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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:01 pm 
Newbie

Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:32 pm
Posts: 1
Hi,

Very much green to this so excuse my ignorance.

Found an old Roy Swinnerton road bike in my Dad's garage that he bought years ago.

There's Leslie West written on the top tube which after some googling is pretty interesting given his pedigree.

My original plan was to respray and restore to rideable. The respray bit seems a shame now given the old owner and his scrawlings but would love it to be pretty again.

Anyway, where do I start? I'm pretty handy round a new bike but this is rather daunting. Any recommendations on people that restore or where to start/learn myself?

I'll attach some photos. Wheels are obvs not original but do have them somewhere.

Thanks for any advice.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:27 pm 
Gold Trader
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Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 11:40 am
Posts: 3816
Welcome! looks like an interesting project. I have no idea how Leslie West was, but others on here might know. Paint looks salvageable, careful cleaning with warm soapy water, a good dry, and some t-cut will get it a lot better. careful around the decals though, in case they start lifting (they might not be lacquered)


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:58 pm 
r.B.o.T.M. & P.o.T.M. Winner
r.B.o.T.M. & P.o.T.M. Winner
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:51 am
Posts: 2418
Location: Camel Land
Les West was a British Pro so maybe a good idea to contact Swinnertons themselves & ask? Maybe a model dedicated to his name or a limited edition.....


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:55 pm 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:03 pm
Posts: 6878
Location: held captive by baby haggis in a cave in Scotland
I don't know of Les West but will educate myself tonight.
As for the Swinnerton itself, it does look like a very nice machine under a bit of dust so a good wash with soapy water would be where I would start.
I agree with the paint looking well salvageable and for me I would likely strip it down and really clean, cut and wax. The components all look like quality stuff and well saveable. Maybe this is Les Wests bike, well worth investigating.
Swinnertons have had some fine builders building frames for them over the years and this is clearly nicely build so well worth trying to find who built it as well.
Maybe start a thread in readers rides or move this one and we can all follow along. :)

Jamie


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:48 pm 
rBoTM Winner
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Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 11:54 am
Posts: 1500
Location: Derby
Les West comes from Stoke on Trent as do Swinnerton cycles.
Les rode for the Holdsworth team in the 1970's.
ImageLes West .Racing cyclist by rebalrid, on Flickr

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_West
A real hard man of road racing.

Some of Swinnertons frames were built by Mercians.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 6:58 pm 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:03 pm
Posts: 6878
Location: held captive by baby haggis in a cave in Scotland
Excuse my ignorance bagpuss, though these sorts of builds send me off learning so all is good :)
There certainly were quite a few well respected builders who I have heard built for them, including George Longstaff. I wouldn't have thought too much average stuff would have come out of there :)
This one looks really nicely built.

Jamie


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:26 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:07 pm
Posts: 1628
Location: Cotswolds
Jamie,
This frame looks mid 50s, if the gnutti chainset is original that would be about the last of them. (needs cotter pins done)

I bought the last 30 Gnutti chainsets about then, £1 each, and had to file the burrs off the teeth to make them run. They were made for uk axles and cotter pins though.

Keith


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:29 pm 
rBoTM Winner
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Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 11:54 am
Posts: 1500
Location: Derby
A true cycling family .
https://www.swinnertoncycles.co.uk/about-us-i1


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:27 pm 
rBoTM Winner
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Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:24 pm
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Location: N.Staffs
Les is still around ... was in Rourke’s a lot in the late 70s. He would have been mid 30s then and at the end of his pro career.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:44 pm 
Devout Dirtbag

Joined: Tue May 06, 2014 6:24 pm
Posts: 144
Location: Morecambe UK
Suggest you give Brian Rourke a call at Rourke's cycles. He should be able to put you in touch with Les West, who is possibly the most successful British racing cyclist of his generation. If it does turn out to be one of Les's old bikes, then it's well worth a sympathetic restoration - personally, I wouldn't do anything to the frame itself other than give it a good clean. I was a regular reader of Cycling Weekly during the 1960s and Les West seemed to be in "the comic" almost every week, winning one major race after another.
Swinnerton's didn't actually build their own frames, but as has been stated previously, outsourced their frame building to George Longstaff, Mercian, or other high quality Midlands-based frame builders. Roy Swinnerton, as well as being a successful racing cyclist himself, was also GB team mechanic for a while - so he wouldn't accept anything other than quality frames in his shop. I have a pair of wheels built by Roy and they are superb.

Good luck with the restoration.


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