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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:27 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:47 am
Posts: 5
Hello,

I'm new to this forum, having stumbled across this rather excellent website fairly recently, and was just wondering whether anyone might be able to offer assistance in detecting the type of frame supporting my slightly dilapidated and certainly eccentrically equipped 'Alan Williams of Preston' bicycle, which I acquired for £10 on Preston car boot sale (largest outdoor covered market in Europe, allegedly) back in 1998, and which I have been riding sporadically since, alongside an increasing selection of other machines.

I've attached some images of the bicycle of question, which may or may not aid the investigation. The lugs (at the top tube and down tube junctions with the head tube) appear to a spear type, with two dots of descending type. The forks have a rather plain crown on them which probably wouldn't help much. The photo of the bottom bracket underside doesn't show the very small 4-digit serial number very well at all, and I forgot to write it down at the weekend (bike is currently stored at my parents' house), but I *think* it is 3927; no other numbers or letters.

There are no tubing manufacturer stickers on the frame, but I suspect from its very light weight that it would be the equivalent of 531. Also, the very tight clearance between the back wheel and the seat tube seems to suggest a lighter, racing geometry.

I suspect that the Alan Williams decals are not original, but you never know. I have not, hitherto, been able to unearth any information relating to Mr. Williams on the internet.

Any and all help gratefully received. Apologies for both the quality of the images and the condition of the bike.

Cheers
Paul


Attachments:
Seatpost_lugs_small.jpg
Seatpost_lugs_small.jpg [ 275.71 KiB | Viewed 527 times ]
Dropouts_small.jpg
Dropouts_small.jpg [ 293.44 KiB | Viewed 527 times ]
Lugs_small.jpg
Lugs_small.jpg [ 371.63 KiB | Viewed 527 times ]
BB_underside_small.jpg
BB_underside_small.jpg [ 492.91 KiB | Viewed 527 times ]
AW_fullbike_small.jpg
AW_fullbike_small.jpg [ 451.73 KiB | Viewed 527 times ]
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:37 am 
Gold Trader
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Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2010 11:28 am
Posts: 5651
Location: Gorleston-on-sea (If there is a bright center to the universe this is place furthest from it
Sorry I can't help you with who built this bike, but to me the frame screams I am a quality mid 70's time trial frame the drilled lugs, no braze ons, tight clearances, and vertical drop-outs with no mudguard eyes, if the seatpost is a 27.2 diameter I am pretty sure you can say 531 as it has all the hallmarks of a great frame. Cracking buy for £10 :D :D 8)


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:19 pm 
Old School Hero
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:11 am
Posts: 170
Location: Southend-on-Sea, Essex, Uk
Have to agree with all of Kermit's comments above. It certainly screams early 70's Time Trial to me as well. Would be great to see this fitted with contemporay kit from that period and see it join the growing numbers of such machines owned by members on here.

As for the builder, I can't immediately find any references, but I'm sure someone on this forum will know something.

Great buy for £10, even back in '98!

Steve.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:31 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 1:31 am
Posts: 3373
Location: Stockport ..
Well the condition of the frame and stickers to me all look original and the name on the frame could be either a not to well known bike shop / bike builder or it could be the case that the name on the frame was who the bike was originally built for in my favourable opinion but it looks a cracking bit of kit any how ;) ..


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:42 pm 
Old School Hero
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:11 am
Posts: 170
Location: Southend-on-Sea, Essex, Uk
Looks like they were a bona-fide manufacturer as this musette recently for sale on Ebay would testify....


Attachments:
Alan Williams.jpg
Alan Williams.jpg [ 40.99 KiB | Viewed 497 times ]
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:16 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:47 am
Posts: 5
Thanks folks. I also had my suspicions, mainly from the very tight clearance, that it might have had a previous incarnation as a time-trial machine. I am also now recalling that the elderly gentleman that I bought it off told me that he used to race bicycles in the '40s and '50s, although this wouldn't really correlate with the suggested '70s date.

With regard to the £10 purchase price, I ought to add that, whilst it was a complete bike, the components on it at the time were even more of a mis-mash than they are now and have been largely replaced; the 'new' parts (mainly taken from another, now sadly broken bicycle) are

Mavic wheels (with cassette/freewheel)
Michelin Bi-Axial Sport folding tyres
105 cranks
105 rear derailleur
Bottom bracket (unsure of brand)
Generic front brake blocks
Ridgeback saddle
Stronglight 42t Dural chainring
Velox Tressorex cloth bar tape
Toeclips and straps (Spa Cycles NOS)

The Modolo brake callipers and Dura-Ace rear brake blocks remain, as do the 600 Arabesque shifters, along with the headset; rather narrow Sakae Custom bars; Shimano brake levers and hoods; a chunky seatpost and the two quills - pedals and stem. The small dent on the top tube - now 'protected' by helicopter tape - is also 'original'.

That decidedly odd-looking 42t single chainring was swapped out from a 52t Shimano 105 ring to cope with the unexpectedly hilly terrain around my parents' new home in Co. Cavan.

I agree that it would definitely benefit from having period components, but I'm not in any sense a competent mechanic, which has deterred me a little from sourcing the requisite parts, even if I knew what might be appropriate. Also, and somewhat annoyingly, as the saddle configuration might suggest, the frame itself is just a tiny bit larger than an optimal size for me, although this affects the legs more than the arms.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:28 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:47 am
Posts: 5
Oh dear, how did I miss that amazing musette? Infuriating!


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:43 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:47 am
Posts: 5
I don't suppose it will offer any further clues, but I've just noticed that I didn't upload the photo of the headtube earlier - does the fact that this is a sticker rather than a badge perhaps suggest in any way that Alan Williams was not in fact the manufacturer?


Attachments:
Head_tube_small.jpg
Head_tube_small.jpg [ 421.6 KiB | Viewed 483 times ]
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