Ben’s Dream Build
Frame-Ti Raleigh SBDU 1983 Track frame
Wheelset - Mavic CXP33 rims on 32 hole Miche Hubs
Brake Levers -NOS 1970’s Shimano Dura Ace BL-7100 First Generation.
Crankset- Paul Components Royal Flush, 48T
Pedals- NOS Campagnolo Pista, Campag clips an straps (Cycletrade Part)
Seatpost - Miche Aero Supertype
Fork - Easton EC90 Superlite
Saddle - Vintage Wrights, no brainer as my surname!!! (Cycletrade Part)
Stem/Bars - Raceface Zeus, Soma Lautewasser bars
Bottom Bracket - Phil Wood (Cycletrade Part)
Headset - Chris King 1’ threadless
Tyres - Michelin Pro Race 3
Keval: Hey Ben, We have really enjoyed having you as a customer, you’re incredibly passionate about Bicycles & Parts. When you sent me the photo of this build, I knew it was special. In-fact we have printed it out and put a photo on our new board, called, dream builds. It is great for the guys at Cycletrade to see what the end result looks like.
Ben: A pleasure to share the bicycle with like minded folk
Keval: Is this your dream build? As a Fixie guy myself, This is one of the most beautiful bikes I've ever seen. What was your inspiration?
Ben: Inspiration comes from the early days of cycling and early tours, grinding through the Alps on pig iron singlespeeds & to create something totally unique using a mix of vintage an modern parts. Also a love of single speeds & to replace my stolen fixie
Keval: Why did you decide to build your own bike as opposed to buying a full bike?
Ben: I’ve never bought a full ready made bike, I’ve always built my own bikes using frames and components of choice so this was a natural way to go..
Keval: Did you encounter any issues in terms of compatibility when sourcing part’s, If so, what were they ?
Ben: Only real issue was stem, MTB stem going onto a 1’carbon steerer, easily resolved using shims…hours sourcing bits of the right size length, finding the smaller details like titanium crank caps..
Keval: Where did you get your Bicycle Mechanic expertise from? You really know your stuff!
Ben: Self taught and a lifelong passion, hanging around bike shops, riding all modes of bicycles… Back in the day, you fixed ya own bikes and I was bitten by the obsession with seeing what I could do with bits an pieces, love the ‘old parts’ box!!!
Keval: Why Raleigh Ti? There are a lot of quality Fixie Framesets on the market at the moment?
Ben: It was a special find, couldn’t say no…always loved Raleigh an especially the Special Development branch at Ilkeston products…Raleigh Ti winning 1977 Tour with Peter Post, frame is undrilled too, except for front fork calliper. I appreciate modern frames but the vintage scream at me…was a chance to build a bike on a vintage frame that had never been built up before…
Keval: Okay, so the Holy Grail, the Paul Components Royal Flush Crankset! How do you even get one?
Ben: Found on eBay but was black and very shoe worn so got it for a reasonable £230.00, took it to M&M metal polishers in Poole, £40 later back to polished ali!!!
Keval: Is the Royal Flush Crankset worth it? If so why?
Ben: It’s heavy, it’s beautifully turned, rare as rocking horse shit, looks amazing, no brainer!!!
Keval: Those bars are definitely unique, What are they?
Ben: They’re from Soma Fabrications, copy of 1930’s lautewasser bars…extremely comfortable in the drops on long rides
Keval Why did you change the Forks to the Easton EC90’s? Why not keep it original?
Ben: Kept the original forks, they’re Cinelli road forks rebranded by Raleigh as they often did then, was a bit confused at first as a road fork on a track frame though think it would have been used as a time trial bike
Keval: Chris King Headset, Is it as good as they say?
Ben: Definitely, have Chis King on several bikes, never had bearing issues, regular gentle maintenance they’re bomb proof…
Keval: What’s the wheelset? Was it hand-built? If so, what differences do you see with handbuild wheels vs factory?
Ben: Mavic CXP33 rims on Miche 32 hole deep flange hubs, rear is a flip flop fixed, homage to the old tour boys, 18t one side, 16t on t’other Sapin cexray spokes soldered on the spoke cross as a vintage detail…
Ben: Build your own, get exactly what you want
Keval: What’s the Saddle? Why Wrights? Have you had experience with them before?
Ben: Wrights W35w, similar to Brooks but Wright is mu surname, more little detail, had one on an old Raleigh Superb I made into a path racer
Keval: The Phil Wood Bottom Bracket, Was it worth it?
Ben: Definitely, smooth as silk, quality costs…a pal said yeah but you can’t see it, of course but I know it’s there!!!!
Keval: Is there anything special about this build that I have missed?
Ben: Built with a lot of love trying to bridge the gap of vintage and modern an hopefully making it work without looking or riding too shite!!
Keval: When and where to do you ride the Bike?
Ben: This will only go out in the sunshine!! New Forest out my back door…though have some unfinished business in the Alps, finish a triangle on a fixie, Geneva to Venice, need to get the Stelvio under my belt…watch this space
Keval: Have you had anyone stop you to admire the components yet? If not, I can be that person!
Ben; Most cafe stops end in conversations about it, usually why fixed…..
Keval: Can I run you through my dream build Fixie? What’s your thoughts?
So I was to build a full NJS Bike one day. it’s a NJS Frame imported from Japan (Hopefully in Blue), Royce Hubs build with Corima Carbon Rims, ,Nitto NJS Bars, Dura Ace 7710 Brakeset, Bottom Bracket and finally a Paul Components Royal Flush Crankset.
Ben: Be great to see it, love Nitto stuff, always a winner Dura Ace, be better to ride with you on it some day…
Keval: Finally, If you had to advise someone on a full build, what would it be?
Ben: Follow your heart, but also follow advice on what’s possible or not…though you can always find a machinist frame maker to fabricate most things…
Don’t worry about budget, best investment you’ll make emotionally, take your time… Can’t beat riding a bicycle you’ve built…same amazing feeling every time I ride…
So there we go, Ben's Dream Build it really one of a kind. Every part of his bike has been well thought out! Have you built a Bike yourself with Cycletrade Parts? Want to be part of our next Dream Build Q&A? Feel free to get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org with the Reference 'Dream Build'.