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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:29 pm 
Old School Hero

Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:20 pm
Posts: 159
So, after my other recent factory spec build of my Saracen Kili Ultra in all it's Ti and XTR glory it was time for something a little more prosaic but with a lot of significance for me.

Picture the scene; it's the run up to Christmas 1991. 16 year old me has been getting properly into MTBing during the course of the year using a far too big for me cheapie my dad would occasionally commute on. It was time for something better. I was going to need to fund this myself as I was also road racing at the time and my folks had already bought me a new racer that year.

At the time £400 was a rough entry level benchmark and intriguingly there had been an article in MBUK that year comparing a decent entry level MTB with a catalogue cheapie or BSO as we'd term them today. The bike chosen to represent what was decent was a Claud Butler Pagan in all it's purple glory. I was smitten. My local shop, as was the case with many small British shops at the time carried Claud Butlers. They had a few in stock including the Pagan. Even though the shop manager (a chap a couple of years ahead of me in school who I'd known for years) tried his absolute best, there was no way he could do it for the £250 or so I'd managed to cobble together.

Dejected I just needed to wait - however, not for too long! A week or so later he gave me a call to tell me of something that would become my entry into proper MTBing and something I'd go on to adore. Claud Butler were releasing a Limited Edition bike that was basically a Pagan only made of good old Reynolds 500 rather than the exotic *ahem* 501 used on the Pagan. They were painted silver. Other than that they were identical (albeit no pink cables!) with a mix of 300 and 400LX, and a nice lot of branded if ordinary finishing kit including bottle cages and bottles even. It was £260 and one would be mine!

It got delivered the last opening day before Christmas and my adventures began!

I sold it in 94 having been upgraded with all the typical stuff like SPDs and purple odds and sods as I moved up to the Saracen Kili XTR I still have today.

So, to today and since I got into retros I have longed to find my first love! I wasn't hopeful, they weren't anything special and were made in limited numbers anyway. Most if not all would be long gone. I kept an ebay search and would look regularly, I even toyed with getting that Pagan I had initially lusted after but one never came along that was worth it.

Then, a couple of months before Christmas 2017 and there it was! It looked honest but tired, a couple of odd accoutrements such as a dreadful sofa saddle but I had to get it. I watched the auction. Then, 5 days later a genuine WTF!! moment. Another appeared! This one looked a lot better and was on a Buy It Now. I bought it now and it was mine.

When it arrived I was staggered at the condition. It has been used (evidenced by cable rub and things like that but very little and it has obviously been stored well. It even has the bottle cages and bottles! Only annoyances were a pair of shifter/brake levers that were modern and for V brakes so awful on the cantis; and a Ritchey saddle in place of the original Vetta Air (one of those lycra covered ones). Mine had black tyres I can't remember in which flavour but this one had Tioga Mud Dawgs that seem original. Maybe specs changed slightly during the build run.

So, despite it being OK I stripped it totally, gave it a big clean then rebuilt, new cables and thanks to LeGrandFromage a correct pair of shifters and levers but otherwise as it came. I'll try and find the proper saddle at some point and maybe get a new Kalloy Post as the original is nastily scratched.

So, this was my original one:
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And here's the "new" one:
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:55 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:55 pm
Posts: 786
Location: The mountains of Northants
Nice, that frame looks very similar to my CB Spectre.

Also, I have an original lycra covered saddle but I cant remember how good it is. It try and find it at some point.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:03 pm 
Old School Hero

Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:20 pm
Posts: 159
Thanks. And yes, if the saddle is vaguely decent I'll have it! There was one on ebay very recently but it was a women's one so super wide. There are a couple on there now but they're in the US.

I think you're probably right on the frame the 500 and 501 versions probably got used on a few bikes.

It was amusing after I got it as at the time I was just finishing rebuilding a friend's son's Trek Session DH bike in all it's 180mm travel lunacy. The Trek wasn't a lot heavier than the CB :D


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:32 pm 
Lincs, East and South Yorks Deputy AEC
Lincs, East and South Yorks Deputy AEC
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Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 11:55 pm
Posts: 7104
Location: GUNNESS NTH LINCS
excellent!!!!

thats just the motivation i need to build up my antaeus :)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:53 pm 
King of the Skip Monkeys
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Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:34 pm
Posts: 31001
Location: Crayon-Munching-Fart-Muppet
Very nice and shiny

Apologies for being a bit rude but that rear drop-out looks very cheap and nasty when even compared to my other Clauds of the era. My 1991 Pagan had vertical drop-outs.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:47 pm 
Old School Hero

Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:20 pm
Posts: 159
legrandefromage wrote:
Very nice and shiny

Apologies for being a bit rude but that rear drop-out looks very cheap and nasty when even compared to my other Clauds of the era. My 1991 Pagan had vertical drop-outs.


No worries, it is indeed perhaps the "cheapest" bit of the frame which is otherwise really nicely welded and lugged. Even inside where I poked about a bit to check condition it's nicely done.

When I rebuilt it it brought back memories. I ended up putting an early Hope Ti Glide on mine back in the day and it was a real squeeze to get it in with the hub being 135 and the spacing being 130. Being steel and me being young I used brute force!

Rebuilding this one I seemed to have similar issues with the standard hub which is definitely the original. Odd and of course the slotted dropouts don't help.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:48 pm 
Classified Mod / Lincs, East and South Yorks AEC
Classified Mod / Lincs, East and South Yorks AEC
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Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:45 pm
Posts: 6247
Location: East Yorkshire
I love that!
My first mtb was a 1991 Claud Butler Silver Ridge which was the same colour and reynolds 500 tubing but a 100gs groupset.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:26 am 
Newbie

Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:54 am
Posts: 7
Nice work Ben


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:57 am 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:03 pm
Posts: 27
That looks so right, with the turn of the 1990s written all over it.


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