Hello all, yes new to this site but have stumbled across it a few times in the past. Basically, some time ago I acquired and old cool mint '89 Raleigh Montage 18 speed with a Suntour (ovaltech chainring) set up. After a thorough clean and a few tweaks - the stem was too long and the quill too short, so it felt very uncomfortable to ride. A swept back riser bar solved the problem as the quill is of an odd size and could not be replaced. Anyhow, we've since had the most amazing time, including a fully loaded camping tour of North Devon tackling rocky bridleways and the steepest climbs (some over 25%) one can imagine. Yes on a 20 years old 18 gears bike that cost me a total of £25 including new Shwalbe tyres. Anyhow, as you can tell I'm in love with lugged Raleigh MTBs. Now the question is I would very much like to upgrade this bike but because the quill is an odd size (22.2mm) I think I would probably be better off sourcing a similar MTB and have been looking for a list of 501 Raleighs to help me choosing which one to look for. I also understand that some of them, the Montage for example, are not fully 501 but only the main tube frame but others are 501 throughout. I've also come across an earlier Dawes Ranger which I think is a fully 531 MTB and some old Saracens but Raleighs are more easily found I think.
In summary, where can I find out more about the various early Reynolds Raleigh MTBs including spec? Is there a list somewhere?
There aren't many catalogues around for the lower end Raleighs (of which the Montage was near the top) which is a shame as there are some decent bikes there (Montage, Mirage and Moonrun) and some nice history. The 501 frames were all just 3 main tubes (some of the 531's were too) as I believe that there was no full 501 tubeset. If you want a nice lugged Raleigh and an upgrade you are looking for one of the 531 lightweights (like my team edition) from 1988-1990 (there is a 1989 catalogue in the archive), they are all 22.2mm (1") threaded headsets but these are easy to find and I replaced the one on mine with a new Ritchey Logic for about £10. They are nice bikes and very underrated.