The bars are Campione Del Mondo.
They are wide (41cm between centres) and deep (8cm between centers), for their day.
The frame is now silver without transfers - I was looking for a source of transfers and found this thread - I'm still looking!
Just came across this thread looking for info on a Ken Bird bicycle - thought I'd post the link to THE Ken Bird bike currently for sale in Wellington New Zealand - here it is on this selling site 'Trade Me' complete with a few pics - looking a bit sad - like its spent some time in the weather, or somewhere damp - rust in the frame might have taken hold :-( - hopefully someone saves it -
btw really enjoyed reading the info about the british frame builders and 'the scene ' generally in this thread.
Trade Me: Ken Bird retro bike: http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/List...x?id=347912331
Julian , Auckland New Zealand
Hello, Old Peddaller.
Ken Bird was my uncle..... so I would be extremely interested to know the title of the book to which you refer above.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
I am Karen, Alec's firstborn. Just give me your number, and I'll ask Dad to ring you!
This thread may be years old, but I see it's still receiving posts. And what an interesting thread it is. I love stuff like this. It's a pleasure to read of your memories and facts of the old days in London. Valuable additions to the archives. I'm hoping this stuff can be archived somewhere. It's important.
Sorry, I really can't remember the title, it was some years ago (maybe 25) when I borrowed it from Maidstone Library - they might still have it though? It was a glossy coffee-table style book, Ken Bird was the author - which is what first attracted my attenrion. Because of it's size it was on the shelf for outsize books. The title was something like "Race Mechanic" or "Tour De France mechanic" - maybe?
I can still remember a lot of the contents, even though I only borrowed it for a week. Lots of really good pictures, including a multi-page photographic step by step of how to strip, clean, service and rebuild a race bike, a list of tools, spares and equipment that Ken carried - this included water supply keys that Ken had been given by a friend to enable him to turn on the water supply in hotel yards so he could wash the bikes, a description of the wooden boxes in which he transported his kit, his preference for cars with wide rear side window sills (Ford Granada especially), so he could lean out over the rear wheel of a moving bike to adjust the gears (with a photo of him doing so), an account of how he was admonished for assisting riders from all teams but insisted on doing so; the list goes on. I was fascinated and have managed to mentally retain a lot of the info. The whole situation captivated my imagination back then. If you do find out the title, please let me know, I'd also really like to buy a copy!
Oldpeddaller - The older I get, the better I used to be !!!" ***** If at first you don't succeed - hit it with a hammer.
^Impressive recall, Oldpeddaller. Good luck to both you & Karen tracking down the book.
'72 Cilo Pacer • '73 Speedwell Ti • '74 Nishiki Competition • '74 Peugeot UE-8 • '86 Look Bernard Hinault 753 • '86 Look KG86 • '89 Parkpre Team Road • '90ish Parkpre Team MTB
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A few years ago before Ken died I got in touch with him at his Green Street Green shop not having spoken to him for probably over 35 years was a bit strange but he sounded just the same confident as always, by that time he was just running bike maintenance courses and invited me to sign up for a course even though I had been the mechanic including wheel building in the Catford shop!
He sent me a photocopied leaflet about his courses and that was the last I heard from him, not so long ago I still had my toolbox which was painted CS Canary Yellow and Black with CS stickers on it, the box and leaflet have gone but I still have a few of the Campag tools that were in it, a pair of BB cup tools, hub cone adjusters and small double ended spanner for gears. I also have a spoke key which Ken had specially made not sure who made them perhaps Alec knows. Sadly I sold my most prized tool, the Campag wheel dishing tool one of the best dishing tools ever made in my opinion.
Clive Stuarts were a bit of an Enigma large amounts of money was spent without making sure there was an equal amount coming in. The Catford shop was quite large and with the counter at the back it was a case of keeping an eye on the front of the shop especially when the schools were out! The windows displays were always changing to catch the passers-by's eye. Never quite got comfortable with Yellow and Black but it certainly made the shop stand out.
Once the shops closed I went and worked at The Holdsworthy Co. and before Clive Stuarts I worked at Hinds of Lewisham with Tom Board as manager so for a few years I worked solidly in the bike trade, these days you need all kinds of certification to do what I and many others did through experience and plenty of cups of Tea!
Just stumbled across this thread when looking up some history of TT riders from the 60's: notably John Cornillie who is mentioned in earlier posts.
I too remember the Bird brothers and CS but was a saturday boy at rivals W.F. Holdsworth in the mid/late 70's. I worked in the Putney shop on the Lower Richmond Rd (132) and lived in nearby Barnes. The main shop was run by Roy and Alma Thame and the shop manager was John West. Alma's nephew Mike Shonleben was also employed there and I believe is the owner of the business today. The shop over the road which was originally Owen Bryars (my first pukka bike) sold more bread and butter bikes and some toys. was run by Pete Wickens I recall and then his son Alan I think. Pete's wife had a bad accident and was confined to a wheel chair. Also in the workshop at 132 was Derek Hunt who was an accomplished rider and I remember having loads of fun with him cycling and re-living Monty Python skits. The shop was the centre of the pro team and riders like Les West, Phil Bayton and Phil Corley would come in if they were in town. I remember going over to Northern France two years running to help the team compete in the GP de Fourmies. I think I got the saturday job by constantly pestering Roy until an opening come up when the previous help (Tom Savage) packed it in. I had been staring in the shop window for the previous 10 years. I was good buddys also with Ray Robinson who was a team mechanic and also worked at the Holdsworthy Company for a while. The previous mechanic was Dick Broderick, who i remember buying a car from.
It's a funny coincidence that WFH also had a shop in Welling like CS and also Penge I think. It's amazing how the sport managed to spawn so many different specialist bikie shops in such a small area of SW and SE London.
Roy and Alma were a lovely couple and I loved working in the store even though I had a full time job in the City. John West was a gentleman who was loved by the customers. I think he passed away quite a few years ago and Roy more recently. I think and hope Alma is still alive. They never had their own kids and looked upon Mike as their son.
The other characters i recall were Alec Taylor and his son Alan. Alec had been a successful rider in the 50's and became a team manager as he spoke fluent flemish and french. He was the GB team manager in the fateful '67 tour when Simpson died. Alec would come out on sunday runs with a group which included myself, Alan Clark, Gary Smith, Ray Robinson, Dick (spider) Westwood and Rick Mc something (surname escapes me). His some Alan also worked in the store as i was finishing up to get married.
The whole history of the Holdsworth brand can be found here:
Thanks for listening.
Hi Karen....I came upon this thread by accident and am hoping between you and your father i can find out who made the frame that i own.
I have included pictures of the frame plus a retrobike link to many comments about the frame.
I know one thing the forks are definitely not original and probably did not replace the original.
OK the story.....back in the 1990s the frame had Ken Bird decals and then was resprayed with Alec Bird decals and then resprayed again with Alec Bird decals.....frame number is 529....that is it nothing more......more interestingly...the frame has Carlton Capella lugs...that were used by Carlton up to 1966...but i have been told by an ex-Carltom employee [Dave Marsh] that the frame is not a Carlton or a Raleigh.....Carlton stopped trading in 1981...and i am aware that Capella lugs are now openly traded on ebay.
The tubing is probably 531 double butted...the seatpost is 27.2mm.....so my question for your father is.....Did he build it?.....Or have any guess who might have built it......another name in the frame [pardon the pun] is Holdsworthy.....it was purchased in the 1990s second hand from a bike shop in Bromley.....the purchaser had dealing with both Ken and Alec at various times dating back to the 1980s.......I hope you can help me......as i don't know when it is was made.....the 531 decal implies 1980s but again they were stuck on probably at random when the frame was last resprayed and was joined with the current set of forks.....so the frame could esily be older but that raises the question of the Capella lugs....would Carlton have sold them [they held the copyright i would imagine] whilst Carlton were still trading?.....It is confusing...at least it is for me.....perhaps all i might ever know is that it is a nice frame with Capella lugs made anytime between the 1970s and 1980s...from 531DB and the decals were just due to old fashioned re-badging that is/was common when a frame was re-sprayed.....I've been told it was common for frames being resprayed by Ken Bird.
Anyway.....hoping you can shed some light on the frame.....regards Leon [Cambridge, UK]
Wow. I have only really skipped over it but have found what I read really great. I am Ken Birds son (Karens Cousin (Hi Karen)) one bit did make me smile about the cars I still remember the ford granada estate my Dad bought in 1978 number plate VKN 722S, have no idea why I remember that. I also remember the VW camper my Dad bought that we went to the lake district in as children.
Will read again when I get more time and try to get a few snaps up when I get a chance2013-01-03_0 compressed.jpg
Wow, what a wonderful bunch of recollections!
Resurrecting a very old thread but I just bought this Ken Bird Time Trial bicycle. Frame number BBC 123.
It came with Nashbar 27 x 1 wheels, Campagnolo Pista Cranks, Cinelli bars and stem, 3TTT seatpost, Campagnolo Nuovo Rear Mech and a plastic headset!
I'm looking for further info on the year of build and if the wheels are original to the frame.
I really enjoyed reading all the great stories on these pages about an amazing era of cycling way before my time.
^Thats a very cool bike.^
I would think the original wheels were tubulars, very lightweight ones at that.
A beauty. It reminds me of my 73 Holdsworth that originally came with a 54t Campy pista crank and a tight cluster. I'd park the aero bar unless you're really are gonna use it.
This is a fantastic thread! great to see the Bird's family members helping out.
I wondered if anyone could tell me if the bike I recently bought is a Ken Bird, as it was described as just that.
It's got 5 holes cut out of the BB and a id number of 50220? Its got campag drop outs/fork ends and a 531c sticker. I'll put a couple of a pictures up too.
Thank you to anyone who may be able to help!
Life is is too short to care what others think of your bike.