Saturday, July 15, 2017

Tommy Simpson Carlton Track Bike Tribute

Here is my tribute to the great Tom Simpson.
If you don't know about, or not much about
Simpson go here to read and see all about him.
I came up with the idea to make this tribute
track bike when I saw a photo of Simpson
holding a all chrome Carlton track bike.
After doing a little more research, I found
out that he rode Carlton track bike's right
through his later amateur years and even
into his early professional years, at least
he did when he was riding track back in the UK
 It so happened that I had been after a Carlton
track bike for quite a while, a well used one that
had a awful bright yellow paint job on it.
When I finally got it back to the workshop 
after negotiating it's purchase, I started to
gently scrape the paint back, and was surprised
and very please to find chrome under the paint.
I assumed that the chrome would be buggered,
but was again surprised to find it was in really
good condition, so I was off to a good start.
 After much buffing and polishing, I painted the
red,white and blue strips on the head tube and down tube.
I also picked out the drilled out rear Campagnolo
drop outs in the same colour combination..
quite a sexy touch I thought.
Tommy Simpson was a real star in Europe, but it was back 
in the UK where I think he made his biggest impact,
he really helped change the perception and aspirations
of the local racers growing up reading, watching 
and following his career abroad.
Kelly, Wiggins, Froome etc probably all owe Simpson
 at least a small debt of gratitude, I know Brian Robinson
and Shay Elliot were there first, but somehow it 
was Simpson who captured the imagination. 
 Not quite finished, but you get the idea.
A very serious looking track machine.

Beautiful workmanship is on display everywhere
you cast your gaze on this frame. 
 I had a lot of fun restoring this frame set and building
it up as a tribute to Mr Simpson.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Vern Hanaray portait

Here is a portrait of the great local rider
Vern Hanaray, as some of you may know
I have his 753 Team Raleigh which I did
a post on here.
I did this portrait for the Hastings Council
as a part of a series of art work they have
commissioned me to do, some of it can be 
found here if you might be interested.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Harry watson portrait

Here is the second portrait for my upcoming museum/display
This is the great Harry Watson in his Ravat-Dunlop team jersey
during the 1928 Tour de France.
I have Watsons last Jones Special team bike which I will 
have on display, and will also do a post on 
this blog shortly.


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Phil O'Shea and Speedy museum exibit.

I have been working (slowly)on a little 
museum/display in the mezzanine floor over my workshop.
  Well maybe a homage to New Zealand cycle racers
and frame builders might be a better description.
I have curated exhibits of my collection in
several museums over the last 10 years, but just
could not continue that commitment in time and money.
So hence the permanent display, which I hope many of 
the riders I have meet and interviewed over the past
decade may come and visit.
 I intend to do several portraits of iconic New Zealand
wheel men to add a little interest to the displays.

Here is my first portrait for the display, it is of  
Phil O'Shea circa 1913.
Read all about Phil O'Shea in The Kennett Bros
book 'Wizard on Wheels' , it's a great read.
I have also been working on a pre war Speedy Cycle
road bike for the exhibit, similar to the machines that O'Shea
used when he was a Speedy team rider.
Here is the Speedy almost as I purchased it.
I was tempted to leave it as is, but it was obviously
not in original condition, so I have stripped it (thanks Neil)
and am restoring it to as close to period as possible. 
 Frame ready for a bit of attention.

Very plain head lugs, many Speedy's have a front window
cut into both head lugs.

 Accles & Pollock logo on fork head tube.

The next portrait will be of Harry Watson, 
New Zealand's first Tour De France Rider (1928).
Harry Watson, on right, in Hubert Oppermans 1928
Ravat-Dunlop Tour De France team.   

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Raleigh Panasonic and Protar model Challenge

 OK, here is my new years challenge...
I am going to restore a 1987 Raleigh Panasonic,
and at the same time build a 1:9 scale kit of the 
same bike made by Protar, sounds simple, but 
believe me, it is on.
First up, here is the Raleigh to be restored, tatty but very
original, one of the last nice production race bike's to be made
by Raleigh UK in Nottingham.
Here is what the frame should look like when finished.
And here is the box of the Protar model, the first thing you will
notice of course, is that the bike on the box art is not a 
Team Panasonic, but is infact, a low end Raleigh racer bike
of some sort, it looks like it has steel rims even.
Makes me a little nervous to open the box...
laying on top are the decals and instructions, the decals actually
look pretty good, maybe even very good, I start to feel a little 
better. I notice that the instructions have crosses through a 
number of parts, this is because Protar made several racing 
bicycle models from a 1940's Legnano, 1950's Bianchi up to 
this 1980's Panasonic kit
 All kits use the same sprues, so you only use the parts that 
are for your particular bike.
Anyway...let's look deeper...
The frame, made of metal. 
Nicely cast, and feels substantial.
As you can see, I will have to modify the seat stays, the shot
in stays of the Panasonic are one it's endearing features.
Will have to work on the lugs a  little as well.
The forks, again will need to be modified, the Panasonic's
sloping fork crown is another feature of the bike.

The stem will also need a bit of work, it looks like 
a 1960's TTT, and as we all know any self respecting Team
replica would have to have a Cinelli.
 The bars aren't really right either, but I think I 
will use them as is...can't get to carried away!
not sure I can live with those levers though...

This is the dream finish...stay tuned.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

7.9 Kg Roy Thame Campionissimo TT

The Roy Thame Campionissimo TT is finally finished.
As I explained here, I have been collecting period aftermarket 
O.M.A.S. and Cobra performance and lightening parts for this 
super light TT project bike for several years.

 I didn't actually have the right bike frame to attach the parts to
when I started the project, but when a 1979 Roy Thame TT 
frame set came along, 
I knew it was the one I had been looking for.
Thame as Holdsworth Team manager 1974

Roy Thame is mostly remembered today for being the driving
force behind the iconic British Holdsworth Professional team 
from it's inception in 1962  in sponsoring Bob Addy 
through to it's disbandment in 1978.
However Roy was also I very good TT man himself during
the 1950's and was Hemel Hempstead Cycling Club 
champion in 1952.
In 1976 the Holdsworth shops at Putney, Penge and Welling
started selling frames bearing the Roy Thame name.
Apparently many of the custom made frames where 
built by master frame builder Reg Collard at the Putney shop.

I brought my Roy Thame from it's original owner,
(unfortunately I have lost his name), he ordered the frame from
Roy at the Putney shop in 1979, it is a Campionissimo model
made in Reynolds DB 531 specifically for TT work.
I am extremely pleased with the build, sometimes you get it just
right, and I think this is one of those times.
The Blue is pretty similar to the original colour.
I couldn't find any decals that I thought where right, 
so I made my own set, which I am also very happy with.
The lugs where hand cut, filed and drilled to the club pattern
by Holdsworth employee Bob Donington, himself a top
25 mile time trailer.
Bob Donington in action on a Holdsworth.
Classic 1960's English TT style
This build really is about the sum of the parts 
being brought together to make something unique.
Cinelli bars and stem both have full O.M.A.S.
alloy kits.
CLB professional brakes, my only deviation from modified
components on this build, I did have a full OMAS lightening kit
for Campagnolo brake calipers, but the CLB are so pretty...
...although I have used alloy retaining bolts.
CLB  professional drawing by Rebour, above OMAS brake kit I didn't use.
  Huret (CLB) Sulky levers, a bit lighter than the original
CLB Pro levers, helped along with a bit of extra work 
on the factory drillings
OMAS 28 hole hubs with titanium axles and alloy ends.,
laced to Mavic Monthlery Legere rims.

 Decals I made for the build, came out quite nice I thought.
Swiss Assos saddle, actually made by Soffatti in Spain.
(but don't tell anyone) still my favorite saddle after
the Brooks Professional.
Campagnolo Pista crank set, Super Record pedals
Fides extra light toe clips.
Cobra alloy chain wheel bolts, Cobra alloy B/B nuts.
OMAS Alloy/Titanium B/B
Regin Extra SL Superleggera hollow pin chain.
Campagnolo Nuvo Record modified with full OMAS kit.
Regina Alloy freewheel.
Campagnolo chromed dropouts, drilled. 
 All up 7.9 Kg ready to ride, I was hoping to get under 8kg's
so am very pleased.
 Could I get under 7kg's?, I think I can, I have decided to slowly
keep on working on this bike to see if it is possible for me to
trim weight where ever I can over time, and achieve the
impossible dream, not quite in the Martin Luther King
league of dreams for the future...
...but a dream none the less
What it is all about for me, recreating as close as
I can those amazing TT bikes from what I consider the last 
classic period of English hand built lightweights.