I've been fighting a losing battle with the need to own a 70's road bike for a few weeks now, as the spritiual successor to the dinky Viscount and Viking racers that my dad found and cleaned up for me when I was growing up.
The battle was finally lost on saturday night a couple of weeks ago, when a shady dabble on fleabay while the missus was cooking tea resulted in me becoming the second owner from new of this slightly dusty and battered looking Claud Butler:
It was pretty much love at first sight. I think I lasted about two hours after I got it home before I got the T-cut, brasso and pan scourers round it, and it's come up a treat. The Weinmann brakes in particular look like they've been milled from solid lumps of shinyness.
It has a lovely Campag gear set, with the maker's C logo in red and white enamel on the end of a couple of the pivots. On the first ride, I couldn't get first and it kept jumping out of second, put I adjusted the stop screws and it all runs fine now.
There are a ton of scratches and touched up bits on the frame, which I'm in two minds about - I half want to make it look as new, half want to keep them so that the bike's more "honest".
It was the very bottom of CB's range when it was new, but it is without a doubt the best screwed together bike I've ever owned. I'm so chuffed I ended up with this and not something new instead.