There I was, enjoying a quiet Sunday evening watching TV and browsing eBay, when a bike with an SB serial number popped up. The frame number was SB7660 and it was an Ilkeston Randonneur. SBDU listed 2 models of Randonneur, 8643 & 8645, Reynolds 753 and 531c respectively. Now I already have another Randonneur, built from Reynolds 753 in 1985 with the frame number SB7657. So the bike being advertised was built at the same time, only 3 frames away from the one I already own… and it was in my size!! 57.5cm!! And it would complete a set!! Is eBay just taunting me with bikes that I must buy?
The last couple of Ilkeston bikes to come my way have only been framesets, but as this was a complete bike, it could well be ready to ride after a little bit of TLC. Campagnolo Record hubs, headset and seat post, Stronglight cranks, Brooks Professional saddle, Cinelli bars and stem, Wolber Super Champion rims, Suntour mechs and Simplex levers – that is not too bad a spec. It even has a lamp bracket of the fork blade and a TA bottle cage.
The condition of the frame, paint and decals is superb, although it will take a good clean to remove some horrible black sticky packaging that has stuck to the frame in transit. I’ve noticed a few marks and chips around the chain stay and dropouts but overall, it is in amazing condition for a 30 year old bike.
The lovely red colour is also the same as one of my other bikes, SB7219, which for me, confirms that they are both original SBDU paint.
There is a nice mix of components, Weinmann, Simplex, Wolber, Campagnolo, Stronglight, TA, SR, Suntour, Brooks and Cinelli – not a single piece of Shimano.
The Stronglight cranks are fitted with TA 38/48 chain rings and have 165 crank arms. The pedals are SR quill pedals with French thread (14 x 1.25). A black Sedis chain and 5 speed freewheel complete the gearing. I’m not sure if I’ll be happy with that crank length or gearing, but I’ll give it a go.
The frame will be stripped as the bearings all feel as though they need attention. Hopefully, new bearings and grease will sort them. The Record hubs should also be ok with new bearings. The paint should clean and wax to a lovely rust free shine.
New inner and outer cables throughout together with new bar tape and tyres will finish this bike build. I’ll write another couple of posts detailing the strip down, cleaning and rebuilding of this really beautiful bike in the next couple of weeks.
Click here to view the strip down post for this bike.
Click here to view the start of the re-build.