After a few diversions with other Raleigh frames, I’m back to my 753 Team Pro. A lot has been happening although it’s still not quite there… yet…

My OCD leads me into not wanting to accept anything other than perfect when I’m looking for parts. That means I want NOS. If I can’t find NOS or can’t afford the price of NOS then I struggle. By far the most difficult thing to track down were the rims – Mavic SSC.

I’ve seen lots on the internet but at silly silly prices; then one day, a 36H pair appeared, NOS, in perfect condition – a little bit of peeling from the MAVIC sticker but I can cope with that. The price was still high but at least half the money of anything else I had seen. Although the standard spec on the Team was 32H, I couldn’t pass up these rims in the condition that they were in. It’s not often these rims come along for sale and when they do, they are mainly used and with the braking marks on the side wall; my OCD would freak!

I was also treated to some really nice 36H Record hubs for my birthday. Super smooth and shiny with no corrosion on the QRs, a 126mm rear axle – perfect again!

SBDU Raleigh Team Pro 753 (1)
Still no spokes though – that is going to be a separate search altogether!

After a little more research I decided to go for a 6sp Regina freewheel and Regina chain. Now I am getting on a little and could probably very easily go for some lower gearing but I decided to go for something that I would have fitted if I was buying this 30 years ago – so that’s why I’ve gone for a 13-18 straight through block.

Regina Oro Extra Raleigh SBDU

I don’t intend to ride this bike much, but it will get ridden. However, that gearing means that most of the riding will be down hill with the wind behind me!!

Although it’s not a NOS seat pin; yes, the price of a NOS was just stupid, the Super Record pin I found was in excellent condition. The most important point to look for was marks above the limit line. Normally seat pins get shoved into ill prepared seat tubes, they get twisted in and out and typically the alloy pin will get gouged with the imperfections on the inside of the seat tube.

Brooks Professional Raleigh SBDU

Mine is clean above the limit line and at 27.0, it is a perfect fit for the older metric 753 tubing.

With regard to handlebars and stem, I always rode Cinelli; I never liked the look of 3TTT or ITM. Luckily, the Team spec’d Cinelli. I prefered the XA stem but the spec on the Team was normally the 1A so that is what I went for. Cinelli have recently re-introduced the 1A stem but with a 26.0 centre ferrule. If I want to keep the build period, I need handlebars and stem from the period with the 26.4 centre ferrule. I went for some NOS Campione Del Mondo bars and a NOS 1A stem, correct for the 1980 period.

SBDU Raleigh Team Pro 753 (6)

You might have noticed from the picture above that there is a lovely Super Record brake lever clamped to those NOS Cinelli handlebars.

That brake lever comes from yet another NOS find; a complete Super Record brakeset in pristine condition, again correct for the period of 1980.

SBDU Raleigh Team Pro 753 (5)

I’ve seen so many nice but used brake sets; some have perished adjusters, worn lever hoods, part worn brake blocks, scratched levers and non Campagnolo cables. This set is in mint condition with no marks at all.

So, it’s nearly there…

SBDU Raleigh Team Pro 753 (2) SBDU Raleigh Team Pro 753 (4)

and what’s left to do…

  • Clips and Straps
  • Record Pedals
  • Berg Union Spokes (and build the wheels)
  • Clement Tubs
  • White Benotto Tape

If I’m lucky, I may be riding this very soon…

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About the Author Neil McGowran

Blogger of all things to do with the Specialist Bicycle Development Unit (SBDU) and TI-Raleigh Ilkeston.

5 comments

  1. I must say you are making a fantastic job of the bike but two things that are wrong with the frame decals 1, Team Raleigh would have been fitted on frames from 1975 to 1977 then it was just Team on the top tube only. 2 the 753 decal is from 1982/3 onwards and yours should be the early one. Other than that it looks perfect.the Mavic SSc will cost you NOS

    1. Hi Trevor. I know about the decals and it pee’s me off everytime I look at them. I bought the frame in that condition – it had just had a respray by the previous owner but obviously they didn’t know about subtle tell tale signs like this. The top tube should just be TEAM and the 753 should be the earlier metric 753; instead, it has the later 1983 imperial 753R decal, it also doesn’t have the 2 Ilkeston decals on the chainstays. I had a dilemma when I bought it which was “do I just build it as it was in perfect “just re-finished” condition”, or “do I send a perfect condition frame for a full respray just because of 2 decals?” I’ve decided to build it up as is, enjoy it for a while and then get it re-finished correctly over a winter period. It’s nearly complete, I just need to source some spokes and build the wheels, glue on some tubs and take it for a spin.

      Cheers
      Neil

    1. Hi Bart

      Thanks for the comment. Yes, I know about bicycleclassics already but knew that they no longer had White Benotto tape (or even yellow), which were the 2 preferred colours I was after. However, I’ve managed to source some White from another member of the TI-Raleigh Yahoo group in America.

      I may give them a try for the berg union chrome spokes (hopefully in my sizes 296/298/300) but they seem to sell them in boxes of 100 which means I’m going to have a lot of spares! Hopefully some old long established bike shops local to me may have some old stock lying around that they can sell individual spokes.

      Thanks again for the comment and I hope your build is going good.
      Cheers
      Neil

  2. Hi Neil,

    I wonder if you have the issue that has come up for me about my older Raleighs. I am of one mind to “restore to perfection” which is the path you have taken here (this bike is fabulous). I know that for me, if go down that road, I would not want to ride the bike at all for fear of putting wear on the parts or chipping the paint. Looking at your pictures, I know it would pain me to see the first rub marks on the deraillers and chainrings. But if one does not ride the bike then that creates the problem of having a “living room queen” display bike which I appreciate but does me no good in practical terms. So I have chosen to ride my bikes and not worry too much about them other than to maintain them well. I rode one of my 753 Team bikes 60 miles hard, just today.

    Have you considered having two sets of Campy parts? One for actual riding that is perhaps already scratched up but serviceable? The second group would be this one that goes on when its time to put the bike on the wall to look at.

    Matt

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