Tuesday, February 6, 2018

When Art Meets Industry...1960's Clem Eagle.

Here is an 1960's Australian made Clem Eagle
that I lost for a while, but through a series of
strange events, have found again.
As you can see this fully hand painted, sign written
and pin striped frame set is a real stunner.
It appears to be the frameset of the original owner 
of Clem eagle Cycles C.'Dick. Eagle.
The frame is made with Nervex Professional lugs, 
and judging by it's weight, I would assume Reynolds 531 DB.
I haven't been able to find out to much on this maker/shop.
here is a short shop history I found on Australian Cycling forums.
Clem Eagle bikes were produced by Arthur Richard (known as Dick) Eagles. Dick grew up with his family at 36 James Street, Lidcombe. There's a nice little snippet here recounting his fall from a bike in a race in 1935. The earliest reference I can find to Clem Eagle bikes is 1940, when Dick was 22, the same year he married. By 1943 he had a bike shop at 305 Chapel Road Bankstown and lived upstairs with his wife Isabel. He remarried in 1949 and was living with his family at 36 James Street from then until at least 1954.

By 1950 he was in partnership with O.S. Stewart at 301 Chapel Road, Bankstown (don't know whether this might be a renumbering of 305). By 1963 he had sole charge of the Bankstown shop and had expanded to 180 Liverpool Road, Enfield. I believe that both Bankstown and Liverpool shops had closed by 1970. Not much I'm afraid, but information is a little thin on the ground.

So here you have it, that strange quirk in Australian culture, that allowed some
of the finest, delicate and most beautiful pin striping and painting in the world
of vintage cycling to exist alongside one of the most macho sports, in one of the
more macho countries in the West...love it.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Liberati Professional Restoration finished

Eighteen months after starting this full 
restoration project...
The Liberati as found, more here.

...I am finally ready to take the Liberati
on it's maiden voyage.
 During this project I had to acknowledge to myself
that I really have become the rivet counter that I 
once used to scoff at..as you about to plainly see

First I had to have new cable guides brazed
onto the top tube.
Jeff Anderson of Jefferson Bikes kindly 
provided this service and also found me some period guides,
which I am really grateful for, as period authenticity
was the main driver on this project.
Jeff doing the business on the cable guides.
Then the frame set was sent to Kustom Chrome
in Gisborne for a LOT of work.  
While the frame was away, I slowly stripped and
rebuild the components.
I decided to also modify several of the original
components with period O.M.A.S. and Cobra 
special after market lightening parts. 
Above you can see the OMAS pin/clamps and bolts for
lightening the Campagnolo seat pin.
The original parts 152 grams
OMAS parts 84 grams 
Full OMAS seat pin kit installed ready for saddle.
 Cobra alloy bottom bracket bolts.
Original 28 grams
Cobra 10 grams.
I replaced the original Universal 68 brake calipers with
this set of Campagnolo calipers which have the full
OMAS lighting set, which consists of titanium centre 
bolt, alloy retaining bolts and washers.
I also fitted a set of very cool Scott Mathauser
Super brake finned brake shoes.
Apparently these brake shoes cost as much as
a whole set of middle range road bike calipers
would have set you back at the time. 
Original Campagnolo brake calipers 180 grams
OMAS/Scott Mathauser 164 grams.

Putting it all together

 The frame duly arrived from Kustom Chrome, and
as usual they had done a beautiful job.
I had contacted Liberati in Rome to see if they had
any original decals left, they did not, but they were very
interested in seeing the bike when I had finished.
 The original Liberati ship Rome 1950's.

 After painting the bike, I left it to sit for a month, 
as I find the two pack base coat clear coat system
benefits from a little hardening time.
Then it was time for the assembly....

...which resulted in this.

I had also tracked down a couple of original Cicli Liberai
jerseys over the last 18 months.
Some nice pantographing and quality work from 
Kustom Chrome, NOS set of Campagnolo shifters.
 The very pretty seat cluster that originally made me take
on this project.
Campagnolo brake with OMAS and Mathauser
 No over heating brakes here.
San Marco saddle with alloy rails, 314 grams.
 I thought the Steel Campagnolo head set set looked just right
 with the chrome lugs, so no light alloy head set used.
Regina America Superleggera hollw pin chain 

 Beutiful Galli chainset with Campagnolo 52/42
pantographed chain rings.
 Serious Italian 1970's bike bling.
You gotta love it.
 Super Record running on NOS Everest Nova
14-26 freewheel.
Campagnolo         derailleur doesn't really seem to appreciate the
26 tooth cog...but I do.

32 hole Nisi Countach Mercurio d'Oro 1977 rims with
some serious sticker action
laced to l/f Campagnolo hubs (of course). 
Nice bottom bracket treatment.
OMAS Titanium B/B set.
 3ttt bar tape, I have been sitting on this packet for quite
a while, waiting for the right bike.
Finished weight 9.4 kgs ready to ride...not bad.

So there you have it, a 1970's Italian Super bike rescued
from a dank and dark basement, in the first stages of
becoming an unsavable wreck, now once again ready to bring
pleasure (and pain) to some willing legs.

 Primo Liberati provided these jerseys to sponsored
amateurs. Primo's son Fabrizio still runs Cicli Liberati
in Rome.

 Primo Liberati

Cicli Liberati today.
A beautiful jersey to go with a beautiful bike.

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.