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It was a market, especially at the high end, that Raleigh, the world's largest cycle manufacturer, was unable to tap at the time.
Such was its reputation and capability, that Carlton's name, design and manufacturing capacity (at Worksop, 24 miles from Raleigh's Nottingham's works) was not only retained but expanded to be the centre of all high-end racing bike and Reynolds 531 production for the whole of the Raleigh "empire" which now included all of British Cycle Corporation's brand and markets.
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.
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.Although many moaned about Carlton being yet one of many proud independents "swallowed up" by Raleigh, its name, brand recognition, sales and overall market impact in lightweight cycling increased exponentially not just at home but throughout a now truly global market under the aegis of TI Raleigh. The only models offered were the Franco-Suisse and the Catalina. If bicycle sales lagged in Britain, those in America, focused almost entirely on the leisure and sports market, increased in 1959-60 under Raleigh Industries of America (RIA). although only 60,000 of them were actually badged as Raleigh or associated marques, the others were sold under different house brands for the American market for Huffy, AMF and department stores as had long been the custom of the former British Cycle Corp., but at very low profit margins.