Over the last week I have spent quite a bit of time riding a Raleigh Ventura road bike from around 1987 and in all fairness to this actual machine it could quite easily have been supplied last week .
When I purchased it from its previous owner I was told that his elderly brother had used the bike less than 5 times in total since the day he bought it. I took this comment with a pinch of salt but the more I look at the bike and its components I think this could almost be true .
A bit of internet research led me to find a link to a copy of the 1987 sales brochure where it made me realise even more that the above statement could well be true. The original tyres are still fitted to the bike although I must admit I would recommend they were changed before attempting any rides of distance , for the short journeys I am using the bike for I feel quite happy to use them but if I was using the bike for longer rides then I would be replacing them asap . I was expecting them to have gone out of shape but they have not done so but the sidewalls are heavily cracked but no lifting of the tread seems to have happened .
This bike has what I think is one of the nicest looking and pleasant to use Shimano “ Golden Arrow” gear system that includes the down tube levers and front and rear mechanisms that have the very nice engraved/embossed logo on them with some slight highlighting in gold as can just be seen on the pictures below.
The rest of the bike is as per standard build apart from the saddle which I think has been replaced for one with a bit more padding and is actually quite comfy to ride on . Even the silver outer brake cabling is still in place although I will be replacing that soon as both brakes feel a bit stiff to operate and I feel it’s a bit of a false economy just to replace the inner cables .
Wienmann 700c alloy rims are laced via galvanized spokes to the original Maillard hubs that are both date stamped 1987 as is the Custom quill stem that carries a nice set of Raleigh etched drop alloy bars and drilled non aero Wienmann levers .
There are a few marks, but these were caused by poorly fitted front and rear lights and rear saddle bag support . All of the original decals are there and in place including the important Reynolds 531 one .
I have covered 20 miles on this bike now after my Local Bike Shop has given it a once over, applied some fresh grease to all bearings and trued up the rear wheel that had the slightest wobble on it . I doubt there are many more bikes from this era that have had such little use . The rear stays are “ Raleigh” pantographed which I think shows that this was near to the top end of their range at time of production .
All in all I think this a nice little bike that at £175 is a bit of a bargain to me