If I ever get the time and opportunity, I’ll take bikes into my wife’s photography studio and pick up the camera to capture the details of these frames. It’s good to get them into an environment where there are no background distractions, the focus is purely on the frame. Because SB3505 is in it’s original livery and in excellent condition, it had to have a turn. After a final polish it was placed on the background, in front of the studio lighting, waiting for its turn in the limelight.
There probably aren’t going to be too many words in this post as it’s all about the images. SBDU frames, and especially those in the TI colours, are packed full of classic detail. The TI colours and transfers are one of the most distinctive schemes in cycling history and still well recognised decades after it was last raced professionally by the likes of Jan Raas on the TI-Raleigh team.
This small transfer tells you everything you need to know about the pedigree of this frame.
SB frames are quite simple in that they aren’t overdone or unnecessarily complicated in their design details. Certain SBDU frame features jump out at you. The plain oversize seat stay cap is one of the most recognisable SBDU features.
SB3505 was built before Cinelli bottom brackets and fork crowns became the norm on SB 753 frames. Oversize seat stay caps, Prugnat lugs, semi-sloping fork crown, fork blade stiffeners and drilled Campagnolo 1010/B frame ends are just some of the distinctive features for this period.
Reynolds 753 was one of the most significant tube sets in cycling history, designed and perfected by Gerald O’Donovan and the Reynolds Tube Company in the mid 1970s. This tube was breaking records and winning world championships before anyone outside of the unit and the TI-Raleigh team ever knew it existed. Ultra thin tubes but with incredible strength compared to other tubes at the time, 753 took skill to put together into a frame, and the SBDU were the original and the best.
I’ve done what I can to preserve the originality of this frame. It is in beautiful condition and has been well looked after. I feel like I know every inch of it and every detail, angle and measurement of each tube. And thanks to Rose and her family, I even know a little about how it was raced.
I hope she approves of how I am looking after her frame.