It’s amazing what can happen in a matter of minutes. I had my feet up, relaxing on a Sunday morning, doing nothing much at all other than trying to figure out what to watch on television. Then an email containing a link to a frame dropped into my inbox. I clicked the link, had a quick look, noticed a couple of tell-tale details, spotted the buy it now price, checked the bank account and hit the button. Five minutes after receiving that initial email, I had a second email confirming the purchase of what appeared to be a 1979 TI-Raleigh Team riders Reynolds 753 road frame.
You can’t afford to hang around with frames like this. Asking the seller a question is a delay that can cost you. It can be the difference between getting the frame or missing out. Therefore, even with the frame number not 100% visible, the other frame details were enough to tell me that this was at least a Jan le Grand built frame. Any link to a team rider could be checked later. So at the time of hitting the ‘Buy it Now’ button, I didn’t fully know what this was but knew it was worth checking out. And at the price it was being offered, it was too tempting.
Even a Jan le Grand frame built in the Raleigh style, at this type of price, is worth having.
What Have I Bought?
I’ve seen similar frames, built by Jan, and that closely resemble team frames but which aren’t team frames. Some even have frame number stamping that could be mistaken for team numbering. So be careful, not every frame like this is linked to Raleigh. There are several of these Team ‘clones’, and according to those that know him, Jan was a “bit of a wheeler & dealer” in these frames.
It can be difficult to see a difference or to understand exactly what these other, similar frames are. Some of them have no stamping while others do have stamping but it is stamping that doesn’t make sense or correlate to any team rider. Some of these frames can also have features that don’t correctly fit with the era of TI-Raleigh but which are none the less, similar. Without confirmed provenance (not just a story), these similar Jan le Grand frames are nice, but you can’t confidently call them a team frame; you need to build a case in the same way I did with my Motor Paced Stayer.
Even without fully knowing what I’d bought, I was happy with the frame and I was prepared to wait until it arrived before checking any further facts. But then in a follow up message from the seller confirming the sale, he confirmed the serial number as CP.1.79
1979 TI-Raleigh Team
This was a frame in the Raleigh style. It uses features that confirm Jan le Grand, and has a serial number in the format of the Raleigh team and that matched a known TI-Raleigh rider. This was very much a TI-Raleigh Team frame. Cees Priem is the rider of that year with a match to those initials. This is the 1979 TI-Raleigh McGregor team, according to Cycling Archives.com
Could he be riding CP.1.79 in the image below..?
A little explanation about CP.1.79…
I made reference in that video to features that you see on team frames that make them subtly different to SB numbered frames. I’ll write a blog post on that topic soon. The variations that this frame has which are slightly different to SB road frames are the seat lug, frame ends, frame build process and fork. All of these are subtly different while the overall appearance is almost identical to an SB frame.
Features on CP.1.79 include Prugnat S4 lugs, oversize seat stay caps on top of single taper seat stays, an RGF BB shell, Metric Reynolds 753 tubing, Campagnolo 1010/B ends and an external semi sloping fork crown. These features are everything you would expect to see on a similar period SB numbered 753 frame. There is the obvious exception of drillings on the 1010/B ends. And, if you noticed, there is a lack of fork blade stiffeners on the inner fork blade below the crown.
I’ve mentioned the following small BB feature before. This is a feature I’ve identified on 70s and early 80s frames that can help to identify a possible team frame. The feature is the small hole in the down tube socket of the RGF BB shell; this feature isn’t present on normal SB frames. There is normally an identical hole on the rear of the seat tube socket.
The frame number of CS.1.79 denotes a frame made for Cees Priem for the 1979 season.
It’s previous life, and colour, can still be seen with the remnants of red paint inside the top and bottom head lug.
I’ll do a more complete post about the geometry of this frame later. The two basic measurements I’ve already taken from the seat tube and top tube match what is known about this rider’s geometry.
Cees Priem TI-Raleigh Known Frame Geometry
|Seat Tube||585 mm (centre to centre) – checked|
|Top Tube||552 mm (centre to centre) – checked|
|Seat Angle||73.5 degrees|
|Head Angle||73.5 degrees|
|Fork Rake||43 mm|
|BB Height||268 mm|
|Tubing Type||753/803 (26.8mm seat pin) – checked|
I talked in my video about how this geometry is great for me. I normally have to ride a smaller SBDU frame so that I can have a shorter top tube. If I was to ride a conventional geometry frame that fitted my legs, the top tube would typically be too long. To get around this issue, I select smaller frames. I often ride an SBDU 57cm, so that I can adjust the height with the seat pin but ride a frame which gives me the perfect reach. However, the specific geometry of CP.1.79 allows me to have the correct seat tube length and top tube length without a compromise. It is a perfect frame.
Another item in the frame specification list above is the tubing type. The tubing is designated as 753/803. I’ve written about this many times; although there was only ever one type of ‘753’ transfer in 1979, there were different gauge options within the 753 specification. It was generally believed that all large Raleigh 753 frames built from Metric 753 tubing would use the heavier/thicker 803 gauge while smaller 753 frames would use the lighter/thinner 801 gauge. I’ve disproved this story several times – I have lots of frames that go against this belief. However, CP.1.79 does indeed have the heavier/thicker 803 gauge and therefore requires a 26.8 mm seat pin. I’m not the lightest rider, so this is another aspect of this frame build that is more suited to me.
I’ve only just received it so plans are still formulating on how to build this frame. The one thing I am clear about is the colour. It will be TI-Raleigh – it is a TI-Raleigh frame so I think it deserves to have that scheme returned.
Specification is a different story. I really don’t like building replica bikes (SB4059 is my exception). This will not be a Cees Priem bike – this will be my bike.
I build bikes with components that I like to ride. I’m not a massive fan of Campagnolo; Super Record doesn’t do it for me… I can hear the gasps of disbelief already! I know what others will say… “This is not just a TI-Raleigh era 753 frame, it is a TI-Raleigh TEAM frame – this SHOULD have Campagnolo Super Record…”. I want to ride this bike. It is a great size and fit for me. So if I want to enjoy riding it I need to fit components that I enjoy, and not what others think SHOULD be fitted.
<small rant> If you are ever in a situation where you need to decide how to build a bike, remember it is your bike and you are free to build it how you want to. It is no one else’s business! Never let someone tell you how you should build your bike, others are allowed an opinion but others should respect your choice </small rant>.
I don’t want to leave this blog post with a rant, so here is one last picture of CP.1.79; a beautifully built frame, raced by the amazing TI-Raleigh team, and which has now become frame number 40 in my SBDU collection.