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  1. #1
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    Looking for Frames by Whitcomb/Witcomb

    Anyone have any information on Whitcomb frames from the '70s? Touring buddy of mine (deceased) had a blue Whitcomb road bike...one of the most elegant and beautiful frames I'd ever seen.
    Send pictures if you have 'em.

    MMC

  2. #2
    Senior Member 1989Pre's Avatar
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    Re: Whitcomb Bicycles

    I, too, have heard of these frames and am interested in acquiring one of them. Whitcomb Lightweight Bicycles were built in England, that is about all I know right now. They are harder to find than the Holdsworths or Woodrups. http://www.witcomb.eu/
    The frames, here, look spectacular.
    There is a Wikipedia entry for Witcomb Bicycles, and at the bottom of the page, is a link to Whitcomb Bicycles. I do not know why there is a difference in the spelling. If you find out anything, can you let me know?

  3. #3
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    I believe the difference in spelling is attributable solely to people's difficulty in using the correct spelling, which is "Witcomb." You'll probably be able to search out more info using the correct spelling.

    http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk...s/witcomb.html

    Like Masi, Witcomb also set up a US operation on behalf of a US investor using the Witcomb name, which at one time boasted Richard Sachs and Peter Weigle as builders.
    Last edited by Picchio Special; 05-10-09 at 02:10 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member cyclotoine's Avatar
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    You can still buy Witcombs new today. I was in the shop a couole years ago, still located in the same space.
    1 Super Record bike, 1 Nuovo Record bike, 1 Pista, 1 Road, 1 Cyclocross/Allrounder, 1 MTB, 1 Touring, 1 Fixed gear

  5. #5
    Senior Member 1989Pre's Avatar
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    Last year, there was a used Whitcomb for sale near me. It was a 1973 "possible team" racing bike. It had a Reynolds 531 frame and forks with campy dropouts. I wish I could have scored it.

  6. #6
    Put some lights on! dougb's Avatar
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    The Bespoke Bicycle

    Here's the Witcomb video, "The Bespoke Bicycle".

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdtQ6smF0Rw
    *1983 Raleigh International MKII*1992 Trek 930 Singletrack*1986 Raleigh Super Course*198? Giordana Scorpius*

  7. #7
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    You know, I must thank our OP for reminding me that this is a possible field trip when Mr. East Hill and I head for London on the 18th of May .

    East Hill
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    TRY EMPATHY & HAVE LOVE IN YOUR HEART, PERHAPS I'LL SEE YOU ON THE ROAD...

  8. #8
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    I have an orange Witcomb

    Are you still interested in pictures of a Witcomb?
    I have an orange one that I just pulled out of the basement this week to start riding again.
    If you look at the the You Tube video in this thread, you'll catch a glimpse of an orange one and later, an order from Sunshine Bicycle Works, where my bike was purchased from in about 1974. I purchased it second hand in about 1976.

    The clear coat is pretty much gone but for a bike that's more than 35 years old, it's in pretty good shape. ttt stem, bars, seat post, Campy cranks and sidepulls, tossed the sew up rims years ago and replaced with 700C rims.

    The one thing that I hated about the bike was that if I was going really fast, probably 35mph down a hill, it would start to oscillate like crazy. Scary!

    Located in Fairfax, California, Sunshine was THE center of the universe for mountain bikes in the '70s.

  9. #9
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    Orange Witcomb gallery

    Okay, I took some quick pix. Sorry the crank one is a bit blurry.

    http://gallery.me.com/martinmitchell#100067

    What's with the huge cutout in the bottom bracket?
    Was that standard on all Witcombs?

  10. #10
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    Correction, the serial number blow up shows it to be a 1973.

  11. #11
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    The difference in spelling is because there are two complete different framebuilders in differnt parts of the UK. The better known of the two is Witcomb from Deptford in south-east London. Whitcomb is from the Liverpool area.

  12. #12
    Senior Member nateintokyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Picchio Special View Post
    Like Masi, Witcomb also set up a US operation on behalf of a US investor using the Witcomb name, which at one time boasted Richard Sachs and Peter Weigle as builders.
    And Chris Chance as well! He learned the ropes there until he started his own enterprise in 1977.

  13. #13
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    It is a bit confusing, both english frame makers, both made frames in the USA.
    Witcomb was, and was until recently a small shop in London, and they are well covered on
    the classic rendezvous website, in the british section and the us section.
    Whitcomb aka Bill Whitcomb, was a framemaker from Liverpool, he started out as Harry Quinn's
    apprentice, and stayed with Harry, until the rights to the Harry Quinn name was sold
    in the late 70's. During this period Bill Whitcomb also did some building for Walvale, and Soens both
    based in Liverpool.
    After he finished with Quinns, he emmirgrated to the USA. He built and sold a small amount of bikes in the
    states. After a couple of years in the states, he returned to the UK, where he built bikes under his own name
    and for various bike shops. He also started back with Harry Quinn and his son, when they started up again
    in Wales.
    I have never ridden a Witcomb. But i own 2 bikes, built by Bill Whitcomb, both ride superbly very much in the Harry Quinn mold, they don't look flash, but if you want to cover ground quickly, they are some of the best.

  14. #14
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    My 1984 Whitcomb...........whit..jpg

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by NomadMac View Post
    Okay, I took some quick pix. Sorry the crank one is a bit blurry.

    http://gallery.me.com/martinmitchell#100067

    What's with the huge cutout in the bottom bracket?
    Was that standard on all Witcombs?
    Great pictures! Good lookin bike and a great find if you just scored it. My ideas on the bottom bracket cut out are these:
    1) saves weight
    2) intended for sealed bearing bottom brackets where moisture wouldn't matter
    3) allows moisture to get out (and in)
    Otherwise, seems sort of strange to allow the elemements access to the interior of the frame, unless the tubes ends are sealed by the barrel of the bracket housing. If one had cup and bearings for the crank, moisture would get to the assembly.

  16. #16
    On a mission from God svt4cam's Avatar
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    I have a 1975 Witcomb USA I had custom built a thousand years ago. I'll see if I can't get some decent pictures to post here for ya.

  17. #17
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    I bought a Witcomb USA in '78, after meeting Peter Weigle on Bikecentennial in '76. We met on Lolo Summit, where he stripped naked and stood like flying victory on top of the sign. I sent him the pic I took back then but have the negative. Everything but shoes and Campy hat. But I digress.

    Here's a pic of me riding it at RAGBRAI in '79, but not too good a pic of the bike. I had white fenders on it and a Blackburn rack.
    BobinIowa2..jpg

    Second to last day of that ride, I slammed right into the rear left corner of the Uhaul bike shop trailer seen below, parked half off the road. I'd been cruising along talking to a girl, saw the vehicle parked way ahead and the road sloping down right after it, looked down as I shifted into a higher gear and as I got it on and looked up ..... WHAM!!!!!!!
    Van&Trailer..jpg

    Hit hard on the corner of that non-moveable corner of steel, broke my right collar bone, flipped over and watched a ring of observers form, all checking me out. Heard a voice a distance away say "maaaannnnnn, you killed your bike!". Damn! Less than a year old. Bent the fork back and broke the crown, and lost that years ago. Still have the frame, bent under the front of the top and down tubes.
    WitcombUSA..jpg

  18. #18
    South Carolina Ed
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    There was a thread a few months back about a special Park tool for straightening frames exactly like yours.

  19. #19
    Senior Member 1989Pre's Avatar
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    That silver Whitcomb looks super! I love it! I want one! Is the crank/bottom bracket stock?
    I am planning on a long road trip (Massachusetts to Kentucky) next summer,
    and want a good touring bike. If I can't find a Whitcomb, I will look for some of
    those other names you've mentioned, where Bill Whitcomb was associated.
    Paul

  20. #20
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    Thanks, i love the silver colour. The crankset is Assos, about the lightest you could get at the time, and it is running 19mm tubs as well. Definitely set up for fast road work.
    The frame in the picture below, is also a Bill Whitcomb, built for Barry Davies who sold Bill's frames from his shop in Banger, North Wales.
    It's presently being built up with a shimano 600 groupset, ready for a long english winter. The vitus 979 forks were a later edition.Barry davies..jpg

  21. #21
    Senior Member 1989Pre's Avatar
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    The Davies frame looks spectacular! It is in great shape. I was looking at the rear triangle
    geometry, but could not decide whether it looked like a racing frame or a touring. Is it a
    touring frame? Did Bill Whitcomb have a hand in all the Davies frames? Thanks for the pic.

    Paul





    Thanks, i love the silver colour. The crankset is Assos, about the lightest you could get at the time, and it is running 19mm tubs as well. Definitely set up for fast road work.
    The frame in the picture below, is also a Bill Whitcomb, built for Barry Davies who sold Bill's frames from his shop in Banger, North Wales.
    It's presently being built up with a shimano 600 groupset, ready for a long english winter. The vitus 979 forks were a later edition.

  22. #22
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    Hi Paul.
    The Barry Davies, is a general all round bicycle, racing, going down the shops etc. The geometry is slightly more relaxed than the silver frame, which was really built for time-trialing.
    Barry Davies sold various makes in his shop, but i believe all the bikes with his name on where built by either Bill, or Harry Quinn.
    Bill and Harry built all of Barry Davies's race frames. Barry was a professional cyclo cross racer in the sixties and seventies. He raced for several professional race teams, with different makers names on the bikes, but they were all built by Bill and Harry.
    Mike.
    Ps. replyed to your PM.

  23. #23
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    Out of interest, a picture of a 1986 Bill Whitcomb, that used to be owned by a friend of mine, again tight geometry for racing and time-trialing. Even though the frame is slightly out of time frame, it was ridden in the 2009 l'eroica.
    Again this frame was built in the period, that Bill was building in his shed, at home in Liverpool.whtcomb2[1]..jpg

  24. #24
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    I had a Witcomb USA frame built in 1977......attached are a few photos

    http://s292.photobucket.com/albums/m...itcomb%201977/

  25. #25
    Senior Member old_dreams's Avatar
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    Beautiful bike!

    Do you still have it?


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