Gallery: Darrell’s 1978 Raleigh Record Ace (the Blackadder)


[Darrell sent us these photos of his gorgeous path racer. —ed.]

Blackadder is my take on the classic English path racer. I set myself the challenge to build the bike with mostly new parts for less than its handbuilt English counterpart. Sure, Blackadder doesn’t have a Reynolds 531 frame and a long wheelbase, but it’s not too shabby. Actually I started with a Raleigh Record Ace frame, supposedly a non-export frame since it has pump pegs under the top tube. I laced the wheelset myself using Sturmey Archer hubs and Sun CR-18 rims. The project was finished so late in the season that I’ve only logged a couple of miles. I’m looking forward to some excellent rides starting in the spring.

Darrell Yarborough
Arlington Heights, IL

  • Frame – 1978 Raleigh Record Ace
  • Powdercoating – Powdercoat Studio, Traverse City, Michigan
  • Wheels – Homebuilt (Sturmey Archer Hubs, Sun CR-18 Rims)
  • Tires – Schwalbe DeltaCruisers 700×35
  • Handlebars – Nitto B-352AA
  • Brake Handles – Origin8 ProPulsion
  • Grips – Cardiff Julian
  • Stem – Nitto Technomic
  • Crank – Sugino XD2
  • Bottom Bracket – Phil Wood
  • Pedals – MKS Sylvan Stream
  • Chain – Wipperman Connex
  • Saddle – Brooks B17 Special with copper plated rails
  • Seatpost – Kalloy 27.2mm
  • Leather Panniers – eBay
  • Pannier Mounts – Rixen & Kaul
  • Rack – Tubus Fly 41000
  • Frame Pump – Silca 42 cm
  • Headlamp – Vintage Union

14 Responses to “Gallery: Darrell’s 1978 Raleigh Record Ace (the Blackadder)”

  • dreamlet says:

    What a beauty! I wonder if Darryl actually met his budgetary goals. As I am embarking on my own bike restoration project, I’m realizing how expensive it might really end up being to restore an old bike!

  • John says:


  • RI Swamp Yankee says:

    I have one of these! It’s in pretty rough shape – It’s a “project bike” that I intend to use as my “skinny bike” once I lose some weight.

    My only criticism with this build is that the powedercoating obscures the gorgeous lugged construction around the head tube and on the fork.

  • RDW says:

    What a beautiful bike. The Silca pump really completes it.

  • Alistair says:

    Wonderfull, and the best presentation of black rims I have ever seen.
    With those saddle bags it looks like a perfect 1950’s barristers bike.

    Cheers, Alistair

  • bongobike says:

    Sweet build!

  • Darrell Yarborough says:

    My original target was £800 (about $1200). Here’s the full build thread on Velospace:

    It wasn’t exactly a no expense spared project, but there were several extravagances that could have been trimmed a bit. What it comes down to was that I had a great time getting the parts and building the bike. The practical solution would be to buy a real Guv’nor.

  • Stephen says:

    In a word: Brilliant.

  • Cullen says:

    Although, I’m a big chain-guard/fender proponent, the look this particular bike would be ruined by them. Terrific looking bike…

  • kfg says:

    Very pretty. Very pretty indeed; but I will add the usual notation that what makes a path racer a path racer is that it has a fixed gear and either no or removable brakes, so this is a “club” bike.

  • Nick W. says:

    Inspiring! Hope the one I’m working on comes out as nice.

    Dreamlet: I used to sneer at what sellers were asking for for their fixie conversions, until I started buying parts for my project. Ouch!

    Nick W.

  • RI Swamp Yankee says:

    My RRA actually has stainless fenders… they look magnificent, even tho the years have taken their toll. I may replace them with VO, Honjo or Berthoud alloy fenders in the final build, tho.

  • Ian says:

    I’m building a similar one right now as well. I like the frame coloured rims and cream tyre combo. The drum brakes really clean up the bike too. Super nice.

  • Rick says:

    Beautiful build! When I first saw it on my iPhone I thought it was my Pashley Guv’nor..

    Gold Country Cyclery

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