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SBDU Ilkeston 1984 Raleigh Panasonic Services des Courses SB6560

My latest purchase… very exciting but not much to write yet as I haven’t got my hands on it. If you watch the internet and classifieds long enough, you will see badly, mis-understood and mis-represented frames come along that are more than what they appear to be.

SBDU Ilkeston Services des Courses SB6560 1984 Raleigh Panasonic
SBDU Ilkeston Services des Courses SB6560 1984 Raleigh Panasonic

This was advertised as a ‘British Raleigh built at Worksop’, which is 50% correct but is missing so much more information. It wasn’t built at Worksop, it was built at Ilkeston SBDU – the SB frame number shows its SBDU pedigree. The Cinelli BB shell shows a bit more pedigree. The Cinelli BB together with Cinelli fork crown and Cinelli lugs and frame number tab point towards the ‘Services des Courses’ frame produced by SBDU as the ‘Definitive frame for International racing’. One fact that was correct was that it was a ’57 cm’ frame – that is stamped into the frame and it is my size!

Raleigh Ilkeston 1984 Frame Set Services des Courses
Raleigh Ilkeston 1984 Frame Set Services des Courses

It does unfortunately, come with some issues, but the price was right and the risk is worth it. I think it has had a respray at some point, the Reynolds 531 decals both on the frame and forks do not look correct. Various decals are missing such as the Ilkeston Oval on the front of the top of the seat tube together with some of the Panasonic yellow and red banding.

The main issue is that the down tube gear lever bosses have been partially removed with a hacksaw. However, this is a straight forward job to repair and will include minimal paint loss so should be easy to touch up. That will probably be my first frame building related job following my course with Dave Yates. Knowing how to repair a frame and having the facilities to do this is going to be such an advantage with classic steel frames.

The frame needs a lot more research when I receive it.

Is it 531 or 753? The 531 decals look wrong but can I find out exactly what it should be?

Is it a ‘Services des Courses’? The frame number tab can be added at any time during a subsequent renovation. But a full set of Cinelli lugs (Seat Lug, 2 x Head Tube Lugs, BB Shell and Fork Crown) – you wouldn’t ‘add’ those during a renovation – they need to be there when it is initially built.

The plan is to do a partial renovation including new gear lever bosses and new decals.

More to come very soon on this frame and the move in 1983/1984 from the TI-Raleigh team to Raleigh Panasonic!


  1. I think you may be right about the respray. I have a 1984 Services des Courses in these colours as well and believe mine to have original paint. The 1984 bikes I have seen did not have ‘Raleigh’ on the top tube. The blue section on the top tube also looks too long. Remembering these frames are custom, mine has the following differences – no chain peg, divers helmet rear brake cable guides, ‘Services des Courses’ script below the lever bosses, Tour de France gold oval sticker on the down tube, SBDU & GVOD sticker on seat tube. different 531 stickers on the forks ‘531 TI’. My 531c sticker on the down tube looks the same as yours.

    1. Yes, agree. The scheme and decals just doesn’t look correct. One of the main things I see when I look at Raleigh bikes and especially SBDU bikes, is that they receive renovations where the decal selection and placement doesn’t get researched. I’ve seen lots of images with and without the RALEIGH on the top tube, but when you look at the Panasonic team line up pictures for the 1984 team, there is no RALEIGH on the top tube. It was also the 531 fork decals that looked wrong – 531 TI seems correct.

      When I replace the gear lever bosses I’ll also remove the 3 cable guides on the top tube and fit the divers helmet stops for originality as I don’t think they are original – even though sourcing stepped ferrules that fit them and outer cable isn’t easy.


  2. Neil, I have photos of my SB 6376 posted on 15 Aug 2014 in Team Colours almost identical to this but for the cable guides on top of the top tube and a foil head badge. Would you say it is also services de courses?

    1. Hi Malik

      Thanks for the comment. Your SB6376 may well be Services des Courses. I haven’t confirmed mine yet; I always like to try and do as much research as I can to be fully happy that it is what I think it is. Your bike does look very similar in terms of the Cinelli fittings which fits in with the SBDU description.


  3. Hey Neil,
    Ive just gotten hold sb7448, a 1985 531c Team Services des Courses, its got a few rust dots on the underside and a chip on the toptube. I think its oroginal paint, pearlised off white (not sure if its due to aging) did you manage to find out the pint colours?
    It has the Raleigh decal on the toptube and seatstays, did the startin 85?

    1. Hi Alan

      I’ve seen SB7448, it is a really nice clean looking example. The data I have on original paint Panasonic SB frames shows that the Raleigh on the top tube and Raleigh on the chainstay started in 1985, at the start of the SB7000s. Everything before that just had Raleigh on the down tube and seat tube. Actual team bikes sometimes differed from the SB bikes, just like the TI-Raleigh team did, but SB bikes tended to follow the same patterns.

      SBDU in that period offered an oyster pearlescent which is what I believe the SB Panasonic bikes had, I just don’t have a code – SBDU didn’t appear to use anything like the RAL or Pantone codes and the actual mix of their paints is very much a guess. I have seen someone quote a compatible RAL code for the blue, which is RAL5005. It gets confusing with Raleigh as so many non SBDU models were produced and they could sometimes just be plain white. Sometimes renovated SB Panasonic bikes look plain white too which adds to the confusion.

      Hope that helps

    1. I agree, determining the tubing type is quite possible with the older 531DB and Metric 753 tubing as there was often a vast difference (some of my similar size frames can have 500-600 gram difference between the two tubes… 57cm Metric 753 at 1633g and 57cm 531DB at 2209g). Not so easy if you have 531SL. It is a little more difficult with later Imperial 753R and 531c as the diameter became the same and the tube gauge came much closer. I’m about 90% of the way through drafting a ‘Frame Weight’ post. I’ve got data on all 34 of my SBDU frames and there are several surprises, sometimes the smallest frame is the heaviest and vice versa.

      1. I think the number of 531SL frames that exist from Raleigh is vanishingly small. I have photos of ONE Carlton-built 531SL Professional frameset. I think the output from Ilkeston is probably down in the 0.5% – 0.1% range. Also you can probably tell from just pulling on the rear triangle if it’s 531SL or 753 because the 753 heat treated tubing is so much stiffer, and the 531SL would be quite noodly (but you’d need to find a framebuilder familiar with 753, or True Temper S3, or another tempered chromoly to be sure.)

      2. I once looked at the 500 to 600 frames I have details on and worked out (based on what I thought the tubing was) that 531SL accounted for approx 2% of my dataset, so yes, they were a much more rare frame. 531 Professional came in at approx 6% – and that was only that high due to the popularity in 1985/86 of the 531 Pro Super model

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