1970's Claud Butler Olympic.....the "West Ham bike"

sherlylock

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The latest steel-steed in the fleet - picked up last week - and my first bike with track ends. A 1970-something Claud Butler Olympic (I think.)

Barn fresh - stored for decades and sold off due to a house clearance. The guy I bought it off had it secondhand in the late seventies and sent it back to Claud Butler for a respray in West Ham colours - hence the sky blue base colour and claret headtube and banding. He asked me if I was a Tottenham supporter and I reckon he would've refused a sale if I'd said no...... Early 80's he learnt to drive and moved on to other things forgot about cycling and the bike languished in his fathers shed in Cornwall, until recently where he's brought it out of hibernation to sell it off.

It's plain gauge 531, filthy and a bit corroded......also a bit of a mish mash of different period parts. Also a very seized seat post.

Some pics shortly after I'd picked it up.......

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Frame number (also corresponding on fork steerer) is 65966

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Leads me to think this is a 1974 frame according to a Holdsworth-built Claud Butler frame number chart I found on't web. And everything on the web is true so I'm taking it as gospel.......(happy to be corrected of course).

Bike is now fully stripped and the seatpost is removed. Had to get drastic with that little issue.......more to follow.
 

greencat

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Ace. I hope you keep the colours. Not that I'm any kind of football supporter, but I love the idea of someone spraying a bike in their team colours.
 

sherlylock

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Ace. I hope you keep the colours. Not that I'm any kind of football supporter, but I love the idea of someone spraying a bike in their team colours.
I agree. I don't follow football and am not a supporter but appreciate the passion that supporters have for their clubs. I like the colour scheme and a love the "barbers pole" paint job on the seat tube (I'm sure there must be a better description of that paint effect).

I'm going to repaint the top tube as it's proper rough, along with the fork blades and a seat stay as these are the worst bits and really let the rest of the frame down - blending in to the original blue paint as best I can. I've got a proper pressed metal head badge to replace the current decal and I may replace the "respray 531" sticker with a more period correct 531 plain tubes sticker.
 

KermitGKona88

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Lovely frame, deserves a loving home. As soon as I saw that paint work, I thought I have seen that somewhere before, great minds perhaps... IMG_20211006_160429.jpg
 

sherlylock

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Stuck seat post.........not a problem I thought. I've dealt with several stuck posts over the years and have never failed with freezing them out, slitting them out and more recently pulling them out with a slide hammer.

Not happening this time. Tapped the top of the post to take an adapter to allow the slide hammer to be bolted to it and after a couple of blows with the hammer it just sheared the end of the post off.

So I then progressed to slitting down the post with a hacksaw blade. It's been a while since I've last done this and I made a royal pigs ear of it......ending up with bits of folded, twisted seatpost firmly wedged in the seattube.

So time to call in the big guns.....faced up to the embarrassment of the mangled removal attempt and got my friend Paul the machinist involved. After he'd stopped laughing at the mess he bolted the frame up on the Bridgeport and started chipping away at the post, skillfully avoiding the the seattube.

After half hour or so of tickling away at the aluminium the final little piece let go and the post was completely gone.

Such a nice feeling.......the frame will live again!

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Blowing out the swarf.....

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Good progress

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It finally let go.....

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Happy Days

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Peachy!

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Excellent work….
 

sherlylock

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Excellent work….
Ta! Was lovely to get on the machine tools again after a 20 year hiatus (not touched them since training college). That said Paul did most of the skilled stuff.

You're not Claud in your avatar any more Peachy!.......not sure I can get my head round a change as momentous as that.......
 
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