Vol. 2, Issue 51 – May / June 2014
Posted: Wednesday 14th May 2014
Our first lightweight ‘away’ fixture of the year is always the Hampshire Section ‘Start of Season Fishbourne Ride’ starting at the Roman Palace, Fishbourne on the edge of Chichester. Hampshire seems to be the epicentre of the lightweight movement in the UK and this event always attracts a good turnout with superb machinery. This year was no exception and I think it was probably the best ever.
There was a total of 35 riders from Cambridge in the East to Torquay in the West, with 24 different makes of classic lightweights, all very good examples of their kind. The makes represented were Bates, Bianchi, Carlton, Carpenter, Ciclo Piave, Cinelli, Condor, Ephgrave, Evans, Farrell, Gillott, Granby, Hetchins, Higgins, Macsport, Masi, Morris, Paris, Raleigh RA, Rotrax, Sheffield Langsett, Thanet, Woodrup and Youngs.
It is unfair to pick out examples from this classic bunch but my own favourite (being an Italophile) was a beautiful Cicli Piave (cycles made in Piave village) with Campagnolo Corsa gears plus many other delightful touches such as CO2 pump attached with single Terry clip and, just in case, a Silca pump! Cinelli badged stem and alloy bottles, Simplex four speed block 23 20 18 14, Magistroni chain set 46 teeth, Lyotard pedals. Ambrosio Champion handlebars with Le Roi levers (Bartelli) and Universal brakes. Cinelli steel stem with badge, AGF ilve headset, Campagnola small flange hubs with Fiamme yellow label HP rims. 36 stainless steel spokes, Frandebar flint catchers, Ideale 70 saddle, Reg bottle cages.
I don’t like images taken with cars as a background and with shadows but I knew I had to catch this while I could.
The ride is about 25 miles and visits some of the ports and villages along the Hampshire coastline. I did plan to ride a fixed-wheel bike but ended up with my 1957 Cinelli and Patricia rode her 1944 Bates BAR on tubs. Due to its age it had narrow rear ends but we did manage to squeeze in a 4-speed Simplex Tour de France gear. It has a single Chater chainring on the front as the Bates Cantiflex tubing is very pronounced on such a short seat tube (19.5″) and fitting a front rod changer could be tricky.
I have mentioned before the different ideals which people have for their collection habits, and my recent excursion into building up a classic Colnago Master X-Light from around 2002 exemplifies this. Up to date all of our collection has been of classics of the 1940s, 50s and 60s and in the main these are the circles I move in for the world of classics, Chater, Airlite, Conloy, Simplex – that sort of thing. I have always wanted a Colnago Master with modern equipment ever since I saw a beautiful version of the marque at a classic cycles meet at Oberammergau in Bavaria a few years ago. It was owned by a friend, Benedikt, who lives in Vienna and is a real Colnago enthusiast. His had the iconic Campagnolo Delta brakes but I haven’t gone down that route yet.
Having bought the frame on ebay, I arranged to collect the machine from the seller outside King’s Cross station. Luckily no money changed hands or we may have ended up on camera looking like a drug deal under the pretext of buying part of a bicycle. If the tubes were stuffed with cocaine then I guess it would be the most valuable Colnago on the planet. Having said that I recently saw a special Colnago Master ‘Arabesque’ with elaborate lugs which had an asking price around the £5000 mark. Needless to say it did not sell at this price!
However, this purchase projected me into a new world. I mentioned to the seller that I had a Dura Ace 7700 9-speed (Shimano top-of-the-range model) group set which I planned to use for it, and his eyes lit up with admiration at my choice – most collectors of the older machines would think that this was just another uninteresting Japanese groupset. This set came from a de-commissioned 853 steel frameset built for me by Paul Donohue and all components had polished up as new.. Again, there is a Paul Donohue appreciation society based on the LFG&SS forum and the new owner of my old frame was so pleased to get his hands on it. It will make a pair with his Donohue track. There is an excellent new custom builder called Donhue, now based in London, which can be a bit confusing. I needed to buy a few bits and pieces to complete the group and soon realised that the 7700 series and the earlier 7400 series in good condition were fetching at least their price when new, probably more.
Colnago have produced the Master continuously in various forms since 1983 to date and it has always been an iconic steel classic although the later models do have a carbon fork. Many were built with Columbus ‘Gilco’ S4 profiled tubes. Mine is a Master X-Light with Freuler geometry which means that it has seat and head tube extended for about an inch above the top tube for taller riders. The frame is sprayed in Art Decor pattern, mainly white and blue with chrome forks and seat/chain stays. The Art Decor versions have all of the lettering done by stencil and airbrush.
The Colnago build started as soon as we got home with the frameset when I changed the existing 600 headset for Dura Ace with Patricia nervously holding the frame while I hammered out the head cups with the appropriate tool. Nothing but a big hammer will do this job! Pressing the new ones back in was less nerve-wracking and more scientific with a proper screw thread tool rather than as whacking the old ones out with a big hammer. This frame has an ornate paint job so I used pipe lagging over the tubes in the working area and supplemented these with a towel to protect the paintwork against any expensive slips.
I had a 53T Colnago pantographed chainring (above) which I wanted to use on this build. I have had it for several years waiting for a suitable frame to come along. The cranks are Te Vano with a logo of a feather superimposed on a globe – I have never seen these before and Google has no information. The ring has the early 144 BCD, I had wondered how to measure this until I read that you measure centre of bolt to centre of crank axle and then double it. This system only really works when the crank is on an axle and it is easy to pinpoint the centre. The 144 only allowed an inner ring as low as 42T. Having said that, prior to 1967 the Campag BCD was 151 which only allowed for an even larger 44 inner ring. The normal BCD soon became 135 allowing for a 39 inner ring which was probably a relief for riders tackling mountain stages in the major tours. However we must remember that not so many years before this the norm for rings was either 50/47 or 51/48, i.e. three tooth difference. I’m sure I have written before to explain this curiosity.
Wanting to use the 9-speed gearing I thought I had hit a problem with the Campag chainset in that I could not get 9-speed spacing with the 144 cranks so, having spent a lifetime battling with bottom brackets and chainsets on older bikes, I decided to change the project and use the appropriate Dura Ace chainset – I upgraded the choice a bit by electing to go for the rare Shimano Dura Ace Octalink unit.
Ooops, doing research for this article I found a website with the most informative piece on Campagnolo chainrings completely disproving my thoughts re 9-speed spacing being different to earlier models. It was the 10-speed set-up where the spacing between rings changed. It seems you can buy a washer set to cancel out this difference if you want to run older 8 or 9-speed on the newer chainsets.
As with most Colnagos, mine had Italian threading to the 70mm bottom bracket so my existing Octalink BB was of no use. I’m sure you all know that the British bottom-bracket shell is 68mm wide compared to the Italian 70 – a quick way to test which B B you have. The second test is that the British cups will almost slip effortlessly through the Italian threaded shell. The Italian threads are of a larger diameter and this has been used in the past by the British to repair a stripped thread by reaming out the BB shell and threading to Italian specification. Don’t hear much about this these days as many BBs have external bearings but it can give new life to an older frame that is worth saving.
(Nerd alert!!) – I tried to convert my existing British thread Octalink unit to Italian by changing the cups but I damaged one of the Italian ones in the process. Luckily the Octalink BB is still available from Shimano. The correct specification is Shimano Octalink, model 7700 with 70mm shell and 109.5 axle if you want to order one for a double chainset. The English specification would have the 70 replaced by 68. The 109.5 is critical although for some reason Shimano list them as 109 in trade books.
Having abandoned the Campag chainset idea I decided to splash out on a NOS Octalink chainset as I had sold several bits and pieces recently and was able to finance it from that, and it is certainly a lovely looking piece of kit. Worn chainsets can look scruffy where shoes rub the anodising – I don’t do scruffy if possible!
The rest of the build was quite straight forward apart from soul-searching over whether to use blue or white cables! Blue won in the end after consulting my art-school educated colour consultant/poseur who confirmed my thoughts. Having decided on that, I followed with blue/black tyres, but white bar tape and saddle.
Cutting the modern outer gear cables can end up with the inner polymer liner compressed, making it very tricky to thread the inner cable. This happened whether I used side-cutters or cable cutters. I got over this in the end by cutting the outer cable with an old piece of inner inside. It can be slightly tricky to get the old inner out but it works in the end. Modern gear cables do not have coiled steel outers as they could compress in use which would destroy the precision of the gears. They have longitudinal wires and this is why they tend to compress when cut, even with expensive cable cutters.
There is something very therapeutic about building up a cycle when everything goes well but when problems arise all the good vibes soon get undone. Luckily this never happened this time.
There was an unexpected bonus with the Freuler geometry as the Campagnolo aero seat post changed from round to aero exactly as is entered the frame giving a very sweet transition (who said I was OCD?). When I see an aero seatpost with several inches of round section sticking up from the frame before the aero section starts it always grates a bit. Having said that, I am still debating whether to go for a Dura Ace seatpost in order to keep all componentry to one set. I guess I need to check to see if the aero section starts at the same place.
When building up the drive unit I always set the gears up without a chain (with bike suspended quite high) and adjust the mechanisms by lining up on the smallest and largest sprocket/chainring. When everything works visually then I measure the chain on largest sprocket and chainring plus one pair of links. This is a good starting point and works well with most modernish builds. I have never had to twist the adjusters more than 1 or 2 quarter turns.
I used to have a work stand to work on but even that was a bit low resulting in back twinges. I now work with the bike suspended at roughly chest height with a loop round the front of the saddle and hooked in over the bars and round to the bolt on the stem. For modern bikes with flush bolts I use an old toestrap from the loop and around the stem. If needs be I can change the bowline knot loops to raise or lower the frame, or if using toestraps merely change the length that way.
The last parts to go onto the frame were the Octalink bottom bracket followed by the matching chainset. It was a joy to fit the unit bottom bracket. The right-hand side went in with a simple fixed-wheel lockring tool although there is a special tool for the job which engages more points at a time. One always worries about crossing the thread and I use the trick of turning the unit firmly the wrong way (reverse) until you hear a pronounced click. Now is the time to turn it the right way and it seems to work every time. Thanks to Andy at Bicycle Ambulance in Cambridge for that tip and for the information on converting the Octalink to Italian.
The second side of the bracket (LH) does entail a special splined tool and I was able to use it with a ratchet handle after starting the cup by hand using the click method. I have had so much hassle with bottom bracket/chainsets that I was very relieved when everything lined up first time with just the right chainline.
Having finished the build I was very pleased with the end weight which I think is the lightest of any steel frame I have owned. The previous lightest was Reynolds 853 with carbon forks. Details of the Colnago Master are on our website platform, but not linked to pages such as the Home Page as this machine does not comply with the site regulations in so many ways.
Colnago frame numbering seems a mystery to me: age is hardly ever mentioned and frame numbers ignored. I have read that they didn’t bother about numbering for frames sold in Italy and that it was only when frames were exported to the USA that numbers had to be used. It seems strange to me that a factory would just produce frames without numbers for their own records in order to keep track of what was going on. I have seen a frame for sale using two sets of numbers on a label, one with two numbers, a letter and then three numbers. I think these were the frame numbers. The other serial was six numbers, a hyphen and three numbers. I have not quoted the numbers as they are not mine.
My frame number is 88602 (stamped rear dropout), the seller thought it was 2002 – is that the 02 at the end? I haven’t found an online time-line for Colnago yet. Perhaps I am the only person interested!
Nigel Scott follows on from his last piece in Lightweight News 50:
Hopefully without this sounding tedious, following on from me saying about bits for the chain drive trike resto. When I closed my ‘normal’ bike shop 14 years ago, I cleared a lot of parts in bins to a local guy. For the trike I needed some chainguard clips and was also sure I could remember having few spare bits for 7/8″ headset/fork column=trike size.
I went round to see him and the sum of visit was that he said Give us £x back and take the lot away. So I have 24 bins of assorted bits and the steel louvred panels to hang them on.
There are many 5/16″ Raleigh front cones which have a very large 21.2mm and 23.7mm outer diameter. This is much bigger than their own standard size of 30 years ago. All sorts of cottered axles including Bayliss-Wiley. There was even one for the trike with very narrow bearing shoulders, oversize left BB cups and lockrings for frame with stripped BB threads. Sturmey-Archer spares etc. I am not familiar with what might have been fitted to say RRAs, but guess they didn’t have alloy hubs and maybe these 5/16 cones for example might be useful to someone.
I wouldn’t ask for a plug unless you think there may be folk out there desperate for these odd items. I would rather someone could make use of it and as a job lot would be good. Today’s bike shops aren’t interested in recovering a frame with stripped BB threads and aren’t going to get many jobs in requiring a new cottered BB axle.
Against that, to be frank, I would be loathe to start fielding enquiries for two cones that may be worth a fiver as I may as well take it to a jumble and let them turn it over. But I guess ultimately I will get fed up with the stuff taking up space, dump the bits and flog the bins and panels
The National Cycle Museum at Llandrindod Wells, Mid Wales, will be having a special Free admission Open Day/ Sale of some surplus cycles/ parts, on Saturday 24th May . Many new displays to see in the museum. Various cycles from our stores, for sale at bargain prices. Some cycle spares are for sale that have also accumulated in the stores. The museum would like to downsize its storage area for items not on display, hence a sort out.
Everything for sale will be labelled with a price. Please note this is NOT an auction. Doors of the Automobile Palace will be opened at 11am and the event finishes around 3pm. Further information will be available nearer the date . See http://www.cyclemuseum.org.uk/ or tel 01597 825531 . The museum is normally open Tuesdays- Fridays from 10am-4pm but can usually open at other times for groups if requested. Freda Davies- job share curator
Paul Fineberg is looking for a Paris road / track frame with drop outs that would allow fitment of a Sturmey Archer three speed hub at around 52cm size / around 20-1/2″ or 21″.
From Tony Challis – challis788@aol,com
Cambridge Olympic BLRC
Cambridgeshire Road Club
Having recently ‘found’ Lightweight News may I enter my 2p worth?
My cycling ‘career’ started around 1944 with my brother’s sports bike while he was away in the Army. I turned the bars upside down and took off the mudguards! A friend and I went for rides and found other like-minded people. When I started at Cambridge Tech College after a while I got to know another rider who introduced me to the CTC; his name was Fred Krebs (later professional with Hercules – Ed.). Getting to know more people I found cycle shops in Town, Skeels in Castle Hill, with Ike Saul who introduced me to the BLRC which I joined. By this time I was at work and had got myself a ‘proper’ bike. How and why I have no idea but it was a Baines VSWB, not really a good choice but I put a Cyclo 3 on it and it was OK for a while. I then bought a Paris Pro and fitted it out with a Cyclo Ace and South of France bars. Having enjoyed some good BLRC races I foolishly entered the 1949 Brighton-Glasgow. I had no preparation, only one racing jersey and shorts and no food at all. On the second stage I was rescued by Derek Buttle and Sid Aldridge who gave me some food which kept me going for a while. I packed at Wolverhampton.
I seem to remember racing on the Barnet bypass and being overtaken by a rider on a bike with a wooden frame! Does anyone have any recall?
In 1950 I was called up for National Service in the RAF. At my first station, Bridgenorth, we were asked what sport we did. When I said cycling I was told to go to the Guardroom and speak to a Sergeant, which I did. Going to the Guardroom was not a good thing to do but I went and this Sergeant showed me a ‘25’ at Cosford which the station was entering. “Can you win that” I was asked. I never went back to the Guardroom!
After Bridgenorth I went to RAF Weeton near Blackpool where there were good facilities and a clubroom. At weekends we either rode up to the Lakes or over to the Yorkshire Dales. Rode in a couple of medium gear ‘25’s and a ’50’ called the Circuit of the Dales. This was a very hilly time trial and I recall starting 2 minutes in front of Tiny Thomas [British Road International] who caught me inside a mile. Finally got to a proper camp, RAF Upwood near Huntingdon, there were a lot of racing cyclists there and we rode to many events. A couple of times we flew to RAF events; the Officer I/C, Geoff Drayton, was a Navigator and a good bike rider too. Geoff was somehow involved with Rory O’Brien and I bought a frame from there, great road bike. I managed to win a ‘25’ at RAF Hospital Ely on the Ely-Newmarket road and we won the Team as well. On the strength of that we put on a ‘25’ at Upwood on the Godmanchester-Cambridge road.
There was a good entry of nearly 100 and I finished in the top 10 with a 1-1, the winner was under the hour. At Upwood I met another rider called Pete Curtis and we rode a few events and we also went over to the Isle of Man. Pete was posted to the Middle East and I had a letter from him asking me to send him a 5-speed block as he was going to ride in a stage race. I wonder if he was the same chap mentioned by John Bassell in ‘Reminiscences’.
From time to time I met Fred Krebs who was doing his National Service. At one event, a race round the airfield at RAF Stradishall, Fred and I got away for a few laps before he rode away to win and the field caught me and I finished 4th. After the race Fred asked me to help him the following weekend when he was riding in the Middlesex 12 hour. I of course agreed to help, you didn’t say ‘no’ to Fred and I was given a schedule as to where and when I was to feed him. I had no idea where I was but fell in with a lady who was looking after her husband whose name was Vic Gibbons, who won the event and I think Fred was second.
I left Upwood in 1956 and went to Nicosia, Cyprus. There were a few bike riders there but off-camp was off limits – the natives were shooting at the Brits. From somewhere I managed to get a bike, of unknown make, and we rode around the camp. There was a hut for us which was our HQ and it was full of bike bits. In fact there were 10 brand new BSA bikes which had been donated from BSA in England. These ‘bikes’ were all in bits; putting them together was no problem until we got to the wheels, these were 20 rims, 20 hubs and a pile of spokes which nobody could build. When I left in 1959 they were still there. After a while there was a ceasefire and we could go off camp, in fact we put on a 10 mile Time Trial. As I owned a stop watch I was nominated as time keeper. Must say it was scary sitting out in the wilds waiting for the riders to return, I think there were around ten riders all of different standards. For some 10 miles was a long distance event!
One of the favourite rides was over the Kyrenia Pass to Kyrenia which was around 50 miles. When we could ride in the countryside the sight of half a dozen ‘mad English’ riding bikes caused some excitement amongst the natives. It wasn’t long before the truce ended and we were back to riding round the camp.
I left Cyprus and was posted to RAF Colerne in Wiltshire. A couple of riders there but nobody keen on racing. Met up with Ken Bird, a cycle mechanic in civilian life who rode home to London every other weekend and we also rode around the area quite a bit. (Ken Bird had a small bike shop in Crystal Palace and was known for his stories of life as a Tour de France mechanic. He sold Ken Bird frames but I imagine they were bought-in and badged up. – Ed.) I rode in the RAF Hill Climb and got 4th but apart from that it was pottering around. Ken came up with an idea to ride down to Lands’ End which was interesting, very hilly. In the winter I rode a trike, a Holdsworth conversion, which made a change. Some time ago I read that Ken was involved as a mechanic with the GB Team and was in the ‘Tour’ when Tom Simpson died.
Leaving Colerne I went to Germany, RAF Gutersloh, where there were a couple of bike riders. We got involved with a the local club and went around with them. The club was sponsored, the name was something like ‘Gutersloh-Spexard- Mielie’ and run on different lines to UK clubs. The first time we went to their club room was a shock; it was more of a board meeting with all the members sitting round a long table and we were asked what we wanted to eat or drink, all from the sponsors! The riders who had done well the previous weekend were presented with awards from the club: tubs, clothing etc and then told where they were to race the next weekend. On one occasion we went to Bielefeld as the GB track team were to ride there. The GB team arrived in a van with all the bikes on the roof. It must have been their first visit as they failed to notice the low arch at the entrance. One of the RAF lads at Gutersloh was a West Indian track rider of some note who came out with a road bike and the German club gave him a track bike to race for them. His name was Clyde, possibly the Clyde Rimple in your columns.
When I left Germany my cycling days were numbered, a back injury from Cyprus caught up with me.
My last event was a Peterborough 100 and at the finish I couldn’t straighten my back so it was the end on two [and three] wheels. Tony Challis RAF 1950-1985
VETERAN-CYCLE CLUB – THE TWENTY-FIRST BATES WEEKENDFRIDAY 6th SATURDAY 7th & SUNDAY 8th JUNE 2014
Rides organised by Dick Hampton, ably assisted by Rob and Colin
You are cordially invited to attend the 21st Annual Bates weekend. The “Bates” has now come of age in the lightweight enthusiast’s calendar. Essentially a weekend for riders of Bates bicycles, but anyone with an interest in lightweight cycles and cycling will be made very welcome.
Riders will be welcomed at the Top End Farm camping site in Little Staughton nr St Neots on Friday 7th June with the first ride of the weekend getting under way at 2.00pm for a 16 mile round trip with a stop for refreshments.
Fridays ride (2 o’clock start) will take us West from the village of Little Staughton going past The Crown Inn on our way out to the lanes near to Thurleigh aerodrome. We have a stop for coffee etc. at Riseley in The Fox & Hounds pub, and a nice run back through many pretty villages. Distance about 16 miles.
The Crown Inn at the lower end of the village will offer you a warm welcome with food and ale. Saturdays ride after a 10 o’clock start we run from Little Staughton going North using the beautiful lanes in north Bedfordshire to the coffee stop at The Grafham Water visitor centre, on then through the trees to Grafham village before using the cycle route 51, to the village of Brampton, (well known to horse racing types). Very close by is the town of Huntingdon. We make short work of it by using its many cycle paths to get to the river bridge (The Great Ouse) and on into Godmanchester, again using cycle paths we put the interesting little town behind us, as we head towards the charming village of Hemingford Abbots with lunch stop at The Axe & Compass Pub and on into Hemingford Grey, now heading East to Fenstanton to cross The A14 on a new heading South this time. After a few attractive villages and some miles we arrive in St Neots where we stop at the Bridge Hotel for afternoon tea etc. After a goodly time, we set off on the last leg back to the camp site, in good time to be ready for the evening bash. Distance about 43 miles.
A sit-down meal at The Crown Inn in Little Staughton has been arranged for Saturday evening.
Sundays ride of approx 27 miles heads South after a 10 o’clock start, towards the crossroads to turn right through the village of Wilden, going Nor-West, we pass by Thurleigh aerodrome and The Twinwood ind park (this was U.S.A.F. Twinwood, the plane taking Glenn Miller to Paris took off from here, to be reported missing over the English channel). Morning coffee stop is at The Queens Head Hotel in Milton Ernest. When we leave the coffee stop turn left, to the villages of Radwell, Falmersham and Sharnbrook, where we turn right to head East crossing the main A6 road, and retracing our route, to get to Thurleigh village for lunch stop (the pub only serves till 2.00pm so step up your peddle rate), followed by an easy run back to camp via Hatch End and Keysoe Row.
Distance about 27 miles.
More details from:
Dick Hampton – 74 Greenhill Road. Kettering, Northants.
Bespoked – The UK Hand-made Bicycle show for 2014 was held in the indoor velodrome built for the London Olympics. This was very handy for us as it was a short train journey and a few stops on the tube from home. It was good to see the track for the first time and it made a great background for the exhibits as there were first adults and then juniors training on the boards while we were there.
As we entered the doors the first three displays we saw were BLB (Brick Lane Bikes), Tommassini and a stand shared by Moss Bikes Ltd and some nicely built road and track frames with the name L!FE BIKES. Patricia was told by one of the young builders there that they were the end result of a school GCSE project overseen by a frame builder, ‘Mr Jones’ from Moss Bikes in Cheshire. He was also Head of Design and Technology at a school in Shropshire, hence the dual display. It was a very professional display and I think the aim is to create a small business producing for the custom market. This interesting project goes under the name L!FE BIKES.
These three displays were on a walkway around the top of the seating. The main display was in the centre of the track where so many Olympic hopes were realised and even more dashed. 2012 was of course a bumper year for the British team, both men and women, and sadly it was the swansong for Victoria Pendleton who spent more time at this Olympics battling officials than she did her competitors. The officials managed to deprive her and her partner Jess Varnish of two medal hopes so they had a good Olympics at least. Perhaps depriving medals is equal to winning them if you wear a blazer!
I was surprised how international the show was. Phere were a few builders from Portland, Oregon plus representatives from Czechoslovakia and Poland. Bikes on show included fixed, road, and mountain.
Seat stay bridges are becoming a trademark art form. Here are four chosen randomly from many on display, only one drilled for a brake which shows the rise of disc brakes as favoured way of stopping. I don’t know if Father Christmas reads Lightweight News but, if he does, can I please have a top-of-the-range Colnago with disc brakes and electronic Dura Ace gearing for my summer bike. Even more importantly, disc brakes on my winter bike – how I hate cleaning off the black gunge from rims, tyres etc after a wet ride.
My current winter bike is a Van Nicholas titanium ‘Yukon’ with clearance for mudguards. The problem is that they don’t do a disc brake version yet – missed a trick there I think.
I am a cyclist [mainly mountain biking now] who used to ride time trials and schoolboy circuit races in the 1960s for my old club Salford Phoenix. We now live in Bingley [near Bradford] West Yorkshire. I still have my old Frejus road bike which unfortunately is in a rather sad state in our shed and I don’t have the skills to restore it.
I was the second owner of this cycle which I think was made between late 1950s/early 1960s.The number on the frame near seat is 87076 and under the bottom bracket is stamp-MC 60. The bike has Made in Italy and Harry Hall stickers [it was bought from the Manchester shop] and is fitted with Campag gears, Fiamme rims, Mafac centre pull brakes, Pivo stem, Unica saddle. The equipment is original but it does need loving care [punctured tubs/rusted spokes etc].
I also have approximately 44 cycling papers from 1964-67 period.
I have seen examples on your website of enthusiasts doing wonderful restorations with old Frejus bikes and hope you might be able to suggest someone who might be interested in purchasing my old machine for such a project. It would be ideal if there might be any one in the North of England.
In Velo Veritas – Longest Bike-Classic-Marathon in
Europe starts June, 15 in Korneuburg (Austria)
14th and 15th of June the Austrian town Korneuburg will be the meeting point
for all friends of classic vintage bikes.
They will gather on the main square of Korneuburg around 20 km west of Vienna located
at the river Danube. In Velo Veritas the classic-bike-tour through the pittoresque
Weinviertel develops more and more to a must for the classic-scene. “This year we ride on
new attractive routes and expect even more participants”, organizer Horst Watzl is looking
forward to welcome many ambitious Classic-Lovers from all around the world.
Best of Weinviertel
Last year nearly 300 participants from 14 countries joined the premiere. “We are
far above last years’ registrations and I suggest to subscribe and book your rooms in time”,
Pivotal for the success are very carefully selected routes which lead along silent roads, not
asphalted paths as well as over the cobblestones of the old cellar-lined lanes called
Longest Classic-Marathon of Europe
The routes combine some of the scenic attraction of the western Weinviertel. The starters
of the long distance with leave Korneuburg at sunrise and will go up north climbing the
highest elevation of the Weinviertel called Buschberg and will cross the Czech border.
With around 215 km on one day In Velo Veritas is actually the longest Classic-Marathon
This year we will welcome Rudi Mitteregger. One of the most impressive riders in the
70ties will join with a special Puch-machine. He won the Austrian Tour twice and will enrich
the welcome-party on Saturday evening with some impressions and anecdotes about
race biking more than 40 years ago.
Another Austrian Bike-Legend Kurt Schneider will also be present. He is winner of several
Tours and Classics in the 50ties and participated twice at the Tour de France.
With more than 80 years he is still out riding his usual rounds. He will check together with
friends if the bikes are following the rules.
The bike has to fulfil the usual criteria which are controlled at the registration:
It has to be built before 1987/88, the shifters have to be fixed on the frame and the shoes
with leather strings on the pedals.
The refreshment-stations near Grossrußbach, Mailberg, Retz present regional, seasonal
and biological food. The one or other glass of Grüner Veltliner will also give the
participants an impression of the main grape of the region.
Unforgettable Classic ride
After 10 hours the first riders will return from the epic ride. Like every bike-event the usual
small and large dramas will happen. But with the finish line and the applause of the
audience all pain will be blown away. An unforgettable bike experience will hopefully
For further information pls. contact Horst Watzl