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?

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SB8868 753R Services des Courses 1988 SBDU Nottingham Raleigh Banana Complete

SB8868 SBDU Nottingham 753R Raleigh Banana

I’ve not got much to write in this post as the pictures will hopefully say everything. This Raleigh Banana has been an awesome bike to build, a real blast from the past. I took it to the studio today to capture it looking its best…

SB7121 Reynolds 753T 1985 SBDU Ilkeston – Seeking Answers Under the Paint

SB7121 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 753T 1985 Silver Solder Head Lug

Sometimes my frames come to me without any signs of originality meaning that I can’t accurately identify them. There is seldom a known history to accompany a 2nd hand frame. SB7121 was a classic example of this. I bought it on a whim, based on a basic description which indicated that it was probably a Reynolds 753 frame. The frame number dated it to 1985 and it had a hand painted finish with ‘Wheel Craft’ frame transfers, but underneath the paint, it was 100% an SBDU. I wrote an initial blog post on the frame but always wanted to come back and dig deeper and take a proper look into what it was.

SB8868 753R Services des Courses 1988 SBDU Nottingham Raleigh Banana Rebuild

SB8868 SBDU Nottingham Reynolds 753R Raleigh Banana Vittoria Corsa

To say that I’m happy with how 2017 has started is an understatement! My first SBDU bike for the year is built and it is stunning. My 753R Raleigh Banana is complete; and it has been such an enjoyable build to do. From getting the 753R SBDU frame looking its very best with new transfers, to working with probably the greatest group set ever made, Shimano Dura-Ace 7402, it has been a joy to work on this bike.

SB8868 753R Services des Courses 1988 SBDU Nottingham Raleigh Banana Ready to Build

SB8868 SBDU Nottingham Reynolds 753R Raleigh Banana Frame

I’ve been collecting a few items for this build since getting my hands on the frame in December last year. It’s been a bit of a stretch as Christmas has drained funds, but I now think I’ve got all the components needed to get this built. I’m not putting myself through the ordeal of going for a period correct team build. Instead, I’m going for all the things that I love in bikes and bike components. This means I will actually come close to team spec, but retain some freedom to tailor the build for the parts that I like and the overall look that I prefer.

SB8868 753R Services des Courses 1988 SBDU Nottingham Raleigh Banana Dura-Ace 7402

SB8868 SBDU Nottingham 753R Services des Courses Dura-Ace 7400 Front Derailleur

This build is moving quickly! I found an amazing condition Dura-Ace 7400/7402 series group set from the late 1980s almost immediately after getting my hands on the frame. And when I say amazing condition, I mean absolutely astounding condition. This is an almost perfect Dura-Ace 7402 8 speed group with down tube levers and single pivot SLR brakes. I can’t wait to build this bike!

SB8868 753R Services des Courses 1988 SBDU Nottingham Raleigh Banana New Arrival

SB8868 SBDU Nottingham 753R Services des Courses Raleigh Banana 1988 Header

Sometimes I don’t need to go searching for frames, sometimes frames find me. A few nights ago, a frame popped up on my screen, just a few photographs and a small description. It was a Raleigh Specialist Bicycle Development Unit (SBDU) frame, built in their Nottingham unit. It is a very similar frame to the SB8945 frame that I picked up a few months ago. Sometimes the decision to buy a new frame doesn’t take long to make, and even though I’d just seen a few non-detailed images, I contacted the owner and bought it. It was in my collection a couple of days later.

SB6398 Restore Part Five – SBDU Ilkeston TI-Raleigh 1984 Reynolds 753R Campagnolo Super Record 50th Anniversary Group

SB6398 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 753R Campagnolo Super Record 50th Anniversary

All of the 50th Anniversary parts that I’ve carefully and patiently cleaned over the last couple of weeks have been re-united with the SBDU Ilkeston 753R frame that they came from. I’ve had a few things on lately so it has taken a little while to get focused on this build again, but all the prep and cleaning has meant a quick and painless build.

SB6398 Restore Part Four – SBDU Ilkeston TI-Raleigh 1984 Reynolds 753R Campagnolo Super Record 50th Anniversary Group

sb6398-sbdu-ilkeston-reynolds-753r-campagnolo-super-record-50th-anniversary-qrs-after

I’m well on the way to getting every part of this build back to their very best. Part three was all about the components of the 50th anniversary group, and putting the shine back onto them. There were two main components that I left out of that post, they were the hubs and the brake levers – the bar tape and brake lever hoods have made me think the most, leaving me in a bit of a quandary.

SB6398 Restore Part Three – SBDU Ilkeston TI-Raleigh 1984 Reynolds 753R Campagnolo Super Record 50th Anniversary Group

SB6398 Restore Part 3

Part three is here..! That means I finally get to work with the Campagnolo Super Record 50th Anniversary group.

Part one was frame prep, the foundation of the build. Part two was fitting the head set and bottom bracket; joining the frame and forks together, the starting point to which all other parts are fitted.