Frame details…, it is all about those little frame details… Frame details are hard to change. They are individual elements, fitted to tubes and formed into a frame when the torch melts the filler. Paint and decals are not the same, they can change over time, fooling you and misleading you with a different story… the frame detail should always tell the real story.
The SBDU at Ilkeston used a range of different frame and fork details over the life of the unit. The amount of different details they used means that this post may turn into an epic. I did consider splitting it into 2 smaller posts, pre and post 1980, but as this is ultimately a timeline post, I wanted it to be unbroken, and to start and complete in one go. Hopefully, it will be helpful for anyone doing research into their own SBDU frame. I’ll also try my best to fit dates and years in as I go. If you are a fan of the SBDU or simply need to know these details, then please stick with me. I learnt so much while researching and writing this post, hopefully I can pass this information on to whoever wants to read further!
A little while ago, a member of the TI-Raleigh Yahoo group, Hilary Stone, made the first timeline that listed details by noting what he had observed over a number of years about the SBDU frames he had seen. I’ve spent the last few months looking at images of almost 200 SBDU frames. These frames span the start of the SBDU in late 1974, to post Ilkeston SBDU bikes built under the SB prefix after the SBDU move to Nottingham from 1987. I’ve looked at the TI-Raleigh Yahoo site, my own diverse collection and other Internet sources, examining and logging their frame details… frame after frame after frame… 200 frames is however only a very small percentage of the total amount of frames built by the SBDU – approx 8400 were made at Ilkeston and over 1000 more were made at Nottingham. The highest SB frame number is approximately somewhere in the region of 9500-10000.
My aim is to try and list patterns of when individual components or features were introduced when they disappeared. The key features of identification of any SBDU frame are the blade and stay ends, seat stay caps, rear dropouts, bottom bracket shells, fork crowns, head lugs and decals. Knowing something as simple as what rear dropout a frame has may tell you the frame material used and possibly the date range it was made. I’m planning to write a separate post on frame decals and decal positioning, as that is an entirely different subject altogether. When frame decals are seen on an original frame they can help to date a frame in the same way as frame details – if you are considering a renovation, then getting not only the correct SBDU decals but also the correct Reynolds decals in the correct position and corresponding to the correct year(s) is something you should know. Renovations are not all about period correct date coded components.
The image above shows some of the details used over the life of the unit. Some details were used predominantly with certain tubing types while some crossed over tubing types and across different years. I’ve grouped my timeline into ranges of ‘SB numbers’ rather than ‘Year Built’. However, I have tried to tally these features to an approximate year where I can. I’ve included my ‘best guess’ SB Number – Year Built timeline at the end of the post.
Before I move on, here are some presumptions I’ve made while carrying out this research and some caveats on this blog post.
- Every detail listed is as per SBDU usage and may have differed when used with other builders
- Some lug designs look very similar, even more so in images. I’ve seen at least 3 lug designs from different makers that look so alike, it is difficult in the images to tell the subtle differences and distinguish between them for a positive ID
- I’m not a lug expert, I’m slowly learning.
- My sample of frames is a tiny percentage compared to total production. Therefore, there WILL be frames out there that will differ and conflict with my timeline
- Definitive dating evidence is hard to find. A receipt for an order may not be a build date or a delivery date – order, build and delivery could be several months apart.
- I haven’t noted items such as bottle bosses, brake fittings or lever bosses – these are all items that can change during a renovation and I’ll keep this for my post regarding decals and decal placement.
- When I can’t 100% see enough detail, I’ll always ‘err’ on the side of caution and write about what I CAN see. E.G. If looking at a bike with a semi sloping crown, if I cannot see the inner fork blade and verify that it has tangs/stiffeners, I will record it just as a semi sloping crown.
Right, so if you are still with me and have made it to this point then here goes… Each section header will have the range of SB frame numbers viewed, the amount of frames in the sample and the year(s) I think the range covers. So here goes…
** Revision 6 – dated 19 July 2016 (see revision history below) **
SB6 – SB19 ** 5 frames viewed ** (1974)
- All frames use a flat seat stay cap, flush with the edges of the stay
- Production is 531
- Frames have yellow head tube
- 1010/A (Long) <<Record>> Campagnolo rear ends
- Plain BB shell (no slots) with top routed gear cables
- Plain head lugs – possibly Prugnat S (Blank) or HADEN Olympic 2 L7/L8
- Sloping, internal sleeve, fork crown
Not to be confused with the later oversize (over lapping) caps, the flat seat stay cap on these early frames were finished flush with the edge of the stay. Head lugs were plain, they had no windows or openings cut into the lug. These were probably “Prugnat S” but several manufacturers made something very similar, such as the Haden Olympic range. Bocama also made something similar. The length of point on the Prugnat is the best match as Haden and Bocama lug points were shorter.
SB20 – SB47 ** No frames viewed ** (1974)
I haven’t seen any frames or images covering this small period of production. The most significant thing to change at some point in this period is the SBDU switch from Yellow to Black head tube. The original choice of the TI-Raleigh team colours was based on the theory that they “photographed well in both colour and black and white” and the black head tube was chosen to make the Raleigh head badge show up clearly “you can always spot them in a bunch picture”.
SB48 – SB461 ** 16 frames viewed ** (1974/1975)
- Switch to scalloped seat stay caps (except SB58 which are flat)
- Production is 531
- Frames have black head tubes
- 1010/A (Long) <<Record>> Campagnolo rear ends
- Plain BB shell (no slots)
- SB146 first 4 slot BB
- Plain head lugs – possible Prugnat S Blank or HADEN Olympic 2 L7/L8
- Sloping – Internal sleeve fork crown
At some point between SB20 and SB58, the SBDU made a switch in seat stay cap finishes. SB58 is the only example I’ve seen in this period that retained the flat caps.
An example of the scalloped seat stay cap design is my own SB447. As the timeline progresses, the scalloped design becomes linked with earlier 531 frames and is one of the first key identification details between 531 and 753.
Fork ends so far have been Campagnolo 1010/A – long horizontal dropouts without eyes. This page from a later Campagnolo Catalogue displays the range.
An example of a 4 slot bottom bracket shell. These were introduced early in production and, as the timeline will show, stayed in use till approx 1980. This is one of mine from 1978, SB2692.
SB498 ** 1 frame viewed ** (1975)
- SB498 is currently the first ‘SB’ numbered Reynolds 753 frame seen. It is in Bob Jackson Livery
- It has flat seat stay caps
- 1010/B (Short) <<Nuovo Record>> Campagnolo rear ends (drilled)
- Semi sloping crown with extension tang/stiffener – probably Vagner
- 4 slot BB shell
- Single window head lugs. Window on top point only with a curved front edge – not 100% sure on make but may be Bocama Super-Professional R3
This frame was built in 1975 and according to anecdotal evidence that I have read, was part of the 1975 New York show? Bike World Magazine did an article in the New York Show in April 1975, there was no mention of Reynolds 753.
What I do know about the introduction of 753 is from an article written in December 1975 referencing the Paris Cycle Show in the October of the same year. That article mentions that Reynolds Tubes announced their new 753 tubing. An article in ‘Bike World Magazine’ of February 1976 also had a write up of the October ’75 Paris show. This article also mentioned 753…”England’s Reynolds firm showed their new ‘753’ tube sets for the first time…”. So it looks like the the general bicycle world first saw Reynolds 753 in October 1975 which fits in with the general opinion that 753 was first sold to the public in early 1976.
Reynolds 753 had been tested and built into the Team frames from 1974 but this is the first frame with an SB number that I’ve seen, believed to be in original condition, that shows a 753 decal. It may be something used at a trade show and not yet a frame built for a member of the public, but the Bob Jackson livery remains a bit of a mystery. It is known however, that bare SBDU frames were supplied to other builders for them to add their own livery.
The lugs on this frame have a cut out on the top of the lug together with a curved front edge which resemble the R3 lug below.
This frame also has the first appearance of Campagnolo 1010/B rear ends, drilled by SBDU – this became a signature feature of SBDU 753 frames for several years to come. After production of several hundred 531 frames with scalloped seat stay caps, SB498 returned to using flat/flush plate caps. This frame also has the first appearance of a flat fork crown with crown tangs/stiffeners.
SB501 – SB1029 ** 17 frames viewed ** (1976 – Beginning of 1977)
- SB501 has the last early sloping – internal sleeve fork crown
- SB534 uses cut down and reshaped Carlton Capella lugs
- 753 frames use flat seat stay caps
- 753 frames use Prugnat S4 window lugs
- 531 frames continue to use scalloped seat stay caps
- SB795 is the last 531 frame with possible Prugnat S Blank or HADEN Olympic 2 L7/L8
- Continued use of 4 slot BB shells
- Semi sloping crown (probably Vagner) with/without extension tang/stiffener used with no pattern between 531 and 753
- 531 frames use 1010/A (Long) <<Record>> Campagnolo rear ends
- 753 road frames use 1010/B (Short) <<Nuovo Record>> Campagnolo rear ends drilled (1010/B not drilled on very early Time Trial Special 753 – both with ‘H’ ref)
- SB1029 is the last flat seat stay cap on a standard, stock, none ‘H’ ref, SB numbered frame
That is approx 500 frames covering the main period of 1976, summarised in the 14 frames that I’ve viewed. Everything from SB501 seems to use a semi sloping crown. This is probably a Vagner fork crown, possibly model DL, but I definitely need to research this crown in more detail.
This portion of the update section of the 1983 SBDU Ilkeston Team Raleigh Frameset information contains the only reference I can find to Vagner crowns and mentions the Semi Sloping crown.
Several patterns and identifying features begin to appear. 753 frames in this number range have flat seat stay caps and use Prugnat S4 lugs with 1010/B drilled rear ends. 531 frames continue with scalloped seat stay caps, plain lugs (up to SB795) and 1010/A rear ends. This pattern only appears to change when a frame is built with a ‘H’ reference, denoting a customer specific build. There also appears to be a mix of the use of the flat fork crown and fork blade tangs/stiffeners between 531 & 753 frames. SB1029 is the last standard stock SB numbered frame I viewed with flat/flush seat stay caps.
SB1092 – SB1907 ** 20 frames viewed ** (Beginning of 1977 – Start of 1978)
- SB1092 first oversize/overlapping seat stay caps
- 531 and 753 both use Prugnat S4 window lugs (SB1553 has cut down Carlton Capella)
- 4 slot BB shells
- Scalloped seat stay caps on 531 frames
- Oversize seat stay caps on 753 frames
- SB1305 last scalloped seat stay frame
- Post SB1305, 531 & 753 both share oversize seat stay caps
- Semi sloping crown (probably Vagner) with extension tang/stiffener used predominantly on 753
- Semi sloping crown (probably Vagner) without extension tang/stiffener used predominantly on 531
- SB1104, 1108 & 1162 (all with H ref) use HADEN Europa 27.5/20 (New Continental or wide oval) or 29/16 (Continental or narrow oval) fork crown
- SB1907 first Campagnolo Portacatena rear end
This may have been a period of production where things started to settle a bit. 753 and 531 frames at around SB1305, started to look very similar and share similar attributes and it was the fork crown tangs that appeared to be the visual key to identification.
SB1092 is the first frame I’ve seen with the classic over size seat stay caps – this is listed as a 753 frame. 531 frames continued to use scalloped seat stay caps until SB1305, from that point both tube sets used the oversize design. The Vagner fork crown continues to be used, with or without tangs depending on the tubing. The only time during this period that this changed was on SB1104, 1108 and 1162, which all used a HADEN crown and all 3 frames have a stamped ‘H’ reference denoting some kind of special order.
This is also a period that Reynolds introduced the New Continental, or ‘Wide Oval’ fork blade for 531 tubing. Reynolds introduced the new shape and size at some point in 1977. This was to match the popular fork blade size offered by Columbus tubing.
Finally, SB1907 is the first frame I’ve seen with a Campagnolo Portacatena rear end. This is a 753 frame and has drilled rear ends showing the two Portacatena holes, oversize caps, Prugnat S4 lugs and a semi sloping crown with tangs.
SB1942 – SB3462 ** 41 frames viewed ** (1978 – Beginning of 1980)
- SB1942 first Campagnolo vertical rear ends. Campagnolo 1060 “Racing Set” / “Corsa” / “Sport”. Drilled by SBDU and washers brazed to inside face
- SB2258 first Prugnat 62D head lugs
- Continued use of Prugnat S4 window lugs on 531 frames
- Prugnat 62D and S4 used with no consistent pattern between 753 & 531
- Semi sloping crown (probably Vagner) with extension tang/stiffener used predominantly on 753
- Semi sloping crown (probably Vagner) without extension tang/stiffener used predominantly on 531
- SB2613 first 2 slot BB shell – under bottom bracket gear cables
- All frames apart from SB2290 use oversize seat stay caps except one which also has a ‘H’ ref
- SB2997 last H ref frame viewed H844
- SB3456 first Cinelli CC fork crown (External Sloping). No extension tang/stiffener used
A large period of production (almost 2 complete calendar years), covered by only 41 viewed frames. Some significant SBDU features were introduced in this period including Prugnat 62D lugs, 2 slot BB shells, Campagnolo vertical rear ends and Cinelli fork crowns.
A signature feature of early Reynolds 753 Time Trial Special frames are the Campagnolo Vertical rear ends, drilled by SBDU and fitted with a washer, brazed to the inside face of the dropout… “…1060 Sport vertical drop outs were used at Ilkeston. These were stamped drop outs and had a washer brazed on the inside to increase their thickness to the standard 6mm of 1010 forged drop outs…” – Mike Mullett Workshop Manager SBDU 1978-1982
SB2613 was the first frame I’ve viewed with a 2 slot BB shell. 2 slots are cut/milled into the BB shell following the route the cables will take to the front and rear derailleurs.
SB3456 is the first frame I’ve viewed with a change in fork crown. The introduction of the Cinelli CC cast crown – this was an external sloping fork crown. The crown on this frame does not appear to use any tangs/stiffeners.
The ‘H’ ref is a strange SBDU reference. Unlike the SB frame number that worked in sequence, the H ref didn’t seem to follow suit. Here is a small snippet of SB frame numbers against their corresponding H reference. As you can see, there is no pattern or link between the 2 references.
The ‘H’ ref indicates a frame with some kind of change that took it away from ‘stock’. It may have been a visual change; a change of lug or seat stay finish, or additional clearance for mudguards, or a change to stock geometry such as a shorter or longer top tube. Whatever it signified, the last frame I’ve seen with an ‘H’ ref is SB2997.
SB2997 is in the early period of 1979. So from this point onward, there is no visual identification on any SBDU frame which shows that a frame is a ‘special’ build. Maybe following this date, the ‘H’ ref was simply kept as a notation on the build sheet and the SBDU felt it was no longer necessary or needed, even possible to stamp it onto the BB shell. When you count up the possible scenario for stamping on an SBDU frame in 1979/1980 with a custom build ‘H’ ref nearing 1000 plus the possible 4 digit half centimetre size stamping and the 4 digit SB number, you have SBXXXX HXXXX XX.X – that is 15 individual stamps of the BB shell. Was it just too much detail, was it considered too much to stamp or did they run out of space?
SB3465 – 4958 ** 37 frames viewed ** (1980 – Beginning of 1982)
- SB3465 last 4 slot BB shell
- Prugnat 62D lugs used predominantly on 753 road frames.
- Continued use of Prugnat S4 window lugs on 531 frames
- Continued use of oversize seat stay caps on 753 & 531 frames
- SB4310 753 with Cinelli CC crown and tangs/stiffeners
- SB4310 first Cinelli BB shell – cut with 2 slots similar to existing 2 slot BB shells
- SB4463 first Cinelli SC fork crown – sloping – Internal sleeve
Moving out of the 70s and into the 80s with this period of frame.
SB3465 was the last frame I’ve viewed with a 4 slot BB. That design had been in use for several years, since SB146. SB3465 dates to some time in late 1979 which puts the main switch between over the top gear cables & underneath gear cables, to the turn of the decade, although 2 slot BB shells had been in use from the end of 1978.
Most of the frames I’ve viewed in this period were Reynolds 753. They all used Prugnat 62D lugs. The small amount of 531 frames I’ve viewed all used Prugnat S4. The main seat stay finish was oversize caps. My own 753 frame, SB4059, falls into this period. At a best guess of age, I’d put my frame at late 1980. It exhibits all the features of a 753 in this period – oversize seat stay caps, Prugnat 62D lugs, semi sloping crown with tangs/stiffeners and a 2 slot RGF BB shell, where gear cables pass through the slots on the underside. The decals on this are not period correct and that detail will be covered under a separate blog post. As I said at the start of the post, frame details are built in, decals aren’t.
The first frame I’ve viewed with a Cinelli BB is SB4310. There is a whole lot more on Cinelli BB shells in the next period. They say you learn something new everyday, and the Cinelli BB was a lot of learning for me!
SB4463 has a Cinelli fork crown, the Cinelli SC, which is an internal sloping type similar to the crown on my later SB7660.
SB5005 – SB5990 ** 17 frames viewed ** (Early 1982 – Mid 1983)
- SB5464 first fast back seat stays – Time Trial Special 531 SL (Metric) Shimano vertical rear ends
- SB5633 last Prugnat S4 window lugs
- SB5597 first 531c frame
- Prugnat 62D lugs used predominantly throughout
- 531 & 753 both have option of fast back seat stays
- The period between SB5597 and SB5990 seems to be the period of switch over between Metric 753 and Imperial 753R/T. Images just can’t give a definitive answer on this; measuring a tube diameter is the only way. My own frame, SB5377 is definitely metric 753 (26.0 TT 28.0 ST)
- SB5794 Last Vagner semi sloping fork crown
- SB5794 531c Metric tubed frame – 26.6 seat pin 1698 grams (56cm frame)
This is a massive period of change for the SBDU. From about SB5464 to SB5990, (end of 1982 to mid/late 1983), not only was 753 tubing changing from Metric to Imperial, 531 changed to 531c, fastback seat stays arrived, the Vagner semi sloping crown disappeared, together with Prugnat S4 lugs.
Starting at the beginning with fast back seat stays. Also known by some as ‘shot in’ seat stays – these are essentially seat stays that fasten to back area of the seat lug rather than fasten to the side of the seat lug. In the case of the SBDU, the stays on the fast back fasten to the seat lug seat bolt boss, and not lower on the back of the actual seat lug like other builders. There are pros and cons of this type of arrangement. Although they could be seen as neater in appearance, they have several drawbacks. The first is clearance; mudguard clearance is affected by fast back stays. SBDU actually recommended that frames over 60 cm or where “…severe service is envisaged…” had seat stays attached to the side of the seat lug – attaching to the side of the seat lug also gives the required clearance for mudguards if they were required.
This is the fast back seat stay arrangement on my own frame, SB5464 – this is the first fast back I’ve seen on any SBDU frame, this is a late 1982 frame. This frame is made from Reynolds 531 SL and also has Shimano vertical drop outs (not drilled). From this point, 531 and 753 both share the fast back arrangement with no identifiable pattern.
SB5597 is probably from the very start of 1983. It is notable as the last frame I’ve viewed with Prugnat S4 lugs and the first to use the Reynolds 531c frame decal. The rest of this period uses Prugnat 62D lugs.
The period between SB5597 and SB5990 seems to be the period of change between Metric 753 and Imperial 753R/T. Images just can’t give a definitive answer on this; measuring a tube diameter is one of the only ways. My own 753 frame, SB5377, is dated at the middle to last quarter of 1982; it is definitely metric 753 (26.0 TT 28.0 ST) and has a Cinelli BB shell. SB5437, slightly later but still the same period is also Metric 753 with a Cinelli BB shell.
So this is the point where I had to slow down my research and carefully check out Cinelli BB shells… because there is a subtle difference between the appearance of a Metric and Imperial Cinelli BB that can aid the identification without having to resort to getting digital calipers out of the toolbox to measure the seat tube.
Most people, like me up to this point in my SBDU education, look under the BB of a frame, see a cast winged ‘Cinelli’ logo set into a small cutout and say, “Yep, Cinelli BB”. But hopefully the images above show the differences. The early Metric Cinelli often had a poorly defined, shallow cut out; often it didn’t have the ‘Cinelli’ stamping at all. They were also the CCM style with the chain stay lug tips at the outer side of the shell. ‘S.C. France’ was also noted underneath the ‘Cinelli’ logo.
From what I can identify using the small sample I have, the later Imperial 753R with the 28.6 seat tube used a Cinelli SCM shell. These have ‘Made in Italy’ noted underneath the logo. The SCM also has the chain stay lug tips on the top and bottom of the lug casting, not the sides.
SB5844, dating to the first part of 1983, is the first Imperial 753R frame I have viewed.
SB5794 is a strange and mixed up frame which probably owes its strangeness to the cross over period of Metric/Imperial & 531/531c.
This frame has the Vagner semi sloping crown that I’ve viewed in this selection of 200 SBDU frames. Both frame and forks are stamped with 5794 making them a matching pair. However, the frame has Time Trial Special geometry and the fork has road rake. The frame has Shimano vertical rear drop outs but the fork has Campagnolo drop outs. It is 531c but in Metric sizes, weighs the same as 753 and takes a 26.6 mm seat pin – like I said, a real odd ball! A beautiful original finish frame; just a little mixed up.
SB6032 – SB6993 ** 20 frames viewed ** (Last period 1983 – End of 1984)
- SB6088 First low-profile (track frame)
- SB6192 First Simplex rear end together with Simplex front derailleur fitting
- SB6337 Last drilled 1010/B (Short) <<Nuovo Record>> Campagnolo rear ends on 753
- SB6376 First Cinelli head lugs
- SB6376 Cinelli seat lug – possibly first Services des Courses (Cinelli throughout, including, head lugs, seat lug, BB shell, Type CC crown)
- Cinelli seat lugs require side fastening, oversize seat stays
- SB6944 First 531 Professional frame documented
- SB6993 Last Campagnolo Portacatena rear end
SB6088 which I date to the later part of 1983, is the first of the SBDU Ilkeston Low Profile frames that I have viewed.
The 1984 SBDU Ilkeston “SBDU Team Frame Sets” catalogue describes details of the new ‘Services des Courses’ frame, available in 753R or 531c.
SB6192 is an example of the use of Simplex fittings. Simplex parts were used on the domestic Raleigh Weinmann team from the end of 1983 – this frame has Simplex horizontal rear ends and a Simplex front mech fitting (a threaded boss fitted to the front/right side of the seat tube – rather than a std band on or braze on fitting).
SB6337 is the last frame I have viewed with the SBDU signature Campagnolo 1010/B short drilled rear ends on a 753 frame.
SB6376, which I date to the very start of 1984, is the first example of a Service des Courses that I’ve viewed. The SBDU had previously used Cinelli BB shells and Cinelli CC fork crowns, but this is the first frame with Cinelli head lugs and seat lug. My own frame, SB6560, another from 1984, is an example of a Services des Courses in 531c.
SBDU were clear that any frame with a Cinelli seat lug would have side fitting seat stays. Seat stay fitting choice was optional on other models. During this period, most fast back frames I’ve viewed have used Prugnat 62D lugs.
SB6993 which dates to the period at some point between the end of 1984 and the start of 1985 has the last Campagnolo 1010/B Portacatena rear end that I’ve seen.
SB7024 – SB7893 ** 23 frames viewed ** (Beginning of 1985 – Early 1986)
- SB7024 also stamped HL1T85
- Cinelli lugs predominantly used with oversize seat stay caps
- Cinelli lugs predominantly used with 753 frames
- Prugnat 62D predominantly used with fast back stays
- Prugnat used on a mixture of 753 and 531 Pro and 531c
We are now into 1985. SB7024 has a dual stamping. It also has HL1T85. I’ve seen 2 other frames in this period, spanning 1985 and 1986 that have dual stampings that I’ll mention a little later. The dual stamping is the standard SB prefix frame number and another stamping that appears to follow rider initials. The ‘HL’ on SB7024 may not be Henk Lubberding, who was a TI-Raleigh then Panasonic Raleigh rider, as the shell is stamped as a 56 cm and I’m sure Henk was much larger, probably a 59 cm. I’m not sure of any other ‘HL’ riders on either the Panasonic Raleigh or Raleigh Weinmann teams, so I’m at a bit of a loss over this stamping. However, it is a lovely 531c Services des Courses frame.
531 Pro was first mentioned in the 1983 frame set list but I hadn’t viewed a single example until just before 1985. In this 23 frame sample, 7 are made from 531 Pro so seems to have been a popular period.
3 models of 531 Pro were offered…
531 Pro (Complete Paint) | 531 Pro Super (Part Chrome) | 531 Pro Super (Full Chrome). Here is my own 531 Pro Super Part Chrome from 1985, SB7219
Prugnat lugs and a HADEN BB shell were the typical frame fittings for this model. At this time, Cinelli BB shells were specified on either 753 frames or 531c/753 Services des Courses (Cinelli fittings throughout).
The other 2 frames in this period with dual stampings that I mentioned earlier are both fully painted 531 Pro frames. Both have Prugnat 62D lugs, so are not Services des Courses, but both have a Cinelli BB (normally reserved for either 753 or SDC and not 531 Pro). They both share the same distinctive red/orange fade paintwork and both have the “Ed V.D Meulen” decal on the front of the seat tube.
This period also has the only 2 examples of the ‘Randonneur’ frame that was detailed in the 1984 frame set list. Both of these frames are owned by myself. 2 models were made, one in 531c and one in 753R, I have one of each, SB7657 in 753R and SB7660 in 531c – both frames are only 3 SB numbers apart in production. Both have Prugnat 62D lugs, Cinelli SC fork crowns and oversize seat stay caps (required for mudguard clearance). Both also have Campagnolo 1010 long horizontal dropouts with an additional eyelet fitted, making a double eyelet drop out. Both also have internal rear rack mounts brazed into the inner side of the rear stays. The 531c model has a fork lamp boss and a HADEN BB and the 753R model has a Cinelli shell.
SB8021 – SB8367 ** 10 frames viewed ** (Last half of 1986 – End of Ilkeston Production circa 1987)
- SB8074 last Prugnat 62D lugs
- From SB8074 most frames use side fastening seat stays with oversize caps
This is generally considered to be the end of the SBDU period at Ilkeston, before it moved to Nottingham at approx SB8400. All the frames in this period use oversize seat stay caps except SB8073 & SB8074; they are both Low Profile frames with fast back stays and have Prugnat 62D lugs.
From this point until the end of Ilkeston, all the frames I’ve viewed use oversize caps and Cinelli Lugs. In fact, as most now use Cinelli lugs, the fast back seat stay feature seems to fade away and almost disappear. Most frames from SB8074 also appear to be 753R. 531c frames are still made, but rarely seem to make an appearance in the frames that I have viewed.
There are several permutations of an SBDU Ilkeston timeline on the internet at the moment. Several variations pop up in some form or another on different forums. I’ve looked at most. Most are quite close on the years from 1977 onward; it is the early period that seems to differ, there isn’t much known for definite about exactly how many frames were produced in 1974. Some will reckon on about 50 frames while others will quote approx 200 frames.
Based on frames such as the Bob Jackson 753 SB498, the Paris Cycle Show in October 1975, a receipt for an early 1976 753 frame, and my own research on my own collection and the data I’ve collected, I’ve come up with my own SBDU Date Timeline and written a separate post which you can see here…
1974 - Start SB1 End SB50 1975 - Start SB51 End SB500 1976 - Start SB501 End SB1010 1977 - Start SB1011 End SB1870 1978 - Start SB1871 End SB2600 1979 - Start SB2601 End SB3400 1980 - Start SB3401 End SB4200 1981 - Start SB4201 End SB4900 1982 - Start SB4901 End SB5650 1983 - Start SB5651 End SB6300 1984 - Start SB6301 End SB7000 1985 - Start SB7001 End SB7700 1986 - Start SB7701 End SB8430 1987 - Start SB8431 End SB8432 - SB8438... ...SB Build Production Relocated to Nottingham
And that is it…
As one of my caveats said, there will be lots more SBDU frames out there that may not fit into any of the patterns of features that I have described in this post. Hopefully, the more I see, the more I can add and the more accurate I can make this timeline. This won’t be a one-off blog post, I’ll update this as and when I get new data.
Credits and Mentions
Massive thanks go to the TI-Raleigh Yahoo group as 80% of the images I have seen have been viewed on that site. If I could give one piece of advise, it would be to have clear images of the detail of a frame including the BB shell, seat stay caps, lugs, drop outs and fork crowns.
Other images I’ve used here such as lugs and BB designs come from ‘Classic Rendezvous’ http://www.classicrendezvous.com/
All the images of SBDU frames on this post are from my own collection. I am lucky enough to have a varied collection of different styles and models, displaying several of the features mentioned in this post on my own frames.
Over the last 5 years, I’ve always paid particular attention to the emails to the TI-Raleigh group from Mike Mullett. Mike was workshop manager at the SBDU Ilkeston from 1978 to 1982. He has obvious first hand knowledge of the unit and its working practices and methods, together with excellent knowledge of Reynolds 753 and frame building in general. Mike was probably the one who initially asked if someone was going to take on the challenge of pulling together and writing a timeline.
Hilary Stone responded to Mike’s request for a timeline a few years ago, and a lot of what Hilary noted and listed in his timeline is very close to what I have discovered for mine.
I’m now working on a series of timelines as part of my blog. This one has given me the bug!
The next will be a brief run down of Reynolds tubing and how the SBDU used these tubes over the period of Ilkeston. This will be followed by a timeline of the more changeable items – items such as decals, where these decals should be placed, what they should read. Also, the little details such as bottle bosses, gear lever bosses and brake fittings. That post may take a little while…
- 28/03/2016 – First published
- 02/04/2016 – Revision (5 new frames added | 1 existing frame detail updated)
- 22/04/2016 – Revision (3 new frames added | 1 existing frame detail updated | Vagner fork crown reference updated from ‘Flat 4 Point’ to ‘Semi Sloping’)
- 23/05/2016 – Revision (11 new frames added | Update on the introduction of Reynolds 753 | latest Prugnat S4 frame updated | latest drilled 1010/B 753 rear end frame updated)
- 13/07/2016 – Revision (26 new frames added | Update on Prugnat 62D | Update to Simplex Fittings | Update to First 531 Pro Frame)
- 19/07/2016 – Revision (Small update to yearly boundaries | New Timeline Graphic | Link added to new Date Timeline Blog Post)