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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 6:39 am 
Devout Dirtbag

Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:07 pm
Posts: 118
Location: Notts/Lincs borders
Hi
I'm told there may be some Raleigh Special Products experts on this forum!! I have an RSP titanium frame (actually two but that's another story...). I love these frames - here's a pic:





I'm trying to piece together some history of these frames because I've heard several stories. The most plausible is that they were made just before the demise of Ilkeston and were shifted to the trade cheaply rather than built up. This would have been late 90s?? They had no decals and the few you see around and on ebay are still without decals. They came with a 1" ahead carbon fork (Look HSC). Personally I think they are the best frame I've ever had but perplexed by the lack of history. When you 'google' for info, you get references to Dynatech titanium and 'standard' tube size titanium frames but nothing on these.....any Raleigh experts out there??


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 5:26 pm 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider

Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 10:05 pm
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Location: Aberdeen
I've not seen one like that before, is that the original paint & decals? I'm sure someone else will have some more info.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 5:31 pm 
Devout Dirtbag

Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:07 pm
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Location: Notts/Lincs borders
No, it wasn't painted originally, just matt titanium. And there were no decals either. It looks like it does now after a Mercian paint.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:31 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:57 pm
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I think they were actually made by Timet from commercially-pure titanium, not one of the stiffer alloys as commonly used today.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:12 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 2:04 pm
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Location: Completely in the dark, thanks to me good mate Terry....
monty dog wrote:
I think they were actually made by Timet from commercially-pure titanium, not one of the stiffer alloys as commonly used today.


The Timet frames all had round tubes from memory; I've a feeling the 'teardrop' frames used CP-grade Russian titanium tubing which was on the market at relatively silly prices due to a post-Cold War surplus.

David


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:21 am 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider

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Location: Leeds
David B wrote:
I've a feeling the 'teardrop' frames used CP-grade Russian titanium tubing which was on the market at relatively silly prices due to a post-Cold War surplus.

David


I'm sure Bikemeister has debunct this as an urban myth. See Dynatech thread.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:46 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Location: Completely in the dark, thanks to me good mate Terry....
paininthe wrote:
David B wrote:
I've a feeling the 'teardrop' frames used CP-grade Russian titanium tubing which was on the market at relatively silly prices due to a post-Cold War surplus.

David


I'm sure Bikemeister has debunct this as an urban myth. See Dynatech thread.


It was certainly also-ran material rather than branded stuff such as Timet. I've also a feeling that the Timet frames themselves came in 2 sorts - unpainted round oversize (using CP grade stuff) and the near-"standard" diameter (3Al/2.5V??) R800 in a red & white paint job (but custom paint schemes available to order as per Bikemeister2000's own machine).

David


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:20 pm 
Devout Dirtbag

Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:07 pm
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Location: Notts/Lincs borders
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.....


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:23 pm 
Retro Guru
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Location: Lazy Town
neilob wrote:
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 :D

Regards


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:34 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:57 pm
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Some of you guys have totally swallowed the marketing hokum produced by certain US brands that somehow Russian titanium was inferior to their stuff. Ask yourself, where did the 'US' titanium come from? Almost certainly Russia but it would come with an expensive US quality control label stuck on it! Russia is/was the biggest producer of titanium and had some of the best titanium fabrication capabilities anywhere in the 80s and 90s - they built submarines out of the stuff.


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