SB6560 arrived in terrible condition with missing gear lever bosses and poorly applied transfers. It is a frame that has always been overlooked and put on the back burner while other projects came in and took over. Underneath the skin however, it is a lovely 531c SBDU Services des Courses frame that now deserves to hit the top of the project pile!
After fixing the gear lever bosses and while the Dura-Ace 7400 6 speed parts are steadily coming in, I need to finally tackle the paint issues and fit some replacement transfers. But this task also got me thinking about how people refer to the team colours on bikes in this period of Raleigh history.
“Team colours…”, a simple expression but one that can sometimes be a little confusing once you get past the TI-Raleigh era. The blue and white frames with the red and yellow stripes will almost certainly be referred to as ‘Panasonic’ team colours whenever this scheme is mentioned.
But the SBDU didn’t seem to differentiate the subtle difference of TI-Raleigh team colours, Panasonic Raleigh team colours, Raleigh Weinmann team colours or even Raleigh Pirelli team colours. They didn’t apply a specific name to the colours. They simply called them ‘Team Colours’ in their documents up to and including 1983. When the continental team changed sponsors, the 1984 SBDU frameset document called the older TI-Raleigh scheme ‘Old Team Colours’ and the new blue/white scheme became the ‘1984 Team Colours’. Even the 1986 document lists the ‘1986 Team Colours’ – no mention at all about a specific team name.
So a TI-Raleigh frame can be called ‘Team Colours’ in the same way that a frame used by the Panasonic team or Raleigh Weinmann team can be called ‘Team Colours’.
There was a definite change in the Team Colours that happened at some point between 1984 and 1985. SB6560 is an ’84 frame so I’m following that specific years transfer layout. I’ll cover some basics on that change later and may even expand and create a specific 1984/1985 Team Colour blog post in the future.
This is going to be a “do as little as possible” restoration, so while I want to make it as authentic as possible, I need to work with the existing paint, especially the existing paint joins between blue and white. This means I may need to compromise slightly on the exact positioning of some transfers to cut down on the amount of painting I need to do. However, the finished item won’t be too far from correct. These are the paint joints I need to work around.
I’m going to use GH6175 as a starting point and reference bike.
This frame isn’t in original paint, it would have originally been in the old team colours, the TI livery. However, it was a team frame that was repainted by the SBDU when the sponsorship changed – so this is an authentic SBDU 1984 Team Colour example and this is what I am aiming to achieve with SB6560. Note that the 1984 scheme did not have RALEIGH on the top tube or chain stays.
The starting point is to take some measurements of transfers against a fixed point, typically a lug. This is a 58cm frame and SB6560 is a 57cm. I have noticed small tolerances on where transfers are placed depending on frame size, especially the amount of blue at the top of the seat tube and the exact placement of the RALEIGH transfer on that tube.
The lugs on GH6175 are Carlton Capella and are a different shape to the Cinelli lugs on SB6560, so I have taken measurements from far lip of the lug that butts up against the tube instead of the lug points.
The image above shows the relationship between the leading edge of the down tube red band and the top tube red band. I already know that the top tube on SB6560 has previously been painted incorrectly and the blue extends too far along the tube; I need to fix this to make the frame look correct.
Using the measurements from GH6175, I’ve loosely placed new transfers onto the tubes of SB6560 to help me judge final positioning. This image clearly demonstrates my top tube issue; look at all that blue paint between the yellow and the white – there shouldn’t be any blue, it should be white.
To correctly position the top tube bands, I need to extend the white paint by at least 35mm. Getting the white paint matched for the sake of that 35+mm is going to be a pain, buy I do need to do it as simply moving the red and yellow bands back over will just look wrong.
Next up is the placement of the down tube transfers. This is where compromises come into play. I want to try and place the red and yellow bands in a good location but I also need to ensure that the existing change in blue/white paint colour is covered by the transfer as it wraps around the tube.
There are also other down tube transfers that need to be considered. This is a 1984 frame which was a period when the SBDU pushed their gear lever bosses right up to the head tube; this left very little space for the oval 1980 TDF winner transfer. On a normal 1984 frame with a long point Prugnat head lug the transfer would need to be positioned below the lever bosses, but this is a Services des Courses frame and uses a shorter point Cinelli lug – that difference means that there is just enough space between the lug tip and gear lever bosses to squeeze that transfer in.
I also need to leave enough space to fit a ‘Services des Courses’ transfer between the red band and the gear lever boss. If space is too tight, I have occasionally seen the 1980 TDF Winner transfer below the lever boss and the Services des Courses transfer positioned on the top tube, on the white section of tube, just behind the yellow band; both are acceptable. But the main position I’ve noted on original paint team colour frames in this period is on the down tube. I’ve used black coloured transfers for the mock up so that they show up on the white backing paper – the finished scheme will use white transfers on the blue paint.
Note that I’ve fitted the curved frame adapters for the Dura-Ace gear levers as an extra check that the transfers will clear the lever bosses. I’ve seen a few professional repaints recently that mustn’t have done this and the transfers they have fitted are now slightly covered by the gear lever frame fittings.
This is the final position I am going to use, it is a good position that fits all the transfers. All the original paint team coloured frames from 1984/85 that I’ve seen have the same layout and just manage to squeeze in the Services des Courses transfer between the red band and lever boss. With the bands in this position, the ‘R’ of the RALEIGH on the RH side of the frame will sit approx 1″ from the bottle boss. This position also ensures that the transfer will wrap and cover the existing paint joint.
The transfer layout and placement of the red/yellow band, and the final positioning of the RALEIGH on the seat tube for these team frames can vary, probably based on frame size. The blue section at the top of the 58cm GH6175 is relatively large compared to the same blue section on the 55cm SB8790. It’s not even a small difference of a few millimetres, the difference can clearly be seen without the need to measure.
The seat tube gives me another compromise situation. My replacement red and yellow bands need to cover the existing blue/white paint joint, so if I want to avoid adding any paint to the seat tube, I don’t have much leeway to position it. But if I do find an excellent match for the white colour then I have some wiggle room if I decide to add a little paint.
Frames with seat tube bottle bosses are often great for positioning the RALEIGH transfer. The typical position places the middle of the ‘H’ next to the bottom boss and the gap between the ‘E’ and ‘I’ normally sits next to the top bottle boss. Most original paint frames position the transfer in this general location give or take a small degree of movement.
So I need to try and get the RALEIGH position as close to correct as I can while trying to keep the coloured band position looking ok while making sure I cover the blue and white paint joint! The SBDU oval can then sit in the middle of the remaining blue section.
I would prefer to have the coloured bands slightly higher but that requires some paintwork. It’s current position just covers the paint join. It means that I have had to lower the RALEIGH transfer ever so slightly but it still remains in the correct area.
I haven’t removed the old blue/red/yellow chevrons from the chain stays yet so I’ll measure that position against the BB shell before replacing them.
The fork on SB6560 came with the large Reynolds shield type transfer and this will be replaced with the smaller 531 TI type.
This is how the transfer position has worked out. All I need to do is take some measurements, take some photos and find some paint!
This exercise has given me the opportunity to look in detail at the slightly different 1984/1985 transfer layout on these team colours, and it is something I will try to write about. One issue I have found with this research however, is the lack of available original paint frames. When I wrote about the TI-Raleigh scheme I had so many more original examples, but the later team coloured frames are thin on the ground. Maybe this is because the TI-Raleigh era ran for so long compared to the later team colours? Whatever the reason, original paint frames in the 84/85/86/87 period came in so many more colours than just team colours, making it difficult to find original accurate examples.
Apart from the obvious additions to the top tube and chain stays where the RALEIGH transfer was added, there was a subtle change to the style of transfer. 1984 frames used an older style and very thin varnish fix type transfer – there was no obvious edge to the transfers.
You can see in the image above that there is no visible or detectable edge to the transfer. This style changed at some point in the next year and the original paint frames I have seen have a very thin adhesive transfer – the entire ‘RALEIGH’ name has an edge running round the outside.
In line with other 1985 frames, the head badge changed from the 3 pin type to the 2 pin type. The GVOD transfer also became common place on the seat tube, switching between the red or yellow band with no real pattern.
One final change was the introduction of the Raleigh Heron symbol on the fork blade – this replaced the Reynolds tubing fork blade transfer.
But all these team colour changes and specific details, dates and frame numbers are for another blog post, I only wanted to quickly mention them as something that needs to be considered if you are thinking of replicating or restoring this scheme.
This post was to get an idea of how much paint work I need to do on SB6560 in order to get the transfer work done. I definately need to sort the top tube – that may be a small patch or a complete top tube repaint… If I’m going to the extent of painting the top tube, I might consider adding a small amount to the seat tube so that I can better position the red and yellow bands. I’ll hopefully be able to document the paint and transfer placement sooner rather than later!