Posts Tagged ‘reynolds’

Essential item No.2. 1976 SBDU Team Raleigh Track.

August 3, 2011

3 years ago I saw an ad for a steel track frameset, my size, within my budget and looking good. So off I went to Bristol to pick it up. I arrived, checked the frame and agreed to make the transaction. It was a mid 70s silver enamelled Carlton, badged as a Marcarini, lovely it was, Fischer crown and everything. Yes please. But before I swapped my cash for the merchandise he offered to show me another frameset. “OK” I said. He then brought this out: A 1976 Team Raleigh track SB969 in ‘the’ colourway.

Dilemma. I’d always wanted one of these and this was again my size. It looked a bit tatty and the fork was rusted to within an inch of it’s life but then it’s not everyday someone presents you with one of these in your size. Even though the Raleigh was in much poorer condition to the Carlton he wanted more money for it. More than my budget. I got him to put wheels in both, stand them up side by side and I stared at them for a bit. The mental tussle went on for half an hour and then Bang! it finally happened. I saw the potential in that Red, yellow and black, I had chosen to burn the budget and I had bought the Raleigh.

Three years later and I still use it daily, rain or shine. It is scratched, battered and bruised but continuing to work like a beautifully oiled machine, hell it is a beautifully oiled machine! I love it and I can’t see it leaving my hands anytime soon. I’v had many bikes since this has been around but they’ve all gone to new homes, all except one.

I want to live in southern France one day and when I do I want this in the lounge.

Previous Raleigh posts.
The awesome Recollections of Ilkeston.
Classic lightweights on Raleigh SBDU.

Lomo for iPhone. Raleigh travellin’.

July 5, 2011

Donhou. Swan white.

June 10, 2011

Odin gave me a great mood board for his project and we worked closely on the paint firing plenty of drawings back and forth ’till we got it just right. Swan white with jet black interior panels. Big hi-5 as we’re both really stoked on it.

Built using oversized Reynolds 631 into a semi compact design and using a carbon fork to keep the weight down, this will be a fun little everyday bike.

Looking forward to meeting the man behind these frames tomorrow at the Bristol’s Bespoked… The countdown has begun!

Donhou.

Ronson TT Hardness.

April 4, 2011

This is Brigand Doom’s latest acquisition and it’s a mighty fine one.

He says: “The steerer tube is extensively drilled inside the headtube, the fork crown race is ‘golfballed’, the headtube is relieved either side and the lugs extensively ‘Bikini’d’ with hearts and windows. The brakes have to be built onto integral anchor bolts, brazed into the fork crown/rear bridge, to save weight, as far as i can tell no standard brake fits without being modified and i had to scratch make spring anchor washers and re-source thinner washers throughout! The fork crown has drillium all around and the steerer tube has been factory cut so that it wont accept a locking nut, i suppose the philosophy being that the bugger would come loose anyway, so get rid and save the weight, the BB shell has a massive heart cutout and lastly the short rear Campag’ ends are factory drilled”.

As you can see BD loves drilling stuff too and he’s done a grand job on this… DIY drillium – it’s the future!

Doom, you’re a boss.

Boss Obree.

February 18, 2011

I can’t get enough of this bike. Everything has been considered in terms of making it as light as possible, look at it! It’s pretty darn ugly with it’s imperfections but in ways also quite beautiful.

I read that the aero bars attached to the front of this machine are completely custom and they took Obree himself three months to whittle down from a solid piece of aluminium. Now that’s what I am talking about. Simply brilliant.

Thanks Hardysan for the linkage.

Lee Cooper and a bling Porteur.

February 2, 2011

Badda Bing!

Well, would you look at this… this is one super blinged out bespoke chrome porteur bike handbuilt by none other than Lee Cooper of Coventry.

He’s now making specialist porteur racks for bikes such as this, too so if you are in the market, make sure you get in-touch with him.

Nice work, Lee. I remember you talking about this but I never imagined it would be this good. Double thumbs up!

Donhou Hotness.

January 16, 2011

Donnie has only just started building frames but already his work is looking amazing. If you are based anywhere near Norfolk and you are in the market for something, be sure to check this guy out.

Oh and Sparky, and you Tim, I want to see what he did for you when they are finished!

See more here.

Detail Feather.

November 10, 2010

See this bike in full effect right here at Feather. Peep the curvy tubes and high polished lugset… Hetchins eat your heart out!

Nice work Ricky.

Spinwell visits Reynolds.

October 19, 2010

Think of Reynolds and most will instantly think of 531, the tube of choice for racing bikes over countless years and not to mention the numerous tour wins that were gained aboard this cro-moly steel pipe. Since 1958 up until the modern day, the Reynolds butted tubeset has dominated the roads, Anquetil, Merckx, and Hinault all used Reynolds exclusively in their Tour victories. Now there’s an accolade.

I was recently lucky enough to be offered a bit of time to walk around the Reynolds factory and to have a quick chat with the MD about all things Reynolds and what came clear at my 45 minute mini tour was that Reynolds are still as passionate about the metal tube as they have always been. I may sound surprised at this but I really was, I honestly thought I’d be greeted by super high tech billion pound machines churning out carbon for motorbikes but what I actually saw looked like it hadn’t changed since Reynolds began in 1898. (more…)

Still loving Raleigh.

October 13, 2010

Sensible.

September 16, 2010

I actually really like this, dredged up from Tracko’s archives. Fixed gear, brake, hoods, clipless pedals and loads of lightweight bling, this bike is clearly intended for comfortable, quick travelling. Love it.

Roberts Split TT Hotness.

May 17, 2010

Lightning, no doubt.
Seen.

Raleigh Snaps.

May 11, 2010

So, remember last week I mentioned that I planned to fit some tubular tyres onto my newly purchased wheels? Well, I have only gone and done it! I can also report that: Yes, it is a right bast**d fitting them but I can also report that it is a lot less of a pain in the ass than I first thought.

Happy as Larry I am now, happy as Larry.

Jon’s Bromwich.

May 6, 2010

Jon, my pal sold this, his 1977 Tom Bromwich of Coventry once but due to a non paying punter on teabay he still has it. Not for long though he tells me. He must pass it on to fund his his latest project and oh my is it a project!

Whether or not he sells it though, it’s a beaut.

Raleigh Greatness.

April 19, 2010

Aaaah, the warm feeling I get when I spot the livery of a Professional Raleigh… Magnificent!

Mo Gazelle.

April 8, 2010

Gazelle track hotness! Seen.

Gazelle Champion AB 1986.

April 7, 2010

Very nice build. Spotted.
The same guy also has this, a lovely Gazelle Champion Mondial Track.

Raleigh got a new Fork.

March 23, 2010

Yup, after over a year of looking I managed to find what I was looking for: An undrilled fischer crown track fork with a long enough steerer that was good enough to chrome.

Result.

Recollections of Ilkeston.

March 19, 2010

I remembered this, as I glanced at it on my desktop this morning so I thought, lengthy as it is, I should post it. So anyone interested in the ins and outs of working for Raleigh Ilkeston’s SBDU should read on.

Words by Mike Mullet.

30 years ago, but here goes.

In the closing years of my Army career (1969 to 1976) I managed and mechaniced for the Combined Service cycling teams which led me to doing the same tasks for the British Cycling Federation at National and International events. This led to an invite from the Raleigh UK team to mechanic for the team on a freelance basis. This I was very happy to do, particularly for such a famous team.
On leaving the service I started framebuilding under my own name but still freelancing for Raleigh and writing a technical column for the UK magazine “Cycling”. The editor at that time was Ken Evans, sadly deceased at an early age.

In 1978 I rang Gerald and asked to visit Ilkeston, the base for the UK team which was managed by George Shaw an ex Raleigh UK based pro. The upshot of the visit was Gerald asked if I would like to work at Ilkeston with a view to taking over from him when he retired.
Would I. Why me? Evidently my freelance work for the team and my weekly column in Cycling had paid off.
Gerald told me I would have to have a formal job interview with his boss, the Design Director of Raleigh – Alan Oakley. Raleigh Chopper fans will be aware of Alan, a revered figure having designed the Chopper on the back of an envelope on a fight to the USA. What a gentleman. The job interview took place one lunch time (and well into the afternoon) at one of the most elite dining establishments in Nottingham with Gerald present. It was one of the most civilised job interviews I have ever had. Happy to say I was offered the appointment of Workshop Manager.

(more…)

To Renovate…

February 22, 2010

Or not to renovate? That is the question.

You see, my bicycle, lovely as it is, just doesn’t have the lustre it had 34 years ago when it was wheeled out of the Ilkeston cycle works. The blemishes it has dotted all over it mar it’s appeal to some degree and it is for that very reason I have this mental tussle.

But why would you want to paint out all of that history? Sure it has a few scratches here and there but those scratches allude to it’s racing career and it’s time before me and to paint it would seem like I would be erasing it all. Like the hypnotist in the 2003 film Oldboy removing Dae-Su’s memory for the better. Or is it actually for the better? A friend recently said it would be “like buying the Mona Lisa and having her smile adjusted because you liked it better that way”.

That said, the owner of the previously mentioned Mona Lisa painting would be the owner so that individual could do with that paining as they saw fit. Right?

Wrong. A part of me believes that something of history, a classic item ( so long as it is not completely and utterly in need of renovation with blemishes that are of detriment to itself ) should not be tampered with and the possessor of such an item has somewhat of a responsibility of ensuring this. If not for the sake of him/herself then for the sake of the future because once that original paint and original decals are removed, they are gone, for eternity.

But then would a renovation not become part of the frame’s history in itself or would it devalue the item in another 34 years when it is discovered that the frame’s enamel jacket is less like a tube television and more like 30″ plasma screen? In viewing terms the tube worked just fine, showed TV programs, videos no problem but now we need plasma because it ‘looks’ better.

I think if I were to paint my 1976 Raleigh track frame ( SB numbered 969 ) I would completely regret it. It would ‘look’ better, I know it would but I would feel like I have wronged the earth in some way, like I had just removed a facet of it’s workings. I would also ( knowing my love for tradition ) grow to dislike the bicycle and end up selling it. This because in my eyes without it’s o.g jacket it would just be like most other resprayed professional racing frames out there: Void of any sort of credibilty of racing history or heritage.

And is racing history and heritage not the very reason we all love these classic, vintage bicycles in the first place?

Indeed it is and for that reason my bicycle, as it stands gets to live another day in it’s original condition. So like the very 19th century wooden framed windows that I peer out of on this cloudy day, history remains.


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