• The 'Nolan' is certainly an attractive machine. It looks as though it was left outside a cyclists' cafe, on a clubrun in about 1959, and for some inexpicable reason the owner never went back for it.

    The thing that caught my eye about this is the vendor's claim that it is 'potentially very rare'.

    Surely something is either rare or it is not. 'Potentially rare' suggests going around destroying other things similar to the one you have so as to make your thing more rare!

    I've never heard of Jimmy Nolan, either as a frame builder, shop owner or competitor. This may be because I'm a Londoner and not familiar with the west country scene in the 1950's, but I suspect Mr. Nolan may have been some one in a small way of business who bought in some frames from a trade builder, and a few sets of transfers. In that case we may have a perfectly good but commonplace frame, with a very rare set of transfers.

  • Another classic ebay description.
    It has some lovely components on it, i especially like the chater lea double crank set up.
    Ive never heard of the marque either but it definitely looks like a good project for somebody fairly local, as he will not post.

  • There was a 'Tommy Nolan Cycles' in Denton, Manchester.

  • The Chater double must be pretty rare just by itself, probably because they were heavy as well as being expensive. I've just weighed a single 52 CL ring and a same size TA:
    Chater 11oz.*
    TA 5oz.

    The Chater cranks are above average weight for steel, so the whole Chater set up would probably be a good pound heavier than say, TA/Stronglight.

    The Nolan does seem a good proposition at somewhere near that price, but you'd need to be tall. The advertiser has neglected to mention the frame size, but I'd say it's at least a 24".

    Tommy Nolan: interesting, they could be related, but neither name is unusual.

    • No apology for non-metric weight; it would be inappropriate to measure Chater kit in anything other than pounds and ounces !
  • Just out of curiosity did CL make hollow steel cranks, fading memory fail lol

  • Duprat are the only hollow steel cranks I've heard of. Chater Lea never seemed to be much concerned about weight saving.

  • My much loved Wrights W3 died this morning. Been carrying a few heavy loads on my back which started a split across the nose, behind the front mounting point. I hit a particularly nasty speed bump this morning and it suddenly tore across. Quite sad.

    So if anyone has an old Wrights they want to shift, please let me know!


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  • It’s amazing how much you can get done when the OH and kids are staying with the gramps. Not even 9am and I’ve tightened all the spokes and trued both wheels on the Parkes, shortened the chain, repositioned the chainring and adjusted the brake.

    Rough roads and speed bumps had clearly taken their toll. Thought I could feel the back end moving around a bit: two completely loose spokes and the rest all over the place. Amazingly, it was still running pretty true. It must have been really flapping about with weight on it.


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  • Beautiful bike, I love them when they are in "period" condition and not overly restored. If that's a Unicanitor saddle I'd be inclined to slacken those rear spokes back off and save your ass from a world of pain ;-)

  • Thanks! I’m ok with a Unicanitor as it goes - it’s my other saddle of choice. I’ve done thousands of miles on that one on my other bike!

  • https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/304416054859?­hash=item46e09c5e4b:g:QHIAAOSw-I1iQL-b

    Early Claud with potential and what looks like some Osgear or similar bits. Collection only though....

  • Cyclo Ace, the same I have on my Holdsworth

  • btw with children possibly (adopting) soon, I am reducing my stable.
    The Holdsworth above is up for grabs
    Anyone interested? no idea of price.

  • Got this Fiorelli and a bunch of parts from a lovely couple this morning.


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  • superb find. Would love a road version of that

  • That's a lovely find. I'd gnaw my arm off for that. No front brake drilling so properly built for the track. What's the brand of BB?

  • Nice frame it looks older than the 60s though. I like the front light braze on position on the left side.i have asked for the frame number

  • Very nice, whats the plan, clean it up, pump up the tyres and ride it i guess

  • Cranks, BB, headset are all Magistroni. I'm still looking through some of the parts that came along with it, but I quite like these super high flange airlight hubs. I was unfamiliar with them before today. Here's a comparison of the rear hub with a Campy & a HVZ rear hub.

    I have had and gently refurbished a number of vintage track bikes, but nothing quite this old. I'm a bit nervous about doing too much to it, I would hate to use a paint cleaning/wax product and flake off the logos. I guess I'll try to clean everything very gently, oil/ carefully remove rust where possible on the chromed parts, assess the strength of the rusty spokes on the front wheel and give her a go. My 1964 HVZ got new tires because I had to build wheels for it, and the look of new tires kind of bothers me. There's an American forum called the Cabe, and I feel like some of those guys are rolling around (carefully) on 100 year old tires. I'll see if there's anything I can do to keep these tires rollin.


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  • Very nice catch.

  • I feel like some of those guys are rolling around (carefully) on 100 year old tires. I'll see if there's anything I can do to keep these tires rollin.

    Your Fiorelli is a very attractive machine and I'm sure you're on the right lines in just treating it to gentle cleaning.

    The frame angles look surprisingly shallow for a track frame, but it's said that the continentals were much less interested in frame design than the Brits (who were obsessive).

    I think you'll be lucky to save those tubs. The inner tubes are probably latex which, in my experience, will be rotten by now. If they do pump up, make sure you re-cement them to the rims before riding.

    It's very rare to see 1" pitch (block) chain now. It was still widely used on the track when I was a kid and it certainly makes an exciting noise in use, but I was never convinced it had any benefit. It must be heavy compared with conventional chain and the noise implies friction.

    Airlite hubs, large and small flange, were very widely used in Britain up to the 1970's, and Tony Doyle won the 1980 worid pro pursuit championship on them in 1980. The wheels were on loan from his mentor and Clarence Wheelers club 'boss' Alf Whiteway.

  • in frame design than the Brits (who were obsessive).

    to be fair, when it comes to the Olympics in particular, we still are.

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

Posted by Avatar for luckyskull @luckyskull

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