Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Randonneur 531 1985 SB7660 Gearing

SBDU Ilkeston Raleigh Randonneur Reynolds 531c 1985 SB7660 – Complete

I’m really happy with how this rebuild has turned out! I didn’t want to carry out a full nut and bolt strip down, clean and polish; I just wanted to get this bike back on the road again and make it 100% mechanically perfect!

Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Randonneur 531 1985 SB7660 Complete
Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Randonneur 531 1985 SB7660 Complete

I haven’t cleaned off all the dirt, I haven’t attacked the alloy and chrome with Autosol and a polishing cloth, I have only replaced what needed to be replaced. After fitting new 1/4″ bearings in the rear hub and bottom bracket, the Suntour gears were re-fitted together with new inner gear cables. The Simplex retro friction levers work brilliantly and the gear changes are really smooth and quiet.

Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Randonneur 531 1985 SB7660 Gearing
Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Randonneur 531 1985 SB7660 Gearing

The previous Weinmann brake lever hoods had definitely seen better days and it was easier to source some complete replacement brake levers than hunt down usable replacement Weinmann hoods. The Dia-Compe levers I’ve used feel nice and fit in with the period look of the bike. Cloth bar tape finishes off the Cinelli handlebars. It replaces the worn out red bike ribbon that the bike came with.

Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Randonneur 531 1985 SB7660 Brake Levers
Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Randonneur 531 1985 SB7660 Brake Levers
Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Randonneur 531 1985 SB7660 Cloth Tape
Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Randonneur 531 1985 SB7660 Cloth Tape

I chose black outer cables for a few reasons – the bike came with bright red outer cables which I wasn’t keen on; white cables would have matched the white Raleigh transfers but I don’t like white cables; so black it was!

With just a light clean and oil, the bike and components have come up really well.

Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Randonneur 531 1985 SB7660 Detail
Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Randonneur 531 1985 SB7660 Detail

Although it didn’t come with mudguards, it has fittings and clearance for them, so I’ve fitted some new SKS mudguards with stainless fittings. The frame and forks have just enough clearance for the new Panaracer 28 mm tyres and the mudguards while still being able to use 500 mm drop brake calipers.

Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Randonneur 531 1985 SB7660 SKS Mudguards
Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Randonneur 531 1985 SB7660 SKS Mudguards

I’m not at all sure if the Brooks Professional saddle will stay on the bike but it did come with the bike so I’ll give it a go and see how it feels. It is date coded to 1975 and isn’t rock solid so it does have a small chance of being comfortable!

Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Randonneur 531 1985 SB7660 Brooks Saddle
Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Randonneur 531 1985 SB7660 Brooks Saddle

The frame is 30 years old and some of the major components are even older but I’m hoping that the sympathetic work I’ve carried out to this bike will enable it to be around for many more years.

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Written by Neil McGowran

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

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