1950’s Dayton

Picked this bike and training device up a couple of months ago , I thought anything that has a Charter Lea crank can’t be all that bad

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 Well when I first saw it in the flesh I was a bit disappointed as I hadn’t noticed the awful Hammerited paintfinish that exdended to the wheel spokes as well !!

 

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Dayton

 I made it rideable and did a 3 mile test ride on it and it rode quite nicely in all fairness , so I took the decision to get the frame stripped and re finished once I could find a local company that could do it for me .

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Well I picked it up yesterday from the bead blasters who look to have done a great job of removing all the various coats of paint that this Dayton Roadmaster has had applied over its Amalgam tubes .

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Next journey is to drop it off at local coating firm and see what colour they are offering to do it in for me .

 

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A hard days Knight

one i picked up late in 2017 along with a couple of other bikes , this one looked a bit different   from norm so i decided to keep it .

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Six months later it has evolved into one of the smoothest riding bikes i have at the moment .

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Its a fillet brazed frame made with Reynolds 531 tubing and draws admiring glances where ever i park it .

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Knights of Wolverhampton

 

It came to me with 27″ x 1″ wheels and perished tyres so these have been replaced with a set of 700c wheels and tyres .

The big black un

Another one of my latest arrivals is the big black R.E.W. Reynolds at 24 1/2″ frame size i can just about straddle the top tube and ride it

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R.e.w Reynolds at At Andrew’s In

I decided to use this all original machine for a 38 mile round journey to the market town of Kimbolton a couple of weeks ago .

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R.E.W. Reynolds entering Kimbolton

This bike was offered to me about 12 months ago but for whatever reason it only came in to my possession about 6 weeks ago . It’s had one previous owner who must have really looked after this bike seeing the condition it is in all these years later .

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The only changes from the original specification are the following items , new tyres , tubes , bar tape , gear cables , saddle and the fitment of a Cinelli bottle cage .

2018 update

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1955 Rotrax outside Hannington Hall

It’s been a while since I have posted anything for various reasons .

But the good news I am still buying, selling , tinkering and riding retro bikes .

So i thought i would share some pictures of one of my latest bikes , it’s a 1955 Rotrax bike that was previously owned by a lady rider from the Southampton / Portsmouth area and used this bike for time trialing etc etc . I was told that at some point it was refinished by Rotrax and then rebuilt but sadly it hadn’t been used since this refinish .

I have always wanted a Rotrax for ages mainly due to the stories that my mother always tells about her pink Rotrax that she use to ride on all those years ago .

Its got some slight later bits on but the calipers and hubs are all from the correct period other parts are more later additions .

 

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The Dunelt Returns

Way back in July 2012 I answered an advert in the local free paper where somebody was offering  a gents 10 speed tourer  . I made arrangements to go and have a look later that same night expecting to find a fairly modern low grade machine .

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To my surprise I was greeted by what I was told was a 1950’s Dunelt  531 framed gents racer that the seller had bought new with  his own wages , and had hand painted it a couple of times since so any chance of verifying its originality was lost and all I had to go on was what the elderly gentleman was telling me .

 

 

I also came away with a selection of older style cycle maintenance tools that included a cast iron wheel jig . Once home it was obvious to see this was more like “ triggers” broom as almost every original part had been replaced so it had led a fairly hard life and apart from frame and forks the only other original parts were the Reynolds 531 lugged quill stem and a set of matching handlebars .

 

 

We were off on a family holiday not long after buying this bike so I elected to take this with me to accompany my daughter on some promenade rides at Burnham on Sea . Once back from holiday I carried on using the machine for commuting and general rides , I can’t remember how many rides or miles I covered on it . But around the same time I picked up a 70’s Falcon road bike that was made with tru well tubing but its original paintwork had seen better days along with many of its components so I decided that between the two bikes I could make one good bike and have a frame set left over that could be sold . So I made a decision to have both framesets bead blasted and powder coated in a nice bright colour .

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Dunelt

 

Once the pair were collected I decided to build the Falcon up and sell it on once I had covered some test miles on it and I would put the Dunelt frame up for sale and it duly sold as did the Falcon bike .

 

As the years have passed I have seen the Dunelt frame for sale on e bay by its original buyer and  it had never been built up , so each time I put it in my watching pile but never actually placed a bid on it until a few weeks ago when it popped up for sale again at a fairly low starting price so I placed my bid and waited as the days then hours ticked by , and was surprised that nobody else had bid on it .

 

 

So when it arrived back with me , I pressed on with readying it for build by cleaning up the inside of the seat tube and fork stearer threads and then gradually started to bolt parts to it , most of these parts were removed from a  Kalkhoff touring bike I had been gifted a few weeks before .

Dunelt part built

 

Once I finished fitting the parts I pressed on with making it road ready as quick as time would allow as I had earmarked this bike to be my main winter bike if it rode as well as I remembered it doing in 2012 . The first few outings were my daily commutes to and from work where I could make a note of what came to light as I rode along and then make the adjustments or changes once back home . After a few days of these short rides I decided a longer ride was required to check the comfort level and a couple of early morning 12 mile loops were completed without any issues .

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Last weekend was the Dunelt’s first chance of doing a longer ride as I was fairly happy with the comfort and performance of the bike , so off I set on a route I had wanted to do for quite a while but had never got round to . The bike went well and answered all my questions , only issue was when the rear gear cable slipped and dumped me in 6th gear this was quickly sorted and the ride was completed with no further issues .

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Dunelt

So 5 + years later I have a very bright and nice to ride 50’s Road bike which I tend to ride as much as I can this year

Perks of a nice bike

i have wanted to try a good old fashioned steel framed road bike fitted with more modern equipment than I am used to for a while, I have even thought about updating my Ian May with a set of sti’s and modern calipers and a few more gears to play with .

 

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Ian May

 

As soon as I saw this John Perks road bike advertised I thought that it hit all the buttons I was looking for , i.e. steel framed , modernish componentry , nice looking  and it was a great colour with the bonus of some good condition chromed features . The only downside was the fact that it was over an hour and half away from home .

 

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Perks

After a bit of thinking and contacting the owner with a couple of simple questions about the bike  , I decided I would make the effort to go and have a look .

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Perks

 

Once the bike was wheeled out of the garage and into the daylight , it became apparent  that the bike had not been used for a couple of years at least with the amount of dust and cobwebs hanging from the wheel spokes . A good look confirmed that a good wipe around with a baby wipe the dust and cobwebs would be gone and a bit of chrome cleaner would get the chromed rear stay and fork crown nice and shiny along with the chromed front and rear drop outs .

 

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Perks

 Once the saddle was lifted up to suit me I jumped on and coasted down the sellers driveway and went for a couple of laps of the cul de sac as I still believe a lot can be learnt from a short road test . A few flicks of the campagnolo sti units had both mechanisms moving the chain on to any of the 27 available gears which was nice to see and the a quick pull on the brake lever blades provided a degree of stopping power as well . A price was quickly agreed with the said bike loaded into the car and the return journey was made trouble free.

 

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Perks

 The next morning I checked the basics i.e. tyre pressures , saddle height , handlebar position , cable runs and brake operation then went for a trundle around the block a few times before returning home and getting the wet wipes out to start removing the dust and cobwebs . Once the layers of dust were removed the paintwork had a lot more sparkle to it as did the other components. I also took this opportunity to have a good look around it and take in some of the details that I hadn’t fully noticed when viewing the bike .

 

 

It’s framework is Reynolds 531 competition tubing and was made by John Perks approx. 15 years ago to the original owners specification and was to be his winter bike hence why it’s got guards fitted front and rear. It was also equipped with a  3 x 9 campagnolo gear set up with matching brake calipers and wheel hubs that were laced on a pair of nice Mavic sup rims . The paintwork is very tidy indeed with just a few little blemishes that look to have been touched up rather than left to the elements .Overall the bike seems to have been well looked after over the years , I just wish they could talk and tell stories about what they have done in the past .

 

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Perks

 

After a couple of days of gentle commuting I decided it was time for a few more miles so I did a couple of pre work 15 mile rides to make an assessment re fit and comfort level.  It soon became apparent that I needed to either swap the stem or move the saddle forward a small amount which seemed the easier option as I was due to fit one of my regular selle smp saddles to it before going further afield . Once the saddle was fitted and adjusted on the rails to give a nice line of sight through the front axle it was time for longer rides .

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Perks

So far I have covered over 200 miles on this great bike and have really enjoyed using it , and so far it has not let me down . It’s surprisingly agile at times and offers a very relaxed ride under normal conditions but I must admit to achieving 24 mph on the flat at one point whilst I was out on it Sunday and it all seemed to be very controlled and easily done

Legnano Arrival

Another recent arrival is the Legnano road bike that turned up with the Shorter a few weeks ago

 

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Shorter

 

 

 

For those that don’t know it’s an Italian brand that were sold  or Licensed to Bianchi in the late 80’s, they began producing bikes in 1902 so they are a company steeped in history for sure . So far I have been unable to confirm when it was built or what model it is , the closest I have come to is late 70’s early 80’s for a production date due to Campagnolo Portacatena style rear dropouts . The tubing Is Falck and seems quite light and provides a very nice comfortable ride.

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Legnano rr dropout

 

How much of the componentry is original or not is hard to say what with a mix of Shimano 600 arabasque mechanisms controlled by one suntour power shifter and a campagnolo one , both actually work well and give a nice positive gear selection operation . The superb looking triple arm campagnolo strada crankset has to be one of the prettiest on the market in my opinion . The brake set is a nothing special set of wienmann side pull calipers with matching levers , once the pads were replaced the braking feel and response improved a lot .

 

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Legnano crank

 

The 3ttt bars and stem are very clean and could almost both be passed off as new items , the black leather like bar tape needed re fitting on the one side due to it having slipped over the years . The tyres the bike came with were well past their best and have been replaced with a set of Mavic Yksion tyres which I am well impressed with It’s the first time I have used Mavic tyres, my normal choice would have been Vittorio Rubino’s . The wheels are made up with early shimano 600 hubs laced on to Mavic red label clincher rims .

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Legnano

 

One of the few jobs I have done to this bike is to strip and clean the Campagnolo headset and rebuild it with some new fresh grease as it had a rather dead spot on it , this has cured the dead spot and once it was adjusted up after a few miles it now provides a nice feel when moving the bars whilst changing direction . The seat post was raised up to its maximum setting to give me the required height I needed and the fitment of my Selle smp 209 lite saddle finalized the set up of this bike once the Atom 400 pedals were replaced with some more modern Shimano clip in units .

 

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Legnano top headset cup

 

 

The 100 miles I have covered so far have been made up with a 43 and a 24 mile ride with the rest being a mixture of daily commutes and or early morning 12 miles loops and I can honestly say it has proved to be one of the nicest bikes I have ridden for a long time and even gives my red Ian May a good run for its money  being my favourite bike to ride . Ok the paintwork has a degree of age related patina but I think it all adds up to a very nice bike indeed .

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Ian May

 

What happens next to this bike I hear you ask , well the answer is that for the moment it’s firmly in the keeping section of the garage and I have been using the dimensions from this to both the Shorter and the Holdsworth to achieve a comfy riding position .

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Holdsworth Professional sl