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  1. #1
    seņor member seaneee's Avatar
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    Path Racers (post your pics)- Let's start a thread.

    So it dawned on me the other day, that I know the basics of what a path racer is, but I REALLY don't know exactly what it is.

    What I do know is it was a versatile bike that you could ride on the track and then head home with. That's about it.

    I have a frame that look like it has fender eyelets and is drilled for brakes on both the front and back. There is also some weird hole on the underside that looks like it could be for a cable.

    So what I don't know is that what made them so different from traditional track frames. I mean the geometery seems the same. It has track ends on the rear stays.

    Did they have multiple speeds, like the ASC hub that Sturmey Archer made or flip flop rear wheels.

    The more you can educate me on what the differences were and the history of the path racer, would be amazing. Thanks.
    Last edited by seaneee; 10-03-06 at 02:57 PM.

  2. #2
    (((Fully Awake))) Serendipper's Avatar
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    Great idea for a thread.
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  3. #3
    cs1
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    Can't say I've ever heard the term. Anyone have a link or info?

    Tim
    1999 Waterford RSE-11, 1995 Waterford 1200, 1989 Specialized Rockhopper Comp
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  4. #4
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    This was posted by an esteemed UK classic rendezvous list Member
    when the same question was posted there:
    Path is the old fashioned Victorian/ Edwardian cycling term for track.
    So a path bike is purely for the track. High bottom bracket no
    clearances and no drillings for brakes. A Road-Path is a bike with
    track ends that is dual purpose for both road and track racing, angles
    not quite as steep and bottom bracket lower than a pure path (track
    bike). Normally has the front fork crown drilled for a brake. Can also
    be built with mudguard clearances and mudguard eyes. 27" or sprints can
    be fitted. Another term for Road-Path is Road-Track.
    Makers like Selbach and others used to call this type of bike a D.P.
    prewar. Which stood for dual purpose.
    Rotrax the maker coined their name by using the word play road/track.
    This would be my understanding of the various terminology only hope
    this helps and does not cloud the issue too much.
    Another CR'er posted this:

    Road/Path models were used for everything from general club riding, time trialing,
    grass track and pure track. On the track they were used in sprints,
    pursuits, point to points and devils.Our outdoor tracks of this period
    tended to have quite shallow bankings.
    Basically they were 73 degrees parallel with a bottom bracket height of
    less than eleven inches and a wheelbase of around 41" invariably with
    mudguard clearance and brake drillings. The type of track ends used on these
    frames were the special 2" long slot type. This allowed wide variations in gear
    ratios especially when using inch pitch.
    Our pure track bikes of this period were of a much shorter wheelbase
    less than 41" and with a bottom bracket height of over eleven inches. No
    mudguard clearance or drillings and free from any braze-ons. Typical
    head angle of 75 degrees and seat of 73.
    Just to confuse you even more on these type of models there was a
    fashion in the 60's to have a road/track built with Mafac cantilever bosses
    brazed on the front forks. Primarily used for time trialing the weight of these
    machines with all alloy parts was around the 16 pound mark on fixed
    wheel.
    These were also used on the track if you could get past the
    scrutinizers, sometimes they refused or just asked you to tape up the cantilever
    bosses if you were lucky. . .
    Well that's clear as mud now isn't it?

    marty
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  5. #5
    seņor member seaneee's Avatar
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    Wow, seems like this might be a short thread. Thanks.

    Still a couple more questions. What else made them practical road bikes? Did they have a flip flop setup so you could have freewheel? Also, mine has this weird tab opposite the BB toward the rear triangle. Almost looks like the same kinda tab for a fender, buy why on the bottom? It's not for a kickstand or anything. Could this be a cable guide for a fixed multispeed hub. So many questions.

  6. #6
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    I'm not sure if this is relevant to path racers, but I've read that in 40's/50's England people used to turn up to races and strip all the unnecessary parts from their bicycles(mudguards, lights etc).

    Seeing as people didn't have as much disposable income then, perhaps it was a way to have a single bike that would do it all. Long track ends for fixed/hub gears, mudguard/brake braze-ons. So the one bike could have many configurations, perhaps...

  7. #7
    and riding...just riding
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    before things became so specialized, those frugal englishmen did the same with thier motorcycles, using them for transportation and converting the same machine for a variety of uses including racing and touring. there's something about an old BSA or a Raleigh that just seems inviting, like saddling up with an old friend.

  8. #8
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Great thread. I happened upon this great Carlton path racer frame and I've become instantly intrigued.



    Roadish geometry, track ends, drilled for front and back brakes, and bosses for fenders.

    I commute everyday, like to think of myself as a bike racer and triathlete, and live in a flat area with rainy winters. The more I think of it, the more I think a bike like this would be my perfect winter bike. If only it were my size.....
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  9. #9
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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    Sure does look like my size though. Beauty of a frame she is.
    [CENTER][URL="http://VeloBase.com"][IMG]http://velobase.com/App_Themes/VeloBase2_blue/Images/VeloBase2TitleCampagnolo.jpg[/IMG][/URL][/CENTER]
    [CENTER][URL="http://JonPFischer.com"][COLOR="#006400"]Fischer Photography[/COLOR][/URL] - [URL="http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php/785462-My-new-modern-quot-Classic-quot-Kirk-JKS-Classic-Terraplane"][COLOR="#8b0000"]Kirk Frameworks JKS-Classic Build Thread[/COLOR][/URL][/CENTER]

  10. #10
    seņor member seaneee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso
    Great thread. I happened upon this great Carlton path racer frame and I've become instantly intrigued.



    Roadish geometry, track ends, drilled for front and back brakes, and bosses for fenders.

    I commute everyday, like to think of myself as a bike racer and triathlete, and live in a flat area with rainy winters. The more I think of it, the more I think a bike like this would be my perfect winter bike. If only it were my size.....

    Just found a pair of NOS mini fenders for mine. The skinny ones made for racers. Not the newer ones for balloon tires. I'm one step closer...

  11. #11
    seņor member seaneee's Avatar
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    Coming along. Here it is so far. Airlite flipflop 32/40 hubs, universal super 68 brakes, rebuild headset. Mini race fenders. Major taylor stem, NOS simplex seatpost and 5 pin square taper pista cranks on their way. Brooks saddle and fiamme NOS tubular rims on deck in the closet.

    Question though. Do I go with the shiny chrome rear fender or the cooler shaped (but cheaper, front alloy fender). Opinions. Also, paint or not to paint? I like the handwork on the pinstriping but there are some nasty spots. New pinstriping is quickly becoming a budgetary concern as I buy parts.

    P.S.- Sorry for the blurry pics.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seaneee
    Do I go with the shiny chrome rear fender or the cooler shaped (but cheaper, front alloy fender). Opinions.
    I like the alloys, visually interesting and will polish nicely. The chrome will always be just chrome.

  13. #13
    blah onetwentyeight's Avatar
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    If you click the stan miles link in my signature you can see my path racer grass track bike. I am a big fan of them, i want another with eyelets to turn into a winter commuter. the only reason i know its a grass track is that it has more clearance for slightly bigger tires used in grass track racing.

  14. #14
    My bikes became Vintage OLDYELLR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlyselassie
    I'm not sure if this is relevant to path racers, but I've read that in 40's/50's England people used to turn up to races and strip all the unnecessary parts from their bicycles(mudguards, lights etc).
    The reason for this was that back then only the rich and famous in England could afford more than one bike, let alone a motor vehicle to transport it to races. That also explains the need for fender eyes and brake drillings.
    1981 Nishiki Ultimate
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  15. #15
    seņor member seaneee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onetwentyeight
    If you click the stan miles link in my signature you can see my path racer grass track bike. I am a big fan of them, i want another with eyelets to turn into a winter commuter. the only reason i know its a grass track is that it has more clearance for slightly bigger tires used in grass track racing.

    Is that the same Stan Miles that took a hit not too long ago (saw it on flickr)? Is it back up and going. BTW, have I told you the "aussy trick" yet. PM me.

  16. #16
    blah onetwentyeight's Avatar
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    one and the same. it is at ed littons shop now getting repaired and repainted as we speak.

  17. #17
    cs1
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    Does anyone make a frame now that can be assembled into replica path racer? The concept is really slick.

    Tim
    1999 Waterford RSE-11, 1995 Waterford 1200, 1989 Specialized Rockhopper Comp
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  18. #18
    Cornucopia of Awesomeness baxtefer's Avatar
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    ^ the bob jackson vigorelli has pretty path-like geometry
    {o,o**
    |)__)
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    O RLY?

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