SB3800 SBDU Ilkeston 1980 TI-Raleigh Team Pro 753 Frame Details

A 2016 Review of My SBDU and TI-Raleigh Ramblings. Thanks for an Amazing Year!

Where do I even start to describe how much of a great year 2016 was? And how on earth am I going to try and beat it in 2017? I remember I had exactly the same feelings at the end of 2015 – that year had seen me double my readership over the previous year. But 2016 has seen so much more! I’ve had record breaking days, record breaking weeks and record breaking months – so how am I ever going to live up to that! That is the dilemma facing me as I start the new year.

But before moving on and thinking about what I’m going to do, I thought I would look back over the posts I wrote in the previous 12 months.

January

The 60,000 words I wrote last year started here. First up was getting SB5794 back on the road. This is one of 3 Time Trial Special frames I have; the other 2 frames are going to be great time trial bikes, so I decided to do something different with this and build it as a road bike with a lovely Shimano 600EX group.

SBDU Ilkeston TI Raleigh SB5794 Complete
SBDU Ilkeston TI Raleigh SB5794 Complete

I never stop looking for opportunities to add to my collection and did a quick update to my SBDU ‘Wanted List‘. Unfortunately, that post just showed me how many more frames I still need to add!

January was significant because I created a Facebook page to complement my blog. Blogging takes time and I wanted a quick outlet for pictures and updates without the pressure of writing a blog post, and the Facebook page is perfect for that. It only has a small following but ‘Likers’ and ‘Followers’ are growing steadily.

My TI-Raleigh SB4059 Facebook Page
My TI-Raleigh SB4059 Facebook Page

February

2016 was the year that I met so many like minded people – they may be virtual friends on social media, but I do consider them as friends. One of these friends dangled a really tantalising track frame under my nose. It had the initials of ‘JR’ under the bottom bracket, and I had to have it.

Jan Raas JR 1 78 T SBDU Ilkeston TI-Raleigh
Jan Raas JR 1 78 T SBDU Ilkeston TI-Raleigh

He shares a similar passion and specialises in Track frames as Pista Mercato! This is one frame I really want to get around to in 2017 and return it to how it looked below in 1978.

Jan Raas JR 1 78 T SBDU Ilkeston TI-Raleigh Skol 6 Day 1978 Handover with Knetemann - Picture Credit John Pierce PhotoSport International UK USA Asia
Jan Raas JR 1 78 T SBDU Ilkeston TI-Raleigh Skol 6 Day 1978 Handover with Knetemann – Picture Credit John Pierce PhotoSport International UK USA Asia

Another new frame for the collection arrived in February. Not every frame I find is recognisable as an SBDU frame. Some frames come hidden, but frame features never lie! SB5377 was one such frame. Under the white paint and ‘Barron’ transfers was a Metric tubed Reynolds 753 Team frame from 1982.

SB5377 SBDU Ilkeston 753 TI-Raleigh 1982 Features and Detail
SB5377 SBDU Ilkeston 753 TI-Raleigh 1982 Features and Detail

March

I didn’t publish many posts in March, in fact there was only 1! But it was the most in-depth and required the most research for any post I had written up to that point. This was my SBDU frame detail timeline. This post took so much research and I spent a long time collating data – that meant finding SBDU bikes and analysing and documenting all the significant details such as lugs and dropouts and placing these features into order.

My TI-Raleigh Specialist Bicycle Development Unit SBDU Ilkeston Frame Details
My TI-Raleigh Specialist Bicycle Development Unit SBDU Ilkeston Frame Details

It is currently the most viewed post on my blog and the image above is one of the most popular. I update this post as and when I get new data and so far, I’ve added 6 updates, with more to come this year.

April

SB7121 arrived in April and is the 3rd frame of the year to look nothing like an SBDU frame.

SB7121 1985 753R SBDU Ilkeston TI-Raleigh
SB7121 1985 753R SBDU Ilkeston TI-Raleigh

This is a 1985 frame and came without a Reynolds frame transfer so it was a guessing game to figure out what it was – even if it had a transfer I would still investigate the tubing to get it correct! I had settled on Reynolds 753R based on features and descriptions found in SBDU literature, but lately, I’ve been looking at this frame again as part of the research for a couple of 753 blog posts I’m working on at the moment. It answers a few questions about 753, so there is more to come on this frame.

May

Another month… another frame… another new arrival, a beautiful 1977 531 Team Pro in TI-Raleigh colours.

SB1688 1977 SBDU Ilkeston TI-Raleigh Team Pro Reynolds 531
SB1688 1977 SBDU Ilkeston TI-Raleigh Team Pro Reynolds 531

SB1688 is beautiful because it shows its age so well. Some people would want to restore this frame but there is no way this is getting a new coat of paint from me. The paint has faded and chipped and the transfers have been rubbed and scrubbed but that is its story. If I find the right group then this will be built in an instant.

June

I turned my attention back to the original SB4059 in June. It required a few updates. First of all, I found something I had been looking for. When I say looking for, I mean almost given up hope of finding – it seemed to be a bit of a holy grail, a Contrex water bottle or ‘bidon’ used in the late 70s/early 80s as drink bottles handed out to riders in the Tour de France. The one I found was in almost pristine condition. I fitted this to a chromed steel TA bottle cage.

TA and Contrex Tour de France TI-Raleigh SBDU SB4059 Bottle and Cage Fitted
TA and Contrex Tour de France TI-Raleigh SBDU SB4059 Bottle and Cage Fitted

Another piece of the puzzle for SB4059 came to me in June. Although, I didn’t realise it, I actually had these original parts lying around in the workshop for several months; original Team specification Berg Chrome double butted spokes. I originally built the wheels for SB4059 using DT stainless spokes and never thought I’d actually find the correct chrome spokes. Chrome was the spoke of choice once upon a time, but it was highly susceptible to corrosion – many people rebuilt chrome wheels with stainless steel spokes – they were not as bright and shiny but much more resilient. So I took apart my perfect wheels and built them again using the Berg spokes – now I feel I really can call them perfect.

SB4059 Team Pro 753 Wheel Rebuild SBDU TI-Raleigh Front Hub Orientation
SB4059 Team Pro 753 Wheel Rebuild SBDU TI-Raleigh Front Hub Orientation

I was so happy with the level of spec I had with SB4059, that I wrote another blog post about Joop’s bike spec, after finding an article with Gerald O’Donovan, where he described in detail the “Team 80 Specification“.

TI-Raleigh 1980 Team Bike Specification SBDU SB4059 Campagnolo Super Record
TI-Raleigh 1980 Team Bike Specification SBDU SB4059 Campagnolo Super Record

June was a busy month. After all the work on SB4059, I also managed to write a little bit about Reynolds, and specifically Reynolds 531 Double Butted tubing, and how the SBDU used this in 1974/75.

Reynolds 531 Double Butted Tube Spec TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Post Header
Reynolds 531 Double Butted Tube Spec TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Post Header

July

I’ve said this before, another month… another frame… another new arrival… a frame that completed a line up of road frames in all of the available Reynolds tubes. SB4944 dates from the very start of 1982, and although described as Reynolds 531 Professional, it is actually 531SL.

SB4944 531SL SBDU Ilkeston TI-Raleigh 1982 Frame Details
SB4944 531SL SBDU Ilkeston TI-Raleigh 1982 Frame Details

I have a very nice Shimano 600AX group for this frame and just need to do a few modifications to the braze-ons to get it to fit.

SB4944 531SL SBDU Ilkeston TI-Raleigh 1982 Shimano 600AX Rear Derailleur
SB4944 531SL SBDU Ilkeston TI-Raleigh 1982 Shimano 600AX Rear Derailleur

I also managed to write my 2nd biggest post of the year in July. After the success of my frame detail timeline, I had a go at trying to create a date timeline so that SB frame numbers could be sorted. There are a few SB frame number timelines on the internet, but none of them have any reasoning of substantiated information to back them up. I used my data from the frame detail timeline, and known information about original frames, and tried to spot trends that could pinpoint different years. So far, it has proved quite accurate, but still gets updates as I find new information.

1978 SBDU Ilkeston TI-Raleigh Frame Transfers
1978 SBDU Ilkeston TI-Raleigh Frame Transfers

August

This month was a bit of a blur, it starts with the same line… another month… another frame… another new arrival. I stepped out of my comfort zone which is “SBDU Ilkeston”, and bought a frame made after the relocation of the SBDU to Nottingham. SB8945 is a 753R Services des Courses frame; and yet another SBDU frame hiding under a different coat.

SB8945 SBDU Nottingham 753R
SB8945 SBDU Nottingham 753R

This frame has a 130 mm rear end – that is wide enough for modern hubs, so I have a modern/retro plan for this bike…

August was also the month when I found out a little bit of data that helped cement JR178T as a frame belonging to Jan Raas. I was always confident that this was his frame, but frame size was something I had seen chatted about on the internet. I’m not a person that takes too much notice of internet chatter as there are usually no facts behind it, but the size of frame Jan rode was different for each person that had an opinion on it. I finally found some data that confirmed his frame size… and it matched mine!

Jan Raas Bike Size SBDU TI-Raleigh
Jan Raas Bike Size SBDU TI-Raleigh

August kept on rolling. After several months of research, I published a blog post about the introduction of Reynolds 753 tubing… what it was, when it was introduced and a little bit of history and information behind it.

1975 to 1977 Reynolds 753 Tubing SBDU TI-Raleigh Road Frames New Frame Transfer
1975 to 1977 Reynolds 753 Tubing SBDU TI-Raleigh Road Frames New Frame Transfer

By far the biggest and most important bike added to my collection came to me in August. SB6398, a 753R frame from the SBDU. There is just too much to say about this bike in a summary like this, so just click that link above and read about it. An SBDU 753 frame, built for Denton Cycles and fitted with a complete Campagnolo Super Record 50th Anniversary group set, in almost unused condition.

SB6398 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 753R Campagnolo Super Record 50th Anniversary
SB6398 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 753R Campagnolo Super Record 50th Anniversary
SB6398 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 753R Campagnolo Super Record 50th Anniversary Handlebars
SB6398 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 753R Campagnolo Super Record 50th Anniversary Handlebars
SB6398 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 753R Campagnolo Super Record 50th Anniversary Build Complete Bike
SB6398 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 753R Campagnolo Super Record 50th Anniversary Build Complete Bike

September

I sometimes turn the search terms that people use to find my blog into blog posts. One of the most frequent search terms is Reynolds 753 frame weight – so I wrote a post about it! Frame weight depends on a lot of things.

My TI-Raleigh SBDU Frame Weight Data
My TI-Raleigh SBDU Frame Weight Data

It wouldn’t be another month without adding another frame… this time it was another complete bike, SB3800, a 1980 Metric Team Pro 753.

It was all there but just needed a little TLC

SB3800 SBDU Ilkeston 1980 TI-Raleigh Team Pro 753 Superbe Pro Components
SB3800 SBDU Ilkeston 1980 TI-Raleigh Team Pro 753 Superbe Pro Components

October

SB3800 actually helped me to dispel an SBDU myth, and was the reason behind my first October blog post. The Seat Pin size on early Metric 753 frames has always been a question open to debate and misunderstanding. This frame helped to prove a theory that seat pin size was not determined solely by frame size.

SB3800 SBDU Ilkeston TI-Raleigh 1980 57 cm Metric Reynolds 753
SB3800 SBDU Ilkeston TI-Raleigh 1980 57 cm Metric Reynolds 753
SB4059 SBDU Ilkeston TI-Raleigh 1980 57 cm Metric Reynolds 753
SB4059 SBDU Ilkeston TI-Raleigh 1980 57 cm Metric Reynolds 753

SB3800 was stripped and rebuilt in October. New H PLUS SON TB14 rims with Vittoria tyres helped to get this excellent bike rolling again… roll on Summer 2017!

SB3800 SBDU Ilkeston 1980 TI-Raleigh Team Pro 753 Complete Bike
SB3800 SBDU Ilkeston 1980 TI-Raleigh Team Pro 753 Complete Bike

November

I may have acquired SB6398 in August, but I had to wait till November to restore it. I couldn’t wait any longer. It was a mission to remove the rust and keep as much of the original parts as possible. November was therefore dominated with this bike.

sb6398-sbdu-ilkeston-reynolds-753r-campagnolo-super-record-50th-anniversary-before
SB6398 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 753R Campagnolo Super Record 50th Anniversary Before

Lots of elbow grease and metal polish paid off.

sb6398-sbdu-ilkeston-reynolds-753r-campagnolo-super-record-50th-anniversary-after-cleaning
SB6398 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 753R Campagnolo Super Record 50th Anniversary After Cleaning

December

Yep, you guessed it, another month… another frame… another new arrival…

This frame was another step into SBDU Nottingham with a 1988 Raleigh 753R Services des Courses in Raleigh Banana colours. I’d spent many years looking for this frame in this tubing and in this colour – they are rare!

SB8868 SBDU Nottingham 753R Services des Courses Raleigh Banana 1988
SB8868 SBDU Nottingham 753R Services des Courses Raleigh Banana 1988

The plan is to make this the first rebuild of 2017, and it wouldn’t be a 1988 Raleigh Banana without a Dura-Ace 7400 group. One of my last posts in December was about the almost untouched 7402 8 speed group I got my hands on.

SB8868 SBDU Nottingham 753R Services des Courses Dura-Ace 7402 SLR Single Pivot Brakes
SB8868 SBDU Nottingham 753R Services des Courses Dura-Ace 7402 SLR Single Pivot Brakes
SB8868 SBDU Nottingham 753R Services des Courses Dura-Ace 7402 Chainset
SB8868 SBDU Nottingham 753R Services des Courses Dura-Ace 7402 Chainset
SB8868 SBDU Nottingham 753R Services des Courses Dura-Ace 7402 Rear Derailleur
SB8868 SBDU Nottingham 753R Services des Courses Dura-Ace 7402 Rear Derailleur

So expect to see more of this build soon.

Just as I was starting to wind down for Christmas, I wanted to write a little about how much my photography plays a part in my blogging. Every photo you have seen in this post has been taken by me! I think good pictures help to tell the story. So I wrote a little about showcasing my work through my photography.

My TI-Raleigh SBDU Studio Bike Photography Lightroom Editing Software
My TI-Raleigh SBDU Studio Bike Photography Lightroom Editing Software

I’ve also started to use apps such as Instagram and Pinterest which are a great way to get my images seen. It’s building slowly but hope to do more in 2017.

My TI-Raleigh SBDU Studio Bike Photography Instagram
My TI-Raleigh SBDU Studio Bike Photography Instagram

And that is it. I’ve written much more than I could squeeze into this review. The last 5 months of 2016 have seen my blog readership explode and each month has beaten all the records of the previous months, and December was the best month of the year!

I have set myself a massive challenge to keep this going but I’ll definately give it a go.

Thank you to everyone who took time out of their day to view my blog, it is very much appreciated.

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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.

2 comments

  1. I have a T I Raleigh, Team Raleigh frame, Red and Yellow and the number on the bottom bracket is WG200724. It is Reynolds 531c tube, Campag headset etc. I hope to put it on display at our local Museum in Mansfield when the Tour of Britain stage starts in Mansfield. Could you give me an idea of the date of manufacture to give a bit of added provenance

    1. Hi Tom

      That frame number may have a digit missing, those frame numbers are typically 9 digits long. But if the third figure is definately a ‘2’ then the frame dates to 1982 – the ‘G’ in front of the ‘2’, according to many online Raleigh numbering sites, will date it to May 1982. The ‘W’ is the location it was made, which for a 1982 frame means Nottingham, in their newly created lightweight unit. The lightweight unit was established in 1981 following the closure of the previous location at Worksop.

      Hope that helps
      Neil

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