SBDU Frame Details

SBDU Frame Details, Fork Ends, Seat Stay Caps, TI-Raleigh, SBDU Frame Dates, SBDU Frame Details, TI-Reynolds, Reynolds 531, Reynolds 753, TI-Raleigh SBDU

I think the most searched terms on my blog are related to information about SBDU frame details, frame age or frame tubing. So it is just as well I have plenty of information available. Here are a selection of blog posts you need to read related to details and dates.

Frame Details

I’ve started to write a series of blog posts that document different SBDU frame details that existed over the life span of the unit. At the moment these include the different types of frame and fork ends and seat stay types together with their seat stay caps There are also little known changes such as gear lever positioning. All of these details can help to identify and date an SB frame.

Specialist Bicycle Development Unit (SBDU) Seat Stay and Chain Stay Finish

SBDU Fork Ends and Dropouts…

Having a large collection of SBDU frames means that I’ve accumulated most of the various features that they built with. Fork ends are one such area of the frame design where I have an almost complete set, ranging from the earliest 531 frames produced at Ilkeston using Campagnolo 1010/A, through to frames produced at Raleigh’s Special Products Division using their own ‘RALEIGH’ stamped ends.

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Specialist Bicycle Development Unit (SBDU) Frame Design Seat Stay and Seat Lug Attachment

SBDU Seat Stays and Caps…

You probably think seat stays are quite boring, why on earth would I devote a blog post to the two narrow tapering tubes on the back of a frame? Well as you hopefully all know by now, I do like my details, especially the small details! The various designs and subtle differences in seat stays can tell me a lot about an SBDU frame, even the frame age and tubing type.

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SBDU Gear Lever Position Comparison

SBDU Gear Lever Positions…

Here is another short post in a series I’m writing about individual areas of SBDU frame design. This time I’ve chosen to write about gear levers, or more precisely, where they are positioned on the downtube. I’m quite sure that many people have never even considered this, after all, they are just levers mounted on a tube.

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TI-Raleigh Scheme (Paint and Transfers)

Although the SBDU were about so much more that the TI-Raleigh scheme, those Team colours are probably the most sought after. If you do feel the need to repaint or recreate these colours please spend a little time on the details.

SB4059 1980 TI-Raleigh Team Pro Reynolds 753 New Transfers Fitted Blog Header

SBDU TI-Raleigh Scheme…

SBDU frames and the TI colours have become hugely popular. More people are seeking to buy an SBDU frame and recreate the red black and yellow TI-Raleigh scheme. The amount of freshly painted frames I’ve seen recently by both buyers and sellers has spiralled. My concern based on what I’ve seen is that the detail of the SBDU TI scheme is in danger of being lost forever.

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Frame Weights

Frame weight is a constant request which never has a straight forward answer…

SBDU Reynolds 753 and Reynolds 531 Frame Weights

Frame weight… it’s often talked about, requested and used as a measure to try and determine tubing type. From my own experience I see several factors that affect final weight and I frequently see in my own documentation process that frame weight can be very random and time and again I see that it can be impossible to correlate frame weight to frame size to frame tubing.

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SBDU Frame Dates and Period Details

One of the biggest questions… when was my frame built?

My TI-Raleigh Specialist Bicycle Development Unit SBDU Ilkeston Frame Details

SBDU Dates…

It is impossible to accurately date reference SBDU frames!

There it is, a simple fact. I should really leave this blog post now with that ‘bold’ statement. But that’s not like me, I like to investigate and I like to waffle…

It all started in 1974 but no one seems to know the exact date. It all ended in 1987, but no one seems to know that exact date either. With no known start date and no known end date and, wait for it, … no known SBDU records, you can see why there is an issue putting a date to an SB numbered frame. Even just defining something as broad ranging as a ‘Year’ is prone to problems. And that is where I see the challenge!

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SH377T SBDU Reynolds 753 Pursuit Track Frame Paint Polished

SBDU Frame Details…

Frame details…, it is all about those little frame details… Frame details are hard to change. They are individual elements, fitted to tubes and formed into a frame when the torch melts the filler. Paint and decals are not the same, they can change over time, fooling you and misleading you with a different story… the frame detail should always tell the real story.

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There is so much more available within the pages and posts of my blog. If you can’t find what you are looking for or just need a bit more information or help then just get in touch. My email address is or contact me here.

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