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Vintage C. Roberts 15-Speed Touring Bike

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Vintage C. Roberts 15-Speed Touring Bike

Old 07-30-20, 10:39 AM
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thehackmechanic 
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Vintage C. Roberts 15-Speed Touring Bike

Vintage C. Roberts 15-Speed Touring Bike
Original owner, built in 1975
Campagnolo Nuovo Record front derailleur, brakes, small-flange hubs, seat post, pedals, and shift levers
Campagnolo Rally long-arm rear derailleur
TA crank and triple chain ring set
Cinelli bars and stem
$750


I have a Charles Roberts 15-speed touring bike. I'm the original owner. I built it up from the frame 45 years ago. Back then, if you wanted a 15-speed touring bike, there was, if I recall correctly, a Schwinn Paramount P3, a Rene Herse, a Holdsworth, and that was about it. I bought the Reynolds 531 frame at The Bicycle Exchange in Cambridge in 1975 when I was 17, and built it with mostly Campagnolo Nuovo Record components plus a TA crank and triple chain ring set (52-46-28). It's got a Campy Rally long-arm rear derailleur to handle the wide gearing, a Nuovo Record front derailleur, brakes, small-flange hubs, seat post, pedals, and shift levers. It's also got some cool details like a Campy derailleur cable guide and brake cable clamps. The non-Campy stuff includes the TA crank and chain ring set, Cinelli bars and stem, Ambrosio 1" clincher rims, and a Phil Wood bottom bracket. It originally had a Cool Gear "The Seat," but that's been lost to the sands of time.

Ironically, after I built the bike, it wasn't used that much. I built it just after what turned out to be the apogee of my cycling. I did a couple of tours around New England on it in 1976 and 1977, then gradually got out of cycling and became a car guy (vintage BMWs, long story). The bike was never crashed, and has been kept in indoor clean dry storage since 1978 and only rarely used. My son's bike got stolen a few years back, so I pressed the Roberts into service and put new tubes and fresh Kenda tires on it.

The frame height is listed as 23 1/2" on the original receipt, but is 22 1/2" as measured along the seat tube from the center of the bottom bracket to the center of the top tube. The top tube length is 21 1/2" measured lug-to-lug.

The bike hasn't had a full disassembly, cleaning, and greasing, but it is completely functional and ride-able. The paint on the frame is scuffed. It's currently missing its "Reynolds 531" sticker, as it was dissolved by the penetrating oil I used to help free a stuck seat post. A replacement sticker has been ordered. There is some oxidation on some of the metal components, particularly the spokes and pedals. The rubbers on the Campy brake levers are badly heat-damaged. The recent Kenda tires are now showing a little sidewall cracking. The wheels are true, but the rear wheel has a very slight vertical wobble. That's about it.

I've actually gotten back into light cycling, but as a 62-year-old man with sciatica, I need a more upright hybrid bike. The reach of the CR is too long for me, and I can't ride it without pain. I've kept it all these years for deeply sentimental reasons, but it's time to pass it on to someone who will appreciate it and hopefully give it the big tour it never had. Have it locally on FB Marketplace and CL, trying here before eBay. I have an old TryAll3Sports road case I would ship it in to keep it safe, so shipping would be actual cost of the 35-lb case plus the 24-lb bike from Newton MA 02465.

[UPDATE: The bike is now on eBay.]











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Old 07-30-20, 10:43 AM
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This is a cool bike with a great back story. It will sell.
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Old 07-30-20, 10:56 AM
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thehackmechanic 
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Thanks!
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Old 07-30-20, 01:06 PM
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nlerner
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Great story and an excellent bike. It’s my size, reasonably priced, and I’m right next to you in Brookline, but I just have too many bikes. Good luck with the sale!
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Old 07-30-20, 01:17 PM
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thehackmechanic 
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Great story and an excellent bike. Itís my size, reasonably priced, and Iím right next to you in Brookline, but I just have too many bikes. Good luck with the sale!
Thanks. As I said, these days I'm a car guy. I've got eleven cars. THAT'S a space problem. Bikes are small. I reject your excuse. It is lame. LAME I SAY!!

(Come on. You know you want it... :^)
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Old 07-30-20, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by thehackmechanic View Post
Thanks. As I said, these days I'm a car guy. I've got eleven cars. THAT'S a space problem. Bikes are small. I reject your excuse. It is lame. LAME I SAY!!

(Come on. You know you want it... :^)
With that attitude, you really should have spent more time on this forum. You would have ended up with a lot more bikes but your space problem would have been so much easier to solve. Just sayin. . .
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Old 07-30-20, 01:32 PM
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nlerner
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Hah! That's allota cars. I currently own none and don't have a garage, but I have managed to cram 18 bikes into my basement and front porch.
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Old 07-30-20, 01:35 PM
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Not sure which of us is smarter, but we're clearly equally devoted to our passions, and that's a beautiful thing.
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Old 07-30-20, 02:00 PM
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thehackmechanic this is just gorgeous. I am glad you posted it over here. I knew there would be some fans.

Lemme know about those extra 2002's you have laying around that you want to get rid of.
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Old 07-30-20, 03:26 PM
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:^)
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Old 07-30-20, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by thehackmechanic View Post
:^)
Great bike, love the story and history.

So I know its a slog, but I would encourage you to at the very least knock down the orange rusty spots with WD-40, maybe wipe down all of them for good measure.

At this ask, just a cursory cleanup could move it along much sooner imho.

Way too small for me or we would be having a much different conversation.
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Old 07-31-20, 10:05 AM
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Sold

SOLD on eBay to a guy in Oregon. The idea that my Roberts, deprived of its cross-country road trip nearly 45 years ago, will finally see the pacific Northwest is very emotionally satisfying to me :^)
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Old 07-31-20, 10:47 AM
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Wink

Originally Posted by thehackmechanic View Post
SOLD on eBay to a guy in Oregon. The idea that my Roberts, deprived of its cross-country road trip nearly 45 years ago, will finally see the pacific Northwest is very emotionally satisfying to me :^)
Congrats! Now get another vintage bike that you can ride comfortably, something more upright with city bars maybe, and stick around the forums
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Old 07-31-20, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by thehackmechanic View Post
SOLD on eBay to a guy in Oregon. The idea that my Roberts, deprived of its cross-country road trip nearly 45 years ago, will finally see the pacific Northwest is very emotionally satisfying to me :^)
Wow, so cool!

Any idea if it's another member here?
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