Since getting this frame I’ve been trying to figure out what it is? Most SBDU Ilkeston frames are easy to spot because they have several distinguishing features but they are almost always either a road or track frame. This one is different. It has all the SBDU features but it isn’t road or track.

With a little bit of time spent doing some research, I found a 1986 catalogue from the Raleigh Ilkeston SBDU.

Raleigh Ilkeston SBDU Catalogue 1986 Part 1
Raleigh Ilkeston SBDU Catalogue 1986 Part 1

Within this was a section listing all the various type of frame available from the SBDU. This section was interesting…

Raleigh Ilkeston SBDU Catalogue 1986 Randonneur
Raleigh Ilkeston SBDU Catalogue 1986 Randonneur

That seems to accurately describe my frame.

“Double eyes for carriers and guards” – “Two sockets for Jim Blackburn type rear carriers” – I reckon that is what I have.

Denton Cycles Raleigh Ilkeston SBDU Randonneur
Denton Cycles Raleigh Ilkeston SBDU Randonneur

So, what is a Randonneur? Well it’s not really a road bike and it’s not really a touring bike. Maybe this extract from wikipedia will explain.

Randonneuring bicycles are not subject to the UCI regulations for road-racing: a cycle is acceptable for randonneuring if it is solely human powered, uses wheels, and is no more than a meter wide. Tricycles and recumbents, therefore, are allowed.

Authors such as Simon Doughty describe a ‘typical’ randonneuring bike as being somewhere between a dedicated road-racing bike and a touring bike. Such bicycles usually have lightweight steel frames, drop handlebars, relaxed (i.e. comfortable) frame geometry, medium-width tyres, triple chainsets, moderately low gearing, and the capacity to carry lightweight luggage. Mudguards and lighting systems are also common.”

Now that I have almost a 90% clear idea of what this is, I can start to plan the components and kit I build this with.

PS, the stuck seatpin is almost out!

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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.

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