This may be a lengthy post but I want to recap of what’s happened so far in my project to put together my Raleigh TI Team frame. It’s been a long 5 months since I bought this frame and that’s meant 5 long and slow months of wanting to get as much of the renovation done as possible but with 2 major obstacles.
- Obstacle 1, lack of available decent components
- Obstacle 2, lack of funds
Although it still looks very similar to the day I unboxed it, there has been a lot done to improve the appearance and to prepare it for the next stage of the build. This is how it looked straight out the box (pictures courtesy of original eBay listing).
I remember feeling both elated that I actually had one of these frames and also disappointed that someone had done such a bad renovation of the frame. However, the frame respray was something that I had no control over, so until I can get a proper job done (maybe in a couple of years time) I need to make the best of it. After all, underneath the slightly thick paint and wrong 753 decal is an Ilkeston built SBDU 1980 753 frame and forks. And best of all, it’s in my size!
First job, ditch the modern, mangled headset. 5 minutes work and already looking better. Second job, remove the horrible slot head brass self tapping screws from the head badge and replace with rivets. £2 spent and 10 minutes later, the Raleigh head badge was fixed correctly to the frame and looked so much better.
Everything about my work is in the small details. If you take care and time with the small details then you have the basis of a great job. That’s why something as small as the rear dropout adjusters are important. A little bit of research and shopping around and I managed to get some original, still packaged Campagnolo end adjusters. Apart from the slightly thick paint on the dropouts, these adjusters look great.
The next item to make its way into my possession was a new, unused and boxed Super Record rear mech with the PAT 80 date code. This mech is in perfect condition and as far as I can see, it has never been fitted to a frame. Everything about it, from the titanium bolts to the adjustment screws and wheels are unmarked. One of the main objectives of this build is to use as many original but new and unused parts as I can from the same period as the frame. The frame number dates from 1980 so to have a new and unused rear mech with a PAT 80 code is exactly right.
A little bit of anti seize compound on the titanium fixing bolt and a couple of turns of an allen key and it’s fitted. Not the most advanced task but very worthwhile.
At this point in the build, although I haven’t really done much, I’m already so much happier with my purchase; very skint but very happy!!
The next parts to come along were gear levers. For some time now, probably since 1987’ish, I’ve used indexed gears starting with 6 speed Shimano SIS down tube levers through to lovely Dura-ace STI levers. So going back to down tube levers and non-indexed friction levers is a bit of a change for me. These levers have been the easiest to find with loads of examples from the time available to buy.
Building this bike is a huge trip down memory lane. Everything is over 30 years old, and in my opinion, the best way to be. So when it came to fitting a bottom bracket, I’m not looking at cartridge bearings or hollowtech axles etc etc, I’m back to good old fashioned bearing surfaces and ball bearings. I’ve fitted thousands of these, and when done correctly, they spin super smooth.
Last thing fitted is the head set. After 5 months of having separate frame and forks, I found the perfect Super Record headset to bring them back together.
So, what’s next in stage 2…
- Seat pin and saddle
- Front mech
- Bars and stem
That should hopefully take me right up to stage 3, and the wheels. But for now, it’s back to the research and saving and admiring what I have so far.
Thank you to my wife Karen, for allowing me to commandeer her studio yesterday and who also took over the camera to help me get the best shots.