Sunday, July 3, 2016

L H Brookes Dolomite Super Tourer

Here we have a extremely rare fillet brazed
1950 L H Brookes Cycles Dolomite Super Tourer.
The machine seems at first glance, well underwhelming,
really rather staid, however dig just a little deeper and
you will be very well rewarded.
As you will see, there is a lot more going on tha
first meets the eye.
Unfortunately there is no real information
that I can find on this builder, just this...
Lesley Harrop Brookes was the owner of two shops in 
greater Manchester area...that is it.
I will contact the Veteran Cycle Club and see if
I can't glean some info from the members.
BTW,  if you are you are passionate about classic or 
vintage bikes should consider joining, it is a
fantastic club, and their magazine is a great read.
So let me unpack this really interesting machine for you.
The name is the first clue, Super Tourer, this explains the 
long racked front forks, full guards and lamp bracket.
Looking at the cockpit, you will notice the Reynolds twin bolt
stem with alloy bars, I haven't found a makers mark yet,
but I suspect they are Stratlite or GB.
 You might then notice the Hiduminium GB brake calipers.
Further down the front end, Chater Lea Lamp bracket
and lamp boss.

Beautiful Chater Lea high flange hub laced to a rare 26"
Alumlite rims.
 Then if you move on to the drive train, more treats await.
Chater Lea double fluted cranks with Chater Lea ring, 
running on a Bayliss Wiley No.15 hollow axle.
 Then comes one of the really very special components,
well for me anyway, Hobbs alloy pedals.
This is the first pair I have come across, and I can
see now, why they are so sought after.
I haven't actually weighed them yet, but they feel
like the lightest pedals I have dealt with.

Nice alloy saddle bag support.
Bluemel guards of course.

Then at the heart of the bike, a real surprise, a 1950
Sturmey Archer FC Close ratio four speed hub.
This FC hub was marketed at the 'massed start set' 
a set which this bike is most defiantly not part of.
Why a FM medium ratio hasn't been used I don't know.
It would have made a lot more sense I would have thought, 
for a fast day touring bike like this.
I guess the original owner wanted a really fast tourer!

So there you have it, really quite an extraordinary
British lightweight, not like any other that has come through my 
doors anyway. 
This Dolomite was obviously built with no expense spared.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Superbe E G Bates

Here we have a beautifully preserved late 
1970's E G Bates, which was built for mainly
TT work, but would also double for general
road work.
EG Bates was a shop run by Eddie Bates, brother of
Horace T Bates, famous for the classic cantiflex frame,
Eddie was a partner with his brother in the original Bates 
until 1947, when he decided to split from Bates 
and start E G Bates.
Eddie soon built a reputation for well built machines, 
that were always to a very high standard. 
After thoroughly stripping and reassembling this 
machine I can attest to it's high build quality.
More history here at Classic Lightweights.
One of the things that I really like about this bike, 
is it's nice mix of well thought out components.
Campagnolo Head set, Bottom Bracket, Seat pin 
and Hubs, Brooks Professional saddle.
First generation (1977) Suntour Superbe derailleurs, 
shifters and brakes set and
Sugino Super Mighty Chainset. 
 Sun Tour RD 2100 R/D
Sun Tour FD 1500 F/D
Sun Tour 4700 brake levers and calipers bear 
striking similarities to Campagnolo brakes of 
the period.
Super Mighty crank set, with steel dust covers.
Sun Tour Superbe decals, proudly displayed beneath 
the Reynolds DB 531 decals (of course).
One of my favorite seat clusters, for me so British.

A very well preserved piece of  boutique English 
frame building, with a classic period group set 
still fully intact, right down to
the cloth bar tape and brakes hoods.
It doesn't get much better.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Holdsworth Professional Sprint

Here is a very original 1970-72(?)
Holdsworth Professional Sprint.
For some reason these Pro Sprint track bikes seem
to be pretty rare, which is strange, as there are quite
a few Pro road bikes lurking about.

 Name says it all, the best of British.

With original team jersey, also quite hard to find.


For unknown reasons Holdsworth put their decals
on after paint, so they rarely survive intact.

If you have followed this blog at all, you will know I am a real
fan of British race bikes... if you look closely at this machine 
you can see why.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

1968 Dulux Six Day race jersey.

After much searching I have just
acquired this quite rare 1968 Dulux
Six day Cycle race jersey, 
made by New Zealand's
main cycling clothing manufacturer
at the time Vel-Sport.

This was the first year that the race, in it's eighth
year, had it's own jeresy, and the only year that
had the year on the jeresy.
Programme for 1968.
Derek Brown 1968 yellow jersey.

Derek Brown in action.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Raleigh RRA finished..nearly

Well after a couple of months of
slowly disassembling and reassembling
the RRA,( see in original state here),
 I have finally got it ready for the
first road test, complete with new Ultra Close
ratio Sturmey Archer AC hub with 
Dunlop Special Lightweight wheels.
I was really looking forward to this maiden voyage.
The initial ride up the road was a real pleasure, the AC
hubs ultra close ratios felt exactly right to me, far better
than the FM, AM hubs I am used to.
The first big ride didn't go quite so well, the indicator rod 
broke leaving me facing a stiff head wind in the 
toughest gear..ouch 
Still it didn't take away my enthusiasm for this classic ride.
Riding the RRA, you can really feel the solid British history
swirling around you, sort of like a bike version of the
 Bentley Continental R-Type maybe.
The best of traditional post war English engineering
 Fast, but not extremely so ( although I wouldn't say that to Ray Booty)
well thought out, stylish and comfy.
I chose the Oppy bend bars, imagining who would be buying a
RRA in 1950. I thought it could well be an older club man, 
with a little more to spend than your average rider.
Knowing that Hurbert Opperman was very popular in the UK
especially after his stay there in the 1930's, he could well 
have had his favorite old bars fitted to his new RRA.

I love the shape and feel of these bars, with the GB stem
just right. I was going to fit a twin bolt Reynolds stem, but
just couldn't live with a short stem.
GB Hiduminium brakes work very well.
Strata cages with Cyclo straps, combined with the
RRA specific pedals, make a great package.
Airlite front hub with Raleigh wing nuts laced
to Dunlop Special Lightweight rims.
Hollow axle, actually the RRA is surprising light...
no really.
Bluemels Feather light pump.
 Original Raleigh bag
Ray Booty on a special RRA built for him by Raleigh.