One thing I’ve tried to combine with my blog is a comprehensive photographic record. I try to capture each build or every workshop task with the best photography I can do. So now that SB4059 is together, it was put in the back of the car and taken to the studio for some new images. Camera, backdrops and studio lights were ready.

TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston SB4059 Team Pro 753
TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston SB4059 Team Pro 753

A big part of this build was maintaining a very high, almost OCD level of attention to detail. Every part on this bike was chosen because it was perfect; either new old stock or used but mint condition.

TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston SB4059 Team Pro 753 Cinelli Handlebars
TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston SB4059 Team Pro 753 Cinelli Handlebars

Different people build bikes in their different ways but I stick to the way I was taught at Denton Cycles. When it comes to setting up handlebars and brake levers, the bars should be tilted up at a slight angle, the tips of the brake levers are in line with the bottom of the handlebar and the front brake is connected to the left hand lever (as you are sat on the bike).

TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston SB4059 Team Pro 753 Mavic SSC Rims
TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston SB4059 Team Pro 753 Mavic SSC Rims

You may not know it, but bikes have a pretty side! The drive side of the bike is always the side you see featured or photographed. There is a lot of ‘etiquette’ in setting up and building a bike. With wheels, everything should read from the drive side; rim decals and tyre/tub names should face you when you are looking at the right side of the bike. If you are using clinchers, then the tyre name should sit above the valve. Unfortunately, with tubs, you don’t get this option in many cases.

TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston SB4059 Team Pro 753 Hubs
TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston SB4059 Team Pro 753 Hubs

Building wheels also falls under the rules of build ‘etiquette’. On a rim, the rim label is normally directly opposite the valve hole; the name on the hub, when laced, should be in line with the valve hole and rim label (hub name visible when viewed through the hole). The name on the rear hub typically reads from the rear of the bike, therefore the front hub should be laced so that it also reads from the rear of the bike. Spokes should be laced in the same way between wheels, inside and outside spokes laced and pulling in the same direction.

TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston SB4059 Team Pro 753 Cables
TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston SB4059 Team Pro 753 Cables

Cables need to be tidy. People often spoil a build with untidy, badly routed and unsuitable length cables. Non-aero cables, like mine, should always be routed behind the handlebars – look at any pro bike of the era and you’ll see. Cables should only be as long as they need to be; long enough so that bars can be turned without pulling or fitting at harsh angles, causing kinks. Cable ends should be cut neatly and crimped with a cap. I leave about 1 to 1.5 inches of cable after the clamp bolt – just long enough to pull the cable though and tension it and long enough to easily crimp a cable end in place.

TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston SB4059 Team Pro 753 Cranks
TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston SB4059 Team Pro 753 Cranks

Crank caps… if you have them, fit them! They help to protect and keep the delicate crank extractor threads clean and undamaged.

TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston SB4059 Team Pro 753 Toe Straps
TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston SB4059 Team Pro 753 Toe Straps

Toe strap fitting is personal preference. I have mine twisted through the pedal cage which helps to keep them in place. These Binda Extra are actually so thick (laminated) that they don’t really need to be twisted but that is just how I’ve always done it. Some people also like to thread the strap through the back plate of the cage which claims to provide extra security for your foot. Toe strap buttons fitted to the straps are gripped and help you pull the straps tight when needed.

TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston SB4059 Team Pro 753 Details
TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston SB4059 Team Pro 753 Details

I’ve really enjoyed building this bike, this was my dream bike. Now I have it. I’ve learned a lot about these bikes and the SBDU and receive loads of comments and questions, which I love. Hopefully I’ve also helped a few others build their dream bike too!

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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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