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.

SB8868 SBDU Nottingham Reynolds 753R Raleigh Banana Dura-Ace 7402 Services des Courses
SB8868 SBDU Nottingham Reynolds 753R Raleigh Banana Dura-Ace 7402 Services des Courses

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.

SB8868 SBDU Nottingham Reynolds 753R Raleigh Banana 7402 Rear Derailleur
SB8868 SBDU Nottingham Reynolds 753R Raleigh Banana 7402 Rear Derailleur
SB8868 SBDU Nottingham Reynolds 753R Raleigh Banana Dura-Ace 7402 Gear Levers
SB8868 SBDU Nottingham Reynolds 753R Raleigh Banana Dura-Ace 7402 Gear Levers

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.

SB8868 SBDU Nottingham Reynolds 753R Raleigh Banana 7400 Front Derailleur
SB8868 SBDU Nottingham Reynolds 753R Raleigh Banana 7400 Front Derailleur
SB8868 SBDU Nottingham Reynolds 753R Raleigh Banana Dura-Ace 7402 Integrated 8 SIS
SB8868 SBDU Nottingham Reynolds 753R Raleigh Banana Dura-Ace 7402 Integrated 8 SIS

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.

SB8868 SBDU Nottingham Reynolds 753R Raleigh Banana Campagnolo Omega
SB8868 SBDU Nottingham Reynolds 753R Raleigh Banana Campagnolo Omega

Completing the wheels are some Vittoria Corsa 23mm tyres – these are super tight to fit! You need thumbs of steel!

SB8868 SBDU Nottingham Reynolds 753R Raleigh Banana Vittoria Corsa
SB8868 SBDU Nottingham Reynolds 753R Raleigh Banana Vittoria Corsa

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.

SB8868 SBDU Nottingham Reynolds 753R Raleigh Banana Transfer
SB8868 SBDU Nottingham Reynolds 753R Raleigh Banana Transfer
SB8868 SBDU Nottingham Reynolds 753R Raleigh Banana The Energy Snack Transfer
SB8868 SBDU Nottingham Reynolds 753R Raleigh Banana The Energy Snack Transfer

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.

SB8868 SBDU Nottingham Reynolds 753R Raleigh Banana Dura-Ace 7402 Cinelli Criterium
SB8868 SBDU Nottingham Reynolds 753R Raleigh Banana Dura-Ace 7402 Cinelli Criterium

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.

SB8868 SBDU Nottingham Reynolds 753R Raleigh Banana Dura-Ace 7402 1988
SB8868 SBDU Nottingham Reynolds 753R Raleigh Banana Dura-Ace 7402 1988

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!

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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.

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