I am building on this this fairly rare frame for a friend. He is a lifelong sportsman — a runner, but a novice to cycling. Last year, after long discussions, he opted for a vintage sort of bicycle. He has very patiently waited for many months, because I've only managed to work on it in fits and starts — finding parts, solving the puzzles and apparent enigmas as they arose … or simply refusing to work in a freezing garage and — exhaustive WORK! — the thing that most of us must do when we are not "velo-ing".
A combination of vintage and new parts is being used. The frame was beautifully refinished for the former owner by 'Argos' of Bristol, U.K. Argos's contribution was restricted to refinishing, otherwise the frame was not serviced in any manner. Thus some issues had to be put right by a local frame-maker here in Sendai. Hopefully all has been resolved. Argos did a stunning, consummate job of refinishing with stove enamel and fresh graphics. Everyone who has seen this frame in the "flesh" is bowled over — no exaggeration.
I hope to present the finished machine to my friend in the next week or so. A couple of challenges remain.
A combination of vintage and new parts is being used. So far, what you see here …
Tange Passage HS
Nitto (Technomic) stem
Nitto 135 Bars
Shimano UN-55 sealed BB
Ultegra cranks and rings
Maillard hubs (with dodgy cones) & skewers
MKS Sylvan Lite pedals and straps
Wolber-58 rims — 27 x 1-1/4
Panasonic Pasela tires (Jpn production) + new tubes and hi-pressure tapes
Generic Taiwanese seat post (no bling but nice stuff)
Bontrager 'inform' saddle
The purists among you may understandably shudder a little over the use of non-period parts. I am sensitive to the issue, but it is what it is for various reasons. The saddle may look particularly out of place — until you get used to it (as I've done). Yes, a Brooks may have looked more the part, but from a practical point of view the Bontrager is an excellent choice. I am using one on my Simplon these days, and it's the most comfortable saddle I've ever ridden on — bar none! I've coasted up and down the block, and the cockpit has to be the most comfortable for casual sports riding I've ever set up. (Keith is about my size and build, so he should find it the same way.)
You may notice the lack of the more common braze-on bits — cable ferrules, shifter mounts and so on. Other than fender mounts, Dawes shunned these in favor of keeping as much heat off the tubbing as possible. The entire frame-set is Reynolds 531 — 56 mm c to c.
Any suggestions or comments are welcome. I still have room/time to change things about.