Thursday, August 29, 2013

What the hell where they thinking....

actually I know almost exactly what they where thinking
that's the sad part. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Weekend Paint job, assembled

Finished assembling Davids new ride
after his frame destroying bike on car incident.

It came up pretty good, I donated a saddle, a decent
chainset and the front wheel off my trusty old
Lead Sled, which was left over after my own car on bike 
frame destroying incident.

 David, proud owner of a pretty sweet looking machine...
if I may say so myself.

Sunday, August 25, 2013


Well I have finally found a Mitchell
that really fits me (just).
 I had to swap a nice late seventies Aussie Hillman
for it, which I think is a very fair exchange.
I have always really dug these Mitchells, and especially
in this Mitchell blue.

 Looking at that frame geometry, you can see that this
machine is designed for just one purpose.
 If I can't track down some original decals, I will re-manufacture some new sets.

Down tube font looks kind of clunky at first, but I found that it grew on me, 
I can see it's seventies/eighties appeal the more I look at it.
I don't know a lot about Mitchells history, this is what I do know.
In 1954, Dave Mitchell started a boutique cycle shop in
 Liardet St, New Plymouth, 
which catered for the racing cyclist.
Kevin Filer brought the business in the late sixties(?), and started making  
Mitchell race bikes in 1972-'73.
The bikes were built in New Plymouth until about 1981/82
 when building was moved to Wanganui
where they were built by former Mitchell apprentice Mark McLean.
Mark went on to buy Mitchell Cycles.
 They were generally made from Isawata 022, Reynolds 531, 
or Columbus SL / SLX.
There is a bit of info on Oli's blog here
Anyone with additional information and/or corrections
to my info, please contact me.
I do know that they where raced by many of 
New Zealand's top road men during the life of
Mitchell road bikes, their popularity probably peaking
in the early eighties.

The classic Stephen Cox (left) on a classic Mitchell
circa 1981
Stephen Carton, Dulux 1982.
Notice a Columbus decal on the seat tube. 

 I have noticed that not many of the Michell frames I have seen
have the Professional sticker on the top tube.

I was told by Kevin that this sticker was put on the bikes that
were built out of the best steel on hand in the workshop
at the time.
Anyway this one is off to get it's paint stripped tomorrow.
next time you see it, you will be amazed at it's classic beauty.

Humber Beeston Clubman for sale

Go to the for sale section to check out some 
photos of this cool project bike.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Some photos from George Sutherland's
scrap book, mostly early 1900's.
See some more from this wonderful collection

 Christchurch Club
Major Taylor, Christchurch 1907

George Sutherland 1900
Phil O'Shea advertising C.C.M. racing machines
 from a later 1926 programme

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Got to get myself one of these....
Cycling magazine 1960

Contre Le Montre

The Vel-Sport 3 speed fixed, Contre la Montre
frame has had the lugs lined, decaled and clear coated.
Took me a bit longer than I planned, but 
got there in the end.
Now I will build up the woods for it.

And of course make a nice head badge, which
 will probably be alloy and cnc cut, we are still agonizing 
over this final, but crucial little detail.
There are some more photos of the earlier
stages of this project in the For Sale section here

Monday, August 19, 2013


Here is a machine that is very rare in New Zealand.
This is either a Peugeot PX10LE or a PY10
from the late seventies.
These seem to be rare on these shores, I gather,
because there didn't appear to (obviously) be any one
importing Peugeot's into NZ until the very late seventies.

Notice the French specific Reynolds decal...nice

 Simple, but I think beautifully understated fork crown.
 I had been after this frame for a few years, so was 
really pleased when it's owner phoned me a while back
to say he would sell it to me.
It's really is on the out side of my size range,
but I will make it work ( I hope).

 One of the reasons, I suspect it is a PX10LE or a PY10
is the relatively short wheel base.
Although I could well stand to be corrected.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


When I heard that David, one of my sons friends,
had crashed his bike, and needed another frame for his school
racing the next weekend.
I had a look through the garage and found a unknown
frame ( although it looks suspiciously like a Bauer, oh well)
 that was given to me a while back, with a very
ugly splash paint job on it.

Davids crashed Bauer, ouch!

So I offered it to David, on the understanding that
he prepare the frame, and I would paint and assemble
it for him, which he was very happy to do.
I  happened to have some nice orange paint 
at hand, that I had just had mixed for the McLaren project.

To cut a pretty short story even shorter,
I painted the bike in record time (for me).
Not the mintiest job, but looks good enough
 from a couple of feet. 
But most importantly he is racing again
this coming weekend. 

I should have it back together this week, and will 
post some photos when done.
I hear he does pretty well on these steel bikes
against all the other boys, mostly on late
model alloy, and some carbon bikes.
Will definitely have to get some photos of that.

Saturday, August 17, 2013


 I really like GB components, not all of them are great sure, 
but  some I rate highly. Such as these anodized 
Courier Plus brake sets, which also look good
in plain alloy.
They work very well when set up nicely too.

Friday, August 16, 2013



This very early Ephgrave was spotted at 
a local rubbish dump a few years back, by my mate Dennis.
He actually left the bike where it lay, but thinking it
over went back the next day and recovered it.
It was a frame only, with no forks or fittings.
He found some forks that fitted, and assembled the bike
out of his spare parts bin.
He used the bike like this for a while, before moving onto
 something else, so letting it 
languish in the corner of his garage, until I spotted it.

I had seen this frame set sitting forlornly in the corner
of Dennis's garage over the last couple of years, and would often wander
over and inspect it, wondering what make it was.
I always had a strong suspicion that it was something
interesting and worth looking into.
I eventually asked Dennis if he was going to restore
or rebuild the frame, at which point he said I should
take the frame and do with it what I will, 
as he had no further interest in it.

It didn't take me long to realize, once I had the frame at home, and got 
into some research, that my initial interest was well founded.
The frame turns out to be a very early, possibly
mid/late forties Ephgrave, built by non other than
the legendary Les Ephgrave himself. 

So that is all the good news, the bad news
is that the frame had been left sitting on
the floor of the tip, and people had been walking
on it.
With the result that the down tube is badly bent, 
and the top tube is a bit bent, and the seat cluster seems to have
taken some serious punishment at some time during it's life.

But the good news, is that, while I have my hands full
of bike work and projects at the moment, and for the next little while,
I intend to fully restore this beautiful machine back to it's
former glory when time allows.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Here is a rough up for a  tribute
Tee Shirt to the almighty TT man
monsieur Jacques Anquetil

I have added a couple of little stars around his head now,
which makes him look like he is crazy on speed.
Which I guess he was, a bit of the time.

Still think he was cool though.

Monday, August 12, 2013


Read a classic 1975 six way test between six classic
track bikes here
Fuji TF Sprint
Kabuki DTF
Masi Pursuit
Miyata Professional
Panasonic Ultralight
Ron Cooper Sprint

Believe me it's worth reading just for the 
Panasonic Ultralight test.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Here is the new Speedy Cycles musette from Vel-Sport
check it out here.
Check a little on Speedy Cycles here