1981 Raleigh SBDU 4545

Holiocornolio

Devout Dirtbag
This is part of my conundrum - do I preserve it as it is - or strip and re-paint? If I preserve it - it will need sealing to prevent rust spreading - though I could of course touch up (quite a lot) the bare metal and head tube. It would be lovely re-finished, but not then original....
Plus if I re-paint, I definitely need to get the stem out of the steerer.
Not my bike so my opinion is just my opinion, but if I were planning on riding it, I'd repaint it, and if I were hanging it on the wall, I'd leave as is. I've never fully understood why paint isn't viewed as a consumable / renewable component of a bike. It wears out like everything else, and fundamentally, it's there to do the job of protecting the tubes from corrosion. I do understand the appeal of patina (I own a few old guitars and a very tatty VW bus), but IMHO in the end it's an aesthetic choice. Good luck with the project. It's a journey!
 

Midlife

Retro Wizard
The worry for me would be the chainstays around the BB area, the metal was stupidly thin there! The underneath of the BB has lost paint but hopefully the chainstays are OK.

Raleigh frames destined for pro teams often had very thin paint finishes to reduce weight. The TT frames had a very lightweight gold paint which was almost see through. The paint wasn't much thicker on stock frames. Apart from the seat tube area, don't ask me why but they seemed to paint half the frame yellow for the two panels on the seat tube lol
 
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JimP

Dirt Disciple
Three more pictures - actually looking at the pictures with a macro lens really does make the whole thing look worse than with my naked eye. I think it's going to need to be stripped.
 

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JimP

Dirt Disciple
Not my bike so my opinion is just my opinion, but if I were planning on riding it, I'd repaint it, and if I were hanging it on the wall, I'd leave as is. I've never fully understood why paint isn't viewed as a consumable / renewable component of a bike. It wears out like everything else, and fundamentally, it's there to do the job of protecting the tubes from corrosion. I do understand the appeal of patina (I own a few old guitars and a very tatty VW bus), but IMHO in the end it's an aesthetic choice. Good luck with the project. It's a journey!
I think you may be right......
 

DSH

Devout Dirtbag
The joy of SBDU, there is always something a bit different:)

I'm intrigued by the over and under bottom bracket cable routing: over seems to be original, as the cable thingy (eyelet?) on the chain stay is on the top not the bottom of the stay. However by 1982 this, I think, would not have been common. Also the 753 transfers are a mix of older style (seat tube) and newer style (fork). Could be newer forks, could be they just used what came to hand! Is the fork marked with the SB number and are there any other marks?
 

JimP

Dirt Disciple
I think it’s a 1981 frame and the thinking is that it’s an unusual cable routing for the year. Until I get the fork out I cannot be certain of the fork number, but I’ve no reason to think it’s all anything other than original. I’ve owned it for about 30 years so it was not really that old when I obtained it.
 
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