I recently acquired this Ti Raleigh Reynolds 753 team bike. It was owned by Eric Tillman of Milwaukee, I am the third owner and will be the first to ride it since Tillman. If any of you Milwaukee peeps has any info on Eric Tillman, I'd love to hear the history of this racer, and perhaps if I'm lucky this machine. According to the person I bought it from, they worked together at a Milwaukee shop (Wheel & Sprocket, I think).
If any of you out there have any race number plates for sale, I'm in the market. Geeky I know, but it's got the braze on, might as well use it
Reynolds 753 blades, stays, main tubes. Before acquiring this frame I was aware of 753, but didn't know anything about it. 753 was Reynolds top of the line racing tubeset, significantly lighter than 531. One of the reasons it's rare is that Raleigh gobbled up most of the tube stock that Reynolds produced of 753. TI Reynolds (Reynolds) was the sponsor after all. Another limiting factor is that "any framebuilder who wants to use 753 is sent a test kit containing tubes, a bottom bracket, silver solder, flux and instructions. He assembles the parts and returns them to the TI Raleigh lab in England, where five tests determine his proficiency. Field said about half of the 753 applicants are refused permission to abtain and use the tubing. He said that the U.S. now has five qualified 753 framebuilders. 753 is the strongest bike tubing in the world(diameter for diameter), it is the most resistant to bending in a fall. However, it tends to dent easier than other tubings because it is so thin; the center portion is only 0.3mm thick, or about three times the thickness of one Velo-news page. "Reynolds 753 is for the discerning rider, It is so light and so stiff that the serious competitor can't afford not to have it."
taken from Classic Rendezvous
Ilkeston factory sticker.
Headed by Carlton’s Gerald O’Donovan, Raleigh Specialist Bicycle Development Unit, was created in 1974 and housed in its own standalone factory in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, which was once part of the Rolls Royce works. The SB unit is best known for pioneering and proving the new Reynolds 753 lightweight tubing in 1974 although it made Reynolds 531 framesets as well. Initially, almost all 753 production was for the TI Raleigh Team (which was equipped with 753 frames from the 1975 season onwards) and other European teams with each team member of the Raleigh squad getting two or three frames per season. From 1974-77 it bought out most if not all of the 753 tubing from Reynolds (both Raleigh and Reynolds being part of the TI conglomerate of course) making it exclusive to Raleigh. Production increased to the point of offering framesets to the general public by 1978 at a cost of $475 in the US market including an Edco headset. The 753 was offered in track, roadracing and special time trials frames in the famous team livery, midnight blue or champagne. Initially Ilkeston turned out about 25 753 tubed frames a week c. 1977 and produced approximately 9000 framesets in both 531 and 753 for individuals and teams until its closure in 1986.
Looking through the interweb, I can't find any photos of TI Raleighs with this graphics package. If you know where to locate any info on this machine, please let me know. I'd be very interested in Raleigh catalogs, or a geo chart and would like to pinpoint the year of manufacture. The frame is stamped 58 and has a slightly less than 57 top tube c-t-c measurement.