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  1. #1
    Senior Member robbied196's Avatar
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    Help "Possible" Early 60's Claude Butler?

    I've been offered this bike but really don't know whether to bother. Its missing its decals and badge, although the seller's father used to own it and he thinks he was told its a Claude Butler bought in the early 60's. I've done a bit of searching, but can't find a lugless Butler frame like this. Can anyone identify it?

    I think the RD is a Huret Svelto which would date to the 60's
    http://www.disraeligears.co.uk/Site/..._style%29.html

    Its in a bit of a sad state, plus its had the original crankset and seat post changed. I will have some period ones to replace them, but is it all a waste of time?

    I haven't been to see the bike yet, but the lack of badge and decals makes me wonder of its a respray, just to put the last nail in the coffin!

    Its 20 so cheap enough, but leave it or buy it?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member randyjawa's Avatar
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    I cannot do anything to help determine if the bike is a CB or not but one thing is for sure - the fork set is bent at the steering tube. That can be difficult to repair. Have a look at The Frame & Fork Set and see if you can see the problem with your fork.

    Were I you, I would pass on that bike, unless you know how to implement repairs to the frame.

    Hope that is a help.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member robbied196's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
    I cannot do anything to help determine if the bike is a CB or not but one thing is for sure - the fork set is bent at the steering tube. That can be difficult to repair. Have a look at The Frame & Fork Set and see if you can see the problem with your fork.

    Were I you, I would pass on that bike, unless you know how to implement repairs to the frame.

    Hope that is a help.
    Hi randyjawa, thanks for the input. That's why I like to post on C&V, an expert eye is priceless! I'd not spotted the problem with the forks, but they look pushed back, or bent! I do have a friend who may be able to straighten them but there seems to be more negatives than positives.

    On the ID front, typically just after I posted the thread I came across this: http://musicbicycles.blogspot.com/20...-bicycles.html

    This bike does look very similar to a CB Jubilee

  4. #4
    Get off my lawn! Velognome's Avatar
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    Buy it! The parts are worth more than the purchase price. I'd take a gamble with the fork, take it to a shop that can do frame work. For the price, it's a small gamble.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Alex Moll's Avatar
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    A little tough to tell from those pics, but that frame does show evidence of some fine craftsmanship.
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  6. #6
    PanGalacticGargleBlaster Zaphod Beeblebrox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Moll View Post
    A little tough to tell from those pics, but that frame does show evidence of some fine craftsmanship.
    +1 Fillet brazed!

    Not 100% convinced the fork is bent, but for 20 quid I'd do it and if the fork ends up being bent either bend it back or find a replacement. You'll end up with a nice bike in the end.
    --Don't Panic.

  7. #7
    Senior Member robbied196's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice guys, I'm going to go for it. A bit of googling seems to point to it being a Claud Butler Jubilee, which would make it even older, 1953/54 and Reynolds 531. Zaphod your right about the fillit brazing, apparently from the age when true craftsmanship was actually cheaper than fitting lugs! Times sure have changed. I'll keep posting with some updates, hope to collect it on Sunday.

  8. #8
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    I would grab that one, it could be an early Claude Butler. The fork is bent but not too bad. I think it's worthy of a proper restoration, and that can be addressed.

    Are you in the UK? Should be folks there who can identify it for you. Hilary Stone perhaps?

  9. #9
    Senior Member Oldpeddaller's Avatar
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    It's identical to my 1953 Claud Butler Silver Jubilee. The Silver Jubillee had the same frame and forks - 531, but the forks came fully chromed and only 25 were made, to celebrate Claud's first (only, he went bankrupt 4 years later) 25 years in business and was only sold from Claud's South London shop in 1953. You could replace the forks with a chromed pair and have the same effect! I bought mine from the original owner a 72 year old who at 17 had gone to the shop in person (a 60 mile train journey) and then rode it home. He only sold it to me 55 years later because his knees now don't allow him to ride any more. Most of the parts are original, except for the bar tape and brake levers (I prefer these to the old GB ones but they could go back on), two spokes and the tyres. Yje oval badge Brooks B17 is unfortunately splitting but still comfortable.

    Last edited by Oldpeddaller; 10-27-11 at 03:22 PM. Reason: Mistakes in wording.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Oldpeddaller's Avatar
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    P.S - If you decide you don't want it, push it my way - at that price it'd make a bargain addition to my fleet of six Claud Butlers!
    Oldpeddaller - The older I get, the better I used to be !!!" ***** If at first you don't succeed - hit it with a hammer.

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by robbied196 View Post
    Thanks for the advice guys, I'm going to go for it. A bit of googling seems to point to it being a Claud Butler Jubilee, which would make it even older, 1953/54 and Reynolds 531. Zaphod your right about the fillit brazing, apparently from the age when true craftsmanship was actually cheaper than fitting lugs! Times sure have changed. I'll keep posting with some updates, hope to collect it on Sunday.
    The fork may or may not be bent. I agree it looks to be pushed back a little from that one side pic., but if the bars are turned to the side just a bit, that can make it look that way, when the fork is actually fine. If the fork *is* bent, it can probably be jacked out, although there may be some (low) risk that the steerer is bent also.

  12. #12
    rhm
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    Buy it.

  13. #13
    Senior Member robbied196's Avatar
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    Bit of an update. Thanks for the advice so far, never thought an identical bike would turn up Oldpeddaller! I've now bought the bike so I'll keep posting updates. It seems its definitely a Claud Butler Jubilee. I've found CB stamped on the rear drop-out and the frame number 4231. From a bit of research the numbers 54 6 are the manufacture date, June 1954.

    I wonder now why I was debating whether to buy it!! It has some nicely engraved bars which must be original. Does anyone know if the Weinmann levers and Vainqueur 999 Calipers would be original?

    Its been resprayed, which answers the old question of whether to respray or not. Its had a hand spray can job. I think it merits a professional enamel respray.

    Forks are slightly bent backwards, the bottom bearing cups aren't parallel to each other although the frame looks ok. No stress lines.

    I'll start stripping down and post updates for anyone who's interested.

    It looks like none of the gearing is original. I found this: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/nkilgar...54/Jubilee.jpg It seems originally it would have been a 3 speed. I'm not sure what the chances are of tracking down the right period parts for a rebuild. Some advice here would be appreciated.
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    Last edited by robbied196; 10-29-11 at 07:46 AM.

  14. #14
    rhm
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    Original brakes were probably GB Coureur calipers with GB Superhood levers. That bar is probably not original; it is off a Dawes. You'll find one end engraved "DAWES CERTES ENGLAND" or something like that. It is perhaps the prettiest bar ever made; hang onto it for sure.

    Actually, all of the parts can be found; but it doesn't really matter. Once you start buying 1950's bicycle parts it is hard to stop, because first you compromise and then you find something that's closer to original, and every time you bid on ebay you're bidding against some other nutter (i.e. me most likely ).

    Congratulations at any rate, it will be a beautiful bike.

  15. #15
    Senior Member robbied196's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhm View Post
    Original brakes were probably GB Coureur calipers with GB Superhood levers. That bar is probably not original; it is off a Dawes. You'll find one end engraved "DAWES CERTES ENGLAND" or something like that. It is perhaps the prettiest bar ever made; hang onto it for sure.

    Actually, all of the parts can be found; but it doesn't really matter. Once you start buying 1950's bicycle parts it is hard to stop, because first you compromise and then you find something that's closer to original, and every time you bid on ebay you're bidding against some other nutter (i.e. me most likely ).

    Congratulations at any rate, it will be a beautiful bike.
    Thanks rhm, I think I'm a fellow nutter anyway. Quite likely to be polishing ball bearings at 2am in the morning! You are spot on about the bar, I took back the tape and the right end is engraved DAWES CONCORDE, MADE IN ENGLAND.

    Seems it doesn't have any original parts, which I suppose for a nearly 60 year old bike is to be expected. I'll start searching Ebay for some period parts.

    Guess it raises the question, what would Claud do?

  16. #16
    Senior Member Alex Moll's Avatar
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    COOL! Very nice score.

    This is what I MIGHT do with this project: Spend the money to ensure the frame and fork are straight and solid. Spend top dollar to get a high quality respray. Then, this could be an ideal candidate for a fixed gear bike. You should be able to go period correct for quite a bit less than sourcing period mechs.

    Although the Sturmey-Archer FM 4-speed IGH would be really cool, too . . . spendy though.

    Have fun!

    Alex
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  17. #17
    Senior Member robbied196's Avatar
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    Thanks for the message Alex, I'm planning a full back to former glory restoration, hopefully! I'm in the UK and I'm sure I read that Hillary Stone recommends a company called Argos in Bristol for enamel resprays. Something I will look into, but I have another problem.

    I've had a good hour stripping CB down, the forks are bent as expected as you can see from the photo. The bend is in the tube itself and I would say it deflects about 1/4" off centre. There's no number stamped on the forks, I'm not sure if I should expect to find one. There's some scoring around the bottom which suggests they've been bent for some time.

    Unfortunately, there's another problem. There is a crack to the bottom of the seat tube. I hope the photo's are clear enough to see it. It must have suffered a fair impact to bend the forks, so I wonder if this fracture is also the result of a crash.

    I don't know how easily repairable this will be? Fortunately, I live in part of the UK where we have one or two well know frame builders, so I can ask the question. But I wanted to post here first to see if you think its a straight forward repair?

    Apart from that, all looks ok. I will probably do a chemical strip of the paint myself. Unfortunately, there's no sign of the original paint, which I was hoping for. But as its a spray can respray on the frame it should strip easily. I'll keep you posted.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Alex Moll's Avatar
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    How far are you from Leeds? Kevin Sayles works at Woodrup's - he's very talented, has decades of experience, and appreciates the old stuff - he'd be a good one to advise you on this. Steer tubes can be replaced. I don't know how serious that seat tube is - that's a question for an experienced frame builder.

    Cheers,
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  19. #19
    Senior Member robbied196's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Moll View Post
    How far are you from Leeds? Kevin Sayles works at Woodrup's - he's very talented, has decades of experience, and appreciates the old stuff - he'd be a good one to advise you on this. Steer tubes can be replaced. I don't know how serious that seat tube is - that's a question for an experienced frame builder.

    Cheers,
    Alex
    I'm in Shrewsbury. Leeds would be worth the trip to get a proper job done so thanks for the name. I'm not that far from Brian Rourke in Stoke on Trent either, but I'll make some enquiries to see whats involved in fixing the seat tube. I've also seen some good reports about Mario Vaz in London who used to work for Claud Butler.

  20. #20
    rhm
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    If I'm reading your photo correctly, the tube pulled out of the fillet, correct? If the tube is not damaged, then the only problem is that the brass fillet didn't adhere to the tube properly; so it should be a fairly straightforward repair for someone who does fillet brazing anyway. At any rate, the person who knows how to do this will be able to advise you whether it is a good idea or not. Good luck!

  21. #21
    Senior Member robbied196's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhm View Post
    If I'm reading your photo correctly, the tube pulled out of the fillet, correct? If the tube is not damaged, then the only problem is that the brass fillet didn't adhere to the tube properly; so it should be a fairly straightforward repair for someone who does fillet brazing anyway. At any rate, the person who knows how to do this will be able to advise you whether it is a good idea or not. Good luck!
    Unfortunately, its cracked above the fillet. Because there's no drain from the bottom of the tube, it looks like its rusted through. I've made a few enquiries and I'm looking at 80 for a new seat tube, plus another 90 for a good enamel respray, plus the 20 I paid brings in the frame at 190, about $304. I think its still worth it?

    I'm going to chemically strip off all the paint next though, just to make sure there's no more hidden problems!

  22. #22
    rhm
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    Yes, I would say, it is worth it if this is "the" bike for you. That is, if this frame is the size you want, and the style of bike you want, and you want one with good paint, then that's a pretty good price. If you prefer one with original but tatty paint, you can get one much cheaper.

    If you are not sure, pass it on to someone who is sure. There are people like that; you don't have to be one of them.

    It is not worth it to resell.

  23. #23
    Senior Member robbied196's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhm View Post
    Yes, I would say, it is worth it if this is "the" bike for you. That is, if this frame is the size you want, and the style of bike you want, and you want one with good paint, then that's a pretty good price. If you prefer one with original but tatty paint, you can get one much cheaper.

    If you are not sure, pass it on to someone who is sure. There are people like that; you don't have to be one of them.

    It is not worth it to resell.
    I think if I get the repair and quality respray done, I can build it back up as and when I locate suitable parts. I've had a scan through Ebay, there's a few nice Williams cranksets floating around at the 30 mark, and I missed this http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CYCLO-BENE...item27bf674eee seems originally they were fitted with either Benelux or Simplex 3 speed derailleurs.

    Buying up the right parts bit by bit eases the wallet strain, but it should make a nice restoration for fairly reasonable money.

  24. #24
    rhm
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    You are much better off, in my opinion, going with a Sturmey Archer hub of one kind or another. Look for an FW, FM, AW, or AM with an alloy shell and a date around 1953. They are pretty common, at least in the UK, and offer pretty much state-of-the-art functionality. Old derailleurs, in contrast, are rather obsolete technology.

  25. #25
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    good news is that even if the frame is a complete write-off you can get your money back and then some by putting those handlebars on eBay....they fetch a pretty penny, especially to owners of old Dawes's (such as myself)
    --Don't Panic.

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