Walvale Frames

charl17

Retro Newbie
I didn't realise how talented he was until after he passed away, that when all the stories got told.
Yes I have seen that one thanks, normally the ones my grandad built had a silver badge on the front saying built by Norman Roberts.
Thanks Charlotte.
 

Campaghunter

Dirt Disciple
Re: Norman Roberts

Sad news. I have two Walvales handmade for me by your grandfather in the 1980s. They are in perfect condition but I can't sell them, too much sentimental value. They were well raced. One is full Camapg Super Record, 531 competion frame, hand cut lugs, chrome forks and rear triangle. Norman was very patient with me on both frames and let me watch as they progressed, answering all my questions as a cycling obsessed teenager. Now I ride them for fun and my son has ridden my first one as well. If you are interested I can take some photos of both bikes (original paintwork) and send them to you? I hope you find one, he was a true master and they are my most prized posessions.

Regards
Ian
.
 

jm

Senior Retro Guru
Re:

I picked up a pair of wheelcovers today in a collection of bits.
Does anyone have a race bike hanging up that might need some covers!!
 

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Hillspecial531

Retro Newbie
Re: Norman Roberts

Hi I am Norman Roberts grandaughter. I'm interested in buying a had built frame, built by my grandad who sadly past away January 2016, after a long battle with cancer. Can you recommend what sites to look on, I check eBay often but no luck. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
Hi Charl17.

I do hope you might see this post and like the photos.

We have two Walvale made by your late Grandfather. My wife met him a few times.

We've just had my wife's Walvale resprayed, she had a few Hand Built be Norman Roberts stickers still, do fitted one.


My Red and Black Walvale has one of your Grandfather's stickers too!

Paul
 

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Hillspecial531

Retro Newbie
Re: Norman Roberts

Hi I am Norman Roberts grandaughter. I'm interested in buying a had built frame, built by my grandad who sadly past away January 2016, after a long battle with cancer. Can you recommend what sites to look on, I check eBay often but no luck. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
Hi Charl17, we have two Walvale's made by your late Grandfather.

We've just had my wife's Walvale frame and forks restored in blue and purple.. I'll build it up over Xmas. Too nice to ride until the spring, so it's the winter bike until then.

I only bought mine red and black Walvale 'during lockdown'.

It dates from 1978, I'm told and was little used, so it's still in excellent condition. IMG_20211114_165046.jpg

Paul.
 

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GrahamJohnWallace

Retrobike Rider
Cleland Fan
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I mentioned earlier that I was restoring an off-road bike who's frame was built by Bill Whitcomb who built frames Walvale cycles. The thread that covers the history and restoration of this bike is here:
https://www.retrobike.co.uk/threads/geoff-apps-1981-700c-range-rider-prototype.382308/

1981 Range-Rider 47x700c.JPG

In the mid 1980's I popped into Walvale Cycles and asked them about the off-road frames that were built for Geoff Apps. They then went and got the engineering drawings for one of the frames. It must have been difficult to build such an unconventional size and shape of frame, and the quality of the work is a testament to Bill's high level of skill. Geoff Apps says that most frame-builders back then, refused to build his bikes because the designs were too difficult and unconventional. I now wish that I had asked them more questions than I did.

In the 1990's I managed to track down an even earlier Bill Whitcomb off-road bike that was designed in 1980. This bike was ridden up Snowdon in October 1981. This is highly likely to be the first time a bicycle had been ridden up a British Mountain. This bike will be my next restoration project.

These bikes, or more precisely the 650b and 700c Finnish snow tyres they used were highly influential. These tyres were of a larger diameter then the knobbly tyres then used by the American mountain bikers. Geoff Apps exported lots of them to the US mountain-bike pioneers, who had built bikes to fit them. Some of these bikes did very well US national cyclocross races. The tyres so inspired US frame-builders that they manufactured their own copies. This eventually led to the development of a whole new class of mountain bike that became known as the 29er because the overall diameter of their wheel was roughly 29 inches.
 
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