Eclipse Countryman (not Routier...) refurb

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  • This is my main road bike; the only picture I can find of it built up is this one, on the 2014 Straight Outta Hackney 200: https://m.flickr.com/#/photos/113077474@­N05/20257696882/

    I bought this frame from a guy in Cambridge via the CTC forums. Eclipse were sold out of a shop on the Strand back in the mid-80s, and were pretty well regarded. Mine doesn't have cantis, so I think it is likely to have been an Eclipse Routier, which was more towards the fast tourer end of the spectrum. (The only info I've been able to find about them is this thread on the CTC forums - mine is the same colour & model as the one down the page: https://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.ph­p?t=37880 )

    I think it's a 531ST frame - it takes a 26.4mm seatpin. The guy I bought it off built it up with parts from his bits box; he reset the rear end to 130mm and fitted 700c wheels - as far as I'm aware the Weinmann centrepulls are original. It's not the lightest frame, but rides really nicely. However the paint is rubbish - chips as soon as you look at it, and was in bad shape when I bought it, having been roughly touched up.

    It's now been boxed up ready for me to ring Bob Jackson and book it in for a respray. I'm fond enough of it to spend a bit extra on a refurb, and was thinking of going classic British lightweight - racing green with an ivory head tube and maybe even a barbers pole. I was also thinking of getting some bottle bosses brazed on while the paint's being redone - I find band-on cages a bit of a faff.

    Once it's back I'll have to think about how to build it up again. It's a big frame - 64cm or so - but the top tube is only 58 cm, which is a little short for me. I had a 160mm stem on it but relatively short-reach bars, so I think I'll try and get some longer-reach bars and a more normal stem.

    The other question is what to do about the drive train; for some reason it's got an 8-from-9 cassette (13-32 I think) on a 7-speed hub, which all works fine, but I'm not sure whether I'll stick with that when it wears out.

  • What are you trying to achieve? A practical, modern upgrade or a sympathetic refurb?

    I recently had bottle cage bosses added and the threaded steerer replaced with a threadless one (is that an adapter with an Ahead stem you have) as I wanted to make it more usable.

    But judging by the paint scheme you're considering, I guess it's the latter option.

    Either way, new wheels (with wider rims) would be on my shopping list but assuming you'd want to stick with silver, box section rims that would mean getting some H+Son TB14 built up: I don't know of any OTP wheels that fit the description.

    Modern components in silver are thin on the ground, but Nitto Noodle are a lovely bar for longer rides and have a classic bend: 92mm reach.

  • Yeah, on grounds of faff I'm going for a sympathetic refurb - eg downtube bosses would add another £50 to the refurb costs. I'm happy enough to stick with the DT shifters and wheels I've got at the moment, and think about upgrading when they're worn out. A perverse bit of me is also wondering about going for a proper old-school 7-speed half-step-plus-granny gearing, but I'm sure that urge will pass.

    Yes, currently it's running a 160mm threaded stem on a quill converter - again a legacy of the parts bin build. Nitto noodle or randonneur bars and a normal quill stem are the most likely replacement, though the VO randonneur bars are also cheap and have long reach, so I may go for those.

  • Have you considered Winston Vaz? The prices of both repairs and paint compare favourably with BJ: ie shifter bossers £20 a pair.

  • Frame is at Bob Jackson's and should be back with me by the end of the month (I assume; they're not exactly voluble), but bottle cage bling has arrived!

    Still need to sort out the cockpit. It looks like VO randonneur bars are suitably long reach and are 26.0; I've managed to find a 150mm stem so hopefully the combination should end up in more or less the same place. Hoping to be back on the road in a couple of weeks.


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  • Back from Bob Jackson, who've done a lovely job - the paint looks great. Ideally would give it a month to cure, but am itching to get back out on the road...


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  • Awesome result! But yeah, give it two weeks at least and preferably on top of your boiler, somewhere warm. I had a frame wet painted a few years ago and didn't wait more than a few days, FD clamp etc marked the paint quite a bit.

  • Headset and some bits on; drivetrain and cables to sort, and I should be back on the road!

  • cracking choice of colours!

  • Looking like a bike! Gears need new cables and a fettle once I've dug out the workstand, but everything else seems to be ok. I may also have mislaid a concave washer for the rear brake - will have to have a look in my parts bin and/or ask at the LBS for one.


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  • (Edit: can't get the other photos to load; will perhaps have another go once I've taped the bars, fixed the gears, and - just in time for summer! - fitted guards.)

  • Over a year on, the bike is still going strong; pic below is after cycling to Utrecht with my kid brother. Only thing that needs fixing is the bar tape that got scraped in a spill - that temp fix has been there since the autumn.


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  • That is a nice restoration. I believe your bike is an Eclipse Countryman. I have owned one from new in flamboyant blue colour and the frame is identical. My understanding is that the Routier model came with cantilever brakes and the corresponding bosses brazed on the frame. The Weinmann brake levers originally had rubber hoods and the nearest equivalent nowadays would be some old stock Dia Compe ones.

  • Thanks, I'm still riding and enjoying the bike, though I've had to touch up the odd chip and scrape. Thankfully Humbrol Brunswick Green enamel is the exact same shade as Bob Jackson's racing green. Since I started this thread someone on the CTC forums sent me a scan of an Eclipse brochure, and (for that model year at least) it looks like the Routier had sidepulls and the Countryman centre-pulls; I've seen flam blue frames on eBay with canti bosses, so it may have varied from year to year? I keep meaning to get some hoods, but I find the levers comfy enough for all but the longest rides.

  • That is interesting. I would really like a copy of that scanned brochure. Would you be able to forward me a copy, if I send you my email address as a private message?

    I'm trying to figure out the best way to touch up my frame as the old Raleigh touch up stick that the original shop supplied me with (Two Wheels Good in Leeds) has long has long since dried out. The touch up paint stick says RTU 078 which seems to be a Raleigh specific code.

  • Great, thanks for the links that was an interesting read. From what I can see the frame differences between the Routier and Countryman in that brochure are:

    • frame angles: 73°/73° for Routier, 72°/72° for Countryman;
    • frame materials: Reynolds 531 throughout for Routier, Reynolds 531 frame tubes and forks for Countryman;
    • braze on for bottle cage on Routier, none on Countryman.

    Braze on rear rack bosses were present on the shop and review models of the Countryman I saw at the time, and the one I purchased. I guess the original frame sticker might be informative, while measuring the frame angles would be an accurate way to differentiate the two models.

  • I also owned a Countryman which I broughtt in 1983 from Bike UKs original shop underneath the Strand, near the Adelphi.

    Mine was a metallic pink. MTBs hadn't quite happened then, they would next year , and so touring bikes mostly had centre pulls and double chainsets. Have a look at the Rough Stuff Fellowship Archive book/Instagram account and you'll get an idea of what touring bikes once looked like and how they were used.

    Many a happy memory of touring and commuting on that bike, including fully laden camping trips, and riding through snow to work in the West End.

  • Rough Stuff Fellowship Archive book/Instagram

    Nice photographs. I used to take mine on some similar trips in the Yorkshire Dales and North Wales. When my neighbour recently showed me his new gravel bike and told me what he used it for, I thought things had come full circle. For a time I stayed in Dunoon when I would cycle to Loch Striven, Scotland. One evening I went to pitch my tent and I decided as a precaution to choose the uphill side of the single track road. Next morning I awoke to view the downhill side and the entire road all under water, after the highest spring tide for years!

  • There's little new in cycling . Gravel and Bike packing is rough stuff and cycle touring rediscovered; though often with better brakes and much lower gears.

    That people are learning that there's more to cycle culture than the Tour or 25mile TTs on the E2 is to be welcomed.

  • [ Moved posting on my restoration to conform with the one-thread-per-bicycle 'Rules for CP' guidelines ]

    https://www.lfgss.com/conversations/3561­75/

  • Now updated with dyno lighting etc.; still haven't got round to fixing the bar tape...


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  • Nice lighting. I particularly like the look of the SON front light.

  • Nice bike. Does the rear light piggy back off the front light, or is there a splitter junction in the wiring loop?

  • Ta! It piggy-backs off the front light. Unlike the B&M lights, which have two spade terminals for the rear connection, the Edelux has just one - the lamp body is grounded to act as the other terminal. I bought the SON ready-made rear loom, which has a ring terminal (to be sandwiched up against the lamp body in the mount) and a spade terminal; it uses coax cable, which is supposed to be more durable than bell wire. I figured the fiver it cost was worth not having to faff about with crimping or soldering. You can just see I've taped it alongside the top tube brake cable, and then spiraled it along the rack legs.

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Eclipse Countryman (not Routier...) refurb

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