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SBDU Nottingham Raleigh Track Champion SB8850 Reynolds 531c – Stripdown

I’m kicking off the New Year with the spanners and getting stuck into SB8850. Every bike I receive comes apart. This is because every bike generally has hidden mechanical issues. What can often look like a well put together bike can surprise you. SB8850 arrived earlier in the year and now is the time (probably slightly overdue), to take this SBDU Nottingham Track bike apart and see what lurks underneath!

I actually haven’t taken EVERY bike apart. SB6827, which is an unridden SBDU Ilkeston bike, is still intact. I’ve not taken that one apart as it’s unridden condition and completeness is part of the story of that bike. The story is that it was built by two brothers and then never ridden – so it will remain in that built condition.

SBDU Ilkeston SB6827 1984 Reynolds 531c Campagnolo Super Record Road Bike
SBDU Ilkeston SB6827 1984 Reynolds 531c Paint

It doesn’t take long to take a Road bike apart, and Track bikes are even quicker. No brakes, no cables, no derailleurs, no ferrules to get stuck in guides and stops, no end adjusters – just the absolute basics of a bike.




Mavic G40 rims on Suntour Sprint hubs. The hubs spin relatively smoothly so will just need new grease and bearings. I’ll probably just change the tyres for something with a gum wall.

SBDU Nottingham SB8850 Reynolds 531c Wheels


Look PP65 clipless pedals, in not too bad shape considering how many other pairs of these pedals appear to get wrecked. They still have good bearings and just need a clean.

SBDU Nottingham SB8850 Reynolds 531c Pedals


SBDU Nottingham SB8850 Reynolds 531c Chainset

Although it has a single ring and has 165mm cranks, this is a road crank and has a step on the inside for an inner ring. This is an SR Super Custom with a 144 BCD.

Bottom Bracket and Chain

This was smooth and had no play but felt a bit ‘dry’ It’s a standard mid range Shimano bottom bracket (fitted with a spacer behind the fixed cup). The fixed cup wasn’t particularly tight and the bearings didn’t have much grease. This is exactly why I take new bikes apart. The chain looks like it was once a silver colour Sedis.

SBDU Nottingham SB8850 Reynolds 531c Bottom Bracket and Chain

Bars and Stem

More SR Custom with what appear to be standard road bars and stem.

SB8850 Reynolds 531c Handlebars and Stem


3TTT but not too sure of the model. It’s used but there is no visible damage or splits.

SBDU Nottingham SB8850 Reynolds 531c Saddle

Seat Pin

More SR. An SR Custom-P3 (Melt Forging). Quite a nice pin but really short. Maybe only 150mm of actual pin which isn’t enough for me. A 56.5cm SBDU frame is just within the lower range of what I can ride, so sadly this pin will need to be swapped out.

SBDU Nottingham SB8850 Reynolds 531c Seat Pin


Now at first glance, with the headset fitted, all you see is a steel cupped headset with a ‘Tange’ top nut. But, again, this is why I take bikes apart. There seems to be some Campagnolo in there too. It is smooth but dirty, so new balls and grease are needed.

SBDU Nottingham SB8850 Reynolds 531c Headset

SBDU Nottingham Frame

Frame Number

SB8850 stamped on the drive side, and the frame size, 56.5cm on the other.

SBDU Nottingham SB8850 Reynolds 531c SB Frame Number

Frame Weight

A recent comment on my blog discussed the use of the words “Weight” and “Mass”. To keep my blog consistent, and to avoid the need to do a Find & Replace through the entire site, I’ll continue to use the word “Weight” 😉 SB8850 has a reading on the scale of 1913 grams.

SBDU Nottingham SB8850 Reynolds 531c Weight


This is a Track bike, I’d expect some knocks and marks. Thankfully, the only marks are scratches and scuffs. There are no dents, bends or other damage. The transfers are the same, scratched and scuffed, but all there albeit a little faded. All I need to do to this frame is clean it with some paint renovator and give it a polish.

SBDU Nottingham SB8850 Reynolds 531c Paint and Transfers
SBDU Nottingham SB8850 Reynolds 531c Frame


SB8850 uses the good old Single Taper seat stays combined with Prugnat frame lugs. The single taper stay is the ‘older’ design and not the later and smaller diameter, Double Taper. There is also no modification and drilling to the brake bridge.

SB8850 Reynolds 531c Frame Detail

Frame Ends

You have to love a Track frame end. So simple, solid and functional.

SB8850 Reynolds 531c Frame End

The small cut out gives them away. These are Shimano UFP-10 track ends. A close up just about provides the detail.

SB8850 Reynolds 531c Frame End Shimano UFP-10

SBDU Nottingham Fork

Fork Stamping

‘8850’, matching the SB frame number. It’s always a ‘moment’, taking an SB fork out of an SB frame and seeing what, if anything is on the fork column.

SB8850 Reynolds 531c SB Frame Number

Fork Weight

No surprises there… 800 grams…

SB8850 Reynolds 531c Fork Weight

Fork Thread

I don’t have any concerns about the fork but it does look like I’m going to have to clean up the fork thread as it hasn’t been finished very well and looks rough.

SB8850 Reynolds 531c Fork Thread

Condition and Design

The SBDU used this design regularly throughout the years. Reynolds 531 round fork blades, the Fischer fork crown and Campagnolo ends. A Cinelli crown and oval blades were an option (and a standard feature of the Services des Courses model), but I just love the aesthetic of this fork design.

And, similar to the brake bridge, the fork crown is not modified with a brake bolt drilling.

SB8850 Reynolds 531c Fork Design

What’s Next for this SBDU Nottingham Frame…

Well dare I say it, but SB8850 doesn’t need too much to get it back together. This stripdown has confirmed everything I noticed during my initial assessment when SB8850 arrived.

I could, if I wanted to, just bolt this bike back together with new bearings and grease and end up with a decent Track bike. In fact, that is probably what I’ll do. But I will replace the tyres straight away and then do a gradual upgrade of the parts. The handlebars and stem are certainly going to change, quite quickly too, as I’m not a fan of what is currently fitted. I have a set of Cinelli ‘Pista’ bars and need to find a better stem.

But before any changes or rebuild happens, this frame needs a good clean and polish. All the transfers will stay in place and the frame will retain it’s scars. I’ll refit the headset, stand the bike on its wheels and document the geometry. I don’t have many standard SBDU Track frames documented so this will be good information to capture and share.

SBDU Nottingham SB8850 Reynolds 531c Frame Set

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