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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:58 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:46 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Midlands
Midlife wrote:
Old Ned

Compared to a Woodrup / Quinn / Aende etc quality type frame available at the same time the joins were a bit hit and miss.

Not saying they were hopeless but elegant would be a difficult word to use LOL

Would like to see a pic if it's for sale :}

Shaun


Midlife:..I have been riding speedwell titaium frames for over thirty years, own three of their bikes, and none of them have been in any way at all hit and miss in respect of the joins. They are a hand built frame and have in my opinion the finest welded connections of any bike that I have ever come across.
It is great shame that not more bikes have the same attention to detail of the welded connections, for example the head of the forks are seven pieces of titanium bar welded together. I would defy anyone to see where these connections are. You must be confusing the Speedwell Titalite with something else. this link shows what I mean....
http://www.classicbikeshop.eu/speedwell-details.html


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 11:30 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:41 pm
Posts: 8245
Location: Cumbria
Hi EO

I'm nothing more than an observer from 40 years ago and somewhat hazy at that :)

I have already posted that the speedwell frame that the OP has looks very nice and indeed if possible I would like to buy it.

However, back in the 70's there were a number of pressures on bike shops...........the government turning off the electric notwithstanding.

We had to make a profit so things had to turn over, so in respect of frames that meant known manufacturers. Again, I remember the rep saying that it had to be joined in a special atmosphere, Argon rings a bell but that again is my memory..

Speedwell had to compete with Raleigh, Carlton, Mercian, Woodrup, Shorter, Bob Jackson, Aende, Ken Bird, Condor, Harry Quinn........the list is endless.

Then there was Trusty / Vicount and the aerospace angle.

Can you see my perspective on something different ?

Shaun


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:18 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:46 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Midlands
Hi Shaun
I can indeed see and appreciate your perspective on these years. I was very closely connected to Speedwell whilst these bikes were being produced, and you are correct that the frames were welded in an Argon filled and pressurised chamber, as pure titanium required being welding in these conditions. It was a specialised process that required significant skill to accomplish. The engineers in charge of this were perfectionists, which I feel is illustrated in the photographs contained in the previous link. This is how they left the factory. All of my frames are of the same quality, and all of the speedwell bikes that I have worked over the years are also the same....beautiful.
The hardships of this period did not have any effect on the quality of these frames.
I wish you all the best in getting hold of a frame.
Simon


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:26 pm 
The Guv'nor
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Interesting discussion. As such won't lock this.

If you want to sell the frame on here we ask all adverts are placed in the road for sale forum and have a price. Please have a read of the rules > http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=65664


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:51 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Location: Cumbria
Hi Simon

Thanks for taking the time to reply, much appreciated. Sounds more complicated than what I remember the rep saying at the time.

I had a vision of a "normal" framebuilding set-up (like we had at Cliff Pratt's in the basement) but with an Argon gas cylinder sort of "blowing" the inert gas at the weld whilst it was being formed........

When I bought my modern Basso last year I looked at titanium frames by the likes of Van Nicholas but nothing as complicated was mentioned. I guess joining titanium tubes has changed over the years. The only one I fancied was the Enigma Esprit as it looked like a real bike and not some sloping top tube compact :)

http://www.enigmabikes.com/bike/bike-enigma-esprit.html


Just out of curiosity, were you employed by Speedwell?

Cheers


Shaun

PS thanks for not locking the thread John.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:56 pm 
King of the Skip Monkeys
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Location: Moomin Valley
For the casual reader:

Image

Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:02 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:18 pm
Posts: 3798
Location: Staffordshire
There is still a Speedwell Road in Birmingham. That bike LGF highlighted is one of my favourite road bikes on here.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:26 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Love the drilled out bell :)

Titanium frames BITD looked slightly yellowish compared to the modern one's I have seen. I wonder if the Titanium alloy is different?

Shaun


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:35 pm 
Retro Guru
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We been told upthread that these are pure titanium, unalloyed :)


Quote:
one of my favourite road bikes on here.


Certainly one of the lightest... No half-measures there.... Or perhaps that should be: All half-measures there! 24 spokes :arrow: :!:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:22 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Location: Cumbria
Not sure if it's 100% titanium as I use it in dentistry on a daily basis,

medical grade titanium usually contains Aluminium and Niobium (Vanadium has been removed).

Bike frames might be different though :)

Shaun


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