SBDU Ilkeston SB Frame Transfer Layout and Lug Detailing for TI-Raleigh Restorations (1974 – 1983)

SB3800 Mid 1980s TI-Raleigh Re-Paint Transfer Details

SBDU frames and the TI colours have become hugely popular. More people are seeking to buy an SBDU frame and recreate the red black and yellow TI-Raleigh scheme. With this recent resurgence, sellers are looking to sell and buyers are readily buying. The demand for these frames is producing a seemingly never ending supply of TI painted frames. With so many looking to buy and then repaint, and so many looking to repaint and then sell, the amount of freshly painted frames I’ve seen recently by both buyers and sellers has spiralled. My concern based on what I’ve seen is that the detail of the SBDU TI scheme is in danger of being lost forever.

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Shimano Dura-Ace 7400 7401 7402 7403 7410 Series Road Component System 1984 – 1996

SB8868 SBDU Nottingham Reynolds 753R Raleigh Banana 7402 Rear Derailleur

The year was 1984. I was only 14 and riding a beat up Raleigh Grifter around the estate. My parent’s shed was my workshop and I was kept busy fixing the bikes for all the local kids. My own bikes were fitted with names such as Sturmey Archer, Simplex, Huret and Weinmann. At the same time, unknown to me, two giants of the cycling world were about to go head to head for market supremacy. In the red corner, fighting out of Italy were Campagnolo, the makers of beautiful looking and precisely engineered components that graced the bikes of the professional peleton; they were up against Shimano in the blue corner, the Japanese corporation often only known for freewheels, hub gears and fishing reels.

SBDU Rarity – Can Adding Some Context Correct Common Perceptions

My TI-Raleigh Specialist Bicycle Development Unit SBDU Ilkeston Frame Details

What would you consider rare about the Specialist Bicycle Development Unit (SBDU)? I’ve heard people say that SBDU Reynolds 753 frames are rare… are they, or is that just perception? Defining something as rare really has to be done carefully, and in relation to the context of the subject. The way things are perceived is not always the way things actually are. 

The Mysterious Carlton Capella Lugged Early Ilkeston SBDU Imperial Tube Reynolds 753 Frames

SB664 1976 TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 753 Carlton Capella Head Lugs Blog Header

In the beginning there was Metric Reynolds 753 tubing, and then later in 1982, a new Imperial Reynolds 753 tube was introduced. The new tube, called 753R, had different diameters, different gauges and was slightly heavier than the original Metric tube. And that’s how it was always known… Metric 753 before 1982 and Imperial 753 available after 1982. That seems quite straightforward doesn’t it?

One Step Closer to Finding That Elusive SBDU Ilkeston End Date

SBDU Ilkeston Nottingham SB8438 Chain Stay Oval Transfer

When did the Specialist Bicycle Development Unit (SBDU) at Ilkeston close and relocate to Nottingham? What frame number were they up to at that time? Those are just two of the many questions that surround this seemingly mysterious unit. I’ve been searching for the answer to these questions for as long as I’ve been researching the unit. Late last night, a friend sent me a link to an SBDU bike that may finally answer at least one or maybe both of those two questions.

My TI Raleigh SBDU Blog The Most Comprehensive Resource Available for Frames Built at the Specialist Bicycle Development Unit

My TI-Raleigh SBDU Ilkeston Head Badge

Now that is a massively bold statement to make… here it is again just to make sure that I did actually say it… “The most comprehensive resource available for frames built at the Specialist Bicycle Development Unit (SBDU)…” 

The SBDU and Their Use of Reynolds 753 Reynolds 753R and Reynolds 753T

There has always been lots said on the subject of Reynolds 753, and that doesn’t surprise me. This tubing had such an impact on the sport of cycling; the frames and their riders were breaking records before anyone even knew 753 existed! 753 frames are still sought after 40+ years following their introduction. You can’t go a day without the subject of 753 cropping up on the internet and the online debates and discussions mean that there are always stories and different opinions. But are these stories real and are the opinions accurate? What is truth and what is myth? What are these stories? Have I done enough research and accumulated enough data to either prove or debunk them?

Searching for an End Date of TI-Raleigh Specialist Bicycle Development Unit (SBDU) at Ilkeston

SBDU Ilkeston Nottingham SB8438 Chain Stay Oval Transfer

** This post was updated in June 2017 and can be found at this link **

My attempt to define a date timeline for SBDU frame numbers was published in July 2016 and has so far stood up to the test. That blog post hopefully provides some substance and reasoning behind my opinions and shows why I think SB numbers fall into specific years. I wanted to add reasons and facts to back up my theory, I didn’t want to add another random list of numbers to the numerous internet lists that already exist. I found two important periods difficult to define, one of them was the end of the SBDU at Ilkeston. So have things changed since that post was published?

A 2016 Review of My SBDU and TI-Raleigh Ramblings. Thanks for an Amazing Year!

SB3800 SBDU Ilkeston 1980 TI-Raleigh Team Pro 753 Frame Details

Where do I even start to describe how much of a great year 2016 was? And how on earth am I going to try and beat it in 2017? I remember I had exactly the same feelings at the end of 2015 – that year had seen me double my readership over the previous year. But 2016 has seen so much more! I’ve had record breaking days, record breaking weeks and record breaking months – so how am I ever going to live up to that! That is the dilemma facing me as I start the new year.

Showcasing My TI-Raleigh SBDU Bikes Through Images and Bike Photography

My TI-Raleigh SBDU Studio Bike Photography Lightroom Editing Software

I don’t think my blog would be read by as many people if it wasn’t for the images that accompany each post. I might be in the studio with a full frame DSLR, back drops and lights, or in the workshop with just an iPhone and window light, but wherever I am, I try to cover everything I do with at least one image.