1993 Raleigh Dyna-Tech Torus Plasma Arc Welded Titanium with Direct Control Fork
Fork / Stem:
Raleigh Direct Control Ti / Al
Timken Taper Roller Bearing
X-Lite 540 Titanium, 3' Bend - No Bulge
X-Lite Alto Pro 1 - Gold Anodised
Shimano XT M739 V-Brake
Shimano XT M739 V-Brake
Shimano XT M740 8 spd RF+
Shimano XT M738 34.9mm top pull
Shimano XT M739 Long cage, 8 speed SGS
Shimano HG 70 8 spd 11-28T
Shimano XT M737 22/32/42T Compact Drive 170mm
Shimano DuraAce / XTR 8 speed
Shimano XT UN72 (113x68)
Mavic M221 Eyeletted 32h
Hope Ti Suspension - Silver Anodised
X-Lite Ti CamLok - Gold Anodised
Mavic X222 Eyeletted 32h
DT Stainless Steel Double Butted with Brass Nipples
3M Multi-filament Packing Tape - as light as it gets!
IRC Mythos XC Kevlar Folding
Ritchey Latex rubber
(I should add that the wheels were self-built - a difficult but extremely satisfying task)
Selle Italia Flite Leather / Ti Rails
X-Lite Steel / Aluminium - Gold Anodised
Kalloy Aluminium - Micro-Adjust
be just under 23lbs.
If you're interested, I've given some history on how the bike got to be like this after the detail photos below.
Rear triangle - genuine Team Raleigh decals courtesy of Phil Sherwood, long time Raleigh race mechanic through the 80s and 90s.
Plenty of X-Lite going on here...bars, barends, stems, fork, QR
Thanks go to Pace for the following...
Raleigh Direct Control Fork Leg, Hope Hub & X-Lite Ti CamLok QR
Raleigh Direct Control Fork - Twin Stems
Raleigh Direct Control Fork - Twin Yokes (Underside View)
Raleigh Direct Control Fork - Timken Roller Bearing Headset
X-Lite Titanium PRO Fork - Now removed
Now for the history lesson. Started off my cycling life as a child on a Grifter but once I'd killed that from far too much jumping, I gave up on bikes until I started again in the 90s to help my asthma.
A gift of a rusty old Peugeot lasted a few months until the welding at a rear dropout failed, so I bought this Torus from a local Raleigh dealer who had taken it as a part-exchange. Little remains of the factory specification - even the paint is long gone.
The original rigid spinner fork moved aside for an early Quasar suspension fork. Rapid wear of the bushings despite religious greasing put me off suspension for good so I reverted to rigid.
All along, I lusted after Raleigh's Direct Control fork, manufactured by them after they bought the rights to the design from the late Rex Trimnell of X-Lite fame. Sadly, these were impossible to obtain outside of a full bike purchase, even by the then team mechanic with his factory connections.
X-Lite began to advertise their new Titanium PRO fork, similar to that by Raleigh but with a conventional stem. Several months of chasing the guys at X-Lite resulted in delivery of production fork #0001. Complete with Timken roller bearings, these were stellar to look at but the slow steering, caused by less than usual fork offset and small frame, was a disapointment. I toyed with the idea of having some replacement dropouts made but destroying the original design put me off.
The next few years rolled under the wheels of the Torus until I lucked out on an accident damaged 1993 Orange Clockwork frame for £10. Some cold setting of the rear triangle in a vice saw that fit to ride, so the Torus gathered dust in the garage through the 00s.
Enter retrobike. Oh what a treasure trove. Lots of information about my beloved Raleigh and my unicorn, the Direct Control fork. A rare beast, seldom offered for sale, but that gave me hope that I could, one day, get hold of one.
Luckily for me, someone pulled out of a swap with Pace for a minty Torus frame and the fork I desperately needed, so I hurriedly got in touch with him. Not having dealt with anyone on retrobike, it was a leap of faith buying this sight unseen but Pace was as good as gold. Easter got in the way of a swift delivery (no fault of Pace's) but the following long bank holiday weekend gave me my opportunity for some extended garage time. Pace did a sterling job packing the parcel - everything exactly as described.
I always assumed my original frame was an 18" but it seems that it is actually a 16" (borne out by the low weight). The frame from Pace is an 18" (bigger in all dimensions) so I decided to just swap the Direct Control fork onto my 16", and tuck the 18" frame up in the loft for safe keeping.
The swap over was fairly painless. The two forks use the same Timken roller bearings, so I didn't have the hassle of removing/fitting headset cups. I did, however, have to use the short steerer bolt from the X-Lite fork, as the bolt that came from Pace was not threaded enough to suit the shorter headtube of my 16" frame.
Sadly, over time, the top-caps for the legs have gone stray, so some packing foam temporarily fills the holes for now until I can fashion something more elegant. These stems have the earlier sloping mounts with open tops where they clamp to the fork legs (later stems have solid tops). The stems only clamp with 4 tiny grub screws, so a previous owner has bonded the stems to the legs as an additional safety precaution.
Hope you enjoyed my little corner of retrobike heaven.
Update - the first ride with the Direct Control fork was a revelation - such a sweet steer