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The Raleigh International

The International was Raleigh's top-end sports-touring frame from 1970 through 1976, and sat just below the Professional in the lineup. Though not a full-fledged tourer such as the Trek 720, the International continues to have a strong, dedicated following.


Internationals will be found with one of two serial systems; either the Worksop letter-number-number-number-number format (X****) prior to 1974, or Raleigh's standardized serial system, which was used from mid-1973 until the International's removal from the Raleigh catalog in 1976.

More on the W-serials can be found at our Serial Number Resource.

Though the Carlton X**** system was designed for the single letter leading the sequence to stand for the year of manufacture, a huge number of pre-1974 Raleigh Internationals, Professionals, Competitions, Super Courses, and Grand Sports have popped up with A**** serials - "A" indicating 1966 production. Even a casual Raleigh collector will understand that these particular A**** serials do not accurately represent these frames.

A general rule of thumb with Carlton serials - if you so happen to get an A**** serial - is to determine the year of the frame by components and color. In short, the serial will tell you absolutely nothing.


X**** serial (ignore X stamp in center of BB)

Decals & Paint Schemes:

The International wore two different decal systems over its run. The original set yielded to the systemwide decal change in 1973.

Though the International may be best known for its searing metallic copper or more subdued champagne hue, the International was available in a number of different color schemes; the complete list is below:

Bronze Green


Burgundy, a.k.a. Rudge Maroon

1971?-1972, never cataloged




1972?-1974?, never cataloged

International top tube decal + 1970-72 Raleigh downtube decal images courtesy Neal Lerner

1970-1972 downtube decal

1970-1972 top tube decal

1973-1976 downtube decal

1973-1976 top tube decal


During its production run, the International was produced with at least two variants of Vagner fork crown. Though the International is most commonly associated with the Nervex lugset, Capella lugs were spec'ed in 1973. Not all '73s, however, came with Capella lugs.

Nervex Professional lugset
Carlton Capella lugset

Additionally, wraparound stays were used during the 1970-1972 run; by 1974, plain stay caps replaced the wraparound design. Some early 1970's may have a different design entirely.


Most Internationals - regardless of the main triangle lugs - were fitted with generic Carlton bottom brackets. Nevertheless, some earlier examples (example at left is a '71) may be fitted with Nervex shells. Coincidentally, the Nervex shell on #F2105 is not from the Professional series; despite the Nervex Pro head and seat lugs.

Nervex BB shell on #F2105
Raleigh BB shell

Capella lugset image courtesy "KonAaron Snake" -

Vagner crown, version #1

Vagner crown, version #2


The 1971 catalog is not available at this time.

Some catalog images from

1970 International

1972 International

1973 International

1974 International

1975 International

1976 International

Quality issues:

Raleigh's build quality in the 1970's was a luck of the draw. Either you purchased a good frame, or a terrible one. Despite the International's high-end status, it wasn't excluded from occasional bouts of notably shoddy workmanship. As an example for this page, The Headbadge purchased a particularly shoddy 1974 Raleigh International, serial #A877. For comparison, a friend loaned us a second 1974 International of far superior build quality, serial #WB4005591.

#A877 was host to not one, but five significant issues:

Terrible lug brazing
Sloppy wraparound seatstay caps
Uneven crown race
Cracked bottom bracket shell (presumably caused by overheating during the original build)
Bottom bracket shell faced - from factory - to 65.5mm

On the opposite end of the spectrum, #WB4005591 was relatively free of these issues, and had a noticably better build quality.

In short, when buying an older Worksop/Carlton Raleigh, it pays to be choosy. Examine carefully before you buy.

International top tube decal + 1970-72 Raleigh downtube decal images courtesy Neal Lerner