Back in October last year I bought this old English machine on ebay for £25. I'd never heard of Vindec but was interested by the Williams crank set, which was the same as the one on my Thanet Silverlight, and the derailleurs, a Benelux 'suicide' changer at the front and a Benelux 4-speed at the back. I reckoned it must be worth £25, and won it.
Luckily, and thanks to this forum, I had a contact in the very place the Vindec was being sold from... our very own Viscount, from Gloucester. I was already in contact with him and he kindly agreed to take delivery and look after the bike till I came to pick it up when I was back in the UK from Japan.
When we went to visit Viscount he was as pleased as punch that the dynamo was still working and showed us. We hung out for a few hours with Viscount and had a very nice 'bicycle-afternoon'. We went for a ride, had lunch and my girlfriend bought a 1930-something Rudge-Whitworth Viscount was selling. At the end of it all we loaded up the Vindec and Rudge, said our farewells and headed back to Devon where I'm from and we'd driven up from that morning.
Viscount had given the Vindec a wipe, which had altered the appearance from how it had been in the ebay listing considerably - it was filthy, but back in Devon my girlfriend went at it in earnest. She was doing that while I was giving my own newly acquired 1959 Leo Star a good going over. The Leo Star stayed in Devon, with the Rudge, for us to use whenever we visit, but the Vindec came back to Tokyo with us. It now has a period Brooks saddle and has had a polish and a tune. I've got cables for it but have yet to fit them. The chain on the RD broke and I've bodged it temporarily so it works.
The ride? Very, very smooth indeed! The only negative is that it's rather heavy. Otherwise, a lovely little machine. As Viscount has said of this machine, it's red on the right side and bleached yellow-grey on the left. The sun, no doubt. We've decided to leave it as it is as the patina of age is just too lovely to spoil with new paint. All it needs, apart from fitting the new cables and replacing the pull chain on the RD is a new rear mudguard. Or, 'Not a lot!'.
Lastly, a very big THANK YOU!! to Viscount. I hope to meet a good few of the people here sometime in the future.
Here I am trawling through e-bay 'bikes' looking for bikes that I used to have in my teens and into my twenties at the height of my cycling interest. What a surprise when I put in Vindec Speedster not even thinking that I would get the slightest recognition of such a name! My Dad promised me a new racing bike if I passed my 11+ (England) and got a place at Grammar School. This I duly did and I had by then browsed all the catalogues and rather favoured the Falcon range, something in battleship grey. My Dad then took me to Northampton - Brown Brothers - and my Falcon dream turned to a Vindec Speedster with 3 Benelux derailleur - with cross bar! Even though it wasn't the Falcon I loved it and used to do time trialling 10s on a weekday evening with the Cycle Club Northants - the first was 35mins 35 secs and as a 10 year old they gave me a short mention in the local paper! I took this bike when we moved to Huddersfield in 1964 and did a 100 mile time trial to York and back (in the rain of course) with the Huddersfield Star Wheelers. Later we moved to Bristol and I got myself a Holdsworth Mistral before getting a team bike (Holdsworth Campag) from Holdsworth through a pro who'd opened a repair shop. It was this one I rode down to Weston to see Les West win a race stage. Later on when I'd got my first teaching job I sold it to Fred Baker's in Bristol to buy my ex-wife an engagement ring - such is life and its responsibilities. I live in Sheffield now and use a Felt mountain bike in the Peak District - I have an old Raleigh racer from a friend so might revive the road stuff in a classic kind of way. So then, the Vindec Speedster - a lovely memory that just needed your thread and image to kick-start all this!!
Many thanks and hope all goes well.