The process of purchasing SB3505 was super smooth… a late Friday evening email, additional images on the Saturday, deal done on the Sunday morning, packaged on Sunday evening, dispatched and collected on Monday and delivered by lunch time on the Tuesday… A lovely bike at a good price! Packaged together with the Reynolds 753 frame and fork was a Campagnolo Super Record headset, BB and Pista cranks. SB3505 has taken its place in the collection.
It was mentioned that the cranks were stamped 165 Pista, and the images I was sent definately confirmed they were Pista but I couldn’t see the length. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they are actually 170 mm. The BB is stamped 68-P-120, so both of these items will be happily re-purposed on my Time Trial build of SB1500.
It’s always a pleasure to work on quality frames and components. Frames that have been carefully prepared and well built will not only work at their very best, but will also come apart without any issues. Having the correct tools makes the stripdown task even easier.
The SBDU fitted Campagnolo Super Record headsets to their 753 Road frames, so this one is probably the original item. The grease has dried slightly so it wasn’t as smooth as the BB, but this particular example has been well fitted and adjusted and there are no nasty gouges to the soft aluminium flats of the adjustable cup or top nut that you see on lots of others. All it needs is a little exterior clean and some new grease, before it goes back into SB3505.
SB3505 has matching SB frame number and fork stamp. A matching fork stamp isn’t always seen on these frames, especially with earlier examples, but I always check to see what is on the fork. It’s part of the fun to try and decipher the often random letters or numbers that might appear on these forks.
This is an early 1980 frame. At this time, the SBDU were making what appear to be random changes to bring in recessed allen key fittings to the fork crown and brake bridge. This frame has the standard semi sloping 4 point crown, drilled with a 6 mm hole for a nutted brake caliper – it also has a standard round barrel brake bridge with the same 6 mm hole. The changes they were making can be seen on SB3800, which is a slightly later frame from 1980. SB3800 has been built for recessed brakes and has a different brake bridge and a Cinelli CC fork crown. But SB4059, a later 1980 frame, is back to nutted brakes with a semi sloping crown. I’m guessing there were reasons for these fluctuations in frame spec, I just haven’t found the answer yet.
During the period between 1981 and 1983, the style of 753 frames and the actual tubing was changing. Imperial 753R was introduced and fork crowns and bottom bracket shells on 753 frames switched to Cinelli. SB3505 maintains the more original styling features of the very first 753 frames from 1975/76. The fork crown is the semi sloping style, the BB is made by RGF and the tubing has Metric dimensions. The rear ends are short 1010/B with the Campagnolo Portacatena fittings and drilled by the SBDU. The seat stay caps are the SBDU signature over size plate and the gear cables run under the BB via 2 slots milled into the shell.
I’m currently researching and writing a new blog post looking at the different styles of TI-Raleigh schemes from 1974 to 1983, and SB3505 fits in perfectly with everything I would expect of this period frame. The paint has faded slightly, and some of the frame transfers have some scuffs and marks, but overall, I would consider this frame to be in excellent original condition; a beautiful example for a 37 year old frame. The original Reynolds 753 transfer is showing the typical signs of shrinkage but most of it is still there and it is still legible.
E.G.Bates must have supplied quite a few SBDU frames, I often see their own transfer fitted just below the Reynolds transfer. Even in it’s newly arrived state, without any cleaning, the paint on this frame is shining bright. It should respond well to the little bit of TLC it will get.
I like being able to re-use parts on other builds. The wheels that came on SB8851 (Record hubs and Mavic GEL280 rims), and the BB and 170 mm Pista cranks from this bike will be used to help build SB1500, a 1977 753 Time Trial Special.
This is a small frame, it’s only 52 cm from the centre of the BB to the top of the seat tube; it’s not a size I would typically add to the collection. However, this frame is original; both of my other TI-Raleigh 753 Team Pros are repaints – although they are excellent repaints, they aren’t original. I have other Metric 753 road frames such as SB5377, but again, it is a repaint. SB3505 was added to the collection because of that originality.
I see so many of these TI-Raleigh SBDU frames go through a renovation. Sometimes these renovations are really quite poor and not very well researched. The originality of these frames is disappearing quickly and a major aim of my collection and blog is to maintain the history and knowledge of these frames, being able to show how these frames should look and not how someone thinks they should look. That is why I put so much emphasis on original paint and features.
By far the best thing about my blog and the collection is hearing the stories that come with these frames, and SB3505 doesn’t disappoint. Provenance given through the history and first hand memories is great. This frame comes with the owner’s name on the top tube…
… and a picture of Rose and SB3505 in action during a National 25 Championship…
If you look closely you will spot the single chain ring and that ‘E.G Bates’ name below the Reynolds 753 transfer. From their memory, the spec was Super Record seat pin and rear derailleur, Record hubs, Mavic GP4 rims and Clement Crits, Cinelli bars and stem, Assos saddle and Modolo brakes.
As well as the picture of National 25 above, they also mentioned Rose setting a club record on SB3505 in August 1981, during the ECCA 12 Hour, recording a distance of 226.99 miles (even after going off course and being chased by a Marshall)!
Those stories and that image are a bonus that I wasn’t expecting, but pleased to have.
Hopefully within a couple of weeks, SB3505 will get a clean and polish, and the Super Record headset will be re-fitted. After a measure up to document the geometry, it will visit the studio so that I can get some great images of this beautiful frame.