My Latest Pollard Find

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and service the bottom bracket closely followed by the headset , over the years most of the original equipment had been replaced by various parts from various years .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 .



All Change

It’s that time again where I swap my bikes around and dust off some of the ones that have not seen any regular use for a few months , a few weeks ago I got Ian May the first back on the road and have so far covered approx 200 miles on it .


Ian May

This month it’s the turn of the Tony Butterworth decaled bike to feel some fresh tarmac under its wheels, again this bike has been in my custody for about 18 months and has seen very little use in its whole life , I covered about 120 miles last summer on it before it was put up for sale . Although I have had a few enquiries about it, nobody has handed over pound notes for it yet .


Tony Butterworth

It’s a nice, fairly light weight bike being made with butted Tange steel tubes and matching forks that is finished in a nice shade of blue paintwork with matching white decals . From what I found out from the previous owner he bought it as a frameset after it had sat in Tony Butterworth’s Sheffield shop for a fair while and when said shop changed owners it was reduced to clear and was sold to the gentleman I bought it from who built it up using a mixture of new and low mileage used parts .


Tony Butterworth

It sits on a nice set of Shimano rs10 wheels with semi aero rims and matching Shimano hubs , truativ crankset , Shimano Tiagra sti units and mechanisms along with a set of Radius calipers . It has a nice quill to A-head stem converter with a 110 mm planet x stem and a wide set of matching black anatomical profile drop bars along with a black Kalloy microadjust seat post that currently has my Selle smp lite 209 saddle on .

London Im2 069

Shimano rs10

The bike rides and handles as good as many other better known brands but has the kudos of being different to everybody else . The blue paintwork is as near to immaculate as you would expect and can get . It simply glides along without too much effort and soaks up any lumps and bumps thrown at it as any quality steel frame does .


Tony Butterworth

In one respect I would love to see this bike sold and being used on a more regular basis but for the time being I am looking forward to clocking up some miles on it over the next few weeks . When you think of what else you get for sub £300 this represents good value for money in my mind .

Year to date update

Well it’s June 2016 already and we are fast approaching the half way point in the year , so I thought I would add up all my monthly miles so far and see how I am doing against my yearly target of 4000 miles .

At the end of May 2016 I have recorded a total of 1717 miles which gives me a monthly average of 343 miles with an all time high of 551 recorded in the month of May 2016 . All these miles have been done on steel framed bikes without a touch of alloy or carbon in sight , some have been done on a single speed bike whilst others have been done on a bike equipped with a 4 speed sturmey archer rear hub and the remainder have been done on various multi speed bikes .


Raleigh Roadster

Most of these miles have been completed on early morning rides either on a Saturday or Sunday whilst the vast majority of people are still tucked up in bed asleep . On average about 35 miles per week are covered going back and forwards to work via the local cycle paths . Most of my leisure rides are around the 30 mile length as I try not be out for more than 2 hours at a time so as not to eat in to family time .


Harry Quinn

 I am trying to build up to a 50 mile sunrise or sunset ride which is obviously going to take longer than my normal 2 hour riding time , I have almost finalised my route for this ride, I just have a couple of small changes and trials to do first . Once this route is finalised I will do a test ride to make sure it’s enjoyable and has the right feel to it .


From memory the following bikes have been used to cover these miles , mid 90’s Marin Bear Valley , 1950’S Raleigh Roadster , 1984 Wester Ross , 90’s Ian May , 60’s Harry Quinn , 90’s Dawes Galaxy Tour and a Lee Cooper that is only a couple of years old . So as you can see a real mixture of bikes but all steel framed . In the nest week or two a 80’s Peugoet 531 Super Competition will start doing some test miles along with a tidy Tony Butterworth road bike as I try to ensure all of my bikes get used rather than just being garage queens.


During some of these rides the following Gearbest products have been used