In the late 1980s and early 1990s while steel still reigned supreme, the frame builders of the world were waiting for the next big thing. Vitus in France had been making their bonded aluminium frames since the 1970s, while in Italy ALAN were bonding aluminium and then carbon fibre into cast aluminium lugs but for the masses, steel still ruled the roost. Carbon fibre was still some way off and hydroforming aluminium too.
Raleigh, having moved its Specialist Bicycle Development Unit from its own workshop in Ilkeston to the main plant in Nottingham in 1987, got in on the act in the early 90s with the Dyna-Tech range. Working with new mitred tubesets from Reynolds (2055, 2060, 2070, 2080 and 2325 Titanium) they developed their own new frames, with tubes heat-bonded into cast aluminium lugs.
Their marketing material presaged the re-emergence of lightweight steel and titanium as materials for the discerning by referring to the fatigue and catastrophic failure chances of aluminium and carbon fibre tubes. Essentially, “don’t ride one of those new-fangled jobs, it will kill you”.
Good old Raleigh – if you can’t stick a magnet on it, be suspicious!
So, against a background that could have led to the 2-wheeled Austin Allegro, Raleigh managed to defy the traditions of British manufacturing at the time and actually made something amazing. A fabulous combination of both form and function.
Here’s some photos of my Dyna-Tech 300. I think it really is a very pretty bike, but then I would say that, wouldn’t I?
As well as matching perfectly the colours of the Raleigh headbadge, this bike benefits from being both fast (it’s red) and cool (it’s black). What’s not to like?
Shimano 7 x 2 indexed downtube shifters.
Shimano Exage gruppo with Shimano Biopace chainset
As a tiny weight-saving, the small bridge for fixing a rear mudguard isn’t actually a bridge. It’s just a peg coming from the left-side chainstay.
Personally, I think those little chain-hanger pegs on the seatstay above the rear derailleur should be mandatory – they’re so handy!
I love the beautiful functionality of the upper seatstay joints. Don’t try to disguise it – this is the future, 1990s style: form is function. Plus it’s got the word ‘technology’ in the decals, so it must be good.