Is my frame 753?
How old is it?
These are 2 very important questions that need answers. You might also think I’m daft for buying a frame without being sure of it. You’re right, I bought it on a hunch, but an educated hunch.
Where do you go to find out the answer to these questions? Well, I went to the experts, I went here http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TI_RALEIGH_TEAM_PROS/ These guys collectively know their stuff. There is so much knowledge held within the heads of the members. Many own several Raleigh SBDU frames and bikes (yep, really jealous – but this might be my first of many… don’t tell the wife that though). One member actually managed the workshop at Ilkeston. What more would I need to answer my questions. I found out this about early 753 tubing…
753 is Metric-diameter tubing (28.0 mm O.D. for the seat and down tubes, 26.0 mm O.D. for the top tube), and was introduced in about 1975. Seat posts for 753 frames are either 27.0 (for small frames) or 26.8 mm (for large frames).
753R and 753T are Imperial (English/Inch) diameter tubing (28.6 mm O.D. for the seat and down tubes, 25.4 mm O.D. for the top tube), and began production in 1983. Seat posts for 753R and 753T are either 27.2 or 27.4 mm.
Out came the electronic calipers and all the tubes were eagerly measured. Guess what, my dimensions match those for an early pre 1983 753 frame. It turns out that my frame has the tubing code of 801, which was used on the smaller frames. It was the lighter tubing of the 2 available (801 & 803). 803 was used on the larger 753 frames and had a smaller diameter seat post.
There are 2 bits to this frame set, the frame and forks. Because I had dropped the forks out, I had the opportunity to match up the frame number of the bracket and the number on the steerer tube – both match.
So, when was this built. Again, you have to turn to the group. They have a database maintained by the group members containing the details of their frames/bikes. No records exist from Ilkeston so a lot of information has to come from members who have the original receipt or workshop build sheets to pin down a SB frame number to a month/year.
According to the database, my frame number corresponds to 1980 (definitely the wrong 753 decal! I plan on dealing with that later). Anyway, 1980 pins it down; I now know what I need to do to build this bike and the bits and pieces needed to do that. How hard can it be to track down 1980 date coded Campagnolo Super Record components? I’ll let you know over the coming months…