To say that I’m happy with how 2017 has started is an understatement! My first SBDU bike for the year is built and it is stunning. My 753R Raleigh Banana is complete; and it has been such an enjoyable build to do. From getting the 753R SBDU frame looking its very best with new transfers, to working with probably the greatest group set ever made, Shimano Dura-Ace 7402, it has been a joy to work on this bike.
After fitting the white bar tape, I’ve decided to swap it to black – the white just doesn’t match with anything else on the bike, and on a bike of this quality, I wanted to get it right.
Dura-Ace 7400 series parts must be the best group to work with… ever! It just works straight out of the box. Shimano got this group set completely right! After fitting the rear derailleur cable, it only took a quarter turn of the adjuster and those 8 SIS gears were snapping cleanly into place.
My chainset is fitted with a 52T outer ring but I have a feeling that when this bike was built, a larger chain ring was probably specified as there is loads of room on the front derailleur braze on, so a 53T might get fitted soon.
The hubs in this group came laced to some very nice Campagnolo Omega 36 hole rims, using Swiss DT double butted stainless spokes. The flash of yellow on the rim transfer matches beautifully with the rest of the bike.
Completing the wheels are some Vittoria Corsa 23mm tyres – these are super tight to fit! You need thumbs of steel!
The frame came without any of its original ‘Banana’ identity, so it was a good feeling to get it back to how it should be.
The handlebars I had intended to fit were Cinelli Giro D’Italia 64-42 but they turned out to have a slight bend in them so I’ve replaced them with a set of Cinelli Criterium – these have a different shape and are slightly larger bars at 65-44, but they should be ok.
If I wanted to follow the 1988 team spec to the letter then I maybe should have fitted a silver XA stem, but I prefer the look of the black stem and the yellow stem insert matches perfectly with the yellow frame. Sticking to what I said in a previous blog post, this bike isn’t a team replica, I’m building this bike with the components and look that I prefer.
Of all the options for bar tape colour… white, black, yellow or yellow to white fade, I think the black tape looks the best and matches with the black saddle and black cabling.
The bike will have a trip to the studio soon as I want to get this build fully documented while it is in this condition. After that it will be added to the list of bikes to be ridden as soon as the weather changes!