I think I must have been slightly bonkers to start this project but the desire to get SB4059 looking correct was too much! That morning when I took a knife to the clear coated transfers left me with a lot of work and once started, I had no option but to continue. And it is all because the person that renovated my frame all those years ago didn’t do their research. The moral of the story… if you are going to do something do it right and do it once.
This is how I left the frame after carefully lifting all the transfers from below the clear coat. The impression of each letter was still clearly visible and outlined by the edges of the coating.
The theory I was working with was that if I rubbed back the clear coat and then rubbed back as little of the actual paint as I could then I would be left with a tube ready to fit replacement transfer. Maybe that was wishful thinking…
Before I attacked the frame with wet and dry paper, I protected the good paint with some masking tape. The last thing I wanted to do was inadvertently scuff some good paint with an accidental slip of the paper. The masking didn’t need to be too precise but just enough to cover the good stuff. You can see the lines left by the old Reynolds 753 transfer on the left hand image but by gently and carefully rubbing over the lines, they do disappear.
You can get different grades of ‘Wet and Dry’ paper and using fine grades of paper immersed in water will give the smoothest of finishes. I think I used 800 grade paper to shift the lines.
The top tube was easier to do as I was less likely to mark and damage other areas of the frame, but it did take quite a lot of rubbing down and work, and this took me through the paint and down to the white base coat, the impression left by the previous letters was too deep, meaning that I was going to have to add some paint. This was always a concern in the back of my head when I started.
Masking up for paint is a bit more precise, I don’t claim to be an expert at masking lugs and I’m sure it gets much easier the more you do it. I don’t think I did too bad though. You can see the white patch of top tube in the right hand image where I’ve rubbed through the paint.
Once the lugs are masked, I just cover the tubes with lengths of tape. There are probably other ways to do it with sheets of paper but I find three lengths of tape are enough to cover the bulk of the tube and then just fill in the gaps.
Every single TI out there will be a different shade of red so matching the colour if you are only painting part of the frame is crucial. I found a car manufacturer’s colour that perfectly matched this frame. I bought a small touch up pen and tested it around the brake bridge where the Campagnolo washer on the caliper had marked some of the original red. It was a perfect match when it was dry. SB4059 is a perfect match for Volkswagen Tornado Red LYD3. As you can see, it is a different shade of red to the paint I used to touch up SB3800, another of my TI-Raleigh bikes; the SB3800 colour match was slightly lighter (left hand pen below).
Regarding the red paint colour for these frames, Raleigh had their own paint codes, they didn’t use a reference against the RAL or Pantone system. I mentioned above that almost every TI will be a different shade, even the few original frames that still exist will have faded to some degree and their original colour will have gone. Either match by eye, use a phone app, have a paint distributor match it or start afresh in the region of something like RAL3001 (Signal Red). Everyone’s perception and ability to judge colours is different, even the colour I have used on my frame will appear as different shades to different people depending on the calibration of the screen they are using to read this blog post.
A good paint finish is very much dependent on your prep, so I made sure that the surfaces were as smooth as possible, dry and free from any dust. The better the prep the better the finish.
My colour match was quite good, I’m really pleased with it. Here is the newly painted top tube side by side with the fork.
I used Steve at H Lloyd Cycles again for the replacement transfers. He has a great selection of Raleigh and Reynolds transfers and the quality has always been excellent. I needed two x ‘TEAM’, one for each side of the top tube, and a period Reynolds 753 transfer. SB4059 is a 1980 frame so I needed the slightly later wording on the 753 transfer.
Although Reynolds had been part of the TI group for a while, it had never used the TI logo on transfers. When Reynolds 753 was first launched, the transfer they issued was the first to use the TI logo, while still retaining the ‘Reynolds Tube Co Ltd’ name. They changed the company name at some point during 1977. So Reynolds Tube Co Ltd is the correct name on transfers from 1975 to 1977 for 753 and 531SL. But from part way through 1977, the correct wording is ‘TI Reynolds Limited’. A small detail but still important.
If you have never read my blog post about the TI-Raleigh paint and transfer scheme then go have a look, it explains where each transfer should be placed – all based on approx 100 original paint SB numbered TI frames. The Reynolds 753 transfer should be position approx 2-4 mm from the tip of the seat lug. Transfers on the tip are still ok as these original transfers often shrunk and slipped over time.
I positioned the Reynolds transfer by eye by using the straight edge from the top seat tube band for a level and the tip of the seat lug for central positioning. The top tube transfers take a little bit more care as you want them equally positioned on each side of the tube. The easiest method I’ve found is to place a narrow length of tape from head lug point to seat lug point.
An important point to note is that the top tube transfer is not positioned directly on the side of the tube, they are positioned almost at the top of the tube with only a small gap between them. The location along the top tube of the ‘TEAM’ transfer is typically 1″ behind the first brake cable stop. My blog post on the TI scheme will also help with this positioning if you have a TI frame without these cable stops.
With the tapes removed, this is how SB4059 compares to an original paint and original transfer TI-Raleigh frame (SB3505). The gap at the top of the top tube is the same and the position behind the brake cable stop is the same. You will also see a huge difference in colour, SB4059 is Red but SB3505 has faded to orange over the last 37 years.
The last thing to do is apply some clear coat. This is usually recommended by suppliers for certain types of transfer. The clear coat helps to protect the integrity and colours of the vinyl and seal the edges.
I also took the opportunity to fix my SBDU oval chain stay transfers. When I first received this frame back in 2011, it didn’t have any ovals fitted to the stays so a few years ago I ordered and attached some to the frame, but never clear coated them because the bike was already built. However, today I fitted new replacements from H Lloyds into the correct period location behind the BB and then applied clear coat over the top at the same time as the top tube.
The masking tape comes off later today..!
Hopefully I haven’t made too much of a mess with the masking tape lines.