Old 04-22-12, 09:51 AM
Leon de Fixer
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Is this an Alec Bird frame or built by someone else

Here is a Retrobike link to what the frame looked like in 2008


More Pics of the frame here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/3302498...7629510793930/

HI..I just got this frame and there is some doubt in some quarters that this frame is indeed an Alec Bird....i do not have the provenance and am trying to build some history of the frame.....i will list what i do know and what i'd like to know.

What i know

The lugs on the frame are Capella as found on Carlton frames between 1957-1966 [and Carlton did close in 1981....Capella lugs can be bought on ebay today....so possible that Alec Bird [AB] could have bought them at some point between 1966/7 and whenever]. No Carlton i've seen have 'fastback' seatstays....they did Victor seatstays but they were 'Shot-in' stays and meet below the seatpost fastening bolt.

The frame takes a 27.2mm seatpost....and n the Retrobike link one of the latter owners says it is relatively heavy and questions if it is 531c....but i recently had a 531 plain gauge road path frame and that considerably heavier....that was 531 plain gauge tubing plus chromoly stays.

The frame has been resprayed between 2009 and 2010 by Mario Vaz in London....he supplied the AB decals and the 531 decal [the 531 decal is the one with wings and from Nick Lloyds 531 decal timeline....is c1984]....If you look at the Retrobike link the frame in 2008 had AB decals but no 531 decal....though the owner described it as '531 Competition'.....The decal may have been chosen at random....as the frame may be older than the decal suggests....1970s?....that is a guess as AB was making frames into the 1980s....could be later as there is scant info on AB....i believe he is still alive.

The forks are not original but look the part....the forks in 2008 had a semi sloping fork crown and the chap who got the frame resprayed also purchased the forks from Mario Vaz...a frame builder told me that look for the base of the fork leg where it meets the drop out...if dome shaped it will be Reynolds.....is it! Plus there was a glut of 531 tapered [butted] forks in the 1970s....so the forks are likely to be 531 but unlikely to be built by AB.....it is possible that the semi-sloping forks were the original but were replaced because they were cracked and could not be repaired.

The frame number is 529.....with EO also on the BB shell.....Dave marsh suggested EO refers to the maker of the BB shell [?] Could anyone confirm that.....Does anyone here have an AB frame number that is similar as it would help date my frame [assuming it is a AB frame]?

What i'd like to know

1.Is it an AB frame?
2. If not, who could be likely candidates?
3. The age of the frame.
4. Meaning of EO on the BB shell
5. 529 [frame number]...Can someone glean anything from the number?
6. Is the tubing 531c...or 531d/b or if the 1980s...531 Designer Select?
7. Is a pure track frame or something meant for short distance road TTs>

If any previous owners particularly the first owner can contact me or add to this thread..i'd be most grateful

Any useful contributions to this thread would be appreciated..thanks in advance....Leon

Last edited by Leon de Fixer; 04-22-12 at 11:30 AM.
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