I’ve started a few blog posts recently with the words “I received an email…”; and this story is the same. Late on a Sunday evening I received a couple of emails with several images attached and then an email summarising very clearly what the frame was and what seemed like a comprehensive history. “Would you be interested in buying the frame?” My response was “Yes”, and after arranging to meet up, SB4933 came home with me.
It’s been a busy week. Two SBDU frames have been received, unpacked, documented and blogged. SB1500 was intriguing, it didn’t need any clean up at all, I’ve left it exactly how it arrived; the story with that frame was amazing. While I was blogging about that frame, SB5084 was sitting in the corner crying out for some TLC, so with a couple of days over the weekend, I got the polishing cloths and rust treatment out in a bid to try and banish a decade or more of neglect and decay.
I’ve been searching and looking to expand my collection into new areas for as long as I’ve been collecting these frames. Up until now I’ve accumulated a good selection of the types of frame that the Specialist Bicycle Development Unit (SBDU) produced. I’ve got beautiful examples of Road, Track, Time Trial and Randonneur. I even have one of the most rare frames produced by the SBDU, one of their ‘Specials’, a 753 Dynaflite. But some types have been elusive! An SBDU Cyclo Cross frame is one type that just doesn’t seem to exist… but I’ve finally managed to find one.
This build is moving quickly at the moment which is remarkable for me! I’ve got a Shimano 600AX group that will complement this frame beautifully…
I have a new arrival in the collection. There have been a few frames available lately but I’ve resisted buying them as they didn’t fit the ‘wanted list‘. But, after seeing the images for this frame, I had a hunch that this one did fit the list. So without asking any questions of the seller, without even knowing the SB frame number, and going off pictures alone, I tested my visual and technical knowledge on SBDU frames and bought it on a hunch. My hunches normally pay off, I’ve acquired some beautiful frames based on hunches so hopefully this one does too! Time to check and measure…
I’ve had a British threaded Omas Titanium bottom bracket with rather nasty bearings in the parts box for a little while and I thought it would be perfect for this build.
It’s nice being in this position and having this dilemma. I know lots of SBDU collectors who would like to be in this position too.
Realistically, there may not be many ‘original owners’ of SBDU frames – I.E. those people who still own an SBDU frame that they ordered and bought for themselves from Ilkeston. There may be even fewer original owners who have a frame with an ‘H’ reference.
I have a few SBDU frames and recently decided that if I’m going to add to the collection, it had to be something different to the red/black/yellow ‘Team’ livery frame.