1975 Claud Butler Electron - 531

sherlylock

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A few months back I bought a Claud Butler Electron from an elderly gent who had given up cycling at the age of 86.

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Anyway - the frame turned out to be bent and eventually cracked. So I shelved it - which seemed a shame as it was a one year only 531 tubed frame/forks - last year of the Electron model.

Last week, browsing fb market place I saw the exact same model for sale. Badly advertised as "cycle" I jumped on it, within 20-odd mins of the ad going live. Agreed to buy it for the £30 asking price I was then pushed up to £50 by the seller who said she had loads of interest and someone offering her £50. I agreed and arranged to collect the next day.

Its in lovely condition - it was the ladies late husbands pride and joy and has been unused for many years, so is suffering from light overall corrosion to the shiny bits. There are some scuffs and chips to the paintwork and a small amount of tin worm evident under the paintwork but under the dirt and spider poo the paintwork is lovely. Decals are mostly present and in reasonable nick.

Best of all - it comes with the original bill of sale from 1975 - £59 with a £30 discount for a part ex with a Hercules Balmoral!

I picked it up the day on went on hols.....hence the beach shots. It had a Pletscher rear rack and an industrial kickstand which have immediately come off - and it's quite well spec'd. 5 speed with Campag derailleur and shifter. Weinmann levers with hoods in lovely un-perished condition.

Was quite disappointed that my last one was effectively a scrapper.......didn't think I'd ever find another, let alone so local.

Too many words......here are some pics......

As bought:

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Rack and stand removed and a "wet-wipe wash":

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Some details:

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Not sure whether these frames were built up to a certain "catalogue spec" but the components on this one are completely different (better) to the components on the previous one I have. That's not to say that these bikes haven't been upgraded and messed about with over the years of course......

Might try an squeak a ride on it tomorrow before stripping down and cleaning up.
 

sherlylock

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Had a post holiday indulgent day on the bike yesterday - spent about 5 hours on it on and off. Completely stripped it down to the frame, g3 compound polish to remove any of the heavier blemishes on the paintwork. A coat of AutoGlym Super Resin polish then 2x coats of Collinite wax. Has really brought out the blue and made it properly shine again.

Stripped the TDC bottom bracket out, flushed and regreased. Bearing surfaces are like new so this all went back in with fresh grease. It's been apart before - those mashed marks on the bottom bracket lock ring were there before I attacked it!

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TDC Continental Headset was also really good - just dry. Absolutely no grease in it at all - but no pitting or corrosion either. The joys of being stored in a dry shed presumably. Reassembled with fresh balls and fresh grease.

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Matching frame number on the fork steerer

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Fork and frame back together

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Cranks polished and refitted. Needed a replacement cotter pin on the drive side - loose when I got it and when I removed it was evident that it had been filed to the wrong shape and had a couple of deep ridges in it - presumably where it's been tightened up against the bottom bracket?

Coming together....

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Peachy!

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Excellent.... and good choices from the original owner as these all started life as frames only...
 

Nob

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That coming up nice & well & that blue color is excellent. Owner seemed to look after it so defo bargain you have there. :)
 

sherlylock

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Peachy!":i1asyhtz said:
Excellent.... and good choices from the original owner as these all started life as frames only...

Which is why the componentry on the other Electron I have is so different presumably?

Yeah looks like it was quite well specc'd - I don't know much about TDC as a brand - used on my bike for the headset and bottom bracket. Both are in great condition and are now both buttery smooth after a re-grease.

Campag shifter and rear mech - are Valentino Extra (although I struggle to see the variations in a lot of the campag shifters). Not seen the rear mech before - apparently a mech produced for the "mass market" - steel and a bit overweight. Not sure what it shifts like yet - but it looks "quirky" (and named after Tullio Campagnolo's son too fact fans).

Cranks - not sure on the brand but remind me of 1950's Williams cranks. No markings on them anywhere that I can see.

Wheels and hubs - haven't delved too far into these yet - but the chrome is terrible on the rims. Hubs are WECO and rims are seeming unbranded, freewheel is a Regina Extra. I may use the wheels off the other Electron as they are in better condition (Rigida Super Chromix with Atom hubs and the same Regina Extra freewheel IIRC).

GB stem and GB Ventoux bars are in great condition and have cleaned up nicely. Not sure how to tape these though as the engraving on the bar tops seems to go past the bulge where I've always assumed the tape should start! Minor detail but I think the tape not starting at the bulge will look odd, as will covering up half of the engraving. Agggghhhhhhh.......... (I'm probably overthinking and it'll probably look OK) :facepalm: :LOL:
 

sherlylock

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Nob":1fh9i0po said:
That coming up nice & well & that blue color is excellent. Owner seemed to look after it so defo bargain you have there. :)

I was trying to work out quite why I fell in love with the previous one and I why I had to have this one. I think the blue has quite a bit to do with it, along with the older style Claud Butler font and the fact that it's got a metal headbadge (I don't know why that makes a difference to me but it does)........and of course it's a Claud Butler and a model made only for one year.

Interesting stampings on the bottom bracket shell, aside from the frame number.

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Can't quite work out what the main text says......looks like 2 words the second word possibly "components" and there is a 62 63 stamped on the drive side and DC or OC on the non drive side.

Any ideas?

EDIT - just worked out that it could say "DAVIS COMPONENTS" - Googled it and sure enough a frame fittings manufacturer!

DC stands for Davis components and the 62 63 are lug angles?
 

sherlylock

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Peachy!":13ydejh2 said:
For the stays? I guess...

Yep - from what I've read.

Turned my attention to the brakes last night. Weinmann 610/750 Vainqueur 999. Good condition under the grime and minor surface corrosion.

Made a start on the front - fully dismantled, cleaned, polished and reassembled. Pleased with that - if a little time consuming.

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Also found some advertising for the TDC headset I have fitted whilst browsing t'interweb.

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sherlylock

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Peachy!":2yx04pcu said:
Looking good...
Cheers Peachy....starting to come together. Hoping to have it rideable by the end of the week.

Tressorex cotton bar tape arrived today - earlier than expected. So here's the dilemma....start the tape from the bulge in the bar, partially covering the engraving or start the tape after the engraving?

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