My TI-Raleigh SBDU Collection December 2016

A Collection of Collections My Raleigh SBDU Collection Obsession

The time is 9PM on Thursday 15th December 2016 and my SBDU obsession has recently added the latest frame to my collection. The collection currently totals 17 SBDU frames and bikes. When I look at these frame and bikes it amazes me how many times I can break them down into different sub-categories, or smaller, more specific collections. So out of these 17 frames and bikes, what smaller collections do I have…

Reynolds Tubing Collection

Production from the SBDU spanned 2 significant periods for Reynolds tubing. 531 double butted tubing had been manufactured for decades before the SBDU began producing frames, and it was added to in the mid 70s when 753 and 531SL was introduced. This range continued until 1982 when Reynolds updated their offering. The significant tube sets that spanned the life of the SBDU were 531 Double Butted, 531SL, 531c, 531P and Reynolds 753, which included Metric 801 & 803 and the later 753R and 753T. Within 753R, there were 2 different gauge sets.

I have the range of Reynolds tubes covered within my collection of road frames…

SB1688 - 531 Double Butted
SB4944 - 531 SL (Special Lightweight)
SB6560 - 531 c (Competition)
SB7219 - 531 P (Professional)
SB4059 - 753 801 27.0 seat pin (also SB5377)
SB3800 - 753 803 26.8 seat pin
SB6398 - 753 R (Race) 27.2 seat pin
SB8868 - 753 R 27.4 seat pin (also SB8945)
SB7121 - 753 T (Track) (More on this discovery in a future blog post)
My TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Tubing Collection
My TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Tubing Collection
Top Row    L to R  531DB, 531SL, 531P
Middle Row L to R  531c, 753 (801), 753 (803)
Bottom Row L to R  753R (27.2), 753R (27.4), 753T

Time Trial Special Collection

When I started my collection, an SBDU 753 Time Trial Special was one of the ‘must have’ items on my list. I managed to get one in original condition. I was then fortunate enough to go on and get another 2 in different tube sets, a 531SL version and a very light metric tubed 531c frame.

SB2692 - 753 (Metric 801)
SB5464 - 531 SL
SB5794 - 531 c (Metric 26.6 seat pin)
SBDU Ilkeston TI-Raleigh SB5794 1982 Head Badge
SBDU Ilkeston TI-Raleigh SB5794 1982 Head Badge
Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Time Trial Special 1982 SB5464 Frame Views
Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Time Trial Special 1982 SB5464 Frame Views
Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Time Trial Special 753 1978 SB2692 H591
Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Time Trial Special 753 1978 SB2692 H591

I’ve built the 531c metric SB5794 into a road bike with Shimano 600EX and it is a really nice light bike.

SBDU Ilkeston TI Raleigh SB5794 Shimano 600EX
SBDU Ilkeston TI Raleigh SB5794 Shimano 600EX
SBDU Ilkeston TI Raleigh SB5794 Shimano Finishing Kit
SBDU Ilkeston TI Raleigh SB5794 Shimano Finishing Kit

Randonneur Collection

The Randonneur model was offered in 2 varieties, 531c and 753R. This is one of my favourite collections as the model is so rare. I’ve only ever seen 2 Randonneur SB frames and I have them both. One of these frames was ordered and built for a customer of my old shop, Denton Cycles, in Newcastle, which makes it a little extra special. Another little special touch is that both frames are only 3 SB numbers apart. The SBDU built frames with increased clearance for mudguards on their standard frames, but the Randonneur was designed specifically for the task.

Raleigh Ilkeston SBDU Catalogue 1986 Randonneur
Raleigh Ilkeston SBDU Catalogue 1986 Randonneur
SB7657 - 753 R
SB7660 - 531 c
Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston TI-Raleigh SB7660 1985 Randonneur
Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston TI-Raleigh SB7660 1985 Randonneur

The Randonneur frame builds into a beautiful bike that seems to roll down the road with very little effort.

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

Raleigh Head Badge Collection

The Heron is the figure head of the Raleigh brand. The SBDU fitted 3 main alternatives of this on SB numbered frames.

My TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Head Badge
My TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Head Badge

I call them the ‘3 pin’, ‘2 pin’ and ‘Foil’.

The 3 pin head badge was the original and was used predominantly on SBDU road frames between 1974 and 1985. The 2 pin type started to appear in the mid 1980s but the 3 pin didn’t disappear, it was still used on some frames. The foil badge was typically used on Time Trial Special frames but it did also make an appearance occasionally on road frames too.

Frame Details Collection

Identifying SBDU frames and dating them means knowing about the details they were built with. Frames built with specific parts appeared at certain points along the SBDU timeline. Over the last five years I’ve collected a wide range of SBDU frames and this means I have various lugs, fork crowns, bottom brackets, drop outs and seat stay arrangements in my collection. Frame details can be split into more specific, smaller collections.

Rear Ends
My TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Drop Out Collection
My TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Drop Out Collection

1010, 1010A 1053, 1010B, 1010B with Portacatena, 1010B drilled, Shimano vertical drilled, Shimano vertical and Campagnolo 1060 drilled.

Bottom Bracket Shells
My TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Bottom Bracket Collection
My TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Bottom Bracket Collection

Haden, RGF, Cinelli SCM, Cinelli CCM and Cinelli Spoiler

Lugs and Seat Stays
My TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Lugs and Seat Stay Collection
My TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Lugs and Seat Stay Collection

Prugnat, Cinelli, Carlton Capella, Fast Back (Shot In) Stays, Side Fastening with oversize seat stay caps (single and double taper).

Fork Crowns
My TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Fork Crown Collection
My TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Fork Crown Collection

4 point semi sloping Vagner style, Fischer, Cinelli CC, SC & SCA. With and without stiffening tangs

They were just the major frame details, things you can spot from a distance.

The SBDU also had a huge amount of smaller frame details that changed over time such as round and tapered rear brake bridges, plain and cut out bridge stiffeners, gear lever bosses, water bottle bosses and brake cable stops and guides. They are all identifiable and I’ll be writing a blog post about these soon.

Frame Type Collection

Some frame types are more common than others. Clearly the SBDU built more road frames than other other type. I think Time Trial Specials probably get 2nd place and nudge Track frames into 3rd. The 4th type I have in the collection is the Randonneur.

But the SBDU did build others, I just haven’t got them yet…

They built Cross and ATB frames as well as Lo-Pro frames (24″ front wheel low profile road and track).

SB1688 1977 SBDU Ilkeston TI-Raleigh Team Pro Reynolds 531 Frame and Forks
SB1688 1977 SBDU Ilkeston TI-Raleigh Team Pro Reynolds 531 Frame and Forks
Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Time Trial Special 753 1978 SB2692 H591 Frame Decals
Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Time Trial Special 753 1978 SB2692 H591 Frame Decals
Jan Raas JR 1 78 T SBDU Ilkeston TI-Raleigh Frame Detail
Jan Raas JR 1 78 T SBDU Ilkeston TI-Raleigh Frame Detail
TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Randonneur Reynolds 753 Details
TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Randonneur Reynolds 753 Details

Frame Build Year Collection

Some parts of my collection are lacking, and that is why I keep looking. There isn’t a day goes by when I haven’t looked for those missing frames. SBDU Ilkeston existed from 1974 to 1987 and then had another couple of years based at Nottingham. I have high concentrations of frames in certain years but none in others. But I will get there, I will get there!!

SBDU Ilkeston

1974 No frames
1975 No frames (I did own SB447 but sold it in a moment of madness!)
1976 No frames
1977 SB1688
1978 JR178T
1979 SB2692
1980 SB3800 SB4059
1981 No frames
1982 SB4944 SB5377 SB5464
1983 SB5794
1984 SB6398 SB6560
1985 SB7121 SB7219 SB7657 SB7660
1986 No frames
1987 No frames

SBDU Nottingham

1988/89 SB8868 SB8945

My TI-Raleigh SBDU Collection December 2016
My TI-Raleigh SBDU Collection December 2016

Team Colour Collection

TI-Raleigh was at the very heart of the SBDU – they were knitted together so tightly; they existed for each other. When the successful TI-Raleigh era came to an end, the Panasonic Raleigh period commenced, together with the domestic Raleigh-Weinmann team. Moving on to the late 1980s and there was another domestic team, Raleigh Banana.

SB8868 SBDU Nottingham 753R Services des Courses Raleigh Banana
SB8868 SBDU Nottingham 753R Services des Courses Raleigh Banana

Seat Pin Size Collection

The range and diameters of tubes produced by Reynolds means that you need to be prepared for a similarly wide range of seat pin sizes. The sizes I have encountered so far and that are in the collection are…

26.6 - SB5794 Metric diameter tube (28.0) with 0.5 wall thickness
26.8 - SB3800 Metric diameter tube with 0.4 wall thickness
27.0 - SB4059 Metric diameter tube with 0.3 wall thickness
27.2 - SB6398 Imperial diameter tube (28.6) with 0.5 wall thickness
27.4 - SB8868 Imperial diameter tube with 0.4 wall thickness

There are still huge gaps in some areas of my collection while some parts of the collection are nearing completion and other areas are finally complete.

My ‘Wanted List’ still exists and my aim next year is to see the wanted list get shorter and the gaps get smaller.

My TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Frame Collection
My TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Frame Collection

But as I try to close the gaps and complete collections, these collections continue to get smaller and more specific and more detailed. For example, as you can see above, I have all the road frames in all the tubing types, but I could extend the collection and look specifically at collecting all the ‘Services des Courses’ models, or all the paint and chrome options of the 531 Pro frame type… it just never ends; the more you collect, the more sub-collections you inadvertently begin!

I think I like collections within collections!

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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.

9 comments

  1. Thats some collection!
    You know you’re going to have to fill the gap years.

    Did you ever find out what the second stamping on the fork of sb6398 was?
    My fork has matching serial number stamp (7448 without “sb”), 55 for size and also 725.

    Was Reynolds 725 offered as an option by Ilkeston? Couldn’t find when 725 was introduced online. Might have to add a sub column to your grid if it was!

    1. Hi Alan

      I’m working on those extra numbers, I don’t know if I’ll ever find out but I always keep an eye on their possible meaning. 725 wasn’t an option and it definately wasn’t around at the time of your frame. According to Reynolds timeline, it was introduced in 1997 for OEM use – same time as 525 and 631. 853 was a few years earlier. So not sure what the significance of 725 was on your fork? Another SBDU mystery…

      Cheers
      Neil

  2. Thanks Neil, might have been too easy an answer, have you come across many other second stampings on forks?
    Keep me posted if you ever solve the mystery

    1. There aren’t too many second stampings, but fork stampings themselves aren’t fully understood. Most have the frame number without the SB, some early frames with an H ref have the H ref number on the fork, some have the builders initials, and I’ve seen some with NED or POLY or just SB – and some have no stamping at all – it’s all the random SBDU stuff I like!

      Cheers
      Neil

  3. Neil I have an SBDU 1328 is the serial number. Did SBDU ever use Ishiwata forks, or do you think these May not be original?
    Also my frame is an orange red colour was this a stock colour or perhaps a re spray ?
    I will send you some photos
    Kind regards
    Rob
    Brisbane
    Australia

    1. Hi Rob

      SBDU would have used Reynolds forks (but I’ve learned to never say never with the SBDU), but if your forks are Ishiwata I would think they are not original. Send through some pictures of the crown and dropouts, they may be similar.

      Red colour suffers from UV. The red used in original SBDU TI bikes faded badly if exposed to UV, frames gradually turn orange. That is probably the same for all early red frames no matter who the builder was – more modern painters will use a UV resistant clear coat to stop the fade.

      Again, send through some pictures of the frame, you can sometimes tell a respray if the paint is thick, the frame numbers should be easily readable and crisp, you will typically be able to feel edges on the Reynolds and Ilkeston Ovals – most renovators now put these under layers of clear coat. Original transfers are thin, you may not feel much of a difference if you run your finger tip across the paint and then a transfer – modern vinyl transfers are thicker. Sometimes renovators fit the wrong period transfers, or put them in the wrong position.

      So please send through some images. My email address is neil@ti-raleigh.com

      Cheers
      Neil

  4. Hi Neil,

    Cool collection you have there, keep up the good work and hope that you eventually manage to fill the gaps in your wants list. I currently have just two SBDU frame sets in my collection the first of which is a rare cyclo cross variant purchased from Hillary Stone last year plus a rather interesting track frame from 1982 in the red/yell/blk livery which was regularly ridden by none other than Sir Chris Hoy when it was one of six pool bikes belonging to Meadowbank Velodrome. Can forward you pics and further info’, maybe worth setting up a register for all SBDU frames?

    Cheers Martyn

    1. Hi Martyn

      Thanks for the comments, I’m currently working on those gaps!

      Yep, there aren’t too many Cycle Cross frames. There are 2 or 3 actual SBDU cross frames that I have data on. Others that I have seen have been converted road bikes. The track bike provenance sounds good. I’d love to see pictures of both bikes. My email is the best place to forward images, neil@ti-raleigh.com

      Cheers
      Neil

      1. Cheers Neil, both frame sets in the loft at the moment, I shall forward you pics, frame ID’s & further info’ when I find time to drag them out.

        Kind Regards
        Martyn

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