1st Gen Super Record components on an original paint 1974 SBDU bike! Not just a 1974 SBDU bike, but also a single digit SBDU bike! This bike has to be preserved. It is suffering, it has 46 years of dirt, built up year on year, layer on top of layer. To see the real beauty of SB9, it needs a deep clean.
So, cleaning is the way forward. I want to bring it back to it’s glorious best and make it rideable – although it is too small for me, each and every bike should be in a rideable state, and this isn’t.
No paint touch ups, no new transfers, no new cables – everything that was original is staying. But some items aren’t original including the bar tape, saddle, rims and tyres, so I have scope to replace these with period parts.
Why Take it Apart?
I could simply clean this bike, it would take a lot of work, but it could be done. Some places would be difficult to reach and I wouldn’t be able to guarantee getting access to do it properly. Areas around the bottom bracket are easy to see and reach but only with the chain set removed…
Other areas, especially in and around the 1st Gen Super Record components, would be more difficult. The rear brake caliper is an example. Difficult to clean in place, but easy with it removed…
A problem that often happens with old bikes is the grease! Grease gets old, it dries, it goes hard. The same has happened here. When you hold a wheel and spin the hub, or turn the chainset or bars, you can feel for any issues.
The grease in the Super Record cup above is in a terrible state, it has to be cleaned and refreshed.
A Previous Preservation
SB6398 is an example of my preservation process. This bike came to me in ok condition, but it was such an important bike to me, that I wanted to make it as good as possible. I wanted the frame and parts to be at their best, that meant taking it apart, cleaning it, and rebuilding it with all its original parts.
SB6398 is the same bike I received, the paint and the parts are all original to the bike, it is just cleaner and functioning much better than it was. The plan for this bike is the same.
A Walk Though of SB9 – Current Untouched Condition
Frame and Parts… Bit by Bit
I removed the fork a couple of weeks ago. Out of curiosity, I wanted to see what was stamped on the steerer. It was exactly as I expected… ‘SB’.
There have been variations of fork stamp on early frames, but generally, most early forks will have ‘SB’. The other stamp confirms the single butted nature of the Reynolds 531 steerer. The fork crown and blades are in overall good condition but require a clean. The ‘TI’ transfers are in very good condition.
The frame is nothing but stunning. It is 46 years old but sadly hiding it’s lovely paintwork under years and years of dirt. Areas that suffer with dirt build up are around the seat stays and seat lug, bottom bracket, frame ends and brake bridge – and it’s dirty in all of those areas.
It has also been built with cotton tape cut to shape under the gear lever band and top tube brake cable clips. This has left a hard dry gum residue on the frame. The chrome clips and steel fastenings have also suffered from corrosion.
There are a mix of transfers. The TEAM and RALEIGH will be relatively easy to clean, they are intact and firm. But the Reynolds 531 frame transfer and the ‘Race Proved’ transfer at the base of the seat tube are rather delicate and will need to be treated carefully.
SBDU Yellow Head Tube
But no matter how much work the frame requires, that yellow head tube on an SBDU frame is the star of the show.
1st Gen Super Record Parts
PATENT-73 Rear Derailleur
Dirty but in perfect order with very little, if any evidence of marks or use. This Campagnolo Super Record 1st Generation Super Record PATENT-73 Derailleur should clean up perfectly.
Campagnolo Super Record Headset
The grease in this early Super Record headset is dead, it needs replacing. The exterior of the headset is really nice, maybe one slight burr on a corner of the top nut (not by me!)
1st Gen Super Record Titanium Bottom Bracket
This part really does show the problem with old grease. It came out of the frame really easily. You have to be careful removing the plastic sleeve. These 2 part sleeves can become brittle and fragile over time and have a tendency to crack. No such problems with this one.
The axle markings are 68-SS-120 with rifled aluminium cups.
These really show the accumulation of dirt, and why it was necessary to strip it.
The remaining parts only need a clean and a small amount of rust removal, for instance, the chain ring bolts. One thing I’m always conscious of is not over cleaning and definately not polishing. These parts don’t come out of the box with a mirror polished finish, so they shouldn’t be treated to one.
1974 Reynolds 531 SBDU Frame
This is the first step on the road to preserving this bike. There are so few of these original bikes with original paint and original parts. They are the very start, the building blocks, of the many frames built by this unit for some of the worlds’s best cyclists.
This bike really does need and deserve to have the best possible effort to keep it from deteriorating and to preserve it for another 46 years.