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Old 07-02-11, 12:09 PM   #1
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"Jack Taylor" has arrived

Do you think it really is one? It's very light, even with that cottered spindle in there which it came with. seat post was listed as being 27.2 but its more like 26.2. it's been repainted and redecaled, but probably not recently.



serial was listed at 7462 but i suppose it COULD be 1462?



seller claimed the bike to be a '79. I fact here's his description:

" Here's another frame in my collection that is just too big for me to ride , so I reckon that someone else should get the benefit from it, rather than it hang there for another ten years or so in my store.

The frame is a 1970s JACK TAYLOR ROAD -TRACK model designed to be short enough, upright enough, and stiff enough for track racing and yet be serviceable as a road machine with mudguards. This particular fraem has all the hallmarks of having been a custom build specifically to a customer's requirements as it has braze-on stops along the top-tube and R/H seat stay that were probably to carry the cable for a Sturmey Archer hub gear . Curiously the front and rear fork ends are not matching sets, the rears being, possibly Chater Lea, and the fronts being Campagnolo with mudguard eyes which raises the possibility that the original drop-outs have been replaced. The round track blades are curved in the 1950s hockey-stick style and brazed into quite a substantial twin-plate fork crown. The frame is fitted with a Tange steel headset and bottom bracket

.

In true Jack Taylor fashion, the frame is idiosyncratic with its very 1950s 'Look' eg the mudguard stay eyes on the fork blades and stays rather than on the drop-outs, the lamp-bracket boss on the R/H front fork blade, the squared off seat cluster, the ill-matching ends of the fork blades and the stays...but those are the characteristics of a Taylor..they reflect the character of the three-man team that was Jack Taylor Cycles all those years.

This very functional and utilitarian frame has been both resprayed - it has a set of Taylors' own 531DB Tourist transfers - and also touched up in its lifetime, but by and large it looks quite well, particularly with the three Post Office red panels to liven up the gloss black . The Mondrian transfers are in good condition too.

Having met the Taylor brothers several times and discussed frame-building with them, I have to admit that I admire their no-nonesense pragmatic approach to the trade. - this frame epitomising the values that the firm stood for.

Dimensions Seat-tube 24" 61cms

Top-tube 23.3/8"

Rear end 16.1/4 41cms

W/Base 39.3/4" 101cms

F/centres 23.1/2"

Head-tube 6.5/8"

Stack hgt 8.1/4"

R/Drop-outs 110mms

Seat-tube dia 27.2mm

Threads British Standard"


As I've already mentioned, his seat tube diameter if off. Who knows what else is off.

there seems to be greenish paint under the black maybe?



the spiderman scooter is definitely authentic btw.



roundish fork blades. it's not bent, but pretty steep. I mean it is listed as a possible track bike.



no markings on the rear drops. 120 spacing seems right.





pretty sure the front drops are campy but its really hard to read.



i'm no expert but the filet brazing seems maybe a little sloppy dare i say? Only in some spots.



harder to see it here but there is a hint of sloppyness here too.



here's all the pics, you can zoom in if you wish.

Jack Pics

Any opinions on this weird bike? Whatever it is, I love it. It's light, should fit me ok, and it's not like most bikes I've seen. I'm going to throw a SA aw 700c wheel in there and see how it rides.

Come to think of it, I guess I should see what size wheels line up.

Do you guys really think this thing is a 79? Sure seems earlier, if it's a JT at all..
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Old 07-02-11, 12:16 PM   #2
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if it is actually serial number 1462 that would make it a 1949 according to this site.

http://www.blackbirdsf.org/taylor/serials.html

here's another '49

http://www.blackbirdsf.org/taylor/1431.html

I don't know. Mine doesnt have the bb oil port.

I dunno.

I need a JT expert to chime in.
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Old 07-02-11, 12:18 PM   #3
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Not very Jack Taylor looking to me, especially the fork. Way earlier than 1979 from what I see, ignoring the transfers.

Nevertheless it does appear being a handsome frame.
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Old 07-02-11, 12:25 PM   #4
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Not very Jack Taylor looking to me, especially the fork. Way earlier than 1979 from what I see, ignoring the transfers.

Nevertheless it does appear being a handsome frame.
yeah I mean, I'm not really believing much of what the seller was saying. not that he's being deceiving, I just don't think he knows any better. He does apparently own a bike shop though.

I kinda think it's either a much earlier JT, or not one at all. I'd really like to know, but like I said, in the end i think it's a very cool bike.
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Old 07-02-11, 12:45 PM   #5
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Check this site (click on the year to see photos):

http://www.blackbirdsf.org/taylor/serials.html

#1462 would be from 1949; #7462 would be from 1978 (the same year my Tour of Britain was built). Also, Jack Taylor serial numbers are almost always on the left rear dropout, not the bottom bracket (I say almost always because you never know until you have seen them all).

My guess is that it is not a Jack Taylor. My wife's Tourist (#5935 from 1969) is filet brazed and it is flawless; it actually looks much better than the filet welding on my CAAD9 - and those were ground to a high standard. Also, hers has several small brackets, etc. and while you can tell they were made by hand from raw stock, they are beautifully done and beautifully attached. The same applies to the eyelets and cable stops on my Tour of Britain - absolutely beautiful workmanship. And I can't speak for the earliest frames, but most had eyelets attached to the dropouts by the '60s.

One other possibility is that it was a track bike than someone else added various bits to. The fork crown looks like one the Taylors used on track bikes. But even the track bikes I have seen have all had the serial number on the dropout.

Ultimately what counts is if you are happy with the frame.
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Old 07-02-11, 01:01 PM   #6
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definitely seems to have been built for 27" wheels, if not something larger? Maybe even the rear didnt originally have a drilled brake bridge because even with a 27" wheel back there it would need some pretty long brake calipers...I'll have to measure the exact clearance later.
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Old 07-02-11, 01:23 PM   #7
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LOVE the headtube! Reminds me of old Beneton commercials.
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Old 07-02-11, 05:31 PM   #8
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Fender and pannier eyelets on the fork of a track frame?
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Old 07-02-11, 05:42 PM   #9
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Sounds like the perfect frame to ride up to Trexlertown. Load it down with panniers and pump and all that jazz, camp out at the Velodrome, and ride a few races on the track. Pack up your winnings and your camping gear and ride home. Good weekend plan, huh?

Seriously, I'm not sure about anything the seller said with the exception of 'idiosyncratic." Interesting bike, though! I look forward to hearing how it rides.
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Old 07-02-11, 06:07 PM   #10
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holiday, the seller of that frame is widely regarded as an expert on British bikes - at least on the CR list. Strange to hear you perceive him as 'naive', given his reputation. Not saying you're wrong, of course.

Here's his CR list outing of the frame: http://groups.google.com/group/class...48f43fa8bf19fb

You might actually want to post a query to the CR list. You are sure to get some opinions. I kinda wonder how much candor you'll get, however, if listmembers are clued into the identity of the seller.

Quote:
As the Good Book (of Cycling) says...the long-in-the-leg shall inherit the
choice of the best frames !

It feels quite good to be passing on some of my spare frames on Ebay, and
while I am in this positive mood I thought I would post another of my
favourite querky frames, as with its very long seat tube, it is of
absolutely no use to me.

The latest to be posted is a 24" Jack Taylor Road Path, dating from the
mid-to-late 1970s, but looking every inch like something from the 50s. It is
unrestored, but in its black enamel with three red panels and Mondrian
transfers..it looks as though it will continue, for years to come, to give
the good service it has obviously provided to the previous owner. As with
the majority of my frames, this one has been stored in dry premises for some
fifteen years or more.

I checked out the CR 'Jack Taylor' site before posting the sale, to verify
the frame's age..and was pleasantly surprised to see so much interest in the
Brothers' Taylor frames. I have more in the store...

Ebay Item No: 2306232951271

Norris Lockley

Settle UK..not too far away from the Taylor workshop...but there's a lot of
hills on the way.
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Old 07-02-11, 06:08 PM   #11
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Fender and pannier eyelets on the fork of a track frame?
As it has been repainted, any bets are off as to what was original and added later. Maybe just for a fixed Wheel rider who was just ahead of his time by a number of decades.
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Old 07-02-11, 06:14 PM   #12
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Seriously, I'm not sure about anything the seller said with the exception of 'idiosyncratic." I
Okay, clued in that the seller was Norris Lockley, I withdraw the above comment! I haven't met him, but judging from his posts he is very experienced and very knowledgeable, as well as a nice guy. If he says he discussed frame building with Norman Taylor, I'm sure he did, and many times.

What this says about your frame, I have no idea.
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Old 07-02-11, 08:24 PM   #13
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fork crown doesnt really look the same compared to a known taylor





of course the rear drops dont either





i'm not really sure I see anything aside from the decals and the filet brazing that says its a taylor. again, not that i really care. though it would be cool to find out what it is.
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Old 07-02-11, 08:31 PM   #14
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holiday, the seller of that frame is widely regarded as an expert on British bikes - at least on the CR list. Strange to hear you perceive him as 'naive', given his reputation. Not saying you're wrong, of course.

Here's his CR list outing of the frame: http://groups.google.com/group/class...48f43fa8bf19fb




You might actually want to post a query to the CR list. You are sure to get some opinions. I kinda wonder how much candor you'll get, however, if listmembers are clued into the identity of the seller.
yep, thats him. I didnt know he was on CR. I made my assumptions just based on what seemed like inexperience shipping frames to the US, and some things in his listing that are just wrong, seat post diameter being one. The year being another, and the fact that his title in the auction is off and he listed it in a weird ebay category.

here's the listing.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...=STRK:MEWNX:IT


as i'd mentioned though he did seem like a nice enough fellow. If you say he's an expert I'll take your word for it, I'm certainly not in a position to judge. I'm only 3-4 years into learning about this stuff from a collectors perspective.
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Old 07-02-11, 09:00 PM   #15
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Fork ends, not drops. Dropouts have the opening in the front.
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Old 07-02-11, 09:02 PM   #16
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For what it's worth. I saw a simular frame a while back on eBay.uk Drilled crown, fender mounts, lamp bracket on the fork and track ends. It was being sold as a 50's vintage JT. So maybe the configuration is not so strange? Cool frame anyway!
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Old 07-03-11, 05:09 AM   #17
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fork crown doesnt really look the same compared to a known taylor
Yours is simply an older style of twin-plate crown. My first reaction was skeptical, but if Norris says it's a JT, I'd go with that - he's not only an expert, he may be the expert (and a fine framebuilder to boot). Assuming it is a '49 Taylor, it's pretty cool.
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Old 07-03-11, 05:17 AM   #18
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OK, well if we're going with what Norris says (and I'd be happy to do so), it would be a 79, not 49 so the earlier fork crown thing doesnt make sense unless it was swapped.

I'm pretty sure he just based his year off of the serial on the bb though, and well, it's hard to tell if the first digit is a 1 or a 7. Though if i had to guess it really does look more like a 7.



so really none of this solves anything.

oh well.
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Old 07-03-11, 05:26 AM   #19
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i had to rejoin the CR list, so I can't see that content yet. i guess I got booted when they switched over to a google group earlier this year.

Anyhow, I did also send a note to Norris to see if he can lend any more info about the frame.

I'll keep you posted.
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Old 07-03-11, 07:07 AM   #20
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In terms of brazing quality, I've read that the Taylor bros weren't known as particularly obsessive about finish quality. A friend had his JT repainted by Elliot Bay Cycles, essentially JT central in the US. My friend was a bit disappointed in the quality of the box lining as it looks like someone with a shaky hand was going at it. The Elliot Bay folks replied that it was consistent with what it would have looked like coming from the JT shop in the early 70s.

Neal
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Old 07-03-11, 07:31 AM   #21
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Nice! Is it possible that the frame is not a Taylor but went to them after the fact for braze ons & paint?
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Old 07-03-11, 10:18 AM   #22
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It's Rivendell's mystery frame.
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Old 07-03-11, 10:28 AM   #23
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It's Rivendell's mystery frame.
Nah, can't be. People are being civil and rational in their responses,,,,,,
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Old 07-03-11, 01:40 PM   #24
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[QUOTE]In terms of brazing quality, I've read that the Taylor bros weren't known as particularly obsessive about finish quality. A friend had his JT repainted by Elliot Bay Cycles, essentially JT central in the US. My friend was a bit disappointed in the quality of the box lining as it looks like someone with a shaky hand was going at it. The Elliot Bay folks replied that it was consistent with what it would have looked like coming from the JT shop in the early 70s./QUOTE]

I normally wouldn't question something that Bob Freeman from Elliot Bay would have said, but the Taylor's work was widely recognized as first class. In a recent correspondence with Ken Taylor he did say the paint improved a lot as better materials came available. The lining on my Tour of Britain is as nice as I've ever seen on a custom car or motorcycle. I can tell it was done by hand, but it certainly doesn't look sloppy or unsteady. Here are a couple photos taken recently while the bike was stripped down for service - this is completely original 1978 paint. I am also attaching o couple photos of my wife's tourist showing some level of detail (also original paint). Let the photos speak for themselves.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_1177.jpg (93.0 KB, 43 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1178.jpg (96.7 KB, 36 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1182.jpg (105.5 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1197.jpg (93.3 KB, 36 views)
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Old 07-03-11, 01:50 PM   #25
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I normally wouldn't question something that Bob Freeman from Elliot Bay would have said, but the Taylor's work was widely recognized as first class. In a recent correspondence with Ken Taylor he did say the paint improved a lot as better materials came available. The lining on my Tour of Britain is as nice as I've ever seen on a custom car or motorcycle. I can tell it was done by hand, but it certainly doesn't look sloppy or unsteady. Here are a couple photos taken recently while the bike was stripped down for service - this is completely original 1978 paint. I am also attaching o couple photos of my wife's tourist showing some level of detail (also original paint). Let the photos speak for themselves.
Is it possible quality suffered some during the bike boom years? In the documentary attached below (which I never tire of posting) one of the brothers comments on the increase in production coming mainly from orders in the US, and he confesses he didn't like it one bit.

If Norris is the expert (which I'm personally willing to accept), I'm not sure there is much grounds to doubt his identification of the frame. He does state in the auction description that it may have been modified at some point, and that is clearly is an eclectic custom build. Maybe the customer had very specific requests that are uncommon on 'standard' Taylor frames?

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