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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:58 am 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:52 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Norfolk and Clue
This is the project that I alluded to on my introduction.

My first racing bike was one of the Team Raleigh Banana race bike reproductions made from the supremely heavy 18-30 chromo tubing, but even though it was hardly cutting edge it was still better than my mates racing bike. He had just got a Muddy Fox Courier mountain bike, but jumped up and down at his daddy who went out and brought him one of the limited edition Raleigh Bananas made with Reynolds 531c and full Shimano 105. Two years later I brought that bike off him and had it in my possession until six years ago when I sold it to raise some much needed funds for our wedding (for the sake of the £150 I got for it I now wish I hadn't sold it). Now the craze for fixie/singlespeeds has turned up and I realised that actually a singlespeed (I can't ride fixed due to a knee op years ago) would be a great way to get to and from work in the winter months rather than coating my Giant TCR with its full Dura Ace in salty road muck.
So two years ago I took a used Raleigh Special Products division Reynolds 853 frame and turned it into a reproduction for the Raleigh Banana team bikes from the 80's, as a memorial to my beloved Raleigh Banana. The frame paint scheme was based on one of the actual team frames that I spotted hanging on the wall of MacDonalds cycles in Edinburgh (Reynolds 753), and a lot of work with a superb paint sprayer, and my own talents with decals and bike building, resulted in this.

Image

Two years later it's still my main method of transportation to work when I'm not on-call and is still in great condition even after two winters of riding through muck (the decals are all sealed under a clear top coat).

However this year has seen my first return to time trialling properly in 13 years (I made an aborted return about two years ago), and I'm now in my first winter training for 14 years which got me thinking about my bikes again.

On the wall in MacDonald cycles was also this:-

Image
Image

Which was Malcolm Elliot's Reynolds 753 lo-pro that Raleigh (or more correctly Gerald O'Donovan - witness the sticker at the top of the seat tube) made for his unsuccessful attempt at the World hour record.
This got me thinking.......could I find an 'old skool' lo-pro frame, tidy it up, and build it up as a modern-ish twist on a classic lo-pro TT bike in a singlespeed variant?

Well many sniped attempts on eBay later made me realise that lo-pros are very popular with the London fixed gear community, and finding a good one was going to be difficult, and then win the bugger before I lost out at the last minute. So I put an advert on my usual haunt (the Timetrialling forum), and then got a message from Ian Cammish very kindly offering me a pair of his Dynatech track frames that were made for him from the Special Products division at Raleigh.

Image

As these frames have some serious history in Time Trialling in this country I thought I would keep one as standard and re-finish the other in Banana colours. Considering they were both the same I thought I would use the more worn one for the re-pro once I had got the totally seized stem out of the forks. It was only once I had the forks out of the frame did something become apparent.......even though the frames were ordered at the same time and delivered to Ian, the frames were actually different geometry, and different sizes!!!!

Image

This threw up a quandary as I had accepted the measurements based on the larger frame (I'm 6'5" so need a big frame) and the smaller would just be too short for me (it's only a 54cm top tube), so even though it needed the work I decided to keep that one as the standard and keep it in the garage as turo training motivation.

The larger frame also has this little sticker on it
Image

So like the Malcolm Elliot frame it was made by the legendary Gerald O'Donovan except this beastie is a Dyna-Tech 23-25 Titanium job, rather than Reynolds 753 (although the forks will be 753).

Work is in progress (more to follow), and prior to heading off to paint I mocked it up with wheels and aerobars and it looked like this.

Image

Watch this space I guess!


Last edited by Allshownogo on Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:03 am 
Section Moderator & South West AEC
Section Moderator & South West AEC
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Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:33 pm
Posts: 8170
Location: new forest
8) they look great

i like the team raleigh bikes, i have just got a dynatech titanium mtb frame, looking forward to riding that.

welcome by the way :D


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:37 pm 
rider | rBoTM Winner
rider | rBoTM Winner
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Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 1:42 pm
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Location: Wakefield, Yorkshire
See, I told you someone would like them! :D


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:14 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 10:05 am
Posts: 961
Location: Brussels
Wow, what a fantastic story! I don't suppose Mr Cammish has a spare normal road frame he'd consider selling as well?!

Looking forward to the update as-and-when.

Cheers,
Gareth.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:31 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2006 8:42 pm
Posts: 783
Location: Brighton
18-30 wasn't cro-mo - just high tensile steel!

Also - a GoD sticker doesn't mean he built it - the sticker appeared on any frame he'd designed.

All you need now is a fluoro helmet to go with the frame!


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:08 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:52 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Norfolk and Clue
Well apparently the MacDonald Cycles frame was built especially for Malcolm Elliot for the hour record attempt, an dit was made by the main man himself.
According to Ian the pair of frames for him were made at the same time in the Special Products division, and whilst one was made by the usual suspects in there, the other one was made by Gerald O'Donovan himself. Hence how it ended up with the sticker, and yet the other one (if you look at the pictures) has nothing on it, even though they came out of the factory at the same time.

The thing is that you only have to pick the two frames up to feel the talent of Gerald O'Donovan in the larger frame. Larger it may well be, but it is over 250g lighter than the smaller frame, and the forks themselves are a more svelte design, and again lighter than the other frame. The Track ends on the GODV are also Shimano ones, and are drilled for further lightness, unlike the other frame where they're obviously something generic.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 6:55 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 9:17 am
Posts: 881
Location: Norwich, UK
Some excellent bikes and frames


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:43 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:50 pm
Posts: 612
Location: Lazy Town
Nice frames.

I worked in Raleigh Special Products for many years and was there at the time these were made. Gerald did indeed privide the centreline drawings for the frames.

However, the actual cutting, cleaning and bonding was carried out by Preston Dickman and Dave Brown. These two guys built all theam frames and indeed, built the Dyna-Techs that were used by the Castorama team.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:20 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:52 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Norfolk and Clue
Thanks Bikemeister2000..........

Really great to hear from someone who was there at the times that this pair of frames was born, and just superb to get the history of the two frames ironed out too.

Even if it wasn't actually made by Gerald the larger of the two frames certainly had a bit more time and attention put into it, because it is lighter, and it is very nicely put together.
You may actually be able to answer a couple of questions I had........

I agreed that to re-finish the frame in the Banana team colours we would be best to use paint rather than powdercoat, due to the heat of cooking the powdercoat possibly affecting the glue in the aluminium lugs holding the Titanium in place. However my painter (who works opposite the Lotus factory in Norfolk, and has sprayed things for the Lotus F1 team so he's a bit handy) is certain that the original paint on the frame is actually powdercoat due to the way a few bits flaked off the bottom bracket, and due to the nature of the finish actually filling in corners like between a main tube and a lug.
Were these frames powdercoated originally?

And would the forks actually have been made from Reynolds 753 or is that just another bit of heresay?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 6:16 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:50 pm
Posts: 612
Location: Lazy Town
Yes, a clear powder topcoat was used over normal enamel, and Yes, these would have been 753 forks.


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