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Old 05-21-04, 09:51 PM   #1
imapls
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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
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Old 05-10-09, 12:14 PM   #2
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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?
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Old 05-10-09, 02:06 PM   #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.
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Old 05-10-09, 07:29 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 05-11-09, 05:29 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 05-11-09, 06:37 PM   #6
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The Bespoke Bicycle

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdtQ6smF0Rw
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Old 05-11-09, 07:47 PM   #7
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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 .

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Old 08-11-10, 12:12 PM   #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.
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Old 08-11-10, 01:08 PM   #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?
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Old 08-11-10, 01:26 PM   #10
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Correction, the serial number blow up shows it to be a 1973.
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Old 08-11-10, 01:29 PM   #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.
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Old 08-11-10, 04:57 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 08-11-10, 05:32 PM   #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.
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Old 08-11-10, 08:21 PM   #14
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My 1984 Whitcomb...........
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File Type: jpg whit..jpg (65.5 KB, 60 views)
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Old 08-15-10, 07:35 AM   #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.
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Old 08-15-10, 07:04 PM   #16
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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.
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Old 08-15-10, 07:54 PM   #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
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Old 08-16-10, 05:31 AM   #18
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There was a thread a few months back about a special Park tool for straightening frames exactly like yours.
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Old 08-16-10, 06:25 AM   #19
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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
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Old 08-16-10, 08:47 AM   #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.
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File Type: jpg Barry davies..jpg (99.3 KB, 31 views)
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Old 08-23-10, 07:49 AM   #21
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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.
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Old 08-23-10, 12:52 PM   #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.
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Old 08-23-10, 01:05 PM   #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.
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File Type: jpg whtcomb2[1]..jpg (62.2 KB, 15 views)
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Old 05-24-11, 06:00 AM   #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/
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Old 05-24-11, 01:52 PM   #25
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Beautiful bike!

Do you still have it?

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