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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 7:51 pm 
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Newbie warning!

I have found Retrobike, as it seems many others do, to find info on their vintage bikes. To the dismay of older members I'm afraid I am your archetypal newbie, asking once again, for advice on a classic road bike.

The bike in question is the white Reynolds 753 Dave Russell pictured below. Brought by my dad in 1991 it was resprayed (from an original pink) in 1993 and a new saddle was added, apart from that it is exactly how the previous owner left it. We have always been curious about the age and origin of the bike and have finally pulled our socks up and set out to do some research.

We do know that the frame was built for a Fred Riley who was competing for the National Veteran Road Racing champs, we think in the late seventies. Dad had brought the bike from Fred who had told him the frame had 'criterion' geometry. I've measured it as;

Seat tube (ctc) 53 cm
Top tube (ctc) 55 cm
Head tube 13 cm
Standover 80 cm
Chainstay length 38.5 cm (rough measurements as I presume Dave used inches at the time)

With some tight clearances at both the seat tube and steerer I was thinking it was a racer, but has anyone got any more solid guesses to the intended purpose of this frame??

With regards to age, the respray in 1993 has given us trouble. The original transfers were replaced for the ones pictured which, from what I have found, might've been vintage pieces when Dave gave them to my dad personally in '93 as they look different from the transfers Dave was using on his 90s builds. The original Reynolds 753 stickers were also removed. We think the mix of 7400 and 7401 Dura-Ace points to a 1988ish groupset upgrade but are also not sure.

I can't see a serial number on the BB, so I was hoping someone might be able to see features in the frame which might point to its vintage. I know 753 came out in the mid 70s so presume it must be after then but otherwise we are stumped. The only other mark I can see on the frame is a 'Roto' logo on the headtube which I have looked up might point to a prefabricated headtube Dave could have used from the Italian company.

We would love to hear if anyone had any information about Dave Russell's racers or this vintage of British builds in general. As even only mild bike nerds and slightly modern ones at that we love the machine but are keen to know more.

Full Specs;
Frame and Fork: Reynolds 753 age unknown

Headset: Stronglight
Stem: Cinelli
Handlebar: Cinelli Criterium

Brake Levers: Dura-Ace 7401
Brake Calipers: Dura-Ace 7400

Shifters: Dura-Ace 7401 (7 speed)
Front Derailleur: Dura-Ace 7400
Rear Derailleur: Dura-Ace 7400
Cassette: 13-19T (7 speed)
Cranks: Dura-Ace 7400
Chainrings: 52/42T Dura-Ace
Bottom Bracket: Dura-Ace 7400 (137x24T)
Pedals: Dura-Ace (Toe-Clips)

Rims: Mavic MA40
Hubs: Campagnolo Record
Tyres: GP 4000s front, ControlTech True Edge rear

Saddle: San Marco Rolls
Seatpost: Kalloy


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 10:14 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 9:19 am
Posts: 2782
Nice bike.
The under bracket gear cables, braze on front mech boss and top tube guides point to a typical 80s frame. However, it's possible these were added at the time of the respray.

Also your description of "criterion" frame should probably be "criterium" which is usually a massed start race in a town centre. So it's built for stiffness and fast cornering rather than long days in the saddle


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:37 am 
r.B.o.T.M. & P.o.T.M. Winner
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Looking at the frame it suggest it started life off as a Time Trial frame but could be used for Criterium style racing with the close clearances etc..

http://www.classicrendezvous.com/Britis ... ussell.htm

https://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/c ... sell-dave/


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 8:46 am 
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Posts: 1226
The frame number is probably under the cable-guide, (I think I can see the last digit?) and on the steerer.
Iirc Dave used a 'first two digits=year' numbering system so if you find it it'll tell you what year the frame was built. Those logo-embossed seat stay caps alone imply a 'not before' date some time in the '80s. I believe criterium bikes have an extra bit of bottom bracket centre to ground clearance over the 10 1/2" that was standard for road bikes.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:26 pm 
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Thank for the info guys.

It does certainly looks like a criterium frame, I've measured the BB clearance as 11 1/2" (29.5 cm). Would the high BB explain the shorter ctc seat tube measurement of circa. 20 1/2"? The bike fits me well and I usually ride a 56cm.


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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:35 pm 
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torqueless wrote:
The frame number is probably under the cable-guide, (I think I can see the last digit?) and on the steerer.
Iirc Dave used a 'first two digits=year' numbering system so if you find it it'll tell you what year the frame was built. Those logo-embossed seat stay caps alone imply a 'not before' date some time in the '80s. I believe criterium bikes have an extra bit of bottom bracket centre to ground clearance over the 10 1/2" that was standard for road bikes.

I've taken the cable guide off (Unfortunately don't have the spanners for the headset) and have found the numbers pictured below. The yellow marks look to be discolouration over the years as they don't come off with cleaning.

I can make out a 2 2 4 (possibly 1) 0

With a sideways diamond symbol with the letter O (or D) followed by possibly an L but all I can make out is the bottom of the character, like an underscore _

Any thought on what this might point to? I had thought the first two had worn away over time and was in fact an 8 for '82 but upon closer inspection this does look like a 2.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 2:43 pm 
rider | rBoTM Winner
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Nice example of Dave's machines. I have 2 currently from the early 70's (and had 3 more over the years!). Roto was a Ron Kitching trade brand who seem, according to the RK 1984 brochures, to have made roof racks, wall hangers and similar 'non-cycle' parts. Perhaps, outside the items Ron distributed, they also made frame components? The diamond on the BB may well be the trade mark of the manufacturer of the BB shell. The BB height is quite high although I have seen others of Daves's that were also rather high, even on TT bikes.

Allegedly, Dave's numbering system used the initials of the person whom he built the frame for (none of mine have this but there is probably a good reason for it). Maybe he moved away from this in later production. I presume you've seen the entry for DR on the Classic Lightweights (builders section) website? You'll find both of my current ones on there in 'Readers' Bikes' and on here (somewhere!).

Welcome to the forum BTW!


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 3:10 pm 
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Yeah I thought that bracket looked higher than 10 1/2". The 'EO' in a diamond is the shell manufacturer's trademark. (It is upside down in relation to the frame number.) Looking at the photos, combined with what you've told us of the frame's history, is it possible that the frame number is 22480, ie 1980, and that the eight is illegible and filled with paint?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 5:10 pm 
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Great insight once again guys. It would have been great to have some initials in the serial number to try and confirm the suspected original owner of the frame, the aforementioned Fred Riley. I have seen the Classic Lightweights entries, it is great to hear from the owner they are stunning builds!

Cheers torqueless, I am content that an illegible '8' might suggest a 1980 vintage, it certainly fits with the rest of the story. Perhaps I will invest in some proper spanners soon to get the fork out to have a look at the steerer.

In the meantime, I've had a brief look for the 'EO' diamond and there's conflicting opinions in the forums, but will keep hunting.

Once again thanks for the help.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 5:41 pm 
rider | rBoTM Winner
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Thanks! Just remembered that the frame Dave supplied me in '71 had the oval white panel transfers fitted like yours. They were solvent fixing type. Dave gave me a couple of sets with a jar of the solution which evaporated over the years and I eventually chucked them. Of course, when I got into renovating DR's I wish I hadn't! The ones fitted to my bike are from Lloyds and are adhesive vinyl. The other one has the white block capitals the same as your red ones. Fitted around '79 I think. Dave's original transfers were the 'chinese' style lettering which he was using when I first got to know him late '67.

Like Torqueless says along with me, I'm 99.99% certain the diamond is a BB shell trademark - but I can't remember the make!


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