Dating raleigh bicycles serial
eg 72-11 indicates a manufacture of November 1972, but the bicycle would be said to be a 1973 model.A more accurate way of dating the bicycle is to look at the frame number."5" might designate 1975 or 1985 - the decade should be determined by examining the rest of the bicycle.Since the "Twenty" was discontinued in 1984, "5" indicates the year 1975."12345" - Frame number, sequential. It is frame 29, made in the first fortnight of January!The men and women who built them, by and large, also rode them, as their primary means of transportation.Most modern bicycles are designed with the primary intent to catch your eye on the sales floor, and persuade you to buy.I have one example of an AW hub where only the 7 in the year code is visible.
In order to cash-in on the new craze for small-wheel bicycles, Raleigh first introduced the RSW-16 (Raleigh Small Wheel), which was essentially a simplified Moulton, notably with a lack of suspension. The evolution of the "Twenty" design owes much to it's pre-cursor, the RSW-16 - many components are extremely similar - the handlebars possibly being identical.
This is on the back of the seat-tube for most Raleigh Twenty's.
For this information I have referred to Sheldon Brown's Raleigh Dating Page, and other sources but I am reproducing the information relevant to the Raleigh Twenty here.
Introduction: In the 1960's Alex Moulton designed the original Small-Wheel bicycle.
It was revolutionary in it's design for the time with it's uni-sex step-through frame, tiny 16" wheels, and complete with front and rear suspension.
Britain's rise to an industrial superpower on the crest of the Industrial Revolution was based, as much as anything else, on the steel industry and the new technologies it made possible: steel ships, steel bridges, steel buildings..steel bicycles.