Saturday, November 3, 2018

Team Falcon Professional Update

For anyone interested in British professional
bikes, and especially Falcon Professional's, here is some interesting
information on these very rare bikes that I was given from a seller on
Ebay UK selling one of Sid Barras's ex team bikes....
 The team bike for sale on UK Ebay.

"this was Sids bike at end of 1983 start of 1984 as his winter training
bike it was built with columbus tubes and sprayed and badged 
Falcon at the factory in Brigg . 
My father inlaw was team manager for the falcon pro team untill 
end of 1986 when it stopped, i was part time mechanic for falcon 
at races and maintained the bikes .
Soon as the new team bikes where ready in january 1984 
this particular bike wasnt required and Bernard Tayler the team
manager kept it as his own bike i then acquired
it end of the season .
The bike you own then belonging to Sid would be a 1984 
team issue frame as they had full chrome rear triangle 
and chrome head lugs and forks and were blue built with 
Reynolds 531 pro tubing although some were built from columbus SL
tubing and badged 531 pro as riders preferred columbus tubes
 Phill Thomas being one rider who preferred
columbus tubes for his bikes.
All the bikes in 1984 were built by Brian Rourke cycles 
frame builder Paul Washington and would go to the falcon factory
 to be painted up ,Terry Dolan built some new frames half way
 through the season as the other were pulling apart at the
bottom bracket shells
 Dolan built all the Falcon pro team bikes after that including
 1985 and 1986 bikes when they changed to red colour scheme
 on the frames and used Reynolds 753 tubing"
 Sid Barras and fellow Falcon team mate Phil Thomas
(in Yellow) keeping some pretty serious company during the
1984 Kellogs

Thanks to the E Bay seller ( I didn't get his name) for the information,
now I am all fired up to get my Professional on the road for this
A young Sid Barras during the Tour of Britain 1974.

Monday, October 22, 2018

I Like Alf...New Alf Engers book

I have just finished reading  'I Like Alf' the new
book out of the life and cycling career of 'King' Alf Engers.
(available here), what a great read, if you wern't a fan of Alf 
before reading this book, you will be by the end. Alf is really 
from the old school of top level amateur racing cyclist's.
Ton's of natural talent for sure, but probably more importantly 
an iron will to compete and be the best that drives him to
 overcome even the most adverse hurdles.
 I can thoroughly recommend it.
 (and that's not just because I am a fan boy!)

As anyone who has read my blog over the years will
know, I have long had a strong interest in the UK time trial
scene, from the early fixed wheel years through to the
radical low pros in of the early to mid nineties.
So I am of course a huge King Alf fan, and was really
looking forward to this book coming out.
Out of the blue a couple of months ago, I received an 
email from the author Paul Jones, asking if he could use
a couple of photos of my homage bike to Alf Engers and 
Alan Shorter in his soon to be released book. I was more than 
pleased to oblige, but I did have one request.
Alf Enger/Shorter replica (more a homage) in the book.

I asked Paul if I could send him a piece of clear sign writers 
vinyl to him in the UK, and ask Alf if he would sign it 
for the top tube of the Shorter, he was happy too.
Alf Engers signature on clear vinyl.
What can I say, Alf's signature on the top tube of the Shorter I 
built as a homage to him (and Alan), it doesn't get much 
better than this when you are a collector/restorer.

Some more photos of the Shorter on Classic Lightweights here

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Monday, August 20, 2018

1961/62 GB Component Brochure "The Road to Success"

Just uploaded quite an extensive 1961/62 (?) Brochure here.
I am pretty sure this date is about right as the brochure
mentions that the Coureur 66 calipers have just been released,
and as far as I know they were available from 1961.

Friday, August 17, 2018

1960 Falcon Brochure

 I have just uploaded a nice 1960 Falcon Lightweights Brochure 
on the Frame Builders and Cycle Catalogue page Here

Saturday, August 11, 2018

1960's Holdsworth Monsoon

Here is the first Holdsworth I have restored
using my own Holdsworth decal set.

I have had a real problem with many of the decals that
are available on the market (apart from Cyclomondo).
So I couldn't face doing all the work hand 
stripping (thanks Neil), preparing, etch priming, priming, 
sanding, priming, sanding, base coating colour and then
 clear coating all two pack paint systems, only to use
decals that are not quite right,
Here is one of the decals available, can't stand that tone of red.
Here is an original decal, notice that the red is a nicer darker tone
also the very pretty light grey/blue colour in the horse and
border of the shield, and the gold is darker.
 Here is my first prototype , pretty good I
think, I will darken the gold slightly om the next run.
You can also see the 1950s/1960's type 
World Champion strips that I made at the same time.

Anyway here is the finished Monsoon frameset.
For more detailed information on Monsoon, or anything
Holdsworth visit here

For sale here.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Newly finished 1980's Moser

Here is a 1980's Moser that has
just been finished, quite pretty too
if I may say so myself.
It is for sale more photos and information here
 if you might be interested.


1900/1915 Chater Lea for Sale.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Max's lightwight path/communter Holdsworth

Just finished building up this Holdsworth into
a simple light commuter/path bike for a client.
Max's brief was simple, make it stylish and simple.
something to commute the 20km's work occasionally
and some easy weekend path riding.
 We both thought it came up pretty nicely.
I gave it run on my 25km commute home and was
impressed with it's ride, it felt fast and very responsive,
which is unsurprising considering it's racing pedigree.

I am enjoying making the twine wrap at the moment,
with a layer of cloth wrap underneath, they are a lot
more comfortable than they look.
 The red Ofmega hubs are a nice little touch.
Brooks (of course) and my newly made tubular, or in this 
case spare tube and tyre lever carrier.
I will do a little feature on the tubular pouch shortly,
have been trialing an few prototypes, but think I
have got them right now.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Restore or not that is the question...Cinelli SC Pista

So I just picked up this Cinelli SC Pista,
probably early 1960's, it came with most of 
what you see, but looking very worse for wear
when it arrived.
I had brought it intending to fully restore it and then
sell it on to fund new projects, and of course I
just like working on Cinelli's so I didn't need
much encouragement to take this one on. 
However when I unpacked it and got it on my 
work stand I quickly realized that this wasn't quite
the basket case that I had been expecting.
I brought out my gentlest cutting compound and
very carefully worked the top tube, sure enough under
the oxidized paint there was plenty of life, the chrome
too responded to a bit of love.
 So now I was faced with the question of wether to strip 
the frame and have it rechromed and then give it a nice
new paint job, I know I can easily sell a fully restored  
SC Pista, which is what I had brought the bike for, or
leave it in it's original patina.
The big problem is that most of the buying cycle
market like shiny restored or very mint
original examples of their favorites.
I phoned my chrome plater to arrange a full rechrome,
got back to my workstand looked again at the bike and 
realized I couldn't be the one to have the original Cinelli
paint and decals stripped off this survivor.
So I phoned Custom Chrome back and cancelled the job,
not that they would worry, they have three of my frames in
their workshop already.
No they are only original once, this frame is super straight
the rust on some of the chrome is only superficial, so
I spent the next two days stripping the bike down
gently cleaning and polishing the entire bike, it came
up even better than I hoped.

I wrapped the bars in cloth tape finished in twine
then painted with shallac.
The bike came with the very rare Cinelli head set, and
a nice badged steel stem.

 Sweet MK1 Brooks professional.

I mean seriously how could you strip off these original
Cinelli and Columbus decals? 

Too bad it is a 60cm frame or I most definitely 
 would have kept this one.