• Great thanks @clubman for the info.
    As for sprints in the winter, I have a good pair of tubs and the weight saving is a big win for me over my practical, albeit sluggish 27.1.1/4 commuter bike.

  • sluggish 27.1.1/4 commuter bike.

    You are absolutely correct - even heavy tubs are a big improvement over 27's (although little gain over good 700's).

    But going back to that photo, it's worth mentioning that the group wasn't absolutely typical of a Hounslow training run at that time. For one thing the Bern and Eth ride was invitation only - it had to be because the Thompsons couldn't cater for unlimited numbers.

    A more normal early season ride worked something like this: there would be a sort of 'inner circle' of the strongest riders, perhaps half a dozen or so, and they would agree what bikes should be used for the coming weekend - essentially whether to stick to winter bikes (commuter bikes, single speed, lights, luggage racks etc.) or to change to training bikes, which were essentially road bikes using downgraded racing kit - but mostly with heavy tubs and mudguards.

    So when the big boys were still on winter bikes, the rest of us, the lesser mortals, who were encouraged to tag along, could either try to be tough and use our own winter bike, or use the best bike we had and hope to last a bit longer.

    I should mention that there was generally no waiting for stragglers, so once dropped you were on your own. I used to carry a small scale motoring map which covered all the areas we were likely to get to - this enabled me to get home by the shortest and easiest route if I got shelled out. This may sound harsh, but it was a good system in that it allowed the good riders to train hard and the others to join in for as long as they could. It created the ambition for the dropped riders to last a bit longer the next time and eventually to last all the way back to Staines. By the time you'd got to that stage you would at least have the strength to stay in a third cat. road race bunch or hope to get under the hour (no tri-bars or other aero kit!).

  • Some splendid photos of Ray Booty from cycling weekly

    3 Attachments

    • 1BCB07F0-06D9-4C07-92F6-345701D7C07B.jpeg
    • 55B09BB0-1252-4184-83BC-9B72472658E3.jpeg
    • B9E9883E-00B3-42A4-ADCA-C9743E4DEB8C.jpeg
  • they're great. Nice Raleigh track frame too.

  • Nice Raleigh track frame too.

    Many years after his racing career had come to an end, Booty was asked by an interviewer (from CW, I think) if he still had the Raleigh frame he used for his records: 'Yes' replied the Boot,'I rode to work on it this morning'.

    So clearly he agreed with you, Jeff80 !

  • A week to go @jeff80 how are you looking.
    I've done a little tinkering today and I'm almost ready, I just need to fit a water bottle holder, which always ends up being trickier than it sounds as there are no lug fittings on the frame.
    and a final test ride.

  • Not sure if you are still looking, but just in case you are (or any other member here) - picked up a nice vintage bike with couple of sets of sprints I do not intend to use

    • Campaq low flange (126 OLN rear) hubs 36/36 on vintage Wobler Super Champion rims+ original QRs
    • Airlite low flange hubs (120 OLN) hubs 40/32 on vintage Weinmann Scherens rims + original QRs + additional front wheel! A set including QRs comes at around 1.8kg on my kitchen scales

    All very nice, smooth and straight. No idea on value, but prefer to go to a nice build than dealing with evil bay. Let me know if interested.

  • Hello foreigner
    Thanks for the heads up.
    I would definitely be interested in the airlites.
    I will send you a PM.

  • Just firstly to say how much I enjoy this thread!

    And then a question for you fellow 50s bike fans: have any of you had experience converting a French bike with a cyclo deraileur to a 'modern' (70s or 80s) rear derailleur? Jan Heine said somewhere that they collect a lot of dirt for some reason (don't really understand why it would be any different). Anyway, I have an idea that they are not ideal.

    I'm considering a bike for sale, but want to really use it for longer trips, camping too. So, just wondering if its possible to convert. Here's a photo.

    1 Attachment

    • screenshot.jpg
  • Close up.

    1 Attachment

    • screenshot detail.jpg
  • using the same hanger on the stay, do you mean?

  • Hi and thanks for your reply! Well, ideally I would like to get an oldish Suntour deraileur hanger and attach it on the wheel axis/nut - so where one would usually attach it. I'd need an adapter 'claw' (I think you call it).

    I'd remove this one on now.

  • can't see why it would be a problem. Most older frames used derailleur hangers anyway-from my experience it seems it was only very high end frames or later 50s/60s frames that seem to commonly have built in hangers in the dropout. I would have thought any later derailleur would work as long as you are running a 5 speed rear block so as not to get into issues with dropout widths etc.

  • Thanks. I imagine one would have to widen the dropout width slightly too for the cassette. The first question I asked myself was whether there was even enough space for a hanger and adapter/claw.

    I didn't have the heart to ask the seller this question, after he had clearly taken pains to get it up and running in its mostly original form. From what little I can find about the cyclo, I've read how immensely complicated it is to set up. I see some French cycle enthusiasts still use them, but I've haven't seen it used long distance. Anyway, my 51-year-old knees simply need the extra gears for climbing hills. No way I can get around that.

    Absolutely no info on the web on this topic that I can find. Or at least in the English language. A big step though for me, not being that technically experienced.

  • Do you think it's possible to keep the 5-speed cassette (if that's what it is), but change the crank set to a triple one? I mean, in terms of spacing.

  • Re the derailleur, I haven’t put one on a 50s bike but there’s no reason why it won’t work. You’ll be able to use your wheel with the nutted axle and probably better to swap from your wing nuts to plain nuts. You might struggle with 1/8” chain if that’s what it’s got, you might need to swap to 3/32” (5/6/7 speed chain) which might mean a change of cassette and/or chainring.

  • Thank you! Personally, I would prefer to change the crank set to triple (possibly vintage Stronglight), and swap out the cassette and rear derailleur (to old Suntour Cyclone). I'd like to keep the vintage aesthetic somehow, and wouldn't change anything about the rest. Then it would be perfect for me. He wants me to make an offer, so I guess there's that question still too.

  • A word to the wise; watch out for French threads.

    That rear wheel has a 4 speed (by the looks of it) freewheel on it, not a cassette, and will most likely be the weird French size. An English freewheel will wind on 3/4ish of a turn and then bind. Ask me how I now and I'll reply in Atom/Maillard/Normandy tinged curses.

    Pretty sure old French frames will also have French sized & threaded bottom bracket shells too, which could be pertinent if you're thinking of swapping to a square taper Stronglight/TA crankset. Oh, and don't forget about French pedal threads too... Oh boy!

    All that aside, the Stronglight/TA cranks have a properly narrow P factor, so you shouldn't actually have an issue with the big ring being miles out from the smallest cog in terms of chainline. But you might have an issue with the 3rd inner chainring fouling the chainstay, depending how tight it is already, which would lead to the need for a longer bb axle (entre: bb du Français issues) and then that outer chainring-small cog chainline could become an issue!

    (Edited: Saw you already said it is a French bike)

  • Should add, don't mean to naysay your dreams for that bike. If you really love all other aspects of it every issue I just posted about can be surmounted, just might take a bit of forethought

  • Another thought - I don't know how wide the movement of the front (looks to be) Simplex derailleur is, it might not swing far enough for a triple up front. No personal experience of those.

  • Hi
    Something off topic, but I'm hopeful that some of you specialists will be able to help. I bought this frame on spec. without knowing anything about it. My guess is late 40's early 50's - it's very similar in construction to my brazed Ephgrave from 1948 and 1948 Hobbs of Barbican Criterium, except both of these have a seat tube collar. The head badge/decal looks like 'lond..' so could be a London maker, frame number 22 so early in career or near the end! Super light frame, forks match the frame number. Anyone out there able to hazard a guess as to the maker? I'd like to restore, so finding a good image for Lloyds to copy the decal would be great. Any help out there?Ta. C

    3 Attachments

    • IMG_1312.jpg
    • image.jpg
    • IMG_1313.jpg
  • a couple more photos

    3 Attachments

    • IMG_1310.jpg
    • IMG_1315.jpg
    • IMG_1311.jpg
  • Looks like “Bromley Kent” at the bottom of the head tube decal, which matches the Invicta horse—although shouldn’t it be white?

  • Hi baguette, thank you for your amazing posts. Had a good chuckle too, here and there : )

    Ask me how I now and I'll reply in Atom/Maillard/Normandy tinged

    Hah! Excellent. This may be the fastest way to learn French yet ; )

    Your considerations make it clear to me just how tricky this may be. I've seen one or two French bikes where the old cyclo derailleur was exchanged for a more 'modern' (still vintage) one. But there must be so many variables here: brand, frame, simple one or two speeds vs more, etc. The bike is a Follis, by the way. 650b, no less. Wonderful randonneur (or is it a randonneuse?!).

    Well, another day to think about it. Maybe a Gillott, Hobbs, or similar pops up down the line for sale, and then I don't have to concern myself with such uncertainties.

  • I've checked out Invicta as a brand and it exists, but no head badges match. So maybe a 'red' herring, or horse in this case! Still Bromley, Kent might narrow things down, if that's actually what it says. Ta C

  • Post a reply
    • Bold
    • Italics
    • Link
    • Image
    • List
    • Quote
    • code
    • Preview

Pre 1950s rides of LFGSS: old bikes, vintage rats, classic lightweights

Posted by Avatar for luckyskull @luckyskull