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Old 07-26-10, 11:40 PM   #1
thogsez
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Hamilton tt - sprint bike

Does anyone out there have any info on Hamilton frames built in the bay area during the late 80's - early 90's. They have 24 inch wheels and were built for time trials. I have one and I love it. I also have found 2 additional wheelsets taken from a deceased one on Craigslist awhile back. I have thoroughly scoured the internet but have come up entirely empty handed so far.
Any leads or info would be tremendously appreciated!!
-Thog
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Old 07-27-10, 07:43 AM   #2
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I met the guy once on Diablo, I think he lived in Clayton. We discussed the benefits and problems with 24" wheels. He sponsored a pretty famous female triathlete. His bikes needed a special crank and pedal combination that was pretty funky... the crankarm was short (maybe for a low bottom bracket clearance), and the pedal had an extender so that it wasn't always in-line with the crankarm... too weird for most roadies but triathletes like stuff like that. Look for old race photos of Paula Newby Fraser



I think his name was Ralph, and Hamilton was his middle name. He was kind of a heavy and stubborn but interesting guy.
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Old 07-27-10, 09:19 PM   #3
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Hamilton

Thanks, DiabloScott, that's helpful information! Was he riding one when you met him?
One feature I love about the bike is it's immediate acceleration. It feels jackrabbit responsive. Mine came with a standard (for it's era) Shimano 600 crank with 172.5 crank arms. The person I bought it from knew nothing of its history though, so many modifications could have occurred along the way. I'll post a pic as soon as I'm able.
-Thog

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Old 07-27-10, 09:43 PM   #4
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Old 07-27-10, 11:27 PM   #5
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Thanks, DiabloScott, that's helpful information! Was he riding one when you met him?
Yup... looked pretty much like yours but had normal handlebars. I seem to remember seeing him a few times, but only talked to him that once.

I also remember his saying that fillet brazing was way better than lugged because it was so much lighter.

I think he may have been South African too... I'll ask my buddy who was on the ride that day.

You might try posting on the Classic and Vintage forum too - there's a lot of experience over there.

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Old 07-28-10, 01:37 PM   #6
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You might try posting on the Classic and Vintage forum too - there's a lot of experience over there.
Thanks, I'll do it!
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Old 11-15-11, 04:36 PM   #7
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Not a peep over at the Classic and Vintage site! I have since aquired another frame that was supposedly ridden in the Olympics! I'm guessing it will be a lifetime (remaining) project to pull this one back together...
-Doug (Thog)

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Old 11-15-11, 04:39 PM   #8
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As a small-wheel appreciator, this is intriguing.
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Old 11-15-11, 07:56 PM   #9
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As a small-wheel appreciator, this is intriguing.

I've been loving them for awhile too! The Hamilton is really one of my favorite bikes to ride. The Cannonale TT bikes with 650s started the small wheel fascination with me...

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Old 11-16-11, 06:16 PM   #10
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My Other (mystery) Hamilton

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Old 11-17-11, 04:12 PM   #11
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Those bars are far out.
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Old 11-17-11, 04:36 PM   #12
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I've established contact with the person that was primarily involved with the building and sponsorship of this bike! I'm just waiting for pics and info...
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Old 12-18-11, 07:44 PM   #13
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Still waiting...
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Old 02-29-12, 07:23 AM   #14
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Does anyone out there have any info on Hamilton frames built in the bay area during the late 80's - early 90's. They have 24 inch wheels and were built for time trials. I have one and I love it. I also have found 2 additional wheelsets taken from a deceased one on Craigslist awhile back. I have thoroughly scoured the internet but have come up entirely empty handed so far.
Any leads or info would be tremendously appreciated!!
-Thog
I have one too orange and yellow LArge 26" frame. but the bike is awesome i know they are from South Africa but thats about it
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Old 06-19-13, 08:45 PM   #15
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I have one too orange and yellow LArge 26" frame. but the bike is awesome i know they are from South Africa but thats about it
Awesome! Do you live in the Bay Area, by chance? There seems to be a few more left around here than anywhere else. The bikes were built in San Francisco by Ralph Hamilton Lewis, a former South African that gained citizenship and lived and retired in the Concord area of the Bay. If he is still alive he's about 82 years old now. I would sure enjoy talking to him if he is. Since I started this thread, someone emailed me an article and interview with Mr. Lewis from 1989 from Bicycle Guide Magazine. At that time the frame alone sold for $800 dollars! Any more input is still welcome by me, I'm still at a loss as to how to proceed with the yellow project. Finding all the Mavic parts is a challenge alone. According to the article, the front chainring should be a 54/63 tooth! I doubt I'll ever find that!
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Old 10-07-13, 02:01 PM   #16
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One just showed up on the New Orleans Craigslist: http://neworleans.craigslist.org/bik/4114618449.html

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Very Rare Racing Bicycle
1978 Hamilton Frame Technology Time Trials Bicycle
-Hand made in Hamilton Australia
-Used for Olympic Time Trials
-Dura-Ace Wheel Hubs
-Dura-Ace Bottom Bracket
-Dura-Ace Head Set
-Campy Brakes
-16 Speed
-24" x 1" tires


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Old 10-14-13, 09:38 AM   #17
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One just showed up on the New Orleans Craigslist: http://neworleans.craigslist.org/bik/4114618449.html
Thanks! That's a sweet bike! It's funny how unknown these are. Hamilton Australia? 1978? As good of a guess as any I suppose.
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Old 10-14-13, 10:05 AM   #18
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It's too bad one can't attach PDF files here. I would be more than happy to post the magazine article I have interviewing Ralph Hamilton Lewis in 1989 ... any interest?
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Old 10-14-13, 11:12 AM   #19
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It's too bad one can't attach PDF files here. I would be more than happy to post the magazine article I have interviewing Ralph Hamilton Lewis in 1989 ... any interest?

Yeah! You could post them as photos - scan or screen shot.
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Old 10-14-13, 12:57 PM   #20
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Old 10-14-13, 01:03 PM   #21
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Yeah! You could post them as photos - scan or screen shot.
This is screen shots from my phone. I'll check to see if it's legible on a computer screen later ...
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Old 11-10-13, 10:13 PM   #22
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This one popped up on CL near me:
http://boston.craigslist.org/sob/bik/4181154011.html

It's a real curiosity -- even at 160psi, the old tubulars are not quite un-squirmy.

What's the aftermarket availability of Junior Pro wheels and tires?
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Old 11-14-13, 04:21 AM   #23
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Hi, i found an Hamilton frame too, for 24" wheels like yours, about a year ago.
I'm also trying to gather some informations on these frames but they're really rare.
I live in France, and found it here with no info at all on the frame history or the brand, and without wheels or gear.
Mine has a Bio-technica/Mecacycle (famous french builder) stickers on it, maybe from a sponsorship?
Here are some pics:






Here are some details, it has Excell tubing, chromed lugs, and a oversize diag tube:










So i'm desperately trying to find sattui composite wheels now, or any 24" carbon/composite (disc?) wheelset, but none showed in a year. If someone got a plan for them...
Also Thogsez, if you could repost you article in higher quality, i'm really interested, thank you.

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Old 11-18-13, 08:51 AM   #24
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What's the aftermarket availability of Junior Pro wheels and tires?
There is a high end shop here in Palo Alto that sells 24" wheeled bikes for juniors by Mavic so there is a market out there for the wheels, albeit a smaller market (pun intended).
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Old 11-18-13, 09:17 AM   #25
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Here are some details, it has Excell tubing, chromed lugs, and a oversized diag tube:

Also Thogsez, if you could repost you article in higher quality, i'm really interested, thank you.
This is the first one I've seen that is lugged!
I'll be happy to try to post a higher resolution pic of the article if I can, otherwise, I'd be happy to email you the original PDF file.
-Doug
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