The sun has started to shine on 2021 and temperatures have started to rise. The TI-Raleigh anniversary edition frameset I bought last year has been sat patiently since it arrived, and now it’s time to build it.
But, this will only be a temporary build.
I want to take a file to this frame and repaint it, but I need to hold back for a short while. Before I can do all that, I need to ride it as it was delivered by Raleigh UK. For a fair ride comparison between this and an authentic 1980 TI-Raleigh 753, I need TI40-192 to be in the condition that Raleigh UK intended. This is the bike it will be compared to, this is SB3800, a 57cm SBDU Reynolds 753 bike.
I’m not going to go into too much detail on the actual bolting on of bits, that doesn’t take a great deal of skill. Like every task, preparation is everything, so here is a bit of detail about the initial prep.
Every time I remove an original headset from an SBDU frame, you can see the facing prep work.
I’ve been fitting headsets to new frames for over 30 years, sometimes without facing the headtube, and not had any issues; they’ve all run smoothly with no tight spots, and luckily, cups have pressed in ok. Be prepared though, if you do skip this step, and do have a problem, you’ll need to pop those cups out and start again.
Head tube prep, or facing as many call it, isn’t just about removing excess paint from the upper and lower surface. What you are looking to achieve are two parallel surfaces for your bearing cups to sit against. You also want the internal diameter of the headtube to be a good match for the diameter of the headset cup. You can see below that the cutter has two edges, one sorts out the face and one sorts out the internal diameter.
You might also note above that this frame has lots of small chips, paint seems to come off very easily, in chunks!
If I’m honest, I think Raleigh UK should have done this. I’ve had to cut a lot of material from this frame. I wouldn’t have wanted to press cups into this frame without the prep, it would have been a very tight fit and something could have been damaged. Without the use of the correct tool on this frame, you might have a problem. You can see the amount of material I’ve removed in the image above and that hasn’t even started the facing yet.
That smooth grey metal finish is what you want to achieve.
The fork crown gets the same cutting treatment. The single cutter does two tasks. It sets the crown race diameter and also faces the crown.
It’s a shame that the £1500 price tag Raleigh UK ask for a 40th anniversary frameset doesn’t include a headset. A Record headset comes fitted to the complete bike version but not the frame? Therefore, I’m fitting my own. If you bought a Reynolds 753 frame from the SBDU, it would come fitted with a Super Record headset #justsaying
I always smear a small amount of grease on the exposed cut edges. The grease also helps with the cup press. But even with the head tube cut and with the grease applied, that was a tight fit. I’d definately not have wanted to press these cups into this head tube without the prep work.
There is no excess on this fork column, the fork seems to be manufactured to take the stack height of a Record headset. These cost approx £30 trade. If the fork is setup to take this headset, and the headsets are so cheap, and the buyer is laying out £1500 then it should have really been included. That would have also removed any requirement for the buyer to deal with the facing aspect of the fitting – not everyone has the tools to do this.
Bottom Bracket Shell
BB facing tools are held in place with threaded inserts inside the BB, so chasing the thread is always the first step before facing the edges. The threads in this frame were ok. I chased them anyway, but the cutter was smooth and didn’t remove any material.
There wasn’t much paint to remove, the process to face both sides was quick.
This is where Shimano takes over the build. Hollowtech ll bottom brackets are very easy to fit. No adjustment, just screw them in. Everything has a torque value these days, so if you have a torque wrench, use it. If you aren’t sure of the value, then google it. It’s absolutely not necessary if you are experienced, but it is always good to do, especially if you are fitting for customers.
This is where Raleigh UK got it wrong. The seat pin I’m using for this temporary build is longer than a normal vintage road seat pin. The pin needs to be longer because they got the frame sizing wrong, and this frame is really too small for me.
In fact, Raleigh UK have succeeded in supplying a range of frame sizes to celebrate Joop’s 1980 TDF win, and all of them are the wrong size for Joop. He rode a 56cm centre to centre (ctc) but sadly Raleigh UK translated this 56cm measurement as centre to top. Therefore the 56cm frame I bought, expecting it to be 56cm ctc, is actually only 54.5cm ctc, contrary to Raleigh UK’s claim.
Thankfully though, there’s no need for any additional work here, a 27.2mm pin slipped straight in with no issues or snagging.
So with the headset and bottom bracket fitted, and a seat pin for clamping in my workstand, I can bolt the remaining bits on TI40-192.
Shimano Ultegra 6800 – 11 Speed
With good prep done, the rest of the bike often just falls into place.
Next to fit are the chainset, both derailleurs, both brake calipers, stem and bars and wheels. After that, all you need to do is cable it, fit the chain, make some adjustments and wrap the bars – bike done!
Some small items that needed to be fitted, because I’m using STI levers, are adjustable cable stops on the down tube lever bosses.
An 11 speed KMC quick link keeps the Shimano chain together.
The frame ends on the anniversary edition are long, similar to the old Campagnolo 1010/A. I think everyone who reads my blog will know my opinion about these ends. I’m hoping they will be disguised, and blend into the background as more parts are fitted.
It was typical, on race frames with long frame ends, to fit the wheel forward in the slot. Even with my wheel fitted at the front, there is still a good amount of clearance between the tyre and seat tube, approx 15mm.
On the subject of clearances, I made a template to show the front and rear brake drop differences I’ve talked about in my earlier posts and videos. This is an image from an earlier post with a basic measurement showing centre of rim to brake bolt.
Now that I have everything fitted and set, I can clearly show the difference in clearance.
The front of this frame is too high. The fork blades are too long, creating that additional 5mm clearance, and the head tube is too long for this size frame. This is why the bike has a sloping top tube.
So far, this build was running ok.
The first snag I hit was threading the inner gear cable through the cable guide under the BB. The LH (front) guide was clear, but the RH (rear) guide was blocked and I needed to drill out the blockage.
I’ll also comment on the cable stops. To give a retro look, Raleigh UK opted for a ‘style’ of divers helmet cable stop. This was fine back in the day, but sourcing well fitting stepped ferrules of the correct size just gets harder. The stops being used on the anniversary edition take a different size to the originals.
Building a retro / modern frame has to have some compromise, and I think Raleigh UK should have compromised here. It’s not so critical for the rear brake, but index gears take precision, so a secure fitting rear chain stay stop would have been preferred over the stepped ferrule stop – just to hold the outer in a better, fixed position.
Black cork tape with red detailing finish my build.
So in it’s temporary form, TI40-192 is complete.
I need to decide on what pedals to use and then finally set my saddle height and position. I’ll use the same pedals on SB3800 when I ride them both for comparison.