Sunday, November 3, 2013

IN DEFENSE OF CARLTON AND POMMY PRO BIKES IN GENERAL.

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
collectors/enthusiasts/riders.


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.






10 comments:

  1. Don't worry, us Carlton fans are out there! Nice work, I can't wait to see what you do with this frame. Cheers, Oli

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  2. True, luckily there are small pockets of connoisseurs of the unusual and interesting, still holding out against the rising tides of the banal.

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  3. I also have a 1972 Carlton Professional, Lagoon Blue, and white.

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  4. hi have inherited an Ellis Briggs road bike about 60years old.does anyone know how much it is worth.Its in excellent condition

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  5. hi have inherited an Ellis Briggs road bike about 60years old.does anyone know how much it is worth.Its in excellent condition

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    Replies
    1. Hi, email me at adrian@theflyingwheel.com with some photos.

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