My 5th R.E.W Reynolds

 

When I saw a local advert for a Reynolds bike two thoughts hit me straight away it’s either going to be a Reynolds tubed frame or more hopefully it’s a bike made by local frame builder R.E.W Reynolds or Ralphy as some people refer to him as .

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R.E.W Reynolds

Well, from the only picture included I could see it carried R.E.W Reynolds decals on the down tube so my interest was high and it looked a decent size and a very decent price so I contacted the seller and made arrangements to view the following evening as it was fast approaching 10 pm at night . Upon arrival at the sellers location I was greeted by a nice but slightly dirty looking bike,  upon closer inspection it all looked ok apart from a pair of aged Continental tyres that looked a bit past their use by condition in my mind. A quick road test confirmed that everything seemed ok and it all worked to a degree .

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R.E.W Reynolds

Once we agreed a price it was loaded into the back of our car for its journey home , where I quickly inflated the tyres and pulled some of the slack out of the brake cables so I could take it for a quick spin around the block . All went well and I checked on the size of tyres required as the seller had said they were 28” wheels but they looked like 27” to me so once the rim was cleaned I could see the size engraved on the convex Wienmann alloy rim and duly ordered a pair of Schwalbe HS159 Tyres and some new brake pads at the same .

Looking at the frame number which is either 4683 or 4688 and the Maillard hubs which are date stamped 85 I would say it’s a mid to late 80’s built machine that has been well looked after and at some point quite recently has had the crankset and rear block set replaced by units that would get you up the steepest of hills . The crank is a Shimano STX RC unit with 46,36 and I think 26 toothed rings whilst the rear Shimano “Megarange” cassette has a giant 34 tooth large rear cog right down to a 14 toothed one .

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R.E.W Reynolds

The rest of the bike looks like original parts apart from perhaps the Itm bars which look decidedly newer . Even the brake pads look like the original fitment ones, the front ones were a bit glazed over so these have been replaced along with both inner and outer brake cables which has made the braking a bit more efficient for sure . Once I was happy that the bike was safe to ride I swapped the saddle over for one of my Selle Smp lite 209 units and used it for a couple of days as my daily commuter clocking up just over 8 miles a day. No further faults came to light during these rides .

Once the new tyres arrived I swapped them over and also reduced the width of the rear axle by removing one of the spacers to make roadside wheel removal and refit easier . At the same time I finished cleaning the hubs and rims up and gave the paintwork a quick polish before also fitting some proper shiny metal top tube cable guides to replace the horrid black plastic ones .

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R.E.W Reynolds

The first proper ride I had with the bike was done earlier this week and only covered 12 and a quarter miles as it was a pre going to work ride . The ride was done with no fuss and bother and the bike coped with ease . Having only covered about 40 miles on this bike so far I am unsure whether it’s one that will be kept or sold on . As this blog is written I have lent it out to a friend of mine to try and see what he thinks about it and also for him to cover some more miles on it .

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R.E.W Reynolds

Loddington and Back

So what route am I going tonight?

This is the thought that goes through my mind most times when I go out on my bike , the first route direction choice is an easy one as left takes you into the housing estate whilst right takes you out to a t-junction, where left goes towards the town centre or other routes out of town whereas right takes you on the shortest distance out of Wellingborough .

So I must admit I turn right more times than I turn left just because it gets me on the open road in just over a mile whereas the other takes a minimum of 2 ½ miles before I hit the outskirts of Wellingborough . I don’t mind cycling in built up areas but I do prefer the open road more .

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Ian May

Last night’s ride was a solo ride on my Red Ian May and started just after 19.15pm, once I had got up by Hardwick Road cross roads I decided to turn left and head towards Sywell Aerodrome, once I passed here it was onto Holcot after a quick island crossing on the main A43 road I carried on and got on with the job in hand i.e. to have a nice enjoyable ride . It was on this stretch of road that I had my first sight of another cyclist going in the opposite direction, as I always do I acknowledged him and to my surprise no reply was given this is something that annoys me loads, it only requires the briefest lift of the hand if they are unable to speak .

Once through Holcot it was along the promenade at Pitsford reservoir with water on each side of the road and a quick glance left and right showed quite a few birds about making various noises , the water looked very calm and you could see a few little white fishing boats out on the left hand side . I was sorely tempted to try and get a nice picture showing a reflection on the reservoir but as I sped along there was not one I could see that made me stop and take a picture .

The slight climb after the car park entrance always makes me reach for a lower gear or two, tonight was no different as I plowed onwards heading for Scaldwell which is a very pretty village indeed. After Scaldwell it was time to head for Old as I neared the centre of the village I could see 2 bikes leant up against a bench where their riders were sat talking, a quick “evening” got 2 replies which was nice , I decided to turn down Mill Lane, a section of road that was new to me, the houses soon disappeared and I was left with views of open fields and it was along here that I took my first picture of the night .

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Along this road I had to slow for a lady on horseback who had another horse on a leading rein and then a bit further up a jogger and a couple of cars along with a tractor , so for a little lane it was quite busy . Once I reached the end I went for a left turn and then the next right turn taking me towards Loddington which is another nice looking village that I only ever ride down the same road. One day I must ride around the village and do some exploring . At the edge of Loddington with the light starting to fade it was time to turn on my main front lamp and head towards Cransley which means two short quick descents followed by slight slower climbs before I reach the edge of Cransley where I took another picture of the sky . In one of the front garden areas I have spotted a very sad looking Scimitar GTE body shell with what looks like a couple of Ford v6 engines sitting just In front of it .

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Next up is Broughton and I have noticed the last couple of times I have ridden through in the evening it has a rather lovely smelling chip shop, I have always resisted the urge to stop and sample them . Just after the village pub I turn left on to Wellingborough Road, after about a mile there is a cross roads that link Pytchley with the A34 and it was here where another sky picture was worth taking . Once I had done my David Bailey bit I started to move off, a fellow cyclist who was coming up from Pytchley enquired if I was ok and did I need any help which was very nice of him. I explained I was taking a picture and rode off, I soon noticed he was tucked in behind me and stayed there till I reached the summit coming into Orlingbury where he fell back  , a slow freewheel down past the village green towards the edge of the village and I soon realised that he was back on my rear wheel again as we headed off silently towards Little Harrowden, as I reached the small island just after the village pub he dropped off my back wheel a bit .

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I turned right here and headed towards Wellingborough and again within about 200 yards I stopped to take my final picture of the night with the sun fading behind the scenery in the distance , once back on the pedals I soon noticed another cyclist ahead who I soon “ scalped “ with a cheery “evening” he looked a bit surprised but returned the greeting . At the crossroads I took the left turn and headed home. Within a couple of miles I was home again after a total of 26 miles in just under 1 hour and 45 minutes .

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Bromwich Mixte

Mrs B is ready for test miles and rides .

Since acquiring the pair of Bromwich bikes which have spent their whole life together I have carried out the following work on the ladies mixte bike: cleaned and re greased the bottom bracket , headset and front wheel bearings , replaced all the brake and gear inner and outer cables and swapped the original 27 x 1 “1/4 tyres for a pr of more useable ones .

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Bromwich Mixte

So far a couple of short test rides around the cul de sac have been completed so will start doing a few longer loops around the local estate roads and if all goes ok will use it a few times on my daily commutes .

I have always thought that Ladies mixte style frames have a certain quaint look about them compared to the more common ladies loop frames that you see around .  And strangely enough I think they look better with flat or swept back bars rather than drop bars .

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Bromwich Mixte

This one has a very nice and simple set up ie only 5 speed , steel wheels with the rear hub being a flip flop item, crank but does have alloy bars , stem and seat pin . The paintwork has quite a bit of age related patina but nothing nasty at all, some of the decals have suffered over the years but they are there . The green is a nice bright shade and certainly stands out from the crowd of normal colours you see .

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Bromwich Mixte

There is a certain style to the twin bars that run between the headstock and seat tube and on to the rear drop outs , from the exit points on the headstock lug and the support lugs where they pass either side of the seat tube . I often wonder if this makes a mixte frame more stable compared to a conventional ladies frame , I understand the’re not as strong as a gents frame with a conventional cross bar .

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Bromwich Mixte

I am also surprised that you don’t see more of them being used by cyclist’s of either sex who suffer with getting there leg over a conventional cross bar down to either medical or age related issues . The main reason I don’t use them is that they are quite a bit shorter in reach than a man’s bike and when fitted with a longer stem to increase the reach they seem to lose some of their chic look to me , which is a shame .

My local bike shop mechanic always tells me that the mixte design enables a sack of potatoes to be rested on the two tubes !!! Not sure how true that actually is and can you imagine riding a bike with an extra 25kg rested on the frame that low down !!

Well the weekend is approaching fast and for a lot of people that means they will be out consuming lots of alcohol. To me it means I get to spend some quality time with my family and that I can hopefully get a few early morning bike miles in .

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Looking at the weather forecast for this weekend it looks dry and fairly still so hopefully I should be able to get a couple of 35+ mile rides in . At this moment of time I am intending to use my Sigma road bike by Chas Roberts for at least one of the rides on what ever route I take .

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Sigma by Roberts

This is a fairly new bike to me and is still undergoing evaluation as to whether it will be kept or sold.  So far, on the couple of short 12 mile rides that it has been used for all has gone well but I must admit the gearing on the bike does not lend it self to any hill climbing activities very easily . Luckily enough there are not that many steep or long hills on any of my usual routes .

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Sigma by Roberts

In a previous life this bike was used for either time trials or road racing from what I was told , hence the gearing . The rest of the bike is ideal and should not cause me any issues or problems . It’s a nicely made frame using Reynolds 531 competition tubing from around 1995 and is fitted with nice Shimano 105 groupset that all works as good as the day it was fitted. It does not look like it has had a hard life at all with just a few storage related marks on the paintwork . The seat cluster on this bike is one of the nicest ones I have seen and is a very good indication of a quality frame by somebody who takes pride in his workmanship .

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Sigma by Roberts

The only modifications I have made to the bike is the fitment of one of my Selle Smp lite 209 saddles along with garmin mounts for my camera and trip computer units, a set of lights and a pump assembly .

My 4th And Latest Ian May

My latest Ian May bike arrived about 6 – 7 weeks ago and once I had given it a mechanical overhaul I started using it , first of all for short journeys just to make sure all was ok after doing a lot of work . Once I was confident and had made any minor adjustments that were needed I started to use it on some 10 – 15 miles loops , after doing these a few times it became my main bike .

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Ian May 4th

I was attracted to it once I saw the initial advert by the seat cluster arrangement and the close clearance look of the frame. Once it arrived with me I could see that this certainly should be a nice quality machine as nobody goes to the effort of making a frame up with Campagnola front and rear drop outs never mind that seat cluster arrangement and the profile of the front forks which I hadn’t noticed at first .

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Ian May 4th

The frame number shows that it’s not an Ian May made frame according to the normal numbering system he looks to have used . My initial thoughts were of it being an early 1990’s frame but I soon realized it’s actually a bit older as it has standard nut type brake caliper mounting points and a 126mm rear dropout measurement .

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Ian May 4th

The paintwork is not great and has quite a lot of patina and slight rusting , but not enough to warrant a refinish in my mind . Once I started covering some miles on this bike it started to grow on me a lot . I could not state a single reason why but as an overall product it certainly has made an impression on me . The quality of the components used are nothing special but they all fit and provide a great bike to ride in my mind .

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Ian May 4th

I can only presume this was a frameset that was either bought in for a special customer order or perhaps an Ian May customer had it refinished along with some Ian May decals applied at the same time . It’s a great shame the bike’s history is not documented and passed from owner to owner .

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Ian May 4th

This forthcoming weekend should see this bike having all of my personal bits removed and put up for sale , which i might regret at some point in the future …. But you can’t keep them all can you .