but there were probably plenty made in late 79 for the 80 model year too.

      Sometime after ours, the Competition had “made in Japan” stickers. I’ve read some forums speculating on whether the frames were still made in Nottingham (serial numbers being with “N” now instead of “W”) and shipped to Japan for assembly, or what.

      It was and still is a nice machine. I was tempted to get the Pro all those long years ago (couldn’t afford it), but glad I got the Comp. The GS crank is very unique with the Campy three-arm, and the forged Campy dropouts were a thing of beauty.

      I’m a little curious – does it really matter whether yours is a 79 or an 80?

      • Mark Farmer

        I agree, we did hijack Mark G’s ’80 thread, but that’s just where I was when I felt the urge to ask around online. Sorry, Mark G.
        Thanks for the sheldon brown, etc links. I’ll explore them later. I do like the unique 3 arm spider. I’ve never seen another one like it. I’m glad mine didn’t have a chain guard, too! And the forged, chromed Campy drop outs ARE nice. In addition, the chrome-tipped fork and stays were another appealing selling point. Also, I’m a big fan of the detail on the lugs. I still have the bill of sale and the catalog.

        The reason I was curious whether my 59cm W____2334 was a ’79 or ’80 was to determine if the shop owner had bought current stock or old stock at a discount to increase his profit margin. He was/is known for that! 🙁

        I agree that ’80 models could easily be made in late ’79. That’s common. Example: ’10 car models were available in the fall of ’09. Short of using “CSI infrared tech”, I’ve looked as close as I can for the mystery characters.
        Absolutely, it’s a sweet bike. That’s why I’ve kept it this long. That and it was the first really nice bike I ever owned.
        The back story on how I came to buy the 59cm ’80 Raleigh Comp GS is that a buddy at the time had toured Europe in the late ’70s on a, then, new Super Course. I loved it so much that I wanted one of my own.
        So, I saved $50/mo to spend on a SC, but took so long to pick one out, meanwhile I kept saving $50/mo, that by the time I made my decision, I had enough to buy a Comp! Oh, if I’d been more indecisive, I’d have had enough to have bought a Touring 14 or, please God, a Pro!! An ’80 Pro would have made me so happy! Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled with the Comp, but a Pro was TOP OF THE LINE!
        At the end of the day, ’79 or ’80 matters little. I have bonded with it and I think I’ve been good to it. Rode it all through the ’80 and never once left it outside overnight! Even though I’ve got several bikes, you never forget your first!
        This may be off topic, but out here in a midwest small MS river town, I recently received copies of 1898 photos of a local velodrome with racers training behind a “triplet” (now known as a triple (tandem) or a bicycle built for 3). One photo is even labeled that Major Taylor is in the photo. He has, for many years, been a cycling idol of mine and I’m white! Around the same time I got the photos, I got and read the Ritchie book, “The Extraordinary Career of a Champion Bicycle Racer: Major Taylor”. For a local history buff and an avid cyclist, these discoveries were HUGE!

        Thanks again for all the sage advice and the above links. You’re awesome!

      • Cameron

        Hijack away gentlemen! The info is appreciated. It’s like going to forum without actually having to go to a forum!

    • kbbpll

      Found this. The plot thickens. Or something.
      “From 1973 – 1979 the year of crank manufacture is the last digit in a diamond
      From 1980 – 1984 the year of crank manufacture is the last digit in a circle ”

      My left crank arm has an 8 and my right has a 7. So my 1980 Comp has half 1977 and half 1978 crank. Parts is parts.

      You never left yours outside overnight, and with my three tours during the 80s mine was outside all day every day for a total of almost a year. It held up well.

      • Mark Farmer

        OK. Just looked. Both my 23.5″(59cm)W____2334’s Campy GS crank arms read, on the inside: 170(mm)STRADA with 7’s in the diamond! WOO HOO! She’s not a bastard. No offense, I’m sure yours is a perfect lady!
        But it seems to mean that the cranks, at least, were or maybe the entire drivetrain was made in 1977. That doesn’t, of course, mean anything about the year model of the entire bike, except that the bike was made after ’77, right? I mean parts could have been a few years old before they were installed on the bike, in the assembly department, presumably in Nottingham, England.
        I’m envious of your bike travels. What times you must have had and what memories you must have. Hope you wrote about the experiences while the memories were fresh.
        I only took one cross country bike ride of 500 miles and 500 back home through the Ozark Mtns, with some pretty challenging climbs. Of course, I was 21 and come to think of it, for those 3 weeks, counting the week camping at my destination, the ’80 23.5″(59cm) did spend several nights outside. Kept it under some sort of shelter when I could.
        Many thanks for the benefit of your diligent search. It’s pretty neat that info on a 30 yr old product is available to consumers. Thanks, Al Gore, for inventing the internet!!
        Happy cycling.

        • Mark Farmer

          To kbbpll,
          Just looked at my secondary ’80 24.5″(62cm) Raleigh Comp GS, the WM0003999, which I now know is an ’80 and it’s Campy GS cranks are both also marked 170 Strada followed by a “7” in a diamond, meaning that they were made in 1977.
          Thanks again for your assistance.
          Looks like it’s official, we have a following!?!