Thursday, March 29, 2012

Neil Geraghty's 1958 Master Sport.

This Australian Master Sport track bike belonged to one of my hero's of New Zealand cycle sport, Neil Geraghty. I will do a piece on Neil shortly in a new series of postings on great New Zealand riders.
Geraghty rode this bike to victory in the 1958 Austral Star track race, beating Sid Patterson and Russell Mockridge in the process.
The story goes, Patterson (twice World pursuit Champion and more) came up to Geraghty after losing the race and said that as they had already brought the drinks for his (Pattersons) after race winning party, that Geraghty might as well come along to the party as well.
Above; Geraghty beats the "joke"of Sid Patterson and Mockridge in the '58 Austral Star.

Above; A sun Tour cap, from one of four that Geraghty rode in Australia in the 50's
Above; as you will be able to see, the frame has been repainted by Master Sport at some point since winning the Austral Star.

Quite fancy decoration, as is the Australian way.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


The Hartley out on it's maiden voyage after complete refurbishment, it rode like a dream,
no wonder I'm smiling.
The Hartley Racer featured earlier in it's as 'found' form, has now been completely dismantled, cleaned, polished, waxed and greased, and as you can see ready for action again, well maybe in a slightly more relaxed action than it was intended for.
I took it out for a little spin this morning, and was really pleased with it's handling and feel, the whole thing felt just right. I guess if I had one gripe it would be the CLB brakes, which don't seem to want to stop the forward motion of bike or passenger at all, although to be fair I haven't fitted new brake blocks, so this could be the main problem. I hope it is, because these CLB brakes are certainly some of the prettiest calipers around.

The one thing I find of regret, is relacing the wheelset with stainless steel spokes, I mean they look nice and shiny and everything, and it's almost impossible not to be tempted to go this way, we all love shiny things after all.
However probably more than half the bikes I have come across in New Zealand from this period originally had galvanized spokes, and in a way I can see now how they would have suited the look of the Hartley more...oh well, next time.

Above; Durax Special Course cranks, Simplex chainrings and spiders.
CLB High-Life calipers, some of my favorites.
Above; The frame gets it's third waxing.

Below; The CLB high life calipers get a work over.

A lot of work, but definitely worth the effort.

Above; Beautiful Australian pin stripping, the Aussies are/where in my opinion the masters of this fine art(and it is art by the way).

Simplex front and rear derailleurs work very nicely, and quietly.

Super clean lug work, with Hartley signature hart (of course) cut out top and bottom.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The philosophy of multiple bike ownership

This is my new get to work when I'm running late, which is often, visit friends over in Napier or go for a quick coffee(that's a triple shot, two sugars in a small cup, in case you are buying) bike. 
It is a 1950's Comet Track bike, fitted with Brooks Professional saddle for comfort and good looks, Campagnolo rear brake (yes it was already drilled), for stopping power, and good looks,
Merkins style track stem and some 1930's steel track bars for their good looks etc....

For those of you interested, there is a brief history of Comet Cycles on this blog tagged under Comet on the r/h tool bar.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


This is one of my most treasured machines, A 1950's Hubert Turtill Motor Pace bike.
Turtill was a ex pro track rider, who had won just about everything he could in New Zealand, so during 1932 after winning the Australasian Track Title, sought the greener pastures of Australia.
Turtill rode for the Malvern Star team while in Australia, and I believe, as part of his Malvern Star sponsorship worked in the bike factory, where he was taught the fine art of frame construction. During this period he also rode competitively in England,France, Germany and Holland.

Back in New Zealand after the war, Turtill started building race bikes for Butler Cycles in Christchurch and a few under his own name, I not quite sure how this all worked out, but I'm sure someone will fill in the gaps for us.

Turtill Malvern Star trade card

Below; Turtill signature done in brazing wire on the down tube, can't say I have ever seen this on another bike. but it sure is a nice feature.

30 t Inch Pitch chain ring, 60 t on normal pitch, as you can imagine, this bike could boogie, although with no brakes and sitting only inches behind the pacing motor bike, it would only be for the brave, especially with a couple of other combinations circling the track at the same time.

Nice little fish tails are a nice touch.


Above:Support for Head/ down tube

Extra long seat stay spear points are very elegant.

Above; H T signed in brazing wire, with full colour Butler decal, notice the super tidy lug work.

B 37 Brooks saddle, with alloy chassis.