Saturday, May 30, 2009


This particular way of doing the half wrap seat stays is a Comet/Slater Hayes signature.
Serial number is located just behind.

1958 Comet
Cranks BSA flutted
Chain wheel BSA
Pedals Chater Lea sprint
Sturmey Archer FM 4 speed hub
Front Hub BSA high flange
Rims Wiemann
Brakes GB Super Hood Courier
Stem GB 531


Comet cycles was one of Aucklands most established bike shops, and also a builder of fine racing frames.Comet was started in 1937 by Slater Hayes and Bull (first name unknown).

Bull sold his share to Slater upon his return from active duty in 1945. The shop was situated in Aucklands K'rd until about 1970, when under the management of Slater's son Jacky Hayes, the shop was moved to Grey Lynn, finally closing down in 1997.

Slater Hayes had been a pretty successful cash (pro) rider himself during the late 1920's to late 40's,winning the New Zealand road championship title in the mid 30's,riding a Leader Special which will be featured on this blog shortly.

Slater had learned the bike trade and cycle construction while working for one of Auckland's other well known cycle traders, Clarkes Cycles during the 1920's-mid 30's.
Clarkes were builders of the famous Leader Superb and later Leader Special racing frames.

Just prior to WW2 and until 1949 Comet had also in it's service one Doug Hills, who went on (taking the Comet secretary Nora with him) to start Auckland's most important cycle shop of the late 1950's- 70's Hills Cycle Works, more about this shop later.

Comet racing frames were, although not pretty in the English lightweight sense, were light and robust more in keeping with French racing bike design. Comet signatures are the half wrap seat stay (with a few file marks),Simplex rear drop outs on nearly all rear derailleur bikes during the 1950's,serial numbers on the rear seat cluster,usually three to four didgits.
All of the later 1950's bikes that I have seen are 531 Reynolds butted tubes with Nervex lugs.

Right here we go. This blog is all about my personal obsession with vintage and classic racing bikes, memorabilia and New Zealand cycle history in general from about 1945-85. It will also be a sort of journal following my endeavors to get a book about New Zealands great six day road race published.The book is called 'Wolves of the road', 'The Wisemans and Dulux six day road race 1953 to 1985.
So stay tuned.


  1. Can anyone help me with a project I have in restoring my old Uncles COMET racing cycle.Unfortunately we buried him at the age of 95 and he was always an avid cyclist and apparently purchased the bike when he was in his late teens which puts the manufacture of the bike in 1937. Is this feasible as this is information from his daughter. The bike is still complete and in good condition.I would definitely like pictures and the old SLATER HAYES decals or transfers.

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