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 Post subject: BMW Williams F1 Roadbike
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:07 pm 
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I think this just about qualifies as retro as it does come from the end of the last century.

Anyway there I was idling looking through ebay and this BMW Williams road bike frame pops up, its quite scruffy but being a man who's partial to the products of the Bayerische motoren werke, a motor racing nut and a big F1 fan I had to have it.

I'd seen BMW mountain bikes, I saw one in my local dealer the last time I had my car serviced but I'd never seen a BMW road bike. From what little research I managed to do this is a BMW Q8.R team road bike, they were done for the Williams BMW F1 team when Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher were driving for them, I think it's quite a rare thing and as you'd expect was a lot of money when it was new back in the 90's. Numbers wise I know there's not many but how many I haven't quite tied down yet, there are some like mine the Williams F1 type with a silver stripe and some with a red stripe that were for the touring car team, there's 50 of the red stripe ones but I can't be sure if there were 50 or 100 of the F1 ones. Either way a rare thing

They came kitted out with full 9 speed Dura Ace and Mavic Ksyrium wheels, have a BMW made alloy frame with Reynolds carbon forks and carbon bars, although I found one out in South Africa that came as a frame and the owner built it up with Campagnolo Record Carbon, there is a long standing BMW SA tie up so that one made its way out there doesn't surprise me.

Now I had a set of slightly newer Ultegra and a set of Ksyriums spare so that was an easy build that took a couple of hours this afternoon which wasn't really worth a thread but I thought i'd put a couple of pictures of it up as it may be of interest.

Unfortunately mine has the wrong forks , the ones that came with my frame are alloy not carbon and have way too much wheel clearance at the brake bridge so for now I've had to use my trusty Gipiemme long calipers so that I can try it out and have managed to source a set of forks that look the same if not very similar to the originals which will be going on (with the Ultegra brakes) as soon as they arrive. The other slightly annoying thing about the frame and forks is that it has a 1" steerer rather then 1 1/8" but luckily I had one ion my bits box.

I'm not sure whether to get it re finished or leave it as is but for now I'm just going to use it to see how I get on with it.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 12:17 pm 
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Interesting! Another F1 fan and ex team member here! (Not at Williams, a well known energy drinks team...). Surprising that it's aluminium given that all the cars were carbon by that point. Was this made using an aluminium forming technique in use at BMW at the time maybe?

My team had some bikes made up in team colours during 2014 or 2015 season and flogged them off to factory team members a couple of years later. I forget what the underlying bikes were. Well known brand in mid-level carbon and mid-level groupsets, but they were basically used as pit bikes by the team and drivers. I kind of wish I'd put a bid in and got one now.

Giant TCR forks are same era and 1" threaded. They come up on eBay quite often for not too much. I think I paid about £30 for the one on my GT.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 2:35 pm 
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Yes you probably should have bought one of those bikes but hindsight is a wonderful thing.

As far as I can tell the frame itself was made by BMW and yes I'm surprised they didn't go for for all carbon but then I suspect it was more marketing than technology driven. The frame itself apart from the top and down tube profiles looks pretty conventional for the time.

The forks are 1" threadless which do come up from time to time and I have a set coming and hopefully the steerer is long enough but yes they do seem to come up from time to time. Being threadless I'm now on a bit of a quest and asking every seller of threadless carbon forks that look a bit old and don't say 1 1/8 to measure the steerer tube for me to see if they're 1" or not.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 2:28 am 
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That's pretty cool, from the Ralph Schuhmacher era no doubt. I'm also digging the old school audio setup.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:57 am 
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vtwinvince wrote:
That's pretty cool, from the Ralph Schuhmacher era no doubt. I'm also digging the old school audio setup.

Thanks I'm pleased with it, in my digging I found this lo res picture of Ralf and Juan Pablo Montoya with theirs. And don't go down the HiFi rabbit hole, my Geoffrey Butler thread took a very off topic left turn because of other hobbies in some of the pictures.

Also I've got the right forks now so as soon as I can get some time I'll put them in, the Shimano brakes on and give it a proper run out.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:22 am 
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Now then Allen...
Life long No1 Lotus fan here, (but as you say, let’s leave our other hobbies out of it).
Like this very much... you say you’re sorted on the fork front? Just thought I’d mention that Danson67 over on the bumpy side does a cracking job extending steerers btw.

As for the paint, I think I’d be tempted with localised touching up, I’m trying out something myself on an old black frame where I desperately want to keep the original graphics, so I’m touching in with black humbrol paint, left it for a couple of weeks then “cut” it back with 1200. Light whiff over with some clear acrylic lacquer and I’ve got an almost perfect repair... not so easy on pearls or metallics though...


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:31 am 
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Peachy! wrote:
Now then Allen...
Life long No1 Lotus fan here, (but as you say, let’s leave our other hobbies out of it).
Like this very much... you say you’re sorted on the fork front? Just thought I’d mention that Danson67 over on the bumpy side does a cracking job extending steerers btw.

As for the paint, I think I’d be tempted with localised touching up, I’m trying out something myself on an old black frame where I desperately want to keep the original graphics, so I’m touching in with black humbrol paint, left it for a couple of weeks then “cut” it back with 1200. Light whiff over with some clear acrylic lacquer and I’ve got an almost perfect repair... not so easy on pearls or metallics though...

I had thought about that Chris but as you say its going to be difficult with the metallics getting it to lay and matching the actual colour will be a pain.

I'm going to reach out to BMW and Williams for the paint codes and the decals to see if they can help and if so then I'll get it done professionally as there is some corrosion here and there to deal with as well.

Also good to know on the forks, I've got a steerer extender to use for now and as the frame is on the upper limit for me size wise I might end up with the stem at the bottom anyway but ideally yes I would like to extend the steerer on the forks I have. I do have a friend with a Tig welder but would rather give them to someone who has actually done it before.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:36 am 
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Peachy! wrote:
Now then Allen...
Life long No1 Lotus fan here

Forgot to say Chris when a snotty oik of about 7 or 8 I wrote to all the F1 team bosses of the time asking for stickers and watnot, pretty much all of them sent something back but the best were a nice signed letter from Colin Chapman and a signed postcard from Enzo Ferrari.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 9:21 am 
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allenh wrote:
Peachy! wrote:
Now then Allen...
Life long No1 Lotus fan here

Forgot to say Chris when a snotty oik of about 7 or 8 I wrote to all the F1 team bosses of the time asking for stickers and watnot, pretty much all of them sent something back but the best were a nice signed letter from Colin Chapman and a signed postcard from Enzo Ferrari.


:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:


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