I’ve had the SBDU blogging blues for the last few months. I’ve barely posted in 2021. But a rather special recent addition (coming soon…) has kicked me back into it and I’m once again sat in front of the screen with an empty page and images of another TI-Raleigh. This 1979 TI-Raleigh, SB3337, is the first of two new arrivals I need to get listed before moving on.
Many of the additions to my collection are from outside of the UK. Over the last year I’ve had several from the US, one from Australia, Germany, the last frame was from Amsterdam, another frame has just landed from Canada, and this one is from Tenerife.
I received an email back at the beginning of April asking for some help dating an SBDU bike. It turns out the sender of that email had a complete bike they wanted to sell. I made an offer for the frame and fork and it was accepted. This is his site.
There are a few issues with SB3337. It has a couple of areas of corrosion on the frame that need addressing, and the fork is not original. However, the frame (and well matched fork) is from that classic era of SBDU 753 frames, and is a great example to have as a reference bike in my collection.
Even though it looks to be in such good condition, if you look closely, it has suffered in three areas, two more so than the other.
The RH chainstay was covered with a chrome strip which was hiding a little bit of rash probably caused by chain slap – it isn’t too bad though.
I wonder of there was always a leaky bottle on this frame. The lower of the two down tube bottle bosses has suffered quite a bit. And that leads down to the underside of the RGF bottom bracket shell. Both look worse than they are. It is mainly loose and flaking paint. All I need to do is get my thumbnail to work on the loose stuff and then apply a small amount of Ku-rust to stabilise the metal.
The fork actually has a stamp of ‘4227’ with 3337 written in marker pen.
Whatever the reason, the fork that is in SB3337 is a perfect period match. Correct fork crown, correct brake drilling, correct fork end drilling. Sometimes these bikes don’t give up their secrets and this one will be another example.
This has to be the SBDU era I love the most. This age of frame still has the larger oversize caps before they went to double taper seat stays (with a smaller cap). It still has the RGF BB and external semi sloping crown, the types introduced at the very start of SB 753 frames.
Tubing and Weight
SB3337 is built from the heavier gauge Metric 753 tubing. It has a frame size of 60cm and accepts a 26.8mm seat pin. For a 60cm frame, the weight isn’t too bad and falls into the typical range for this type and size of frame.
To give consistent results, I always strip and bag up all the frame fittings and bolts, reference them and store them away, before using the same scales, in the same position on the bench and placing frames in the same orientation for weighing.
That’s all for now.
In the next few weeks I’ll sort out the spots of corrosion and dig out a Campagnolo Super Record headset to get the frame and fork back together. That’s all SB3337 needs, it won’t be built into a bike. I currently ride SB3800 which is a 57cm 1980 Team Pro 753 and am busy cleaning and building SB4039, another 57cm 1980 Team Pro 753 which will be ridden. 56cm – 58.5/59cm is a range I can get away with depending on top tube length and this one is just that bit too big.