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  1. #1
    Senior Member Lenton58's Avatar
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    A DAWES 'ATLANTIS', a frame-up build

    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
    Ultegra RD
    Tiagra FD
    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.







    Last edited by Lenton58; 03-20-12 at 08:36 PM.
    Me: I've learned a lot about cycling by my mistakes, and I can repeat them perfectly! My Bikes: Vitus-979, Simplon-4-Star, Gazelle-AB, Woodrup

  2. #2
    Get off my lawn! Velognome's Avatar
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    Nice. My only thought would be the wheel size. Frame looks like it was built for 700's, looks a bit tight with the 27's.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Lenton58's Avatar
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    Velognome:
    Frame looks like it was built for 700's, looks a bit tight with the 27's.
    My thought exactly, but this is what happened: The bike arrived with 700 wheels. One wheel was dinged in the lip-over, and there was no way it was ever going to get worked out. The other wheel was OK, but the finish was so bad that the wheel was going to have to be dismantled for polishing. Both the Atom hubs were thrashed. I had my own set of Wolber-58's with the same (but Maillard) hubs. Out of the four hubs I managed to put together a set of axles and cones — a bit doggy and grumpy, but just about acceptable after I did some rotary refacing on a couple of irreplaceable cones. As the guy responsible, I donated the wheels cuz I had already put my friend into the ceiling of the budget — and he was not scrimping.

    Yeah, the wheel thing bothers me too. Do you think it will affect the handling?
    Me: I've learned a lot about cycling by my mistakes, and I can repeat them perfectly! My Bikes: Vitus-979, Simplon-4-Star, Gazelle-AB, Woodrup

  4. #4
    Senior Member auchencrow's Avatar
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    Hi Lenton -

    I don't think the 27 vs 700 rims will make a hill of beans difference in the handling, and I doubt that anyone would put fenders on one of these either.

    It seems Dawes later relented on adding braze-ons to the tubing, because my slightly later oval-badged Atlantis has TT cable guides.

    Your friend will enjoy the Atlantis. IMO it's a pretty aggressive ride though - probably owing to that fork (Everyone thinks it's bent, expecting so much more trail in a bike from that era).

    The paint job BTW is beautiful - very convincing job with the fade, with which I think Dawes was probably the trend-setter for the fades that were so popular in the later 80's (just about 10 years ahead of the curve).

    Anyway, they very fine bikes, but it seems there are not alot of them: "Show us your Dawes Atlantis" could be the title of a very short-lived thread.
    - Auchen

  5. #5
    Senior Member Lenton58's Avatar
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    Auchen — thanks for the reassurance and comments.
    "Show us your Dawes Atlantis" could be the title of a very short-lived thread.
    It would surely seem so. A lot more Galaxies around.

    My coasting down the road was very encouraging to me and a guest enthusiast who had a go too. But I fear my "cone" honing is going to only last so long. Friend will need new hubs after a while — as opposed to just an overhaul/bearing repack. I am thinking of exploring the possibility of local hubs on mama-chari shopping bikes as possibly having cones that might work. I saw some NOS Normandy cones on eBay, but I assumed that they were as cheesy as the originals — not worth the trouble and expense.
    Me: I've learned a lot about cycling by my mistakes, and I can repeat them perfectly! My Bikes: Vitus-979, Simplon-4-Star, Gazelle-AB, Woodrup

  6. #6
    I like beans eippo1's Avatar
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    Wow, that is a stunning paintjob. Can you get any closeups of the actual fade area? Really, really nice bike. What are you using for shifters?
    You got it buddy: the large print giveth, and the small print taketh away

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  7. #7
    Senior Member Lenton58's Avatar
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    eippo1
    Can you get any closeups of the actual fade area? Really, really nice bike. What are you using for shifters?
    Thanks (on behalf of my friend, the owner). When I complete the build, I'm going to do some much better photos and include details such as the fade scheme. As for the shifters — they are SunTour Power Shift — a very distinct design that uses tension on one pull and a ratchet release on the other. They came with the bike and clip onto the DT. There is a ex-tent braised onto the underside of the DT to prevent them from traveling down the tube under tension. Some CV folks have claimed that they are the best DT shifter they have used. These seem in good shape and they came with the bike.
    Me: I've learned a lot about cycling by my mistakes, and I can repeat them perfectly! My Bikes: Vitus-979, Simplon-4-Star, Gazelle-AB, Woodrup

  8. #8
    Senior Member Lenton58's Avatar
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    Finally finished. I delivered it to my friend two weeks ago. I test rode it and it was a nice ride. The tight fit with the 27" Paselas has thankfully not been a problem. Here she is:



















    Me: I've learned a lot about cycling by my mistakes, and I can repeat them perfectly! My Bikes: Vitus-979, Simplon-4-Star, Gazelle-AB, Woodrup

  9. #9
    Senior Member Lenton58's Avatar
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    eippo1 wrote:
    What are you using for shifters?
    Suntour powershift. One of three items we managed to salvage from the stuff that came with the repainted frame. And I love them. They are not indexed, but they have a ratchet mechanism on the off tension side. Brilliant! Smooth! You have to be careful at first because you can think that you are using an indexed system.
    Me: I've learned a lot about cycling by my mistakes, and I can repeat them perfectly! My Bikes: Vitus-979, Simplon-4-Star, Gazelle-AB, Woodrup

  10. #10
    Senior Member auchencrow's Avatar
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    Great job Lenton!

    And if you'll excuse the pun, that's a bike you'll see once in a "blue moon". (It looks like even the cable guides and blue Wolber rim labels got the spirit!)
    - Auchen

  11. #11
    Senior Member ftwelder's Avatar
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    Wow, nice looking bike!
    1886 Surrey machinists Invincible, 1900 Nashua, 1937 Raleigh Golden Arrow, 1938 Raleigh Silver Record, 1951 Armstrong tourmalet, 1970 Motobecane Grand Record, 1971 Raleigh Professional, 1971 Gitane TDF, 1972 Legnano Gran Primio, 1973, Peugeot PX-10, 1975 Roberts, 1984 Battaglin Giro, 1985 Grandis Speciale, 2012 FTW

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  12. #12
    Keener splendor TimmyT's Avatar
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    Sharp looking bike. I like what you did with it. I really like those blue cable guides. Where did you find them?
    Quote Originally Posted by Craigslist View Post
    Note to you BLOWHARD MORONS out there: The fork is not bent. Most PEUGEOTS of the '70s forks DID NOT line up with the head tube angle. This is normal. The last pic is from the 1972 Dutch catalog showing this EXACT MODEL in diagram. Keep your comments to yourself......
    It's pronounced, "Co-burn."

  13. #13
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    Cool bike; I like the suntour ratcheting shifters. That is a lot of clearance given that you used reasonably fat tires and a 27 inch tire. I still have a wheelset or two built up with Wolber 58s, nice rims.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Lenton58's Avatar
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    I really like those blue cable guides. Where did you find them?
    I think that they were in the DiaCompe catalog. The anodized wire terminations came with the same order. I went to my LBS here in Sendai and ordered some parts from catalogs, and these these were in the order.
    Me: I've learned a lot about cycling by my mistakes, and I can repeat them perfectly! My Bikes: Vitus-979, Simplon-4-Star, Gazelle-AB, Woodrup

  15. #15
    Senior Member Lenton58's Avatar
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    Thanks for the comps, you guys!
    Me: I've learned a lot about cycling by my mistakes, and I can repeat them perfectly! My Bikes: Vitus-979, Simplon-4-Star, Gazelle-AB, Woodrup

  16. #16
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    Beautiful bike!!

    If I may ask how are things going over there? We don't hear about you guys in the news much anymore.
    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto, '90 Campione del Fausto Giamondi Specialisma Italiano Mundo, '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '86 Volpe, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '09 Motobecane SS, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

  17. #17
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    You mentioned in initial post that your friend is a novice cyclist, when he wears out the tires I'd recommend a 27 X 1 for a bit sportier performance. Auchen mentioned "pretty aggressive ride" and I would agree as the front center looks short, although the chainstays could be 43cm. What does the friend think of the ride?

    Can I be your friend too? - lordy knows all my vintage could use such a meticulous upgrade.

    +1 on BG's request for a news update. The tsunami debris field has recently been coming ashore on PNW beaches. Couple of nice stories have been in the smaller papers about items ID'd and returned to Japanese owners.
    '81 Austro Daimler Olympian, '86 Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra, '87 DeRosa Professional, '99 Calfee TetraPro, '03(?) Macalu Cirrus, '04 Tallerico, '97 Co-Motion Tandem

  18. #18
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    Wow, beautiful build! Fabulous attention to detail.
    I'm amazed that those wheels and tires fit in between those tight chainstays. I run 700x25's on what I think is an '84 Atlantis, I suspect I can fit 700x30's in there, but I think even that would be pushing it. Those Suntour Powershifters have such a nice feel to them, I think I've been spoiled; other friction shifters just don't compare. Not the prettiest to look at, but they feel so right.
    Good luck over there!

  19. #19
    Senior Member Lenton58's Avatar
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    Bianchigirll wrote:
    Beautiful bike!! If I may ask how are things going over there? We don't hear about you guys in the news much anymore.
    I appreciate the compliment. And as for the questions that both you and Wildwood raised, I have started a reply that I cannot finish tonight, but will ASAP. I will post it on another more appropriate "general" forum and leave alert you and interested folks on this thread.

    A snippet or two: the situation at TEPCO's nuclear power plant at Daiichi Fukushima remains unstable and exceedingly dangerous — not just to local regions and Japan as a whole, but in regards to the whole world. So much so that the Attorney-General of the united nations recently received a letter submitted by a large number of concerned scientists from both here and abroad.

    And ... You can read an article and see photos that I published on the anniversary of the triple disaster:
    http://www.discovernikkei.org/en/jou...r-remembrance/
    Last edited by Lenton58; 05-14-12 at 01:46 PM.
    Me: I've learned a lot about cycling by my mistakes, and I can repeat them perfectly! My Bikes: Vitus-979, Simplon-4-Star, Gazelle-AB, Woodrup

  20. #20
    Senior Member Lenton58's Avatar
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    Wildwood wrote:
    You mentioned in initial post that your friend is a novice cyclist, when he wears out the tires I'd recommend a 27 X 1 for a bit sportier performance. Auchen mentioned "pretty aggressive ride" and I would agree as the front center looks short, although the chainstays could be 43cm. What does the friend think of the ride?
    I agree about the tires. As for handling, I rode the bike on a test ride and it is dead stable and no more aggressive than my Trek 560. I've cautioned him that he can stick his foot into the front wheel.

    I've not talked to my friend for some days, but he seemed happy with it the last time I heard from him. I set up the cockpit as one might for a novice — compact and not so aggressive. All in all, it will make a nice path bike. As an inveterate runner, my friend takes to the levees and paths on the bottom land along the local rivers. Those fatter tires may just be the thing for now. Actually, I hope that someday he reverts to 700c with new hubs — although the Wolber 58's are great rims.

    randomgear wrote:
    Wow, beautiful build! Fabulous attention to detail.
    I'm amazed that those wheels and tires fit in between those tight chainstays. I run 700x25's on what I think is an '84 Atlantis, I suspect I can fit 700x30's in there, but I think even that would be pushing it.
    Thanks for the comp! Yes, the fit was close. A local racing mechanic was concerned that the rear might rub, but then he tried flexing the frame and it wouldn't budge. So, we know it is good to go. The front is a much better fit, and the Weinmann 604 brakes are right on the mark at both ends.

    I did pay attention to detail. The job that Argos did for the previous owner just seemed to demand no less than keen attention to little things like replacing all the self-locking airframe style and capped nuts on the brakes.
    Me: I've learned a lot about cycling by my mistakes, and I can repeat them perfectly! My Bikes: Vitus-979, Simplon-4-Star, Gazelle-AB, Woodrup

  21. #21
    Senior Member Lenton58's Avatar
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    I should have said already that the frame was purchased from no less than the Dawesman himself. He is a head too tall for this frame and offered it to my friend. I think that he may be making some comments later on.

    Dawesman
    commissioned Argos to do the graphics and stove enameling and assumed that "restoration" included the usual things one would expect. But, as I've noted elsewhere, Argos will do nothing other than strip and repaint the frame — unless you exactly specify additional work. They detail exactly what they will do and how much it will cost on their rather excellent website.

    And so, this frame was serviced after it was repainted. Fortunately, no damage was done to the paint. The drop outs where realigned. The BB shell threads were chased. ... can't remember if we refaced the shell. The threads on the steering tube were broken and had to be recut. For some very strange reason, the frame maker could not get get any size of head-set on the forks. The bottom race would not stretch on with any mandrel in the shop. So he chucked it into the lathe and skimmed a tad off. Bing — the part slipped exactly on with a knock. Since it is not my bike, I spent a tense 30 minutes watching over this.

    Matsumoto-san quickly checked the frame out for alignment. And I strung it up in my own shop — twice. In the end, all went well and I could find no misalignment. Because it is not my machine, I was a lot more fussy about this stuff than usual.

    BTW ... I have not yet had time to finish my blurb about what is and isn't happening in Japan. I'll be back! — Lorne
    Last edited by Lenton58; 05-16-12 at 01:56 PM.
    Me: I've learned a lot about cycling by my mistakes, and I can repeat them perfectly! My Bikes: Vitus-979, Simplon-4-Star, Gazelle-AB, Woodrup

  22. #22
    Senior Member Lenton58's Avatar
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    Hi Friends!

    In response to Bianchigirll's inquiry about what is happening in Japan, I have posted an article in the blogger's forum.

    I will say once again that I was warmed and moved by the care, support and concern BF people gave my family during the crisis over a year ago. I hope that this article will color the situation as it remains here — as well as call your attention to a danger that could in all worst of scenarios very seriously affect the whole world. ... Best regards, Lorne

    In Reply to the Question: What is Happening in Japan?

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post14247301
    Me: I've learned a lot about cycling by my mistakes, and I can repeat them perfectly! My Bikes: Vitus-979, Simplon-4-Star, Gazelle-AB, Woodrup

  23. #23
    十人十色 Dawes-man's Avatar
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    I'm very late coming to this thread. I was in SPain when Lenton started it and since coming back I've been busy with the end of year accounts for my company but I'd like to add a couple of things.

    First off, I think Lenton has done a great job on the build. I like the modern look of the Shimano cranks and the purposeful look of the large tyres.

    As many people here know, I ride a 1979 Atlantis, the bike that got me into bikes in the first place. My monicker here is in recognition of that. My Atlantis, at 58cm, is a bit small for me. The frame that Lenton has built on for his friend is one I bought in the UK on eBay in the belief it was bigger than mine. The seller was mistaken and it is actually smaller but it was several month after buying it that I got to England to see it and rather late to do anything about it.

    It was pretty rough so I decided to have it painted by Argos as I was interested to know how well they would match the colours and get the fade. I think they've done very well except the tone is slightly lighter than the original. As Lenton has mentioned, I wasn't precise enough regarding what I wanted doing, wrongly taking for granted they would check alignment and threads. The only regret I have about the painting is that they were unable to reproduce the Made In England sticker at the bottom of the seat tube or source originals. It is printed on a chrome background and was sported by all Dawes machines of the period:

    [IMG] IMG_7436.JPG by Dawes-man, on Flickr[/IMG]

    I'm surprised my old friend Auchencrow finds the ride "pretty aggressive" as I find it just positive and stable, as well as very comfortable due to the give in the Reynolds 531 frame, but I'm not sure what he is comparing it to. My Trek 730 is much sharper and almost 'twitchy' in comparison. I do agree with him on the rarity of the Atlantis. The touring Galaxy is far more common. In the last 8 years or so I've only seen 4 or 5 on eBay and I've bought 2 of those. You do sometimes see a Dawes Lightning described as an Atlantis as the colour scheme is identical but the former is heavier, made from Reynolds 501, and has steel rims.

    I think the Atlantis is a very nice bike and wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone. Unfortunately, they are very hard to find. This is the spec from the Dawes catalogue of 1979, which I found on Mark Bulger's excellent website:

    [IMG] 06_racing_specs by Dawes-man, on Flickr[/IMG]
    "I bet you'd do the same if they was you." F. Zappa

  24. #24
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    I have the same frame hanging in my garage. I've been trying to decide how to build it up for months. My paint job isn't quite as nice as yours and the brand and model decals have worn off. It took a bit of research to figure out it was an Atlantis, but luckily it has that distinctive paint job.

  25. #25
    十人十色 Dawes-man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roburrito View Post
    I have the same frame hanging in my garage. I've been trying to decide how to build it up for months. My paint job isn't quite as nice as yours and the brand and model decals have worn off. It took a bit of research to figure out it was an Atlantis, but luckily it has that distinctive paint job.
    Yes, the same decals had come off mine when I got it but the Reynolds transfers were still there, which made identification easy once I realised it wasn't a Galaxy, as the seller had claimed.
    "I bet you'd do the same if they was you." F. Zappa

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