Sometime during the evening of January the 22nd 2016 I sent a private message to a fellow forum member on retrobike in response to the following thread .
” Hello forum, I have for sale a Pollard racing bike – I believe it is a 60’s bike but I am not an expert. The bike was my fathers, but due to him going in a home I am having to clear his home. I believe frame,handlebars,brakes&leaver and wheels are original, but running gear not. The frame has a small dent in the top tube. I have taken a few pictures, but unfortunately can’t upload the picture. I have no idea what it’s worth, so PM if you would like further details, regards – ”
Being a Coventry kid I always keep an eye out for any Pollards that come up for sale and usually watch as the selling price goes skyward . I was lucky enough in this case to get in first . On receipt of a picture I was still interested and committed to the seller that I would take it as long as we could agree a fair price which we did without too much trouble .
The only issue if there was one, was the collection, but luckily the seller was based just outside Warwick and was prepared to hold on to it for me . Eventually the day came for me to go and collect the said bike , when I first saw it in the flesh I was more than happy, ok it had a few years worth of dirt and dust laying over the frame and the pair of mixed wheels it came with but underneath all of this I could see a nice bike with loads of history , I questioned the seller re its history but he only said it was his fathers race machine that had served him well through out its use .
Once home I could have a proper look around it and ok there was an awful lot of wear and tear related marking and scuffs but overall I could still see the nice bike trying to get out from underneath . My first job was to try and remove the saddle and seat post which came out quite easily compared to some others , next up was to slot a pr of wheels in the frame so I could manoeuvre it around easily . Once this was done it was wheeled away to its resting position in my garage till its turn came to be worked on .
Its turn emerged in mid June 2016 where my first job was to strip and service the bottom bracket closely followed by the headset , over the years most of the original equipment had been replaced by various parts from various years . The Sugino bottom bracket came apart easily enough and had very little sign of use so a quick clean and some fresh grease was all that was required . The headset also showed little wear and tear but void of any grease and all the bearings needed washing to remove the dried up coating they had . Whilst the fork was out I checked for any number stampings but none were found .
I was kindly donated a rather nice 48 tooth Sugino single crankset so that i could run a 1 x 6 gear system using the sachs huret rear mechanism and Campagnola down tube shifter .All the above were treated to a gentle clean along with a new Clarkes chain .
Next up were the Shimano Tourney brake calipers that seemed in fine fettle and just needed a dusting and some new brake pads and operating cables . It was at this time that I decided to ditch the original 22 mm GB Maes Stratalite bars and chromed stem for a slightly longer lugged stem with a set of later GB Maes bars but kept the original GB Super hood brake levers .
Next up was to clean up the original seat post which to my amazment was a Domed top Reynolds hiduminium item complete with a date stamp 9 – 51 which came as a surprise to me because I still thought this was a 60’s machine , but I was ignoring the head stock grease nipple and the gear cable roller guide and grease nipple on the bottom bracket shell .
Once all the above was done it was time to try it in the work stand, it worked ok so I fitted a set of pedals and a nice Wrights leather saddle and went for a gentle ride up and down the cul de sac just to get an idea of what else was required work wise .The only thing that became apparent was the need for a slightly longer bottom bracket spindle which I duly replaced . Once this was dome the drive line was much easier to turn .So off we went for a 1.5 mile test ride so I could try some comfort related adjustments to the saddle and bars position .
Whilst looking around the garage I found a nice set of Bluemels Club sport guards that I thought would look good so on they went and after a little time they were on and adjusted so they didn’t rub or rattle too much .
Seeing as the weather was forecast to be damp most of the day I thought today would be a good day to get some commuting miles under this bikes tyres and after 8.5 miles I can report all went well and it rode nice and smoothly indeed , oh and I also discovered a 4 digit stamping on the seat post clamp area which makes this a genuine Pollard bike rather than a bought in frameset that was fitted with Pollard decals .