I had said during my blog post for the build of my Raleigh UK anniversary edition, that I would use SB3800 in a comparison road test. However, just as the spoon salesman said in Fawlty Towers, when Basil thought he was a Hotel Inspector, “I changed my mind”! Instead, I’m going to do a quick rebuild of my 1980 TI-Raleigh 753, SB4039.
SB3800 is a lovely bike to ride. BUT, SB4039 tops SB3800 because it’s original. And I cannot think of a better bike to ride in a comparison to TI40-192 than an original 1980 TI 753. That is my mind made up!
I normally do a full strip and rebuild on all my new arrivals. This often involves a full nut, bolt and washer, strip and deep clean of each individual part, before a full and thorough rebuild. However, SB4039 is going to get a bit of a mix between a simple recommission and that full strip/rebuild.
A recommission is seen as replacing the consumables in order to get something running. So, for example, a recommission on a car that has been stood for a while could be to change items like the fluids and battery. A recommission of a bike could be replacing cables, tyres and bar tape.
I want to do a bit more with SB4039 because it is so dirty. It hasn’t been ridden for over a decade which means it definately needs attention. So while I’ll not fully strip every part, I will give it a strip and clean – a more in depth clean than I would be able to if the bike was left in one piece.
This is the opposite to my build process. Cables snipped off, bars and stem out, then remove all the parts, leaving the seat pin, bottom bracket and head set till last.
I never usually have an issue on a strip down, most bikes come apart really easily, maybe an occasional stuck end adjuster. SB4039 gave me no issues other than a very tight fixed cup. Normally they come out with a standard fixed cup spanner and a tap with a hammer, but this one wouldn’t even budge with the Campagnolo removal tool and a bar as a lever. This one needed the vice.
A quick turn of the frame with the flats of the tool in the vice, and the cup gave up the struggle!
That fixed cup tool never losses a battle. Most of my Campagnolo tools now live in the toolbox on the workbench rather than the lovely wooden case they normally sit in. A few sheets of foam cut into tool shapes keeps everything neatly in place.
One tool that sits in that drawer is the Campagnolo crown race removal tool. Here is my top tip for using it. Place a couple of bits of bike packaging on each blade, with the top of the steerer pushed into a cloth. The cloth protects the thread against the workbench and the bike packaging shields the paint on the blades from the hammer used to remove the race. Works every time with no damage. A couple of taps with the hammer removes even the tightest race.
NOTE: I only ever use this tool on large steel crown races – It’s not the best tool to use on softer aluminium races.
Keep every small item, especially the stepped ferrules – they always come in handy.
And that is SB4039 stripped.
I could have taken the bike into the garden, gave it a hose down with some MUC-OFF and wipe over with a cloth. That was an option, followed by simply replacing the parts I wanted to. But SB4039 is amazingly dirty when you see it up close. Because it takes me no time at all to strip and rebuild a bike, that is the option I took.
Here is a good view of the fork crown and rear derailleur. It is wet, sticky, gritty, even fluffy dirt.
The stripdown also gives me a chance to check a suspicion I have about the seat pin size fitted to SB4039. It came with a 26.8mm pin, but I suspect that it should be 27.0mm. There is a slight distortion of the seat lug binder that tends to make me think it is closed up too far.
It’s not much, but you can see it.
Most of the heavier gauge Metric 753 frames I’ve had or seen, in this size, come in at over 1700 grams on the scales. SB4039 comes in under that weight, not much though, but certainly enough for me to check the seat lug and clean out the seat tube to see if it will accept a 27.0mm pin.
A Recap of Metric Reynolds 753 Seat Tubes
The majority of 70s and early 80s SBDU 753 frames were built with Metric diameter tubes. The seat tube had an outer diameter (OD) of 28.0mm. The Imperial version was 28.6mm (or 1 1/8″ in old money).
A 753 seat tube is single butted.
- Reynolds 753 (801) Single Butted 0.7/0.3 OD 28.0mm ID 27.0mm
- Reynolds 753 (803) Single Butted 0.7/0.4 OD 28.0mm ID 26.8mm
The 803 version of the 753 tubeset gave more stiffness for a small sacrifice in weight.
FACT: Although people talk about tubesets such as “531 Double Butted Tubing“, the ‘Double Butting’ aspect only exists in two of the eleven tubes that make a Reynolds frame and fork – the top and down tube. Every other tube is either plain gauge, single butted or taper gauge.
Similarities to Joop’s Frame
Apart from a couple of SBDU embellishments, SB4039 is so similar to what Joop rode in that 1980 TDF victory. It’s only the inner fork blade stiffeners and the drilled ends that separate the frame details. These details are additions to SB numbered frames that were not needed on team frames.
The rest of the bike is as Joop would have ridden in that Tour…
Those similar features include:
- RGF Bottom Bracket Shell
- Single Taper Seat Stays
- Large Over Size Seat Stay Caps
- Prugnat 62D Lugs
- Campagnolo 1010/B Ends
- Semi Sloping External Fork Crown
- Metric Diameter Reynolds 753 Tubing
- 1978 – 1980 TI-Raleigh Paint and Transfer Scheme
My 1980 TI-Raleigh 753
You don’t always get matching numbers on SB frames and forks – that doesn’t happen 100% of the time and I have several examples to show this. But SB4039 does match.
The paint is flat and dull – this is what happens when the paint has a covering of dirt. There isn’t anything wrong with the paint, it just can’t shine through the grime.
If you look past the dirt, SB4039 is in great condition. One thing that goes first on these frames is usually the Reynolds transfer, but as you can see, it is mostly intact.
What’s in Part Two
Part Two will bring the shine back to SB4039 and remove the dirt from the components; ready to build. The frame certainly won’t require any prep or facing work. I mentioned in my previous post that you often see well prepped surfaces when you remove the bottom bracket and headset from SBDU frames, and SB4039 is no different.
I also check how well the bottom bracket and headset feel before I remove them, and both items on this frame were good and felt smooth and well adjusted, they just need fresh grease.
Part Two Coming Soon…