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Johnny Berry - 1972

Posted: Sunday 21st November 2021

Owned By: Alan Woods

FrameJohnny Berry road frame #721891 (1972), Reynolds 531 double butted tubing, Prugnat Type-S lugs, wrap-over seat stays with decorated flat top eyes, Gargette (RGF) bottom bracket shell, Campagnolo 1010 drop outs, dome-end (i.e., ball-end) stays, dome-end blades, and straight brake bridge. 24 ½" seat tube, 23 ¼" top tube, 17" chain stays, 40 ⅓ 41" wheelbase, 73˚ seat tube, 74˚ head tube, 1 ½” fork offset. Black with green seat tube panel. Gold lug lining. Braze-on pump and bottle fittings. Braze-on stops for gear cable housing and gear lever clamp.
WheelsSuper Champion Arc-en-Ciel sprint rims and 23mm tubular tires on 36 hole Campagnolo Record high flange hubs with a 14-21T 5 speed freewheel currently fitted. Tied-and-soldered spokes. Campagnolo quick release skewers.
ChainsetCampagnolo crankset with Record double 45/42T chainrings now fitted. Phil Wood sealed bearing bottom bracket.
PedalsCampagnolo Record SL Strada with chromed steel toe clips and Binda toe straps.
GearsCampagnolo Nuovo Record front - rear (Patent-1972) derailleurs. Campagnolo Record clamp-on down tube shifters.
BrakesCampagnolo Nuovo Record side pull brake calipers. Campagnolo Nuovo Record brake levers.
Stem BarsCinelli Giro d’ Italia handlebar. (badge and shield) (40cm). Cinelli 1A forged alloy stem (Milano in oval) (11.5 cm).
SaddleIdeale 90 Speciale Competition on a 27.2mm Campagnolo Record seat post.
ExtrasSilca pump with Campagnolo steel head. Painted and lined alloy mudguards.

No. 721891 was ordered by its present owner in autumn, 1971 and delivered in May, 1972. It was designed for criterium racing, but is suitable for general road use. The original receipt is shown below. The frameset was originally painted and lined by C & G Finishes, Liverpool; the top eyes carry their usual painted decoration. The frame was repainted in original colors by Trisha Stevenson of Olympia, Washington in 1984. It was restored in 2013 by frame builder Bill Stevenson of Olympia, Washington and Mark Brandt of Spectrum Powder Works in Colorado Springs. Corey Thompson of Olympia, Washington built the wheelset.

Many construction details of #721891 are representative of Johnny Berry’s meticulous and easily recognizable style, including fully wrapped seat stays, flat top eyes, diver’s helmet-type gear cable stops, ball-end stays, ball-end fork blades, and brake bridge reinforcers. Berry’s usual slotted round stop for the gear lever clamp is brazed on to the top of downtube. Long point Prugnat Type-S lugs and long reinforcers on the inside of the upper fork blades are found on #721891, as well as many of Berry’s later frames.

Atypically, #721891 has a steep head tube, reflecting its design for criterium racing. Most other Johnny Berry road bikes have shallower head tubes. Unusually, too, #721891 uses Campagnolo clamps on the top tube to position the brake cable housing. Most other Johnny Berry road frames have curved-end stops brazed onto the lower part of the top tube, whereas, others, (including Berry’s last frame, #741913) have diver’s helmet stops brazed onto the top of the top tube. No. 721891 lacks oiler nipples for the lower headset race and bottom bracket that are found on most Berry road bikes.

Above: The “JB”-on-globe badge design was the last style of badge used by Johnny Berry. Quality reproduction transfers are now available through commercial painters.
Above: The receipt for #721891. The frame set cost £40, including paint, lining, and clear coat. The original wheel set used tubular tires It was built on high flange Campagnolo hubs.
Above: On frames designed for clamp-on down tube shifters, Berry usually brazed a slotted, round stop on to the top of the down tube to prevent the gear lever assembly from sliding down the tube.
Above: Many, but not all, Berry road frames featured a straight brake bridge with reinforcers at the seat stays. #721891 was originally fitted with Universal 68 side pull brakes. Later, they were replaced by Campagnolo Record calipers.
Above: Nicely thinned lugs with crisp shorelines and elegant fork crowns are characteristics of Johnny Berry frames,. They are indicative of the amount of skilled effort that Berry invested in each of his frames.
Above: The seat cluster features long lug points, a reinforced seat binder, and, for visual balance, a vertical tang. Decorative striping on the top eye is in the style of C & G Finishes of Liverpool, who originally painted #721891. Beginning in the mid 1960s, most Berry frames were built with thinned Prugnat Type-S lugs.
Above: No. 721891 was built with a thinned and extensively reworked Gargette bottom bracket shell. This shell is found on many Johnny Berry road frames. Also note the diver’s helmet-type gear cable housing stops, a characteristic of many Berry road frames.
Above: Johnny Berry’s typical craftsmanship is evident at the junction between the stays and dropout. Ball-end stays, diver’s helmet gear cable housing stops, and, beginning in the 1950s, Campagnolo 1010 dropouts are often found on Berry road frames.
Above: #721891 in 1972. Originally, it was fitted with Universal 68 side pull brakes and Campagnolo bar end shifters, not the Campagnolo Record brakes and down tube shifters that are currently on the bike. Otherwise, components are nearly all the same as they were in 1972.
Thanks for reading

Posted: Sunday 21st November 2021

Owned By: Alan Woods

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