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 Post subject: Vintage Gravel
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 4:57 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:58 pm
Posts: 930
Location: Highlands, Scotland
A recent post in STW about what was a suitable one bike for road and gravel got me thinking back to the 50s and 60s, when one bike was the norm.

I used to fancy one of these, they had a nice steel 531 frame, a reinforced front fork, and were pretty colours.

Image

Image

There was the huge choice of ratios in a 4 speed hub.

Even now, if you took that frame and put 650b wheels in it, you’d probably be able to fit up to 45mm tyres.

I think I'll try to track one down for my gravel excursions, so if anyone has one or its frame going spare (23" please :) ) ...


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:01 am 
MacRetro rider
MacRetro rider

Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 4:16 pm
Posts: 9042
My father had a Raleigh Sport from the 1950'd with a SA 4 speed hub. Worst piece of crap SA ever created. He said keeping it in 4th gear was an art few could master, stick with 3 speed !


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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 8:47 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:58 pm
Posts: 930
Location: Highlands, Scotland
velomaniac wrote:
My father had a Raleigh Sport from the 1950'd with a SA 4 speed hub. Worst piece of crap SA ever created. He said keeping it in 4th gear was an art few could master, stick with 3 speed !

Well, most proper bikes were fixed or SS back then.

Those hubs are very finicky about precise adjustment, and the shifter is a weakness. Just needs a bump to jump out of 4th. Get it wrong and there was plenty of woe.

I suppose the theory was the sort of chap who was hedonistic enough to have a 4 speed would feel no pain if his groin hit the toptube when he found one of the many neutrals sprinkled throughout the hub. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Vintage Gravel
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:14 pm 
MacRetro rider
MacRetro rider

Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 4:16 pm
Posts: 9042
23" lugged steel racers are quite common . I have a 70's falcon in 23" I could build up with 650b wheels......hmmm, interesting idea :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Vintage Gravel
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:17 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:58 pm
Posts: 930
Location: Highlands, Scotland
The nice thing about the Rudges was they had a reinforced steerer so they could take a bit of a bashing.

With the likes of a Falcon, I'd consider the putting the traditional plug of ash up the bottom of the steerer.


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 Post subject: Re: Vintage Gravel
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 9:55 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:58 pm
Posts: 930
Location: Highlands, Scotland
Damn, now I find myself scanning the adverts for a frame to build one.

Don't suppose any of you lads have a Rudge Pathfinder frame or its Raleigh Industry siblings (Raleigh Lenton, Humber Clipper, Triumph Torrington) floating around unloved?


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 Post subject: Re: Vintage Gravel
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 9:17 pm 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:03 pm
Posts: 6636
Location: held captive by baby haggis in a cave in Scotland
We must go for a good gravel ride soon Brian.
As mentioned I will keep an eye out for one for you. :)

Jamie


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 Post subject: Re: Vintage Gravel
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:54 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:58 pm
Posts: 930
Location: Highlands, Scotland
Oh the irony!

So I've been scouring the ads for a Pathfinder frame because I wanted a 1950s decent quality bike that had clearance for bigger tyres. After that the the racers spoilt it all for us with their minimal clearances and super skinny tyres.

Gathering old frames for my cull, there was this old crappy thing that had been badly repainted once upon a time and relabelled Diamondback.

I was taking it along with a Raleigh Bomber frame round to a mate's to see if he or any of his friends wanted it. The Bomber disappeared instantly. As I was putting the frame back in the boot of my car I accidentally bumped it, and it went "TING" like a bell. Hmmm, so not gaspipe then...

A closer look at it and the lugs looked familiar, the rear dropout was similar to that used on Stallards and Suns, and strangely for a bike of that era it had gear lever braze-ons for a front and rear, and braze ons for a bag rest. Could it be... ?

Yes, after much searching and checking with appropriate experts, it's a Dawes Windrush from about 1959.

The special thing about them was they were built with a bit extra clearance so larger section tyres could be used for touring and ROUGH STUFF - purpose built for gravel in other words. Even better, Dawes always used good steel for this sort of bike, so it's either A&P Kromo or 531.

Bingo! I now have a 1950s retro gravel bike to build.

Wonder if I'll get it ready in time for Clubby's ride? (It looks really dire at the moment)

Image


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:01 pm 
MacRetro rider
MacRetro rider

Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 4:16 pm
Posts: 9042
Nice bike Brian, especially as it was under your nose all this time !

Thinking of fettling my possible early mid 80's falcon for Clubby's run on 28th.
Pretty sure its only high ten or 501 but it'll take 33mm wide CX tyres without guards and has a chunky rack for a rack pack.


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 Post subject: Re: Vintage Gravel
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 12:41 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:08 pm
Posts: 2212
Location: East Lothian
I used to have one of those Rudges . It was my father’s . I happily ran it for several years until I took it to university in Aberdeen. The lack of gears led to it’s replacement and then Abandonment!


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