I’ve been collecting for years. I can go for what seems like a lifetime without a new addition while at other times I seem to have new frames coming through the door every week! But while I’ve been busily collecting, I’ve never actually done much with these beautiful bikes and frames to show them off.
I’ve collected, dismantled, measured, documented, blogged, built and then stored them away. They’ve been spread around the house in random places which has robbed me of the opportunity to sit back and just look at them, as a ‘Collection’. So while there is a bit of work going on in the house recently, I took the opportunity to sort, arrange and display a small selection.
Instead of having a couple of bikes in the lounge and one or two bikes in a spare bedroom and having ‘done’ frames hanging alongside frames that still require work, I’ve brought the completed bikes and the frames that are ready to build together into the same place for the first time since I started this collection.
And now for the very first time I’ve been able to sit back and admire the results of all the effort. I really have surprised myself at the quality of the bikes in my collection. I knew I had a lot and I knew I had a lot of different SBDU examples, but seeing everything together took my breath away.
A quick look around this small selection highlights so many examples of what the SBDU did best. Just in this small room there are examples of Road, Track, Time Trial, Cyclo Cross and Low Profile (Road and Pursuit). There are even examples of some very rare Raleigh frames, a 753 Dynaflite and even a Stayer frame.
The SBDU built with Reynolds tubing, and that tubing is represented by examples of Metric 753 (26.8mm and 27.0mm pins), Imperial 753 (27.2mm and 27.4mm pins), 753 Ovoid, 531 Double Butted, 531 Special Lightweight and 531c.
There is also a superb display of some of the best components to come from Campagnolo, Shimano and Suntour.
These bikes include Shimano Dura-Ace 7400/7402, Campagnolo Super Record 50th Anniversary and some amazing ‘never used’ condition Super Record components. Suntour rarely gets a look in with the popularity of Campagnolo and Shimano, but Suntour Superbe Pro also gets represented within the mix.
Colours… so many colours to see. They aren’t just the obvious team colours of TI-Raleigh, Panasonic/Weinmann/Pirelli and Raleigh Banana, there are also examples of blue, gold, green, red and black in original SBDU paint.
Once I stopped looking at them, it dawned on me that this isn’t even half of my entire collection. There are more, but now that I’ve moved these out of the way, I can see more clearly which of the remaining frames need more work.
I have another room, a room full of tools and work stands and more SBDU frames. Frames in varying states of repair. Some that require a repair, some needing a full repaint, some just requiring a small touch up, some are only waiting for a nice headset to reunite frame and fork once more, while others are waiting for the parts of a groupset to come together so that they can be built into a bike once again.
Some frames will be hanging around for a while, I simply don’t have any plans or time for them at the moment. The purple and yellow frame below actually does have a plan, I just have no money to get my plan for that one off the ground!
Others are mid build, just requiring a little bit of paint before I can assemble them.
While I’m working on some and storing others, it is much easier to store them as a separate frame and fork. Space is a premium and keeping the frame and fork separate is so much easier. A few threaded steel rods, the side of a unit, simple black hooks and even making use of a spare space against the wall are all that’s needed for storage.
Even my Jan Raas (JR178T) has to remain hanging around the workshop while it waits for time and paint.
And while some frames are waiting for time and paint, and some are on their way to being painted and built, others only need a nice headset to get the frame and fork back together again. Many of the frames in this room are beautiful examples of SBDU original paint and chrome. These frames only require a headset…
This first frame was refinished by the SBDU and part chromed by them at the same time. It was refinished again later by another painter but that gorgeous SBDU chrome was thankfully retained.
The rest of these are all still wearing their original SBDU colours. There are some minor issues such as the loss of chrome on a fork crown, but the rest of the paint is superb!
So now when new frames come in I have space, albeit limited space, to show them as part of a collection if I want to or get them straight into the workshop.
I wonder what frame will be next…