A few tweaks needed still, but I've been out for a couple of shake-down rides on this bike now. It's quite punchy but a joy to ride. It's rained every day since I took the shot with the bars wrapped, but I'll take some more if it ever stops. I also plan to put a couple of coats of shellac on the tape before taking it out again.
I saw the frame at an auction a while back and like in a fantasy novel when the hero first swings the magic sword, it sang in my hand. I won it at the top end of what I was prepared to pay and then found out the hammer price at auction doesn't include VAT, and hid it in the attic for a year :D
There is a catalogue in the VCC library for the Jubilee re-issue by Ray Etherton, built by Ron Cooper (mine has the "Ron Cooper" decal), lugs cut by Len Phipps, so a pretty decent crew! I've been in touch with Ray subsequently, who remembered this particular frame well. Coincidentally I took it in to Argos to check over a couple of things and Mark also remembers painting it for Ray.
I wasn't initially very taken with the "orchid pink" with blue lining, but it's growing on me, particularly now it's built up. Some extracts from the email from Ray:
"The Ron Cooper transfers were in short supply at the time of the build...I recall only 5 or 6 were fitted.
Some later frames had 'RC' Stamped on the BB shell near the original number....otherwise on the underside of the shell itself.
Yes...The frame is superb....The third one built by Ron. All lug work including the brake-bridge ornamentations were hand cut by Len Phipps. These lugs were cut from blanks supplied by Haden Bros Birmingham. All tubing was from the original stock from Bates. Later tubes supplied direct from Reynolds.
The original frame was built in 1996. It was 1 of only 4 that were fitted with the 'Diamond Jubilee' badge ... . From my experience, Ron was up there with the best of builders. ...Ron would do the Bates building , and I would thin all the lug work and silver-braze the stops, bosses etc.
ALL the owner's frames (10-12 ?) were Orchid Pink! His wife would not know the difference or any new ones he said....!"
I wanted to build it up with modern components as I will ride it frequently - so didn't want to trash vintage components. It also seemed a bit wrong to now put 1930s/40s/50s components on a frame built in 1996, or 1990s components on it, but I wanted to do the frame justice and recreate a classic fixed path racer aesthetic.
When I was speaking to Joey from ryanbuildswheels (who built the wheels), I said that I was trying to stay the right side of it being a hipster build but she just laughed at me and said I was way over the line. Oh well. I think so long as I ride it frequently and at least try for fast it'll be ok!
Any close up photos of the lugs?
Just snapped a few, sorry for the poor photography.
Superb, And that brake bridge!
I didn't realise the shot I took outside was focused on the seattube, so there's a dramatic one with the flash inside :)
Aww yiss I do love that brake bridge :)
That is absolutely amazing!!!
Thanks, took a fair bit of sweat, some blood and the odd tear :)
I finally managed to take some more, hopefully decent, pictures. I've been riding it fairly often - not far and not up any hills, but great for a flat 20k. So this afternoon I've given it a good clean and tried to arrange some artful shots!
And some detail shots. The pedals were a present from Santa, but I think I might go back to clipless - not great struggling to get in to your clips pulling away from the lights riding a show pony like this :)
Anyway, all modern components, but I wanted it to look classic to match the frame ... the Phil hubs look a little like Harden 'Bacon Slicers', Brooks saddle, shellac'd cloth tape, polished off the black anodizing on the lever, etc.
Lug work is staggering and great choice of tyre.
Would you sell the frame and forks?
id forgotten about this @veloham, ive just been through the photos again, its a great build and i love the colour, im just thinking about colours for my 1946 Gillott. Would Orchard pink have been a thing back then?
Could ask the original owner.
Original colour on my 1945 Paris was Salmon Pink,looks v. similar shade to Veloham's
Good to know thanks.
A "1945 Salmon Pink Paris", sounds great, Any pictures?
Re orchid pink in 1945 as @mig says yes I think so. From memory I think there’s a 1946 (or thereabouts) Hobbs Superb on classiclightweights in a salmon / dusty pink that is original paint.
Looking at the Hobbs catalogues around that time I remember the flams being mentioned explicitly. It’s not called flam though, can’t remember what, I’ll dig it out of VCC catalogue later. I was contemplating magenta flam which is mentioned as a stock colour 😍for a Hobbs repaint. More vibrant and full-on. I think probably quite stylish with gold lining.
I didn’t love the orchid pink with blue lining when I got it. It’s really grown on me though, especially with the red highlights. Pink and red (or orange and red) work for me. Probably looking at it as part of a full build also helps.
Re selling it, sorry I don’t think so, not yet anyway. Are you the original owner?!
I found it at an auction I went to for some small flange Harden wheels. Didn’t buy the wheels but this frame just felt great when I picked it up. It was next to a period Bates but was much more elegant and just really felt nicely balanced. Maybe that was wishful thinking, maybe because it was built by Ron Cooper the master craftsman towards the end a lifetime of experience :)
Firstly, congratulations on this purchase! You'll have to forgive me for asking about selling it, I wouldn't sell it either. You have a very special bike there.
I know the original owner very well and took photos of the frame set back in 2007 when Dave (who lives in Penzance) first showed me it, he then went on to tell me what he'd previously been offered for it, financially, it put the frame set out of my reach. Coincidentally, a saw Dave a few weeks ago even though I now live in Dunbar, we didn't discuss his bikes. It wasn't until I was researching Bates transfers for an early BAR frame that I discovered your post. Well I couldn't believe it. I have since spoken with Dave and asked why he sold it, I'm satisfied he had his reasons, and it certainly wasn't him that put it in the hands of DW auctioneers.....your purchase price, which I understand was your top end was nowhere near his previous offer. Puzzling!
Saddle height looks a wee bit high, appears too small for you, you should sell it 😆
I wouldn't sell it at any price. Enjoy!
@user132751 sorry for the radio silence, hectic month moving country :)
It went for the guide price at the auction - the bidding was creeping up and up and I had to have a word with myself, decided I wouldn't go above the guide price and I guess so did everyone else! With hindsight I think it was a bargain.
It's a very fun bike to have as an option for a quick spin (around a reasonably flat circuit). I like that it's all modern components - I don't wince too much when the clips scrape the tarmac!
Thanks for the info and if I ever do need to make room for something else I'll let you know!
FYI I wrote up a build list, not sure if there's a format I'm supposed to use but here it is if anyone is interested:
Hatta Swan Super headset.
Nitto track handlebars (closest shape I could find to the period Reynolds TT bend), Nitto Pearl stem, Nitto bar end plugs, shellacked (I'd recommend making the effort to get clear meths ) red Velox Tressostar cloth bar tape.
Nitto Jaguar seatpost.
As mentioned lucky enough to get a limited edition Brooks Swallow 2005 saddle - I think from a sample sale ahead of release from the number underneath. The stitching is reminiscent of period Swallows which is a nice touch.
Phil Wood flip-flop fixed/free track hubs (reminiscent of period Harden ‘bacon slicers’) laced to H Plus Son TB14 rims with Sapim Laser spokes, single Phil Wood 15t track cog and lockring.
Izumi track chain.
Phil Wood bb 102mm ISO Taper - I tried a 108mm initially from internet research on the cranks but was too long. This was a pig to fit, caused the most sweat and tears in the whole build. I screwed in the cups with just fingers without issue and the adjustable cup cross-threaded as I unscrewed it. I ended up stripping a fair bit of depth of some of the bb threads and ruining the cup 😣
T.A. Specialites Carmina cranks with 50t 1/8” chainring. This is the nicest looking modern crankset imo (idea lifted from Alex Singer) and has a nod to Stronglight / T.A. trackie set-ups from bitd. The spider is the double - with a fair bit of digging I found specs that said to use it for a single set-up.
MKS Sylvan pedals, VP clips, nice to have the Brooks toe straps to match the saddle.
SRAM Force brakes (I do slightly regret not getting the 2011 Red model); I'm trying to dredge my memory with what exactly I needed to do to fit the brake - pretty sure I ordered a new longer pivot bolt after some research and swapped that out, all worked very smoothly and I'll update if I find/remember details. SRAM S500 lever [Anodising stripped from the lever with oven cleaner - I thought I was ordering the silver ones but they are discontinued and suppliers pics not updated. Quite a faff but a better result in the end.]; Hudz ‘Bordeaux Gold’ hoods also discontinued I think.
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