Sunday, December 15, 2013


Here is a very nicely preserved mid sixties Bertin C37
This was raced by top grade rider
Kevin Hill, in the Dulux Tours and 
Classics of the day.

These C37's where only available through Hills Cycles
in Auckland. It would fair to say that nearly all top
New Zealand road men from the late fifties to the late Seventies,
would have had a least one of these machines during the 
course of their careers.

All C37's were made with 531 D/Butted tubing,
of course, and Nervex Professional lugs.
I really like the Nervex Pro lugs, but just 
can't get into the fork crown, 
kind of looks a bit clunky.
 The hand painted French colours are a nice touch
 Original water bottle, this was used by Neil Ritchie
during the 1963 Dulux, you can see his number still
on the bottle.
 One of the things I really like about these Sixties 
race bikes is the mixed group sets, notice the Record F/D
and the TA chainset, classic combo.
 Ambrosio bars, Cinelli stem....

 Campagnolo Record derailleur, what else in '66?
Brooks first generation Professional saddle.

These were regarded as THE bike by the New Zealand peloton
in the Sixties, you can see why.

Monday, November 25, 2013

1950's/60's Woman's bike fashions

Some very stylish mid Century
fashion for the Ladies.

And a couple from slightly earlier


Thursday, November 21, 2013


I have just started riding the local cycle tracks with Siobhan,
 and much to my surprise, I am really
enjoying them.
I thought they would be, well a little dull I guess.
But no, they are really a lot of fun.
Siobhan and I have been doing a couple of rides a week 
after work after one of us has sorted dinner for the kids.
We usually pack a little snack, a small thermos of
strong sweet black coffee, and off we go.
The cows do sometimes need a bit of persuading to
move off the tracks
We found after a couple of rides of about 40 km
that we would be coming back when it was getting a little dark.
However the paths pop right out in the night light, which is 
quite cool. I have fitted a old battery lamp to Siobhan's bike
in case of emergency. I tried out my modern LED light
but it was to bright and ruined the ambiance of the ride.

I can't help putting up yet another photo of the Mercian, it's so pretty.
So anyway, I am thinking about putting a separate page on the blog
with all the different rides we have done in the bay. If you come over this way
you can check them all out here, some are definitely better than others.

Friday, November 15, 2013

While trolling ebay the other day I happened
across these original press photos for sale.
Luckily the vendor had nice big good quality images.
 I thought I would share them here, before they
go off to their new private collections.


Sunday, November 3, 2013


A few weeks ago I picked up
a late 1970's Carlton Professional for
a ridiculously small sum from Trade Me.

Anyway, it got me thinking about Carlton,
or more specifically about the 1970's
and later top end English Pro machines, and their place
in the scheme of things
 far as classic racing bikes go.

  Early 70's Professional much like it's stable
mate the Raleigh Professional, which proved so
popular in the USA.
 These late sixties/early seventies Professionals
have gained (and rightly so) a loyal following with

Although other builders where of course using the Prugnat (?)
shot in stay lug sets at this time, for many, this will always
be strongly associated with the Raleigh/Carlton Pro's
 of this period.
 In this 1977 add for the Mk5 Professional, you can see Carlton 
has dropped the classic seat stay
and fork crown of the previous generation.
  These later Mk5 models and onwards
have been overlooked in large part by classic 
race bike collectors and riders. 
This brings me to the point of this post,
the fickle nature of what might be considered to 
be a valued classic/vintage racing machine, worthy of
much time and effort to track down and refurbish or possibly
fully restore to it's former glory.

As readers of this blog will know by now, I am a 
big fan of the 1960's/70's British Pro scene.
So I imagined that a Carlton Professional from
any period when Carlton where running a full domestic
team, would have a reasonable value, but (luckily!)no.
It seems that I am in a distinct minority when it comes
to appreciating these particular bikes from this particular
period. Remember that Falcon, Viking, BSA (one year only,1977)
Alec Bird, Sun and many others competed during this time, and all produced
factory race replicas,these were always of course the
 company's flagship model.

 Barras. Carlton-Weinman 1978
 Hefferman. Mid-Let/BSA 1977
 Harrison. Falcon 1977
Banbury. M.A.N-Viking 1980

So just to really bring home the point,
here is a comparison of a Team Raleigh
and a Carlton Professional from about the same years.
Keep in mind the value of the Raleigh would generally be
 about X3 of the Carlton, although I would hazard a guess
that there would have to be at lest 10-15 or more Team Raleighs
to every one Carlton Professional surviving today.
Pretty similar I think, well they should be
they where built in the same factory.

Now don't get me wrong, I am a huge fan of the 
red devil Team Raleigh's, and in fact ride one regularly.
and I of course know that they have a serious competition
history etc. 
But I am just saying.......
...maybe can get yourself into a serious classic racing bike, with 
the right pedigree, all without spending too much coin.

 I know I have.