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Old 10-09-08, 12:24 AM   #1
citypigeon
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english path racer with cantilever bosses?

does such a bike exist? I'm looking to build the ultimate all-around bike, some where in between a road/touring/cross/utility. It needs to be comfortable, have room for largish tires + fenders, relaxed geometry to handle a front rack, but also capable of holding its own in Manhattan traffic. I looking for an english frame, made of reynolds 531, and it seems a path racer-type frame would be a good place to start. Did any of these frames have cantilever bosses? (bob jackson, mercian, bates, hetchins, etc...)
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Old 10-09-08, 03:25 AM   #2
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Road/path frames normally have track ends for a start, so are you looking for fixed/single speed ?

Most of these type of frames date from the 50's/60's (or even earlier), and I don't think I've seen one with Cantilever bosses. They were mostly designed to be ridden on the track during the summer and on the road during the winter, so had caliper brakes for easy removal. I'm unsure of Cantilever brake history, but were they used (or even existed !) on road frames during this time ?
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Old 10-09-08, 04:39 AM   #3
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Living in the US, my exposure is more limited than many UK readers, but I've never seen cantilevers on any British path racer or even older British touring bikes. They were common appointments on 1950s French touring and Randonneur bikes. Apart from those you would need to jump to 1980s Japanese touring bikes [not surprisingly French influenced] to find cantilever brakes on anything outside of a custom build.

I have a late 1950s Holdsworth Typhoon which would fit all of your other requirements. It was purchased new as only a frameset by the original owner who had used it exclusively for Grass Track racing for 4 years to save his "Good" (Ephgrave) fancy racing bike from taking a beating. It was always ridden with a single-speed fixed/freewheel hub, but this was really a road bike frameset with long front-facing Agrati dropouts (no derailleur hanger) and complete with a lamp bracket boss on the right fork. With mudguards mounted under centre-pull calipers there is still ample room for perhaps 40 mm tires, and the tubing angles are around 72 x 72 degrees. I think this would qualify more as a "Club Racer" style frameset.
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Old 10-09-08, 08:35 AM   #4
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cantilevers were pretty much limited to cyclocross bikes and a very rare touring bike until more recently. My early '70s Gitane touring bike had cantilevers, but it was pretty rare. Tandems also used cantilevers.

I don't know if it would be called a path racer, but I'm thinking some of those UK builders probably put cantilevers on touring bikes.
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Old 10-09-08, 08:47 AM   #5
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This might not be what you are looking for, but the builder can do custom geometry to accomodate larger tires and I would assume fender eyelets aren't out of the question. Sure, it's not English or 531, but it could make a great all-weather bike.


http://spartonframeusa.bigcartel.com...m-for-v-brakes

I ride a Sparton myself and I found it to be a tremendous value.
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Old 10-09-08, 09:07 AM   #6
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My 1972 Norman Fay English tourer has Reynolds 531 tubing and Mafac canti brakes, but those bikes were pretty much custom made to buyer's specs. If you're looking for something of that vintage, it's probably not the big manufacturers that'll have produced them.

Neal
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Old 10-09-08, 09:16 AM   #7
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(dangit, took too long to type and lost what I had, starting over )

It sounds like you might be better off finding an older steel framed MTB to build up into what you want to end up with. Here's one on the NYC CL:
http://newyork.craigslist.org/que/bik/872363522.html

I'm doing something similar with one of my bikes to what it sounds like you want to do. I picked up an old Timberlin MTB and have been in the process of converting it to an all-rounder sort of commuter and city basher bike.
First pic shows it last winter with the studded snow tires and some flat MTB handlebars and grip shifters on it.
Second pic shows the bike down by the harbor a month or two ago with some pullback bars (didn't ride too well with these), brake levers off some other older bike, a stem mounted shifter setup (sort of indexed, works well), and the 26"x1/25" 100psi Serfas Barrista tires (I really like these tires).
Currently the bike has some low risers bars on it which make it handle a lot better than those pullbacks did.
I tried some drop bars on the bike but need to change out the stem to get down to where the drop bars would feel right.
I've got some clamp-on downtube shifters on order and will probably give them a go on this bike once the shifters arrive. I'll also be rummaging around in the LBS's bins to see if I can find a different stem and a front brake cable support that I like in order to revisit the drop bars on the bike.
Just consider it a work in progress that looks a little different everytime somebody sees it.

Might be an option for you to consider as some of the older MTB's fit almost all of your stated parameters. Hope this helps a little in reaching your goals.

ps, in the first pic the fender extenders are cut down plastic McDonald's and TacoBell soda cups that I had tiewrapped onto the fenders. Just in case anyone noticed them. An experiment I may revisit in the future once I find other donor material just for grins, functional grins.
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File Type: jpg timberlin-snowstuds.jpg (83.0 KB, 25 views)
File Type: jpg Timberlin-pullbacks.jpg (77.1 KB, 22 views)

Last edited by treebound; 10-09-08 at 09:22 AM. Reason: added ps
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Old 10-09-08, 01:24 PM   #8
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...It sounds like you might be better off finding an older steel framed MTB to build up into what you want to end up with. ...
I concur. A Trek 850 or Trek 950 would be an excellent frame for this.
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Old 10-09-08, 01:36 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by SingleSpeeDemon View Post
This might not be what you are looking for, but the builder can do custom geometry to accomodate larger tires and I would assume fender eyelets aren't out of the question. Sure, it's not English or 531, but it could make a great all-weather bike.


http://spartonframeusa.bigcartel.com...m-for-v-brakes

I ride a Sparton myself and I found it to be a tremendous value.
Oh wow, that's my size too! I really like how that looks.
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Old 10-09-08, 01:59 PM   #10
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I concur. A Trek 850 or Trek 950 would be an excellent frame for this.

+ another

Here's a Trek 720 Multitrack (around 1993, I believe) that I converted to single speed. Picked up the frame for $35; 27" wheels I had around; Ultegra cranks and BB; bars/stem from a Bridgestone hybrid. Not ultimate, perhaps, but really a good rider and nice all-purpose errand bike. Loads of braze-ons for fenders, rack and all that.

Maybe you aren't planning on a single speed, but the point is you can do a lot with these frames.
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Old 10-09-08, 07:57 PM   #11
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Can I have your stem and bars please????????????
That's about the setup I'm looking to find, or a set of randonneur bars, or both with some cable disconnects, still playing with options.

Here's the current setup of the bike, handlebars are way tooooooo high. I really need to find a flatter stem and maybe a bit shorter.

(sorry for the threadjack, but maybe it will give some ideas to the OP)
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File Type: jpg DSC00471angled.jpg (30.3 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg DSC00470side.jpg (35.3 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg DSC00473stem.jpg (16.5 KB, 4 views)
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Old 10-09-08, 08:55 PM   #12
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Here's a for real '30s English "path racer" with cantilever brakes...
More pics...
http://www.theracingbicycle.com/imag...s_Resilion.jpg
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Old 10-09-08, 09:18 PM   #13
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Oh man do I like that
http://www.theracingbicycle.com/imag...James_full.jpg
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Old 10-09-08, 09:23 PM   #14
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Why not buy a R531 frame in need of a paint job, and have a good bike frame place braze canti bosses on?
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Old 10-09-08, 09:59 PM   #15
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How about an XO-1?
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Old 02-08-09, 09:58 PM   #16
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Such a bike does exist: The Pashley Guvnor. Its made with Reynolds 531 tubing, Brooks B-17 saddle, has Schwalbe Delta Cruiser Cream 40-635 tires, a slack frame angle with reversed North Road handlebar and leather grips and can be kept as is or converted into a roadster. Pricey but your ticket if its what you're looking for. Nice path racer for the money!
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