I’ve been itching to bring the original paint on this frame back to life ever since it arrived last week. And even though SB3505 is already in great condition, it never fails to amaze me how well these frames respond when I give them a wipe with paint renovator and some polish. After successes with other frames in the last couple of months, I had a feeling this one wasn’t going to disappoint…
I have a tried and tested routine and approach to this type of work now. No matter how clean you think the paint might look, it is always worthwhile using a paint renovator. This will act to pull out the dirt from small surface scratches, the renovator can be pushed into areas such as the line between lugs and tubes and all the areas surrounding the bottom bracket and fork crown.
Unless you are extremely thorough with your routine bike cleaning, there will probably be a small build up of dirt in the ends of the stays and blades and around the lines of the crown. I use a good polishing cloth to apply the fluid and a clean cloth to remove it. The polish is applied and removed in the same way.
As soon as you start to buff off the polish, you can see the brightness of the paint coming through. The black paint of the head tube was quite flat before but is now gleaming and a really bright shine is coming off the seat tube.
The intricate areas are more difficult to clean and polish but if you take some time the results are worthwhile.
The fork responded in the same way. I also faced the crown race seat ready to refit the Campagnolo Super Record headset.
This headset was also in excellent condition. The original grease which had dried was removed and all the parts cleaned. Thankfully, whoever has looked after this bike has always taken care when they’ve adjusted the headset. These are quite soft and sadly so many suffer with damage to the flats of the adjustable parts.
Fitting the headset to the frame really puts the finishing touch to the initial clean up of SB3505. This is the same paint and same headset that left the Specialist Bicycle Development Unit at Ilkeston 37 years ago, and it still looks just as good!
SB3505 is probably the cleanest and best preserved original SBDU Reynolds 753 frame in TI-Raleigh colours that I have come across. It is a bike that was enjoyed and well raced but it was also appreciated, very well looked after and stored in a dry environment.
I only have a couple more things to do to this frame; the first is to document the geometry, to see how the frame measures up, checking the tube lengths and frame angles. That will be followed by a trip to the photography studio to capture this frame looking so amazing.