1983 Raleigh Sprint – 13.8kg of Nostalgia (& Abysmal Braking)

1983 Raleigh Sprint – 13.8kg of Nostalgia (& Abysmal Braking)

Like many baby-boomers, Cycling Plus editor Rob Spedding has plenty of disposable income and a strong sense of nostalgia. So, in an effort to recapture his youth, he hit up eBay and picked up a great example of his first ever road bike, the Raleigh Sprint.

Universal bike image courtesy: Flickr user Birmingham Bike Foundry, used under CC2.0 Generic – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Readers Comments (50)

  1. Joachim Macdonald May 25, 2021 @ 1:37 am

    Recently bought a classic 1980 Dawes Galaxy – absolute beauty, Reynolds 531, Weinman centre-pull brakes, SunTour derailleurs and some very comfortable randonneur bars – can’t wait to hit that Peak District gravel!

  2. Raleigh? Do they make bikes as well? I happen to have a 1983 Basso road bike. In its original configuration, it weights around 11 kg. Rides very well, better in fact than my Merida Sculptura w/full ultegra groupset.

  3. go get a vintage BMX anyways ,l had both as a teen in 80s and l loved both 🙂

  4. Haha ..Love it !
    I ride that bike daily to work .

  5. These bikes were not very well rated in 1983. These are definitely lower end bikes. I have a 1980s Raleigh Road Ace with Reynolds 531c and it is only 9.8kg with Shimano 600 and it rides amazingly well. Can easily do 150km on it. Love it.

  6. merope alcyone May 25, 2021 @ 1:42 am

    I wanted a ten speed racer (no one called them road bikes in those days) but was similarly disappointed. I didn’t care if I got a Raleigh or not; just a beautiful racer with thin tires, shifters on the down tube and lots of white tape on the bars. I got a…Dawes Kingpin with a front basket and a back rack. I was crushed…like the pebbles I destroyed as I hauled the Kingpin’s 900lbs over my rural roads. Now don’t get me wrong: the Kingpin was a very good bike, so long as your priorities didn’t include being seen by your friends or impressing girls. I had time to mull this over on the many long, solitary rides I took. Well, they didn’t start out as solitary, but since my racer-riding friends dropped me after about a hundred yards they quickly became solitary. Still, it was always fun to wave at them as I neared the destination and they headed home in the other direction. On a good day, third gear on the mighty Sturmey-Archer hub was about equivalent to their middle gear. It made up for it on climbs though, as I stood red-faced on the pedals, each knee cap at breaking point and with both testicles about to explode as I slowly ground to a tottering halt about two thirds of the way up anything steep. And to round things off, mountain bikes and BMX appeared, so my "cool" friends, who’d scored Raleigh Choppers instead of racers, could now take up downhill and stunting. Well, the Kingpin could occasionally get as much as a clear inch of air given a hundred yard run-up, though on landing it sounded like a supermarket trolley full of frying pans had been launched off a twelve foot roof. Good times. How I cherished each day’s cycling, as I applied the Kingpin’s brakes–a bit like stroking the rims with a feather–and coasted to a gentle yet noisy halt a mere hundred feet or so from my house. And with only a spanner, screwdriver and thesaurus of swear words, I could tighten everything up and do the same again the next day!

  7. Found it !
    Raleigh Sprint as featured in the 1984 catalogue:
    Full spec of this super-lighweight racing machine:
    [ A mere 12.7ks (28 lbs) according that that ! ]

  8. Achmad Fuqaha May 25, 2021 @ 1:45 am

    Wonderful bike and I have vintage road bike Raleigh records sprint, thanks for your videos

  9. Shit and I was just complaining about how out of date my first road bike was… (2007 Trek SLR1600 56cm, 30 speed) hahahaha maaaaaaan was I ever spoiled! Now I’ve got a Masi Evoluzione and a Dale SuperSix Evo…. Love em both but man I miss my old Trek now… Oh the memories of riding drops for the first time…. The thrill of dirty speed through the BC Rockies

  10. Searching Google brought me here.. today I discovered my ’84 Raleigh Sprint was stolen from communal storeroom.
    I have had the bike since new and been riding it every year.
    Funny thing mine doesn’t have safety brake levers, nor spoke protector, nor wheel reflectors.
    And.. fork blades completely pearl white, QR wheels, Union chrome pedals WITH toe clips.
    Only thing worn out (besides tyres) was recently broken plastic fitting ring of front changer, thanks to use of Dupont wonder plastic from space programme.. making it a temporary 5-speed, even bar tape was grotty original (not that new stuff in video).
    Gone but not forgotten.

  11. Joachim Macdonald May 25, 2021 @ 1:46 am

    Yeah if I ever do eroica itll be on an old tourer or randonneuring bike with nice thicc tyres and small gears

  12. John-Paul Ferguson May 25, 2021 @ 1:47 am

    At the risk of being the "Actually…" guy (and telling you something you know already): Modern "cyclocross" levers work quite differently from the old suicide levers, despite being reached from the same place. They avoid the problems (primarily, different mechanical advantage) that made the older auxiliary levers so difficult to adjust properly and thus dangerous. Dropping the name has little to do with PC 😉

  13. I could live with the weight (my touring bike weighs the same amount) but I couldn’t do it with those gears. I need gears to be happy on a bike. Gears are the #1 reason that vintage bikes will never tempt me.

  14. American where really bad at building road bikes, my Italian Patelli bike (an artisan from Bologna) which was made in the 84 is 10.9kg

  15. Just acquired a early 70”s Raleigh Sprint. I’ve got it completely disassembled in preparation for restoration and modification. I intend to modify it to be a commuter of sorts for running errands. I love these old bikes; remember old doesn’t mean bad. Darlington, South Carolina USA

  16. Most enjoyable. I think many cyclists who ride modern bikes have a tendency to take themselves far too seriously and are weight/speed obsessed with eking out a few seconds off their ride times, when as you noted in the video, cycling is meant to be FUN. Of course there are many vintage bikes which will weigh far less than the Raleigh Sprint, my 531c 1984 Dawes Imperial for example weighs under 10kgs which is about the same as my Giant Defy0. It’s just a quick as any carbon bike on the flat, and whilst it’ll clearly be slower uphill, I’m not a pro so who cares? It’s just great fun to ride, as are all my vintage bikes which go right the way back to a 1955 Sun Manxman.

  17. Great video, and massive fan of the Raleigh brand, I have a 1923 Raleigh, too big for me to ride but a family heirloom.

    I run a "modern" Raleigh AIRlite for summer months, but have a 1982/83 Raleigh Ace.

    Don’t know what it is, but there is so much soul with an old bike, yes it’s heavy, and won’t win many races now, but love the look on other roadies faces when I cruise past them on it 🙂

  18. calvertbrothers May 25, 2021 @ 1:54 am

    Love fixing old bikes.

  19. Very interesting this video, I got myself a Raleigh for winter bike use, not as old as the bikes mentioned and shown here of course, but I was pleasantly surprised…
    The Raleigh Revinio 2 … I am shocked on how the "Newer Raleigh bikes" feel!! Very comfortable, sure a bit heavier than my summer bike (Specialized Tarmac) which by the way is a heavenly ride… but overall the Raleigh is an extremely comfy road bike, and very durable, built like a tank!!

  20. Wish I had found this video sooner; what a fun view! Now I need to convince myself not to buy that pea-soup green Super Course languishing in the back corner of the bike shop…

  21. is that a cortina team car?

  22. I can’t believe he called L’eroica leroyka.

  23. hi, about the bike….if you don’t need it anymore, i would like to buy it. i’ll give 100 euros for it….

  24. No matter how much you love it, a hi-tensile bike rides horrible. You might as well be riding a brick.

  25. 3:36 that pie plate, oof

  26. You dont ride a vintage bike because it is fast. You ride it because of what it represents and where it has come from.

  27. Matthew Ovens May 25, 2021 @ 2:01 am

    13.8kg is positively lightweight compared to the 18kg worth of East German steel I’ve got in the shed.

  28. Trying out some of Shimano’s disc brakes from the late ’70s would cure your longing, and have you cheering for even crappy rim brakes on steel rims.

  29. Campbell Caraher May 25, 2021 @ 2:04 am

    Great and honest clip. I just recently bought a Puch pacemaker which was the road bike that I got for Christmas when i was ten years old. Am now looking for a larger frame Raleigh and woild love to complete one of these vintage rides….

  30. Enjoyed the film brought back fond memories of my late 70’s Raleigh Record with a Brooks leather saddle. Cut my teeth on the suicide lever brakes and still continue to prefer that riding style using an endurance road bike.

  31. Memorable Name May 25, 2021 @ 2:05 am

    I had an old peugeot dont know its model name

  32. You young whipper-snappers… I still have the first bike I bought as a middle aged adult: a Raleigh Super Course. I took my socks off to help me count up the years… It’s a 1977! The year they went to 700c wheels, and now I’ve got to go dig it out of the barn and get it street ready. Thanks a lot!!!

  33. Ciaran Murray May 25, 2021 @ 2:05 am

    Well done excellent video but surely you should be allowed to use quick release wheels- they’ve been around a lot longer than the early eighties??

  34. How much such a bicycle worth because I have the same one

  35. A very similar-sounding story to me !!
    I never had to go through getting a shopping bike the year earlier, nor did I particularly hanker after a Raleigh Burner (well, I did love some of the Burner range, Night Burner, Chrome Burner etc., but they were just too slow and uncomfortable to ride any distance on, anyway, back in about 1982 or so, when I was 10, I got a Viking Superstar II, in deep met blue.
    Still looks great today IMO !
    Some years later, I part-exed it for a Raleigh Pulsar.

  36. aboassam2244 Ano May 25, 2021 @ 2:11 am

    رالي داءمان في الطليعه وهو الاول

  37. This name is fake May 25, 2021 @ 2:18 am

    I have one of these, the breaking is, interesting let’s say, and I sometimes have to use my feet sometimes but I love it to bits.

    If anybody actually cares I have changed the break pads and not much improvement

  38. I have heard alot of talk from modern riders about "heavy bicycles". Which seems to be anything 20 pounds or above. To me anything 30 pounds or less is "light". Differing times and generations not withstanding.

  39. Malachi Cashmore May 25, 2021 @ 2:19 am

    Still weighs less than my bike

  40. Peter O Leary May 25, 2021 @ 2:22 am

    Thank Christ bikes have come a long way since 😃

  41. USA "Where all great things are invented!"….You mean like droppind atomic bombs on innocent civilians TWICE? Fuck off you pervert!…LA5

  42. Back in 1982 or so, when I was 10, my parents bought me a…
    Viking Superstar II

    Possibly similar spec to your Sprint but the Viking was in a superb dark-mid metallic blue, so it really looked amazing.
    Like this:

    Then, in about 1985 or so, I saved up and bought a Raleigh Pulsar. IMO, the second-best paint job ever, only behind the Quasar/Road Ace

  43. 13.8kg. That’s nothing to the late 90s-00s kids who got those fully suspended steel Y frame things that where all the rage back then. My kids bike must’ve been at least 20-25kg. 😀

  44. briyanna Garcia May 25, 2021 @ 2:27 am

    My grandfather have a rare raliegh bike

  45. Is it possible to replace chainsets on these? Or are you screwed once they’ve worn out?

  46. I’m just gonna say it- that bar tape is HORRENDOUS

  47. It’s not pronounced “eh-roy-ca”, it’s pronounced “eh-roh-i-ca”

  48. Greetings from PL, nowadays we make a bit better bikes =.=

  49. Jeez, modern day roadies are pretty soft…

  50. Lol still riding 2×5 on my old racebike too, its quite fun to ride but climbing hills is just painful…and I am living in a hilly area..

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