Sunday, April 17, 2011


1940's Mercury brought back from the grave
I was given this commission a little while back, a family asked if I could restore their Grandmothers bike, which she had owned since the mid 1940's.
Unfortunately I didn't take any photos of the bike in the depleted state that it was delivered to me, although the photo below of its wheels and guards might give some idea to it's condition.
The only thing I could salvage was the frame and forks, every other component was only good for scrap.The bike came up pretty well, and on its way back to grandma (now in her 90s) as a center piece for a family reunion.

This is how the project turned up at my place, a rusty heap.

I was pretty happy with the (nearly) finished bike, just wish I could have found some balloon tyres, this would have really finished the 'look'.

I also want to give a big shout out to the guys at The Hub Cycle Centre, the best cycle shop in the Hawkes bay, all serious roadies.
Run by former Olympic trackie and Dulux tour rider Rob Oliver, who built the wheels for this bike and few others on this blog, and also straightened a few of my wheel building efforts, and without laughing too.
And as we all know a pretty set of wheels maketh the bike!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Howards Holdworth

Holdsworth 531 Special

I forgot about this one,this is from about six months ago. I was asked if I could put together a stylish fixie for friend down in Wellington. I found this nice Holdsworth Special 531 frame set, which I thought would fit the bill nicely, the only requirement was that it be painted white, the rest, including the red high lights were left to me.

The 531 Special gets undercoated and spot primed.

Looks the part, and could easily be made back into a road bike, which is what I would do if it was mine, althogh I did take it for a spin before I delivered it, and it felt like it would be a lot of fun around town set up like this.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Some more Paris Roubaix

Some Paris Roubaix Love
This is my main project at the moment, a absolutely stunning 1952 Cycles CNC.
This machine was made for New Zealand track rider Colin Dickinson in 1952, by CNC in Paris, Colin had made a detour to Paris on his way home from competing for New Zealand on the track, in the '54 Olympic games held that year in Helsinki.
The bike did not see a lot of use back here in New Zealand, and is quite unusual in having a double chainset, in this case a very nice steel cotterless Gunutti item.
I had a friend make me the special crank extractor in the photo above, which has to be used with extreme care as there is only about three three threads to hold it into place.

Frame is very nicely made, unlike many French bike's that we are told about.
Although that being said, all the French bikes I have seen from the 1950's seem nicely built.

Box'o'Italian (and a bit of French) love

Coppi Stencils

Fausto Stencils

Here are a couple of Coppi stencils,one of them out in the country where weary roadies out training can view it and get a bit of inspiration, cool idea.
The one below is in town, I also hear there is a Merckx stencil around, I'll post that when I see it.
Some more interesting street art here Peoples Revolutionary Arts Council

This is the link for the Merckx stencil

1951 Frejus Paris Roubaix

Frejus model 'Campionissimo'
I have just picked up this beautiful Paris Roubaix equipped Frejus, which I had been hoping to acquire for the last few years.
The original owner, who still rides, has finally succumbed to the modern carbon fiber machines. So in a deal with his wife sold his three steel bikes, and brought himself a very nice modern ride.
As you can see he has kept the bike in great operating order, though modernizing it when he saw fit. The only original parts are the derailleur, Frejus brakes and frame set, although I was very happy when he pulled out of a box the original Durax Type Competition crank set, still in great condition.
I have been really enjoying riding it round, and found changing gear no problem.
The bike handles and steers extremely well,very nicely balanced and is a real pleasure to ride.
I will restore it completely, after I have finished the Paris Roubaix I am working on at the moment. I will probably sell one of them then.

Owner chromed head badge in the 1950's, kind of nice really.

Frejus branded Barillia brakes, not to effective, but they do stop you eventually.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Back again! 1930's Chater Lea

Back Again
Here is a nice Chater Lea for you to view

Well it has been a while, but I am back blogging again, got a few new and interesting things things to share with any one
out there who might be interested.
I have had this old Chater Lea thin t
ube for a few years now, but have not featured it yet.

I have been riding it quite bit lately and rememb
ering what a evil handling beast it is.

Even so, I like to get them all out into the sun every now and then and push them along a bit A view from the cockpit.

These are single worst brakes that I have ever experienced, and I have ridden on a few real bad ones!
They nearly finished me, when one of the
brake blocks flipped out at high speed, and of course, just as I was heading into a crowded roundabout in heavy morning traffic!
I had to hang on tight, and just drive through the mess of cars and trucks that was in front of me, and believe me, this don't handle like no track bike, somehow we both made it through i
n one piece.
I felt very 'awake' after that experience I can tell you.
But all that being said, it is actually a pretty nice ride when out on a quite back country road on a sunny day, it is pretty hard to imagine racing on it though.