Sometimes when I see a bike that someone else owns I feel a little pang of jealousy, I can’t help it. And that is exactly how I felt nearly two years ago when I was first sent images of SB6827. The images were of a beautiful SB bike, it was original, the red paint was gleaming and all the Super Record parts were in perfect condition – I was then told that it had never been ridden and my jealousy feelings went off the scale.
Then in February I received a Facebook message with lots more images from the owner who said that he was moving and downsizing and that meant he was selling this bike; he offered me first refusal. It didn’t take long to decide and say ‘YES’. I’ve dealt with Anders before, he is one of only a couple of people that have managed to prise a frame out of my collection. It wasn’t long ago that we did a mutual frame swap – he received SB1688, an original paint 1977 531DB TI-Raleigh in his size which I let go as it was a duplicate type frame to SB1861…
… and I received a 1976 531DB frame in my size, this frame filled a gap in my early SB frame history. This is SB518, due to get painted later this year.
From past dealings, I knew things with the sale and shipping should go well. He packed the bike securely and it turned up without any problems, apart from watching the courier guy drop the box on its end as he took it off the van!
SB6827 wasn’t cheap, I didn’t expect it to be, but if you were to try and build this bike at the moment using a frame and parts from the second hand market, with an original and immaculate SBDU frame and unused Super Record parts then the price would be prohibitive.
The bike checks out 100% with the story that came with it. I love provenance with my bikes, and the story with SB6827 was that two brothers from Denmark had bought this frame, which dates to the latter part of 1984. They spent a couple of years building it, and once it was finished they couldn’t bring themselves to ride it. It lived in the lounge before being moved to a guest room. It was then bought from them together with another Worksop built Raleigh. Their home and workshop was described as pristine, and that is certainly reflected in how they have kept this bike.
All the Campagnolo Super Record parts are later period, dating from mid 1980s onward. The rear derailleur has no PAT stamping and the cranks are stamped with an ’11’ in a box, they are fluted and have an engraved logo. The Turbo saddle is dated to mid 1986. All the cables are original Campagnolo. The rims are clean and the brake blocks and tyres are like new. There is no rub on the inner surfaces of the front derailleur and the saddle looks like it is straight out of the box. The laminated Binda straps are brilliant white and clean and there is also no toe strap rub on the cranks.
I’ve tried to capture just how clean this bike is with the images I’ve taken but they still don’t do the bike justice. Hopefully the images above do go some way to showing the quality of this bike.
It isn’t just the paint that is in perfect condition, the transfers are too. Apart from one tiny mark on the right hand SBDU chain stay oval, all the transfers look like they were applied to the frame yesterday rather than 34 years ago.
Even the rear fork ends which typically end up with damaged paint where the wheel QR is clamped tight is in perfect condition, it looks like the wheels were never removed from this frame all that often.
I’m not writing too much today as I only wanted to quickly introduce it and I’m also not too sure what to do now as I normally strip down all my new additions and rebuild them, but for some reason I’m not sure with this one. My predicament is that it is perfect the way it is, but I also want to see it in all it’s detail and document it in full.
Regardless of what I ultimately decide to do with SB6827, this bike has not only become part of the collection, it has manoeuvred itself directly into the top level of my best SBDU examples.
Here are the other bikes and frames that I’ve grouped together at the very top of my collection, SB6827 is in excellent company…
A 1975 track frame ridden by TI-Raleigh’s Günter Haritz, an Olympic, World and National Champion, the earliest SB numbered Reynolds 753 track frame, an SBDU 753 Time Trial Special frame built to demonstrate the work of this unit at cycle shows, a beautifully detailed and original 753 pursuit track frame, a track frame ridden by Jan Raas, my own SB4059 (the bike which started my blogging), a rare Dynaflite built with Reynolds 753 Ovoid tubing, a beautiful and original 753R with Campagnolo’s Super Record 50th Anniversary group and an original Nottingham SBDU 753R Banana with perfect Dura-Ace 7400. Each one is special and has amazing individual significance.