Sunday, July 3, 2016

L H Brookes Dolomite Super Tourer

Here we have a extremely rare fillet brazed
1950 L H Brookes Cycles Dolomite Super Tourer.
The machine seems at first glance, well underwhelming,
really rather staid, however dig just a little deeper and
you will be very well rewarded.
As you will see, there is a lot more going on tha
first meets the eye.
Unfortunately there is no real information
that I can find on this builder, just this...
Lesley Harrop Brookes was the owner of two shops in 
greater Manchester area...that is it.
I will contact the Veteran Cycle Club and see if
I can't glean some info from the members.
BTW,  if you are you are passionate about classic or 
vintage bikes should consider joining, it is a
fantastic club, and their magazine is a great read.
So let me unpack this really interesting machine for you.
The name is the first clue, Super Tourer, this explains the 
long racked front forks, full guards and lamp bracket.
Looking at the cockpit, you will notice the Reynolds twin bolt
stem with alloy bars, I haven't found a makers mark yet,
but I suspect they are Stratlite or GB.
 You might then notice the Hiduminium GB brake calipers.
Further down the front end, Chater Lea Lamp bracket
and lamp boss.

Beautiful Chater Lea high flange hub laced to a rare 26"
Alumlite rims.
 Then if you move on to the drive train, more treats await.
Chater Lea double fluted cranks with Chater Lea ring, 
running on a Bayliss Wiley No.15 hollow axle.
 Then comes one of the really very special components,
well for me anyway, Hobbs alloy pedals.
This is the first pair I have come across, and I can
see now, why they are so sought after.
I haven't actually weighed them yet, but they feel
like the lightest pedals I have dealt with.

Nice alloy saddle bag support.
Bluemel guards of course.

Then at the heart of the bike, a real surprise, a 1950
Sturmey Archer FC Close ratio four speed hub.
This FC hub was marketed at the 'massed start set' 
a set which this bike is most defiantly not part of.
Why a FM medium ratio hasn't been used I don't know.
It would have made a lot more sense I would have thought, 
for a fast day touring bike like this.
I guess the original owner wanted a really fast tourer!

So there you have it, really quite an extraordinary
British lightweight, not like any other that has come through my 
doors anyway. 
This Dolomite was obviously built with no expense spared.

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