It’s been a busy week! First came SB4933, an SBDU 531SL frame with beautiful chrome and exquisite new paint. Following on quickly came SH377T, Steve Heffernan’s Reynolds 753 pursuit frame. And finally, to end the week, GH6175 has just arrived on the workbench, the second Raleigh frame of the week without an SB number. GH6175 is now my second TI-Raleigh Team track frame and joins the 1978 frame of Jan Raas, JR178T.
I first saw GH6175 about 7 months ago when a friend sent a PM to me on Facebook about a frame he was looking to buy, it was a wonderful Team frame painted in the Panasonic colours and dating to 1975. I saw it again a few weeks ago when it was advertised for sale. This is the second frame I’ve bought from Kobe, he finds some amazing track bikes and frames, have a look at his Facebook page called Pista Mercato; Kobe also supplied JR178T.
So here it is, a 1975 Reynolds 531 Double Butted track frame built for TI-Raleigh rider Günter Haritz, and with the frame number GH6175.
Now you might well be thinking why a TI-Raleigh frame that should be in the red, black and yellow Team colours is resembling a later Panasonic Raleigh frame? The story that comes with this frame is that it was “kept with the Raleigh Team trainers and mechanics, being used as a back up or training bike for the Team. Then ended up getting the Team Panasonic colours in the early eighties when Raleigh switched sponsors”. Looking at the paint quality and colours and the type and placement of the transfers, they are an excellent match to what I would expect of an SBDU finished frame. The Reynolds frame and fork transfer are also correct for the period that it was repainted.
It is another example of a Raleigh frame built with Carlton Capella frame lugs. The SBDU would cut and modify and drill extra holes in these lugs when they used them on their frames. JR178T, SH377T and SB664 are other examples in the collection that have the same lugs.
GH6175 is a beautifully built track frame. Each feature of the frame is detailed. The lugs, seat stay caps, seat stay bridge and even the ends of the stays are all cut and finished in the typical SBDU way. Everything is clean and neat, detailed but simple.
The fork uses the standard 531 double butted round section track blades with Campagnolo 1053 ends, and just like the frame, they are in very good condition.
The fork crown is different to what most other SBDU track frames with round blades would use. JR178T uses the familiar Fischer crown.
Team frames often differed to SBDU standard fittings so you can never rely on them having a predictable appearance. There are two fork crowns that resemble what is fitted on GH6175. The first is by ‘Davis’ and the second is by ‘Haden’ – both are very similar.
At first glance the Davis crown at the bottom of the left page and the Haden crown on the right page look identical. They are both flat crowns, both have a front cut out line, both have a curve under the crown race and both come down to a tip on the sides. But the one feature that makes me think it is ‘Davis’ is the slight raised step on the fork crown race; it matches the step on GH6175. The Haden crown doesn’t have this.
Just like the Capella lugs, the crown has been modified with a cut out on the side and material taken out of the crown for the tyre (the same modification you can see on the Jan Raas Fischer crown above). I think the fork crown and lugs are a good match and fit together well.
I guess I’d better say a little about Günter Haritz. After turning professional in 1973, he rode for Rokado before joining the likes of Jan Raas and Roy Schuiten in the 1975 TI-Raleigh Team, and riding for Raleigh during the 1975, 1976 and 1977 seasons. But before turning pro, Günter was winning races and championships on the track.
In 1972, he won Gold in the 4000 Team Pursuit during the Summer Olympics in Munich. He was also successful in the 1970 and 1973 World Championships, winning the Amateur World titles in the Team Pursuit. Although his specialism was the track, he was clearly a talented rider on the road, winning the 1974 German National Championship. But without a doubt, it was the 6 day track racing that he excelled in. During 1975, he won the London, Zurich, Frankfurt, Munich and Munster 6 day events, partnering with Rene Pijnen, a Team mate on TI-Raleigh, for four of these victories. He had more 6 day success in 1976 riding with both Rene Pijnen and another Team mate, Dietrich Thurau.
If you zoom in and look at that picture of Günter and Rene, you will notice the yellow infill detail on the front and the side of the fork crown that matches the cutout detail on the fork crown of GH6175.
So Günter Haritz may not be the most recognisable name within the TI-Raleigh Team. Let’s face it, there was so much talent in that Team over the years and so many big names and successes. But on the banking of the track boards, Günter was one of the best of his era; and this is one of his frames.
The stamp on the bottom bracket shell reads “GH 6 1 75”. The initials and last two numbers are easy enough, “Günter Haritz”, “1975”. The “6” is probably a reference to this being a ‘6 day’ frame. The “1” meaning that it was the first of a few 6 day frames. Because Günter specialised in and rode several 6 day races, it is fair to assume that he had at least 2.
There aren’t too many early examples of Ilkeston period 531 Track frames. Early Ilkeston track frames are almost unheard of, but I was recently sent an email about a track bike with the frame number SB50; I haven’t seen images of it yet but it takes the record as the earliest SBDU track bike. There is then a big gap to the next track frame of SB404. My old SB447 was an example of a 1975 531 frame. I’ve also seen at least two more examples of 531 track frames in the mid to late SB400s.
The bottom bracket design changed on SBDU 531 frames at some point between SB404 and SB447; the profile of the BB sockets changed. GH6175 has the earlier design, which places it into the earlier period of 1975 and therefore one of the earliest known track frames built by them.
To say I’m happy to have this frame is an understatement. It’s another TI-Raleigh Team frame, it may not be original paint but it is the next best thing, it is SBDU paint. It is an example of an early SBDU track frame and was built for a rider who has Olympic, World and National titles to his name, not to mention the record of successes in 6 day racing.
I’ve got no plans to repaint this frame back to TI Team colours, if it was good enough for Raleigh to update it to Panasonic Raleigh Team colours then that is good enough for me. All I need is a handful of parts and some time.