Blog Featured Posts Frame Restoration Reynolds 753 Road SB1995 SBDU Ilkeston

Specialist Bicycle Development Dept – Original Letter Confirming My Research of SB1995

Specialist Bicycle Development Dept? Yes, more of that in a future post.

But for now, it’s all about SB1995, and the work I did to establish when this frame was renovated. I’ve just re-read my own post and still surprise myself that I used nothing more than small details and transfers to narrow down the renovation of SB1995 to a period of 154 frames, between SB5640 and SB5794.

Before reading on, please have a read of that original post HERE.

SB1995 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 753 Road Frame Renovation Details to Check

Now you are up to date, I can continue.

So long story short, I proved in that post using data points that SB1995 was renovated at some point between the end of 1982 and the start of 1983. And it felt good that I could use my knowledge of these frames to be able to do this. However, I always like to test my data and my blog posts, but I was probably destined to never know if I was correct about this frame… until this week.

I’ve had SB1995 for over a year and then a few days ago, Martin emailed out of the blue.

Dear Neil

You will recall the repainted SBDU gold frame you came down to Oxford to pick up. I’ve found the letter from G. O’Donovan to me about the respray — and I can send it to you if you’d like, to prove how right you were. I’d need your terrestrial address if you’re interested.

All the best
Martin Gray

I said YES, send it. This was a chance to actually prove if I was right. His email sounded positive.

After a long weekend, I arrived home from work and the letter was on the door mat. And I thought, what better way to open this letter than on video?

My TI-Raleigh YouTube Channel

Here is the letter, I’ve removed some details such as Martin’s address. It had a covering note from Martin which was just as positive as his initial email…

Dear Neil

Herewith the letter for you records. Your researches were all spot on, I think.

All the best, Martin.

Letter from Gerald O’Donovan

Specialist Bicycle Development Dept- GVOD Letter confirming renovation date SB1995
GVOD Letter confirming renovation date SB1995

There are a couple of interesting points about that letter not connected to SB1995 that I’ll pick up in future posts. One point is the name in the letterhead, “Specialist Bicycle Development Dept”. The other is the shipment of frames to the team. But for now, look at that date, “7th April 1983”.

The letter demonstrates that by the time it was dated, Martin’s frame was already on its way back following renovation. SB1995 must therefore have been renovated in early 1983 – just as I had said.

The Best Source of Information for Raleigh SBDU Bikes

I use this tag line on my blog, and I stand by it. I am a modest, quiet person, but this is an occasion when I need to shout out… there is no better, more accurate or reliable source of information regarding Raleigh SB bikes than my blog.

If you have a question about an SB frame and need confirmation, send a message or an email and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.


Here is a summary of SB1995 related posts.

SB1995 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 753 Road Frame
Specialist Bicycle Development Dept? Yes, more of that in a future post. But for now, it's all about SB1995, and ...
2020 is moving fast, it will soon be February. I've already added two frames since the New Year and I'm ...
SB1995 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 753 Seat Pins
My previous post turned up a couple of surprises about SB1995. The first, smaller surprise, was the owner's initials on ...
SB1995 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 753 Frame Tubing
"Never assume with the SBDU". That is a phrase I say a lot. It is a mantra I repeat when ...
SB1995 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 753 Road Frame and Fork
Recollections are a funny thing. Could you remember details or be precise about a specific date from maybe only a ...
SB1995 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 753 Road Frame Fork Transfer
It was a Thursday evening a couple of weeks ago, and as usual I was sitting in front of the ...

1 comment

  1. Seems like you have just received your knighthood by the man himself – GVOD! 🙂 Well done, Sir Neil. Amazing what a great piece of history a simple letter can be…..

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