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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:47 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:55 pm
Posts: 29
Just joined the forum after starting to renovate my Dad's Walvale lightweight road bike. The frame was custom made for him sometime around 1964 and built up with some nice components. Frame was built in 531 tubing, lugged, with full chromed forks and rear triangle, Campag ends. He rode with Southport CC, getting some pretty good times for time-trials even by today's standards. Since then the bike has gone through a few changes over the years - a home-brewed repaint job possibly in the late 80s and replacement of many of the worn out parts with newer, but less desirable parts.
So fast forward to this year when I extracted the bike from his garage (now he has retired he has bought himself a new bike) - the frame was quite pitted with rust and the chrome forks/rear triangle too far gone to just clean up. Unfortunately I stripped it down before I had chance to take any photos!

The frame has now gone down to Argos cycles in Bristol for a respray. The frame really would need the chrome re-doing, that is just far too expensive so it will be solid colour frame & forks, red, white lug lining as per the original paint job. Frame should all be sorted by beginning of April. I took a few pictures after shot blasting.

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Had some welcome help from Sean on this board (who recently resprayed a newer Walvale) getting hold of replacement decals:
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In terms of the components, speaking to my Dad it seems that the frame was never built up with a full groupset per-se but a collection of lightweight quality parts:
Brooks saddle, GB ventoux bars, Ambrosio gran-prix stem, Mafac centre-pull brakes, Record front mech, Simplex rear mech, Stronglight chainset, Weinman sprint rims on Record hubs. Some of this I have, some I don't and will need to find! In terms of the restoration I am going to take a pragmatic approach and use a mixture of components up to the late 1960's - I don't want to spend an absolute fortune and want this to be a bike I can ride not just keep as a museum piece.
Here is the first of the bits cleaned up (I do realise the value of these having done a quick ebay search!):
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As you can see I'll need to source a pair of replacement threaded Mafac brake block holders (two have been broken/lost and replaced with modern brake shoes) plus the small aluminium tapered washers used to position it around the caliper arm, although I can probably spend some time with a file to trim down a modern aluminium washer into the right shape.
And potentially replacement rubber hoods, I had seen modern Cane Creek hoods which may fit, rather than trying to find true period replacements.
Anyway that is enough for tonight, any comments / help greatfully appreciated as although I have build my own modern road & mountain bikes, I don't know much about restoring a classic bike!


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:12 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:41 pm
Posts: 8230
Location: Cumbria
Nice.

Back in the 70's which is my era the "groupset" (full Campag) was only for very rich people or sponsored teams and we bought what we could afford new , thought looked nice or got second hand from other club members.

Before my time there was no "groupset", just companies who made their line of goods.

The downtube braze ons are interesting....are they for a mix of bar end shifters and downtube, just can't make it out on my screen?
Shaun


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:14 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:41 pm
Posts: 417
Location: Moneyscalp N.Ireland
Midlife wrote:

The downtube braze ons are interesting....are they for a mix of bar end shifters and downtube, just can't make it out on my screen?
Shaun


I seem to remember 'twas quite a common request for "testers" back in the mid to late 60's to have their frame built with a brazed on boss for a down tube rear gear lever and a bar end shifter cable stop for the front, not too sure why though maybe some folk thought it was a more ergonomic arrangement when shifting at speed,
........as for the Mafac Top 63's that you have they are in no doubt one of the rarest and most sought after brakesets that collectors want, you'll get lots of interest if you ever sell them!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:07 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:27 pm
Posts: 390
Location: London
These brakes are very rare to find. The levers are Universal, I think. There are some NOS rubbers for them on Italian ebay (if I assume rightly that they are Universal):

gum colour: http://www.ebay.it/itm/Universal-Brake- ... 460c4df8ea

black: http://www.ebay.it/itm/Universal-Black- ... 43b8446248

white (but adjuster cover missing): http://www.ebay.it/itm/Universal-White- ... 43b83fe54b

Period correct MAFAC levers would be probably 'Course 121'.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:21 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:55 pm
Posts: 29
Yes you are right - the down tube has a Simplex braze on boss for the rear lever, and a cable stop for the front changer. I have the Campag bar-end lever and the Simplex lever ready to re-fit. Not sure why it was set up this way though.

Great link for the Universal rubbers, thanks. The levers aren't marked Universal, they have no obvious name on them, but looking at the shape of them I had guessed that they were.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:04 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:29 pm
Posts: 298
Location: West Lancashire
Did you see what I meant with regards to the decals?

There isn't a seatube decal in the set? And also the larger 'WALVALE' decal is to large for the downtube. I bought the same set and was a bit disappointed really as they don't match the originals that were on my bike.

Its a shame because the headtube decals are spot on.

You know if you want to find out more about your frame it might be an idea to contact C&G, as they are still in contact with Norman who was the builder of the Walvale bikes.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:30 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:55 pm
Posts: 29
Yes I see what you mean, one looks too big, the other too small. I think the larger transfer should be ok for my frame though, it is ~25mm high which the frame resprayers thought would be about right once wrapped around the downtube.
I was using another frame I saw on ebay as a reference for the decals:
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$(KGrHqN,!h0FBI9ToPqkBQdv+B5lt!~~60_58.JPG
$(KGrHqN,!h0FBI9ToPqkBQdv+B5lt!~~60_58.JPG [ 44.36 KiB | Viewed 793 times ]


The decal here looks quite big doesn't it?
Do you have any contact details for C&G?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:35 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:29 pm
Posts: 298
Location: West Lancashire
Maybe thats what it was as mine was a more modern frame being from the eighties. Slightly defferent decal set up on mine.

C&G, Smithdown Rd, Liverpool
0151 734 3088

They are really helpfull.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:09 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:27 pm
Posts: 390
Location: London
Here some more about 'top 63', ultra rarity: http://www.classicrendezvous.com/France ... _top63.htm

These are proper levers for the calipers (from velobase):
Image

Here are MAFAC course 121 on French ebay with hoods in quite good shape just lacking the lever's 'sleeve' but the base is the same: http://www.ebay.fr/itm/LEVIERS-DE-FREIN ... 589c041319

Maybe it would be better to complete it with MAFAC levers than buying hoods for Universals?
Can ordinary (from 'Racer') MAFAC brake shoe be threaded? Do you have any spare to compare if they are the same?

I am looking forward to see restoration and new photos.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:04 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:41 pm
Posts: 417
Location: Moneyscalp N.Ireland
[/quote]
Maybe it would be better to complete it with MAFAC levers than buying hoods for Universals?
Can ordinary (from 'Racer') MAFAC brake shoe be threaded? Do you have any spare to compare if they are the same?
I am looking forward to see restoration and new photos.[/quote]

in my humble opinion I think you should keep the original levers as it was the done thing back in the 60's to have your Mafac centre pulls coupled to Universal levers as the full hoods on the Universals offered much better grip and cushioning, I can't recall anyone in our club not using this combination on their lightweights......if you do decide to change anything I would suggest that you offer the Top 63's on eBay (Worldwide) where they could possibly raise £200.00 or more and then purchase a pair of clean Mafac Racers (approx.£25.00) that would be perfectly in keeping with the era and the money you have left over would fund a large portion of your rebuild


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