Is SB4059 ever going to be finished? The answer is probably no, but today I took another step closer when another piece of the puzzle slotted into place. I’ve had various sets of toe clips over the last 5 years but they have never been the period correct item. Period correct is what I am striving for with this build. 

Each detail has to be THE correct detail. So for SB4059, nothing else will do other than a set of Sturmey Archer Sportif toe clips from the TI-Raleigh Creda era. These are the parts that have probably been the toughest to find. Many of the parts I’ve had to find have been much more expensive, but these toe clips are one of the most rare.

SB4059 TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Team Pro 753 Sturmey Archer Toe Clips
SB4059 TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Team Pro 753 Sturmey Archer Toe Clips

I started the build of my Team Pro 753 all those years ago with some beautiful Campagnolo Super Record toe clips and Binda straps. For any period bike they would be essential components, the best of the best, and they were, but they just weren’t the correct TI spec.

SB4059 TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Team Pro 753 Campagnolo Super Record Toe Clips
SB4059 TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Team Pro 753 Campagnolo Super Record Toe Clips

After a few years of searching I eventually found some chromed steel Sturmey Archer toe clips. These clips were so hard to find as they almost never came up for sale; so even though they were not perfect, they were the correct era so I bought them. They were in very good condition but they had a little pitting to the chrome. They were also missing the Sportif transfer.

SB4059 TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Team Pro 753 Chrome Sturmey Archer Toe Clips
SB4059 TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Team Pro 753 Chrome Sturmey Archer Toe Clips
SB4059 TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Team Pro 753 Sturmey Archer Clips
SB4059 TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Team Pro 753 Sturmey Archer Clips
TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston SB4059 Team Pro 753 Toe Straps
TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston SB4059 Team Pro 753 Toe Straps

I removed the perfect New Old Stock (NOS) condition Super Record and fitted the Sturmey Archer clips. They looked brilliant, but my OCD was nagging me in the back of my mind “…they aren’t perfect… they aren’t complete…“. From the beginning of this process, my plan was to build the perfect bike. Everything I attach to this bike has to be either NOS or used, but in perfect condition. So the search continued.

Although these are rare, and almost never appear for sale, I stumbled across a set of Sturmey Archer Sportif toe straps and some Sturmey Archer clips. They were NOS and in beautiful condition.

SB4059 TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Team Pro 753 Sturmey Archer Sportif Toe Straps and Clips
SB4059 TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Team Pro 753 Sturmey Archer Sportif Toe Straps and Clips

You would think that by now, I’d be happy? And I was, they were absolutely pristine. The straps were spot on, but the OCD was back, “… wrong transfer on the toe clip, wrong transfer on the toe clip...”

But a couple of weeks ago, out of the blue, I managed to get hold of the advertised, “…as used by the TI-Raleigh Creda team…”, period correct in all respects, toe clips. I breathed a sigh of relief when they turned up and they were just as described, “new but a little dusty”.

SB4059 TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Team Pro 753 Sturmey Archer Sportif Toe Clips
SB4059 TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Team Pro 753 Sturmey Archer Sportif Toe Clips

I’ve finally been able to silence the nagging doubts in my mind. SB4059 now has the correct period correct item, a correct set of Sturmey Archer Sportif Toe Clips, in NOS condition!

However, the quest for perfection is never over, it goes on… it has just moved to other parts…

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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. Cheers Kenn.

      It was an era when bikes had details like this. A group set was a group SET, not just some gears and brakes. A headset, for example, was once the flagship of the group, sitting proudly up at the front of the bike. Now a headset is simply just 2 sealed bearings hidden in the frame as an ‘integrated’ item.

      Bikes have moved on through technology but have sadly lost some identity and detail in my opinion.

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