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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:17 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:16 pm
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Location: Manchester
Apologies if this is the wrong place to post a question of this nature - if so, please advise where I should!

I have recently aquired an old Sun Worksop road bike, the model is 'Snipe Plus'. I actually swapped it for another bike in a junk shop, and the chap working there mentioned it may be worth a little bit as they don't make them any more. From the little information I have managed to find online, it appears to be from the 60's, and as far as I can tell, has not had anything on it changed whatsoever. I was hoping someone may be able to possibly give me a little more information on it, as I was intending to fix it up a little, and upgrade some of the older parts, but didn't want to change anything until I had ascertained whether it may be worth something, monetarily or otherwise, in it's present, seemingly untouched, 'vintage' condition!

Apologies if I am wasting everyone's time with my ignorance, but as a collector of vintage drums, I know how painful it is to see someone butchering a priceless item as a result of said ignorance to what they have!

Thank you!


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:54 pm 
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Location: Kent / SE London
Funnily enough I've just got a Sun (Worksop) Sniper Plus off this forum, paid the princely sum of £30! It seems to have all the correct period parts too, Weinmann centre pull brakes with the Sun branded hoods, Huret derailleur and shifter etc. Paints a bit rough mind, but the original transfers are still there.

Aparently if it's a Worksop one it's post '63 I think.. Sun was the poorer brother to Carlton & Raleigh I believe an owned by Raleigh at that time

The Sniper plus was 1 up from the most basic model, so nothing fancy

General concensus seems to be fit what parts you fancy and enjoy! Although the centre pull brakes should work really rather well IMO. An if you can get all the original bits working, thats what I'd do (am doing!)

You've got no worries about spoiling a priceless relic ;)


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 7:20 pm 
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Hi, The Sun Snipe was about in the early part of the sixties, and was indeed the lesser cousin of the Carltons made at Worksop, but many used the same frames. The snipe was low in the range in 1963, but it did jump about in the pecking order in its time. First thing is piccies and a serial number, that will help, check the rear dropout or under the bottom bracket for the serial number. Terry


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 9:34 am 
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Did Sun (when at Worksop) use the same dating system on the serial numbers as Carlton?


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 11:03 am 
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Hi, its all a bit of a mess as there was two systems used for the Raleigh Sun's in the sixties ( early sixties and changed mid decade ) but also I believe you can still get the later Carlton numbering ( the vague numbering one in the late sixties, and then the Raleigh numbering in the seventies and eighties ) on some Sun's. So if you provide a number first thing to do is to decide which one to use. Terry


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:51 am 
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Sun was originally a brand produced by the Parkes company of Birmingham and by the 60's was owned by Raleigh who produced it in Worksop in the same facility as Carlton. They also maintained a racing team under the Sun brand which unless Sun had a loyal following and heritage wouldnt have made a lot of sense.

I came across the following link to a 1970's Sun Lightweight Catalogue and the Snipe Plus is listed. Google Search Bulgier and Sun-70 (sorry as I am new to posting it wont allow me post links, a sensible approach to prevent the forums becoming commercialized I assume.)


What is interesting is if you look carefully at where the seat stays join the body it is wrapped over the top of the frame in the same way as Carltons of the time were done so it would seem they were using Carlton frames for the Snipe Plus but all the other frames are done differently. Also the catalogue is titled Lightweight Bicycles "For the Enthusiast" so there is a bit of niche marketing going on there as well. Not a lot of sense in appealing to Enthuasiasts unless the product stands up.

They don't refer to any particular bike in their range as have a superior frame or tubing which may mean all frames were made from the same "lightweight" materials. At the time TI owned Raleigh and hence Sun and may have been using one of their own tubes rather than Reynolds tubing in the Sun range but that is purely a guess on my part.

I bought one of these bikes in the summer of 1970 as a "tall" 13 year old and it did me for the next five years. I paid 35 pounds for it which was probably equal to 600 to 700 in today's money so they weren't cheap and nasty machines by anyone's standards. I "permanently loaned" it to an uncle and never looked for it back. Mine was a lovely blue 5 speed with Simplex gears and except for an all chromed DAWES 15 speed bike was probably the nicest bike in the school shed.

I think you have got the makings of a nice bike there and while it doesn't have any huge monitory value would be worth while trying to restore. I know if I found one again I'd be delighted to restore it but I wouldn't worry about upgrading any of the gear set as long as you don't "butcher" the bike.

Good luck and enjoy


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:47 pm 
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It's got a Huret Allvit rear derailleuir. It's got a 'tubular seatstay wrapover' (not the 'flat banded wrapover' I've seen elsewhere). On the left rear drop it's stamped "1365A". It's also stamped under the b/bracket "3484197". Could that be 1968 > 1973 if the system is the same as Carltons???

Piccie's are here> www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=159711

It's also got a supplied by "J.W. Gibbs & Son, Winsover Rd, Spalding" transfer. It's currently stripped down to a bottom bracketless frame & forks.


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 Post subject: Sun Snipe Plus
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:14 am 
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Thats a really nice example and should restore perfectly well. If you have it entirely stripped weigh it and see what the frame comes in at on its own. I would be pretty certain the bike is 1970 or later. The 1970 catalogue gives the Snipe Plus as being finished in a choice of Blue or Red with White panels and as having Simplex gears whereas the Snipe was in Green with black panels and came with Hueret gears. However the back seat stays on the Snipe were not wrap over and it came with short aluminum guards not full black ones.

The wrap over ones were available on the Snipe Plus and also the higher range models such as the Cresta and Mass Start models but the Team replica bike, the Chris Berber Ten, had the other frame type. The Sun Racing team was run by Chris Berber and was known as the Sun Hueret Tru-Wel. Tru Wel was TI's own alternative to the Reynolds 531 tubing which dominated the market for lightweight tubing at that time. It would be interesting to see what the frame weighs in at on its own. You just might have a much better bike than you first thought!

The one I had was blue with Simplex gears but had black panels. It came with the tan coloured side walled tires and definitely looked better with them.

Good luck and keep us posted


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:45 pm 
rider | rBoTM Winner
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The Sun professional team was at one time sponsored by Chris Barber, the jazz band maestro. One of the band was a cyclist and a roadie was Keith Mernickle the cyclo-cross star rider, this was the contact CB had with the sport and he was persuaded and willing to put some cash into it for a few years. He also sponsored a small team organised by Geoffrey Butler Cycles.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:11 pm 
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Angling scales (digital & Avon) hung from a door frame say: 22 1/2" Frame with headset cups 6lb. Fork with headset race 1lb 15oz.
Definitley says Snipe Plus, has 'tubular wrapover', has huret and is green with black panels. (The Bluemels mudguards cleaned up really well and are currently being tested ;) on my regular white and black bike).

The original paint is shot. So.. :oops: planning a change to a more "flamboyant colourway" Possibly "race bred yellow" and black, or baby/ice blue and white? (I've got a lovely bit of old pale blue ribbed outer brake cable and the Sun branded hoods are white). An see what H Lloyd have in stock that seems most appropriate. They havn't got enough thats model specific to make a replication of the original possible.

The original components will be stripped and cleaned. An maybe polished a little.. :D


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