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  1. #1
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    British Race Frame: 120mm dropout & 700c wheelset?

    I've been trying to research this but have struck out. I'm looking at a British-built racing frame online that has 120mm rear dropout spacing and is supposedly built for 700c rims. With my meager knowledge of frame-building history, I was sure that this frame would have been built for 5-speed 27" wheels (which I have all ready to go). But then I began to wonder if this may have been built for 700c tubulars rather than 27" clinchers. Were british frames made with 120mm. dropouts for 700c rims?

  2. #2
    . bbattle's Avatar
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    It probably was built for tubulars.

    Pictures will be called for. Get cracking.

  3. #3
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    My 1970s Raleigh Competition is 120 and 700 tubulars. I think the Pros and Intls were as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodrupjoe View Post
    I've been trying to research this but have struck out. I'm looking at a British-built racing frame online that has 120mm rear dropout spacing and is supposedly built for 700c rims. With my meager knowledge of frame-building history, I was sure that this frame would have been built for 5-speed 27" wheels (which I have all ready to go). But then I began to wonder if this may have been built for 700c tubulars rather than 27" clinchers. Were british frames made with 120mm. dropouts for 700c rims?
    Hey, new Shimmer is (maybe) a dessert topping AND a floor wax!

    The answer is, it depends. Many old frames like that will be able to handle 700 or 27s with 47-57 calipers, or perhaps 610 centerpulls, but some can't. It was probably built around 700c wheels/tires though, unless it was for export specifically. The brake reach difference is around 5 mm, plus or minus a mm. 27s will give you a higher BB height of about that much, too, of course. I have a 1980s Woodrup 'Giro Touring' that can handle either, but with 1.125-inch 27s (which it has the moment) the BB height is about 11 inches. Pretty dang high, in my opinion, and a bit annoying, actually. I may change it to 700c wheels, just to get some TT clearance, as it is a 24-inch frame, but feels more like a 24.5 as far as standover.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Chris W.'s Avatar
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    Hmmm my 81 Woodrup Giro-Tour has a High bb too? 700c Brings it down, thinking
    About a 650b conversion. Back to the op's question, most British framesets I have seen had a fairly long brake reach for tubulars (700c) , seemed to be the norm?

    Cheers,
    Chris

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris W. View Post
    Hmmm my 81 Woodrup Giro-Tour has a High bb too? 700c Brings it down, thinking
    About a 650b conversion. Back to the op's question, most British framesets I have seen had a fairly long brake reach for tubulars (700c) , seemed to be the norm?

    Cheers,
    Chris
    Yeah, not sure why Woodrup did that. It's about the only significant issue I have with the frameset. Maybe they thought owners would race them in crits. in the USA, with long cranks, so they gave the frames lots of cornering clearance? I dunno....
    What size is yours? I wonder if only the larger sizes had the issue?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Chris W.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 753proguy View Post
    Yeah, not sure why Woodrup did that. It's about the only significant issue I have with the frameset. Maybe they thought owners would race them in crits. in the USA, with long cranks, so they gave the frames lots of cornering clearance? I dunno....
    What size is yours? I wonder if only the larger sizes had the issue?
    Mine is a 53 st x 55 tt, not too big.

    Cheers,
    Chris

  8. #8
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
    My 1970s Raleigh Competition is 120 and 700 tubulars. I think the Pros and Intls were as well.
    Yes.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris W. View Post
    Hmmm my 81 Woodrup Giro-Tour has a High bb too? 700c Brings it down, thinking
    About a 650b conversion. Back to the op's question, most British framesets I have seen had a fairly long brake reach for tubulars (700c) , seemed to be the norm?

    Cheers,
    Chris
    Chris, if you're talking about the gold one I used to have, I'm pretty sure the Woodrup Giro Tourings of the day that were actually built for touring (high bb, medium trail, long chainstays) were designed for 27 inch wheels. A friend here in Ann Arbor has one that is a little tighter but similar in S/N, and it came new to him with 27 inch wheels. I've also noticed some Woodrups of similar vintage look tight enough to only be able to take tubulars. I don't think we can generalize.

    I also recall reading in a Classic Rendezvous posting that many Woodrups of the day were imported by Ten Speed Drive, who specified their builds as being tight and with rather larger trail than the bike I had.

    I've been thinking about a 650b, and I think the high BB of that gold Woodrup makes it a near-perfect candidate. What you have to look at is whether you can get caliper brakes that are long enough to reach the brake tracks with 650b rims. I used a brake with 57 mm reach with 700c wheels, and the brake pads had to be placed at the ends of the slots - max reach position - for 700c wheels.

  10. #10
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    Here's the bike I was asking about in the OP. Pretty nice eh? I was the high bidder for a while but I think it'll probably go out of my price range. (And I'm even going to be driving through that area on Saturday so I could pick it up.)

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/290658488046...84.m1431.l2649

  11. #11
    Senior Member Mercian Rider's Avatar
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    My '73 Mercian Pro has 120 dropouts, was built for tubulars, but of course 700c clinchers fit fine. I'm not sure whether there was any significant overlap between the eclipse of 120 spacing and the advent of 700c clinchers. Even if there was, it doesn't mean a Brit 120 spaced frame was "built for" 700c clinchers--it just happens to fit them.
    No Fun. No ride.

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  12. #12
    Senior Member randyjawa's Avatar
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    This Torpado Five Speed came fitted with a five cog freewheel, 120mm drops and 700c steel clincher rims...


    And, so did this Torpado Luxe Ten Speed...


    I am not sure about the vintage of either bicycle, but early to mid seventies seems probable.
    Learn how to find, restore and maintain vintage road bicycles at... MY "TEN SPEEDS"

  13. #13
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    Very pretty Torpados!

  14. #14
    Senior Member sykerocker's Avatar
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    Just looking at the aesthetics, I'd be guessing mid-60's if not a bit earlier.
    Syke

    "No wonder we keep testing positive in their bicycle races. Everyone looks like they're full of testosterone when they're surrounded by Frenchmen." ---Argus Hamilton

  15. #15
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodrupjoe View Post
    Here's the bike I was asking about in the OP. Pretty nice eh? I was the high bidder for a while but I think it'll probably go out of my price range. (And I'm even going to be driving through that area on Saturday so I could pick it up.)

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/290658488046...84.m1431.l2649
    Ok, that is a bargain, from a good seller, and a screaming deal! If it's your size and you want another beautiful Brit around the house, just buy it and deal with the realities after you get it. It will need a 5-speed without a doubt, but just take care of the brake selection after you see what will fit in reality.

    Wow!

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