It’s been a couple of weeks since I did the strip down on this frame, but just before I started the full re-build, I re-fitted the headset for my previous post so that I could get it into the studio for some photographs. All the faces and bearing surfaces were in very good condition so there were no problems with the fitting.

Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Randonneur 531 1985 SB7660 Campagnolo Headset Fitting
Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Randonneur 531 1985 SB7660 Campagnolo Headset Fitting

There aren’t many items that need to be replaced on this build, but a few that do are the small fastenings and finishing touches. The bike arrived with some tatty red handlebar ribbon so I’ve decided to replace this with cloth tape. I’m not sure if I’ll stick with it but I want to try and see how it looks and feels.

Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Randonneur 531 1985 SB7660 New Fittings
Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Randonneur 531 1985 SB7660 New Fittings

One of the drop out end adjusters was bent and had to be cut so that I could remove it from the frame. Original Campagnolo 34 mm adjusters are still available, together with TA bolts and washers to replace some that were a little past there best.

The Stronglight bottom bracket was in excellent shape and only required some new 1/4″ bearings and new grease. The shell was also faced and clean and didn’t require any more work. No matter how well equipped your Campagnolo toolkit is, there are some occasions when alternatives are needed. The only standard size tool for the Stronglight BB and 49D chainset is the fixed cup spanner; everything else requires a different size tool – this includes the adjustable cup, lock ring, crank puller and crank bolts.

Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Randonneur 531 1985 SB7660 Stronglight Bottom Bracket Fitted
Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Randonneur 531 1985 SB7660 Stronglight Bottom Bracket Fitted

Because this is an early Stronglight 49D chainset, I would highly recommend having the appropriate crank puller before doing anything. This chainset has an extractor thread of 23.3 mm instead of the standard size of 22 mm (sometimes also listed as 23.35 mm). The JA Stein tool I have is a perfect fit. The crank bolts were also 16 mm so even my trusty Campagnolo 15 mm spanner would not fit. A thin walled 16 mm socket worked really well.

SBDU frames have used different methods for routing the gear cables around the bottom bracket. Early frames up until approx 1979 would route via the top of the bottom bracket via brazed on cable guides. Frames from 1980 would route the cables through a couple of slots in the bottom of the bracket shell. From approx 1983/4, plastic cable guides were fitted with a pop rivet. This frame came with the plastic cable guide that I removed during the strip down. All that is needed to re-fit this is a new pop rivet.

Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Randonneur 531 1985 SB7660 Cable Guide Rivet Fitted
Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Randonneur 531 1985 SB7660 Cable Guide Rivet Fitted

The last thing I’m doing on this first part of the rebuild is fitting the bars and stem and the brake levers and bar tape. The bars and stem are Cinelli and very straight forward to fit; just ensure you fit anti-seize compound to the join between the alloy quill of the stem and the steel steerer. Because I find that cloth handlebar tape can sometimes be a pain to wrap, leaving gaps around the lever clamp, I decided to test fit the brake levers to the bars to set their position before removing the lever, leaving the clamp in place on the bars. This means I can get the tape wrapped up close around the clamp.

Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Randonneur 531 1985 SB7660 Bar Tape and Levers Fitted
Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Randonneur 531 1985 SB7660 Bar Tape and Levers Fitted

The last few things to re-fit are the front and rear mech, wheels and tyres, chain, seat pin and saddle and possibly some mudguards. All the bits and pieces are here so it shouldn’t take too long to complete.

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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.

2 comments

  1. I’m trying to get back into cycling again and am getting confused with the current bike models available. Do you have the crank and cassette details (numbers of teeth on each) so that I can start comparing eggs with eggs. The randonneur was my best bike ever, I had two. Any help you can give would be appreciated.
    Thanks
    Alan

    1. Hi Alan, thanks for the comment and I’m glad to hear you are getting back into riding. Gearing is a choice, or it was more of a choice on bikes before the 90s; I think individual sprockets and chain rings were much more widely available and gearing was much more customisable. My randonneur bike has a 38/48 chainset with a 15/28 freewheel, it gives a nice low gear but doesn’t have much out and out speed (which is great as I don’t need that). If I was younger/fitter I may have had a 13 tooth freewheel.

      The standard size for a double road chainset now is 39/42 inner with a 52/53 outer combined with an 11/12 through to 28/32 11 speed cassette. Cassettes have a much wider range now so a modern cassette (11 speed) can cater for either road or touring as the spread of gearing is massive). Before the 90s, you would either have a freewheel for road use like a 13-21/23 or a freewheel for touring like 13-28, but as you were limited to 6/7/8 speed, you couldn’t get a smooth run through of gears, there was often big jumps between some sprockets.

      You can also now get a compact chainset which has really taken the place of triple chainsets. A compact will be something like 34/36 inner with a 50 outer. When you combine a compact chainset with a wide range cassette, you have a multitude a gearing options while keeping a good chainline.

      It is all very much a mine field, but I think if you were buying a modern bike, a compact chainset with a standard cassette would be fine. I’m currently building a modern randonneur and will be fitting an 11 speed Ultegra group set with compact chainset.

      Cheers
      Neil

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