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One of the most iconic of racing bicycles during the 1970s Bike Boom in America, the Raleigh Professional also represented the heyday of the marque in the country.Its trademark "blue mink" and silver paint, gold lug lining, lashings of lustrous chrome, characteristic "fastback" rear stays and all that much coveted Campagnolo componentry made it one of the most aesthetically pleasing and desired lightweights of the era and often a "pipe dream" machine for a generation of young cyclists on account of its very high cost.Any racing enthusiast who wants the very best will find this custom-built bicycle completely satisfying.The frame geometry assures a lively and responsive performance.The special configuration of the rear triangle gives added rigidity, a necessity for top competition.Reynolds 531 double butted tubes throughout and completely Campagnolo equipped, including brakes.

By 1969, Raleigh was selling over 200,000 machines a year in America through a network of 14,000 dealers.For those fortunate enough to own one, then or now, it remains one of the most distinctive and pleasing of racing machines in appearance and ride.This article examines the various marks and sub-variations of the Raleigh Professional Marks II-V which was Raleigh's top of the line racing machine for the US market from 1971 onwards and post 1974 exceeded only by the Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston-built Team Professionals.With a huge firm like Raleigh with a global market for which specialised products were developed, it's essential to define terms so this article concerns itself solely with Carlton-built Raleigh Professionals for the US Market only c.1971-1981 not Carlton badged Professionals for the British market.

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