Tony Oliver Cycles

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  • Has anyone any good information on Tony Oliver bikes? My dad has a lovely road bike i'm always trying to get of him, but i would like to know more, internet searches reveals very little, so any infor appreciated.

  • Thanks andy, yea I could find no more then this, better get saving for that book...

  • I've owned a few Tony Oliver frames and probably annoyed the pants off him over the years turning up for a cuppa at his place. Clever guy and a really good frame builder amongst other talents. Pity he's stopped. I'd love to get my hands on some original frame transfers, they are like chickens teeth, sadly I can't find the font.

  • You can buy the head/seat badge from

  • I still have the Tony Oliver touring/ expedition bike I built up in 1994 from a frame that Tony custom built for me at the time. I had just spent a year on a "round the world with bike" trip on a Dawes Super Galaxy (good bike btw) which gave me many days in the saddle planning how my ultimate long-distance bike would be. I then read Tony's book from cover to cover and quickly realised that this pragmatic, common sense bloke understood cyclists and frame building. Being a metallurgist - he knew about tubes, brazing and all the other technical stuff too.

    I took on board the advice in the book and ended up with just what I wanted. The frame Tony built rides like a dream, both fully laden with camping gear or unladen for day rides. It's supremely comfortable and ironically, its design and features are almost exactly the same as the Thorn range of touring frames - which came onto the market a few years after my frame was completed. Kevin Sayles, chief frame builder at Woodrups in Leeds built Thorn frames from 1999 onwards before returning to Woodrups a few years ago - so a case of great minds think alike, perhaps?

    Here's couple of photos of the bike - still wearing its original bottle green enamel paint - I elected to have a plain paint finish with no frame decals other than the one on the head tube - to make it less attractive to bike thieves.

    I still have the original order form and spec sheets.

    The main tubes are Reynolds 708 (silver brazed). Forks and seat stays are Columbus SP, and chainstays are Columbus Cyber OR - with a cast bottom bracket, fork crown and Prugnat lugs. The forks have an old fashioned shallow rake to give ample clearance with mudguards fitted and to be more comfortable on rough roads. Built for 26" wheels with sufficient clearance to take mountain bike tyres - because mountain bike size tyres are universally available - unlike 700c touring tyres - as I found to my cost in some remote areas when riding the Dawes.

    Shame Tony doesn't build frames any more. The book is a a must read for any bike enthusiast.

  • Thanks for the tip orbeas, unfortunately I had to accept another font :-(

    Tony was/is a polymath, a very versatile builder who also built brilliant race bikes, I still have one (see attached), sadly unused since a few years. He also loved tandems and trikes and it was frightening to be on the back of a tandem on test-rides while he piloted expertly down the typical tiny Ynys Môn back-roads. Eeeeee – Those where the days!

    He had a wicked sense of humour and it was always very educational to hear his views on how things should work, after all his day-job was Nuclear Physics and bikes were his hobby but it was fascinating to watch him braze and build wheels, the latter usually in a freezing cold kitchen over a constant supply of tea. He was a regular participant in our club events on the island - often turning up to race the evening time trial on his latest exotic "prototype". He also took cracking photos.

    I'll never forget how he used to open club meetings (he was Chairman) "Right! Lets finish this quickly, we're wasting valuable drinking time!" :-)

    Wonder what he's up to nowadays...

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  • Tony Oliver is also part of the reason why there's a 600km Audax that goes from Chepstow to Menai and back.

  • Handbuilt tt frame ..very's in his book on page 17!!!
    I'm from Rhosybol Tony built it for me for the ghs schoolboy finals ...very fast bike..
    531 tubes with extremely tight wheelbase , rear brake is mounted on the inside...
    No longer need and no space to keep it..
    Will sell for a reasonably sound offer

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  • Beautiful bike, I recognise it from the book! If I was a bit shorter/needed a tt bike I would have it off you straight away...

  • Neat looking frame, I rode the George Herbert Stancer Memorial 10 but in the 70's lol what's the actual seat tube length?

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Tony Oliver Cycles

Posted by Avatar for smackerjack @smackerjack