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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:18 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:58 am
Posts: 7
The weight is interesting, 6 lbs is 2.725 kg including the headset cup, I assume the bottom bearing has been removed, which means the frame is sub 2.7 kg. probably 2.65. On a website called "london fixed gear and single speed" a post lists weights for Reynolds 531 frame components and this is what they list for the touring bike kit, which is what the Snipe Plus, really was


Reynolds 531 Special Tourist
A tube set designed specifically for
lightweight touring, the culmination of over fifty
years experience of working hand in hand with
specialist builders, both large and small. Features
include 'thin' oval touring fork blades, a main
frame triangle with improved weight charac-
teristics and a rear triangle with high performance
stays to take the strain of heavy pannier loads.
Set weight: 2300 grms (5.0lbs).

Ok that weight includes the front forks but I would think it doesn't include the lugs, drop outs, brake bracket, fork crown etc needed to make a complete set, frame and forks, so by comparison the weight of the Snipe for a Semi-mass produced bike of the period is not at all bad.

It's a pity that Sun bikes of the 60's and 70's have somehow been forgotten or come to be considered as the poor relations of the Carlton/Raleighs of the time, they were equally well made products as the Carltons with a proud heritage made by people who knew what they were doing.

By the way if you want to I would be pretty sure any of the specialist autopaint suppliers would be able to mix up a matching paint for not too much money. The team racing colours were yellow and black. Red and Blue were also colours used on the Snipe Plus.

Anyway as I said before appreciate and enjoy the bike, I'll admit to a little twinge of jealousy.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:03 pm 
rider | rBoTM Winner
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Location: Wakefield, Yorkshire
I also remember team bikes being white with green and black contrasts. Got some photos somewhere.................... :?

EDIT - here's one I remembered seeing. I rode that bike on Weston-super-Mare promenade when they had the criteriums there. It was definitely white.

http://www.cyclingarchives.com/beeldfic ... ldid=95511


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:47 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:05 pm
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Location: Kent / SE London
Thanks for the input chaps, much appreciated and very intetesting. There seems to be a few Suns on the forum recently.

I checked the rear derailleur on Velobase.com. It's a "Huret Allvit 2nd generation, early '70s > early '80s". IF it's original to bike.

Another big "if".. IF Worksop built Sun frames used the same dating system as Worksop built Carlton frames, from 1968-72. (In the link it makes reference to 7 digit numbers, after date letters and before "W" codes). www.carltoncycles.me.uk/details/dating.htm

An it's not the one in the 1970 catologue.

Could it be remotely possible that it's a 1971-72 model?..


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:16 pm 
r.B.o.T.M. & P.o.T.M. Winner
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A few Sun bikes from the Raleigh Catalogue around 1972/3

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:45 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:07 pm
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Location: Cotswolds
In the 1960's a classic butted 531 frame complete with forks, head and bracket bearings would be 6.25 to 6.5 pounds weight. The Sun would have been described as a heavyweight then, apart from in the glowing catalogues.
I remember Peter Parkes, and some of the better Sun bikes. Absolutely no resemblance.
It should be understood that there was very little market for classy bikes, all the "sports" bike makers had to make stuff cheap enough to sell to schoolboys and teenagers, as most got motorised as soon as old enough.
If you look at the above catalogues kindly posted by Mike you will see typical schoolboy "low-end" bikes.
Sun, Carlton and Dawes sold practically nothing to the club type cyclists.
Viking managed a few. I sold a number of Armstrongs in the 1950's because Dave Duffield got Bill Gameson in to silver braze classy butted 531 frames for very little money (about £9 each retail.)
Weight is not the most important factor, Italian frames from those days were typically very heavy.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:39 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:58 am
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I agree with the comment in that 1960' and early 70's bikes like the Sun Snipe were not competition bikes and would have had no appeal to serious clubmen except as perhaps a commuting or hacking about bike, and quiet probably the same is true for every bike in the Sun / carlton range. However if you consider that the UK minimum wage in 1970 was 6 Shilling /Hr and today is just under 6 pounds then a bike costing 35 pounds is equivalent to nearly 700 pounds in today's terms. That's still a considerable investment and if one was spending that kind of money today one would expect a reasonably decent machine as a sports or leisure bike.

Of course really serious riders will still look for much more from a bike and spend 5, 10 or many more times that amount in the quest for the perfect machine for them.

By the middle 70's Raleigh TI was in a bit of a mess with multiple brands and lines and no clear direction. Its a bit sad to see the Sun brand being used in the manner above and clearly the heritage of the brand has been totally discarded. But at that stage it was 20 years since Sun bikes were at their hay day in terms of the competition success of the fifties so perhaps Raleigh figured there wasn't a lot of residual value left in the brand and tried to do something new with it.

My main point would be that if someone finds a nice Sun bike from the 60's or early 70's not to dismiss it out of hand. For a relatively small sum and some elbow grease they will make a nice leisure bike, commuter or week end touring machine. And you are buying into a little bit of heritage and tradition.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:36 pm 
r.B.o.T.M. & P.o.T.M. Winner
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Some very good points Dermot.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:47 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:07 pm
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Location: Cotswolds
DermotD wrote:
I agree with the comment in that 1960' and early 70's bikes like the Sun Snipe were not competition bikes and would have had no appeal to serious clubmen except as perhaps a commuting or hacking about bike, and quiet probably the same is true for every bike in the Sun / carlton range. However if you consider that the UK minimum wage in 1970 was 6 Shilling /Hr and today is just under 6 pounds then a bike costing 35 pounds is equivalent to nearly 700 pounds in today's terms. That's still a considerable investment and if one was spending that kind of money today one would expect a reasonably decent machine as a sports or leisure bike.
.


Dermot, £35 was about the 1970 cost of the hideous standard raleigh chopper.
I would suggest about 2 weeks wages for the lower paid. And they sold in huge quantities.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:02 pm 
r.B.o.T.M. & P.o.T.M. Winner
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Hideous??

Never! :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:43 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:58 am
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Keith

the Raleigh Chopper was a marketing mans dream, the demand right from the start was huge and they could charge whatever they felt like for it. The launch price in 1970 was apparently £ 32 so you are pretty close. however it certainly was not something that appeared in working class or "blue"collar homes in any great numbers. I know we lived in an area of 3 bedroom semi detached houses where most people worked as crafts people, Guinness brewery workers, civil servants or policemen and the only Raleigh Chopper ever bought in that estate was actually one my father through a contact got for my younger brother. He bought it new but it had been badly smoke damaged in a warehouse fire and was sold off very cheaply. Father had a friend in a crash repair shop who sanded it down and painted it Ford yellow. It had no decals as a result. Even still I met old friends from there occasionally and they regularly remind me that they remember by brothers yellow Chopper.

Interestingly I understand mint condition Choppers from that period sell for thousands and even tatty examples make hundreds. Puts the 30 quid paid for that lovely Super Snipe from the same period into some proper perspective? Also it ties nicely into your earlier comment about young people getting motorised as quickly as possible, if you childhood bike was a Chopper your dreams were more likely to be for a motorbike than a top of the range racing bike. Perhaps the Chopper was the biggest own goal of all times for the bike industry, or perhaps not?

The information for the minimum wage came from the uk statistics office. I know I worked on the buildings in the summer of 1970 as a "nipper" or tea boy and at the time one of the electricians told me his hourly rate was 10 shillings and 3 pence. So £35 quid represented pretty close to 2 weeks basic pay for a skilled tradesman. I think the basic pay of an Electrician in the UK is now above 500 per week.

Also I looked up on a site called " measuring worth" and it gives the present value of 35 quid in 1970 as follow (God I'm turning into such an Anorak)

the relative worth of £35 0s 0d from 1970 is:

£883.00 Using average earnings.
£422.00 using the retail price index

I think that means things have gotten cheaper as a proportion of the amount of our wages need to buy something.


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