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 Post subject: Re: Decent Falcon MTB
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:00 pm 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 11:40 am
Posts: 1691
Location: Exeter
Yeah those forks are really quite splendid!

Thanks for the bit of encouragement on the chainset

I just hope it's still available I ummed and ahhed over it for a bit as I was really looking for Sugino AT or similar

I did a bit of datecode research on the original brakes that are on it

I found 1183 so by Dia Compe's datecodes that makes them November '83

http://www.vintage-trek.com/component_dates.htm#dia

So my guesstimate of '84 for the bike looks sound

I've obtained some Suntour Mountech mechs from '84 and some Suntour Power shifters, as I only had one with the bike

The bars are Nitto clones (a slight negative in comparison to the rest of the setup, they are by Hsin Lung), but are full cro-mo are straight and true and look great

Seems to be coming together nicely


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 Post subject: Re: Decent Falcon MTB
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:45 am 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Sat May 09, 2009 11:46 pm
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Location: East Riding of Yorkshire
I have some black Sakae CX cranks which I intend to use on my Diamondback in preference to Suginos and in the absence of getting hold of a Sakae CR crankset. They seem really nice to me, I'm more than happy with them.

I love the high flange Suzue hubs too, have they got "Sealed hub" stickers on them?

Could they have used Tange/Champion tubing, whilst still making the frame in England? I have no idea of the history as to whether companies were doing that.


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 Post subject: Re: Decent Falcon MTB
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:54 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2006 10:12 pm
Posts: 4433
Location: Barry
have you found a frame number?

Made in England can often mean assembled in England.


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 Post subject: Re: Decent Falcon MTB
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:44 pm 
retrobike rider
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Location: Exeter
I think this one's a bit of an oddball 'Falcon Olympic' were all road/touring/track bikes from the sixties up 'til early eighties all nice stuff, very English

This is later than them

Bottom of the BB shell has G1183 stamped into - funny coincidence the numbers match the datecode on the brakes

It's seems possible top me that Falcon may have made this frame themselves as they we using the same production techniques on their BMX line - I'll post some detail pics later as there are some quite distinctive details like brazed on cable guides atop the BB shell, an unusual canti cable stop on the seat stays and the Ritchey-esque fast back seat stays

The design does not match early Stumpies of Muddy Foxes

This may have been very limited production I have scoured the web and found none of these anywhere

By '85 the rather lovely Claude Butler Canyon was available, similarly equipped, but built with Brit pipes the venerable Reynolds 531

Hence my loose hypothesis that Falcon got this together by whatever means as an exercise and changed direction and branding

In any event it's rather handsome and will look great built up in oily rag trim


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 Post subject: Re: Decent Falcon MTB
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:04 pm 
retrobike rider
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Location: Exeter
Here's the seat stays and brace/canti hanger:

Image

And here's the top of the BB shell:

Image

I looked at lots of pics of Falcon Olympic roadies, lots of variety in designs, EG capped seatstays, wrap around stays, fast back stays but none that are quite like this lot


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 Post subject: Re: Decent Falcon MTB
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:11 pm 
retrobike rider
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Well would you just look at that?

A quick Google as I know Falcon BMXs made in the UK have used Tange...

But better than that - I found a Tange Super Champion no 5 roadie, rescued by none other than our very own LGF!

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=130952

It's a Falcon Olympic too. Great, so I don't think this is a bought in and rebranded off the peg Japanese jobbie. Just doesn't ring true at all for Falcon


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 Post subject: Re: Decent Falcon MTB
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:37 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2006 10:12 pm
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Location: Barry
Japanese or English, and like you I'm thinking English, its a lovely looking frame.

I want one!


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 Post subject: Re: Decent Falcon MTB
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:33 pm 
retrobike rider
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Yeah I'm still thinking English made, out of Japanese 'stuff'. Not just because it actually says 'Made in England' on it! definitely a bit blurry though how 'Made in England' is the question it seems

So... onto my latest research results: Don't know if many of us here were BMXers?

I sure was and I remember Hsin Lung for a quality rip off of another design icon, not Nitto Bullmoose bars... remember CW? Those classic bars!

Well anyway researching the hell out of everything, looking at every Japanese maker I can think of I have got a very close match for this frame in the CW ATB, which although CW were Californian and made a lot of gear in the USA, I gather their 'ATB' was a made in Japan Akisu creation (connection seems obvious)

The cable guides and that canti hanger and fast back stays/seatclamp are dead on but there are lugs used on the BB/chainstay join, mine are TIGed no lugs anywhere and don't appear to be the same fancy branded drop outs, or the super pretty forks mine has

which ever way it goes there's a lot of Akisu in this bike. And we've all certainly seen Union Jacks and Stars and stripes on bikes and when you read the blurb/small print on sticker, it says 'designed/engineered/race proven/assembled in...' I can't see anyone trying to be hokey about a bike being made in Japan in the '80s... Taiwan maybe

Unless Falcon just slapped any old head badge on the bike regardless, that's something I could almost see that happening!

Anyway...

My bike seems to be a cross between the CW ATB which Akisu made - and a Falcon BMX in terms of construction, which is leading me to think Falcon made it primarily out of stuff sourced from people already in the mountain bike game, like Suntour (dropouts) Akisu (frame parts) and 100% assembled forks. Akisu Made in Japan, stamped right on them - and what surely must Be Tange for the tubing and it is definitely a seamless tube with a quality 'ting'...

And that one amazing fact that meant I had to have it: It is a Falcon MTB that is a fine piece of kit - Astonishing. Never seen such a thing

Here's some CW pics (this is a teeny bit BSO to be honest):

check out the cable guides just visible, also note lugged contruction

Image

Here's that dead ringer for the stays and canti hanger

Image

Images sourced from:

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/cwracing/C ... n_bike.htm

And in less BSO like equipment level:

Image

How's that for retro biking? Wonder how she looks these days?


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 Post subject: Re: Decent Falcon MTB
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:11 pm 
retrobike rider
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Location: Exeter
CTK wrote:
Japanese or English, and like you I'm thinking English, its a lovely looking frame.

I want one!


Just checked out your Harry Quinn roadie...

To quote you again: "I want one!" What a beauty!


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 Post subject: Re: Decent Falcon MTB
PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:40 am 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2008 6:25 pm
Posts: 924
Location: Near Wendover Bucks
I vaguely remember seeing some Claude Butler/Holdsworthy mountain bikes in a south London bike shop back in 1984/85 but can't remember ever seeing Falcon branded models. The earliest reference to a Falcon MTB that I can find is from the Bicycle Buyers Bible published in late 1984. The bike listed is a black Falcon "Town and Country" selling for a mid-range £300. The frame is Chrome-molybdenum and so are the integral bullnoose bars and stem. Sugino-GT chainset, Suntour Mountech gears, Dia Compe cantilever brakes, Ukai hubs, Araya Rims Shimano Platform pedals and 1.75" Panaracer tyres.

There are however no Holdsworthy or Claude Butler MTB's listed.

The 1986/7 Bicycle Buyers Guide shows that Falcon have a range of models from the budget brand with a £140 Tri-Star, the £230 Chrome-molybdenum Everest, and the top end K2 model at £365.
But their premier bike is listed under the Claude Butler brand. The £412 531 Canyon ATB.


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