1982 Raleigh Royal plus 1980 Carlton Courette rebuild


Dirt Disciple
Greetings to all.
I’d been looking around for a suitable Retro bike to rebuild and use:- preferably a smallish Touring frame, with Reynolds 531, 27” wheels, and Suntour groupset. Given my limited knowledge, I was mainly focusing on the models I know e.g. Dawes Galaxy, Raleigh Royal, Carlton Corsair, etc.
It’s amazing when you know what you’re looking for, how they never turn up!!

Anyway summer’s marching on … and I finally plumped for a Raleigh Royal 21” frame, basically because it ticked all the above boxes. It’s an oak green model, frame WK2001700 which equates to July 1982. Unfortunately it had been robbed of most although not all of its parts, see pics, however at least I had the frame (a bit scratched and scraped, with its original paint & decals, and not particularly rusty).

A few weeks later I got lucky. A barn-find Carlton Courette became available, Reynolds 531, rusty frame, and a Touring model to boot, from the same stable as the Raleigh, and almost identical spec. Frame number is WM0006943, Sept 1980, so within 2 years of the Raleigh. Why not combine the two? Make one from two? See pics.
It has the alloy 27inch wheels with quick-release, full Suntour groupset, and correct Weinmann centre-pull brakes with GT levers (suicide levers!). I know there are mixed thoughts on these Touring levers, however at my age and level of activity I find them a plus, provided they’re applied sensibly and at low speed.

The plan is to strip both bikes down to the last ball-bearing. I completed my first ground-up refurbishment last year, a 1950’s Raleigh Super Lenton - would be interesting to compare the experience with a 1980’s project.
Anyway that’s a brief intro … now the proper work begins!!
P.S. I’ve browsed the Raleigh catalogues online and attach a scan of the Carlton. Does anyone in Retrobike know if any of the 1982 Raleigh catalogues ever featured the Raleigh Royal? Can’t seem to find this anywhere online. :?


  • Carlton Courette 1981.jpg
    Carlton Courette 1981.jpg
    348.4 KB · Views: 904
  • Carlton Courette GT levers.jpg
    Carlton Courette GT levers.jpg
    428.7 KB · Views: 898
  • Carlton Courette Group set.jpg
    Carlton Courette Group set.jpg
    431.4 KB · Views: 897
  • Carlton Courette 1980 bike.jpg
    Carlton Courette 1980 bike.jpg
    463.8 KB · Views: 900
  • Raleigh Royal 1982 7.jpg
    Raleigh Royal 1982 7.jpg
    400.8 KB · Views: 897
  • Raleigh Royal 1982 5.jpg
    Raleigh Royal 1982 5.jpg
    427.1 KB · Views: 898
  • Raleigh Royal 1982 4.jpg
    Raleigh Royal 1982 4.jpg
    402.6 KB · Views: 900
  • Raleigh Royal 1982 1.jpg
    Raleigh Royal 1982 1.jpg
    457.4 KB · Views: 902


Dirt Disciple
Many thanks for your message, and also the link to a similar Raleigh Royal from across the pond – an interesting read.
I’ve tracked down the 1983 Raleigh catalogue (see pic), with the Royal featured in its oak green splendor! – still not been able to track down any 1982 Raleigh brochure featuring the Royal (mine’s dated July 1982)

I’ve successfully stripped down both bikes, it’s all gone swimmingly so far. The Carlton components are in good unworn condition, a lifetime of light use. I’ve cleaned the Royal frame & forks, taking care not to damage the original paint-job and decals, and have poured engine oil inside all the frame tubes … then allowed it drain out over a period of days. That’ll keep the rust bug well at bay!

Latest milestone: I’ve regreased and installed the bottom bracket, also the forks – see pics.
I noticed that the Royal bottom bracket spindle (Tange 3A A-12) is unsurprisingly the same width as the Carlton’s (Sakae 3S2) bearing-to-bearing … (see pics – Tange at the top). However my latest conundrum is the Carlton bottom bracket spindle is wider end to end – so I’m now wondering if this is going to cause a problem when fitting the Carlton chain wheel & cranks (SR Sakae Apex) to the Royal spindle? Will it foul the Royal chain stays? :?


  • Carlton Courette.jpg
    Carlton Courette.jpg
    275.2 KB · Views: 721
  • Fitted spindle.jpg
    Fitted spindle.jpg
    327.1 KB · Views: 720
  • Bottom spindles.jpg
    Bottom spindles.jpg
    483.9 KB · Views: 720
  • Frame and forks.jpg
    Frame and forks.jpg
    372.6 KB · Views: 720
  • Raleigh frame.jpg
    Raleigh frame.jpg
    341.7 KB · Views: 720
  • Raleigh frame number.jpg
    Raleigh frame number.jpg
    315.5 KB · Views: 720
  • Raleigh catalogue 1983.jpg
    Raleigh catalogue 1983.jpg
    203.2 KB · Views: 722