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)
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)
I’ve built the 531c metric SB5794 into a road bike with Shimano 600EX and it is a really nice light bike.
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.
SB7657 - 753 R SB7660 - 531 c
The Randonneur frame builds into a beautiful bike that seems to roll down the road with very little effort.
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.
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.
1010, 1010A 1053, 1010B, 1010B with Portacatena, 1010B drilled, Shimano vertical drilled, Shimano vertical and Campagnolo 1060 drilled.
Bottom Bracket Shells
Haden, RGF, Cinelli SCM, Cinelli CCM and Cinelli Spoiler
Lugs and Seat Stays
Prugnat, Cinelli, Carlton Capella, Fast Back (Shot In) Stays, Side Fastening with oversize seat stay caps (single and double taper).
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).
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
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.
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.
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!