HELP IDENTIFY PLS Quality 531 Frame(Benotto, Mercia, Raleigh

I am a newbie who has just joined your wonderful forum to try and identify a lovely frame of mine which I’ve had for years. I would like to “restore” it properly, but haven’t been able to identify it and it’s really annoying me! Any help you super, knowledgeable people can give me would be much appreciated please?!

Distinctive heart shaped cut outs on the lugs, which should help limit the options (Benotto, Mercian, Titan, Bianchi, Masi, Olmo, Raleigh Team Pro, Argos…….)? If it is really Reynolds 531, I guess that would exclude the Italian brands?
Good quality frame, light weight, with replacement Reynolds 531 decals,
Saddle post is about 26.4mm (my vernier caliper is rubbish…) and seat tube OD is about 29.0mm,
Bosses for cantilever brakes (cyclo cross frame?),
Rear dropouts have adjuster screws,
7 speed wheel currently fitted,
Frame number on underside of BB is “842168”.
Fork crown is quite distinctive (see photo)
Sadly it was resprayed by previous owner, with no replacement decals except the Reynolds 531 ones.
(Frame may have been white previously)

Thanks!?
 

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pigman

Senior Retro Guru
Re:

The mudguard eyes, and drilled brake bridge and fork crown, along with seat stay rack fittings, suggest a touring frame rather than a cyclo cross frame.
The lugs and fork crown look standard, used by many builders.

The 26.4 seat pin suggests 531 plain gauge rather than 531 comp, although I'll say I'm not sure what 531 super tourist would use

I'd err towards an english or maybe french rather than italian, but can't be sure
 

keithglos

Senior Retro Guru
My best guess perhaps Dawes, the rear brake bridge and the bridge behind the bottom bracket suggest a quantity maker.
About 1980, certainly look British. Possibly one of the galaxy models?

Keith
 
Re:

Thanks to all of you who have very kindly replied to my plea! I was correct to be optimistic of the helpfulness and knowledge of the Retrobike community.

Thanks in particular "Pigman" for pointing me towards it being a touring bike, which I fully support. Thanks to Keith for your comments and to "Midlife" for suggesting ND. I have researched ND in particular and am now certainly strongly leaning that way. I didn't list all the componentry in my post as I didn't know how much was original. However, there is a decent level of match to the componentry on ND's touring bikes of that era, so backing up my belief that this may be a mid/late 1980s ND.

Unless anyone can blow this theory out of the water, I will rebuild it as a ND touring bike and look forward to riding it. THANKS!! :D
 

hamster

Retro Wizard
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It looks VERY like my Witcomb, same lugs and treatment of the seat cluster, althoguh the fork crown casting is different. If it is, then the last two digits are the year...and it would be 1968.
 
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