I appreciate the comments but a few things bugs me...why would a credible, well established and - dare I say - even elitist organisation like RSP make a small batch of titanium frames using sub-standard materials?? They'd have a lot to lose surely? My feeling (and I've ridden these frames thousands and thousands of miles) is that they are really stiff yet pliant which suggests quality and a friend of miine who is a metals expert says that the welding is as good as he's ever seen on titanium. I guess I'm hoping for an ex RSP man to come and tell all.....
Your right, we would have lost all credibility had we done that. At that time the pace of change in tubing materials and tube profiles was incredibly quick, as we had to provide the trade with a new product range for launch every September.
The titanium we used originally came from Timet. We moved on to source from IMI at Swansea with whom we worked to design specific tubes and profiles, rather than to use off the shelf stock tubing that had been designed for other uses, such as hydraulic pipes in aircraft (as most 3Al 2.5V was).
No Titanium frames were made at Ilkeston as it had closed at least 10 years prior to Dyna-Tech and RSP. Gerald O'Donovan was instumental in setting up the whole Dyna-Tech project to join dissimilar materials, and then moving on to develop Plasma-arc welded titanium frames.
The frame you have was made about 1999 to 2001 at the very end of Raleigh Special Products. The division was closed as Raleigh had acquired the Diamond Back brand and felt that the Raleigh name was detrimental to acheiving sales targets in a market where an "American" lineage was percieved to be superior. This was despite huge critical acclaim for all our products, which invariably equalled and often exceeded these "American" brands, most of which were built on Taiwanese alloy frames.
OK rant now over