Sometimes I buy frames on a whim. In fact most of the frames I buy now are bought with no questions asked. I use my SBDU knowledge to build up enough of a feeling to just go with a hunch. So it’s always intriguing to get the frames back onto my workbench and give them a first look. Five minutes of scrutiny can give up lots of secrets. This SBDU Ilkeston frame gave up a few but also kept some.
It doesn’t take long to take a bike to pieces, there was nothing exciting today, so no pictures here! The only item that bothered the spanners was the Mavic bottom bracket. Once the lock rings were removed it wouldn’t budge. These would normally slide out of the shell, but even with a helpful nudge, it didn’t want to move, so I had to give it a twist in the vice. Once whatever grip had been broken, it knew the game was over and it popped out.
After a few minutes, SB662 was just a frame.
What Secrets Did SB662 Give Up?
Bottom Bracket Threads
Using a Mavic BB can be a sign of thread damage. I do think SB662 has had a stuck BB in the past as the edges around the shell on one side do appear to be a bit mangled, as if someone has attacked it with a chisel. However, the threads are all good, so maybe the choice of the Mavic BB was simply just a choice of BB, and not a correctional requirement. The shell does appear to have been faced properly for it as it has the correct chamfered facing.
Head Badge Drilling
SB662 didn’t have a Raleigh head badge fitted when I bought it, but it did have 3 holes in the positions you would expect. So just a quick check with an old badge I have lying around confirmed that they appear to be original drillings. I’ve no idea why a badge wasn’t refitted when the frame was repainted, maybe it fell off later? Anyway, they are there and in the correct locations for when I repaint it.
With the BB out, it is a quick check with a finger to see if the pin in each chainstay and at the base of the down tube are still present. Pinning the frame like this prior to brazing was part of the SBDU build process.
The only bit of metal left attached to SB662 is a snapped frame end adjuster. I wasn’t in the mood to drill that out today, so I weighed the frame as it was. 1744 grams is well within the range of Imperial Reynolds 753 (pre 1982 753R). This is a similar tubeset to SB664.
Campagnolo Frame Ends
SB662 has the same early Campagnolo 1010/B frame ends as SB664. These were the earliest incarnation of the 1010/B used by the SBDU. For more information on SBDU Frame Ends, read << here >> These ends had a first mention in the Campagnolo Special Catalogue in 1974.
Even at the outset, Raleigh SBDU were drilling the frame ends on their Reynolds 753 frames. The first type of drilling was 8 holes, drilled fully all the way through the end from one side to the other.
Campagnolo eventually modified these ends and added ‘more material’ to them. It’s not uncommon for 1010/B ends to crack (especially with so many holes drilled in them), and that is exactly what appears to have happened with SB662.
The last hole on the upper edge of the end has been filled with brass and you can see a small uneven lump just above it. I’m guessing this was a small crack that has been filled some time ago.
The end also shows that the faces were masked off when the frame was repainted. All 4 faces are free from paint and the paint edge is clean and crisp, it’s been a good quality repaint.
Recessed allen key fitting brakes were fitted when I bought SB662. Unless you have some kind of fancy 90 degree drill head to drill from the rear of the bridge (from the seat tube side), then the only way to enlarge the 6mm hole in the bridge up to 8mm is to drill from the brake side. It’s a little uneven and off centre but ok.
Top Tube Brake Cable Guides
These aren’t a secret that the frame had to give up; they are there, sat on the left lower side of the top tube. Any renovation will see these removed and clips used in their place.
What Secrets Did SB662 Not Give Up?
What Happened to the Original Fork?
Whatever happened to the original fork is still a mystery. There are no signs of any damage to the frame of SB662. Although the fork column does have ‘662’ stamped on it, the ends aren’t drilled and the blade ends aren’t cut in the correct SDBU style. Both of those features don’t match the rear of the frame.
Original Paint Colour
You see the comment regularly, “look inside the BB shell or head tube to see the original colour”. Sometimes that works, most of the time it doesn’t. Even if there was a colour there to see, it isn’t guaranteed to be the ‘original’ colour, it’s just a previous colour! There are no clues to the original colour of SB662.
Do I think this deep burgundy colour was original? The answer to that is ‘No’. The reason I think that, is because this is a decorative frame with those Nervex Professional lugs. I’d expect contrast of some kind, maybe a contrasting head tube or seat tube panels – not just one simple colour. Maybe the frame transfers could have given the contrast? I’ll never know, but my gut says not original.
What’s the Long Term Plan?
Everything is a long term plan. So many frames, so many plans, no time to fulfil them!
Eventually, I will remove the top tube cable guides and sort the repaired frame end. Everything else is solid; there are no little dings or other damage on SB662, all the marks and scuffs are superficial paint marks.