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Claud Butler - Black Diamond - Reynolds 531

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Claud Butler - Black Diamond - Reynolds 531

Old 10-13-15, 11:38 PM
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Claud Butler - Black Diamond - Reynolds 531

I've been thinking about trying to bike commute if I get into graduate school. None of my current bikes can handle a rack or be locked up at school so i've been fantasizing about finding something inexpensive. Stumbled across this Claud Butler for a song and couldn't say no.

It's in excellent shape. Touring bike with nice 531 steel and lugs. 7 speed shimano rx100 drive train with bar ends and 700c wheels. its a little portly but seems to ride real nice.

I introduce to you "Woodhouse" named after my favorite english butler .






Forgive the CL photos.
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Last edited by Epicus07; 10-13-15 at 11:50 PM.
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Old 10-13-15, 11:50 PM
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WOW! What a beauty.

Merry Christmas

thinking about checking CL...
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Old 10-14-15, 04:33 AM
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Nice SCORE !!
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Old 10-14-15, 04:55 AM
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Woodhouse, I love it.
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Old 10-14-15, 05:42 AM
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Hello Woodhouse, you are a right sporty looking fellow!
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Old 10-14-15, 05:56 AM
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That's a fine bike. Personally I like using less expensive bikes for commuting; this would be very tough (and expensive) to replace. Still the price was right and it is your bike.

If it were me, I'd keep this bike as a general rider and pick up something cheap to commute and lock up outside like a vintage mountain bike. Those are inexpensive and they are not a theft magnet.

Great score on this bike by the way.
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Old 10-14-15, 08:24 AM
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That is nice, indeed, but I tend to concur with the others that you might want a beater to use at least on trips where security may be an issue. That is why I have my rusty trusty 45-year-old UO-8.
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Old 10-14-15, 08:28 AM
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Very cool. That will make a very classy commuter.
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Old 10-14-15, 09:07 AM
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Yes, if I had that one for a commuter I would wind up upgrading it til it was too nice for daily commuting.
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Old 10-14-15, 09:13 AM
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This is a late 80's early 90's bike from after the name was resurrected, right?
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Old 10-14-15, 09:18 AM
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I would think Holdsworth maybe. Or Falcon.

Last edited by Wileyone; 10-14-15 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 10-14-15, 10:19 AM
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Thanks for all of the positive comments. I think I will have to rent a bike box at school to keep Woodhouse safe. I think the rx100 and 700c wheels would make it early 90s? It also says "Made exclusively for St John Street Cycles". I wonder if that will help me nail down a year. So likely Falcon?

I am a little worried about the 57cm top tube. I normally run 54-56. Can I get away with an 80mm stem or will that adversely affect the handling?
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Old 10-14-15, 10:30 AM
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I find, and others could argue, having the handle bar in the same location relative to the front hub axle on all my bikes causes them to behave close to the same. Yes there are variation due to frame angles, wheels, tires, etc., but it is close enough from a steering response behavior. My preference is to have the bar cover the axle while my hands are in the most used location on the bars, some bikes it is on the flats, others on the hoods, etc.

Of course this is all a function of the saddle location which should be referenced to the BB.
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Old 10-14-15, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
I find, and others could argue, having the handle bar in the same location relative to the front hub axle on all my bikes causes them to behave close to the same. Yes there are variation due to frame angles, wheels, tires, etc., but it is close enough from a steering response behavior. My preference is to have the bar cover the axle while my hands are in the most used location on the bars, some bikes it is on the flats, others on the hoods, etc.

Of course this is all a function of the saddle location which should be referenced to the BB.
Doesn't that also require you to have a similar length top tube?
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Old 10-14-15, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
Doesn't that also require you to have a similar length top tube?
I can't answer that definitively. My MTB (20.5") has a much longer TT than the 60cm Pinarello or the 58cm Colnago, but I used a shorter stem on the MTB than either of the other two. I suppose stem height and bar configuration contribute to the overall configuration impact as well.

I am going to waffle on ya too! I was not comfortable riding on hoods with the Pinarello with a 120mm stem or what ever it is. Now that I have over 1200 miles on it, I actually like it. In fact I am starting to ride more often on the hood than not. Initially I only used the hoods to brake.

My reference was the Colnago with a 100mm stem. I haven't ridden that lately and it currently has a 80mm stem which is way too short for riding on the uppers. Might be ok on the hoods, except they are Campy SR hoods (a bit narrow).
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Old 10-14-15, 03:20 PM
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Here's the advertisement from a copy of Cycling Weekly (I believe published in 1998 - special offer may have been clearance price of old stock?) Lovely bike, I always regretted not having bought one back then. If you can read it, it lists the original spec.
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Old 10-15-15, 12:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Oldpeddaller View Post


Here's the advertisement from a copy of Cycling Weekly (I believe published in 1998 - special offer may have been clearance price of old stock?) Lovely bike, I always regretted not having bought one back then. If you can read it, it lists the original spec.
Very cool! Thank you for sharing that.
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Old 10-15-15, 04:42 AM
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i have 80 and 85mm stems on two keepers and don't notice any real handling differences between those and my bike with a 105mm stem.

there may be slight differences, but i don't notice.

the sizes and geometry are slightly different. if i haven't ridden one in a while, it may take a few minutes to become reacquainted.
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Old 10-15-15, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Epicus07 View Post
I've been thinking about trying to bike commute if I get into graduate school. None of my current bikes can handle a rack or be locked up at school so i've been fantasizing about finding something inexpensive. Stumbled across this Claud Butler for a song and couldn't say no.

It's in excellent shape. Touring bike with nice 531 steel and lugs. 7 speed shimano rx100 drive train with bar ends and 700c wheels. its a little portly but seems to ride real nice.
I don't care if you got that for free- that is not a "chain it to a rack" bicycle.

I agree with @3speedslow, I'd be replacing everything on there with XC Pro/XT/XTR/DA/Ultegra as appropriate.

That's a badass bike.

Hit it!
Out on the streets for a living
Picture's only begun
Your day is sorrow and madness
Got you under their thumb

Whoo, black diamond
Whoo, black diamond

Darkness will fall on the city
It seems to follow you too
And though you don't ask for pity
There's nothin' that you can do, no

Whoo, black diamond

Whoo, black diamond
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Old 10-15-15, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Oldpeddaller View Post


Here's the advertisement from a copy of Cycling Weekly (I believe published in 1998 - special offer may have been clearance price of old stock?) Lovely bike, I always regretted not having bought one back then. If you can read it, it lists the original spec.
They were still doing lugged frames at that point? I thought just about all mass produced bikes had gone over to tigged by then.
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Old 10-17-15, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
I don't care if you got that for free- that is not a "chain it to a rack" bicycle.

I agree with @3speedslow, I'd be replacing everything on there with XC Pro/XT/XTR/DA/Ultegra as appropriate.

That's a badass bike.

Hit it!
Out on the streets for a living
Picture's only begun
Your day is sorrow and madness
Got you under their thumb

Whoo, black diamond
Whoo, black diamond

Darkness will fall on the city
It seems to follow you too
And though you don't ask for pity
There's nothin' that you can do, no

Whoo, black diamond

Whoo, black diamond
You guys are all a bad influence. If its too nice to chain it to a rack then I might as well upgrade it and keep it in a bike box.

Prepare yourselves for upgrades. A lot of the things on my list showed up for decent prices on my local CL. *shake fist* stop enabling me CL

There will be a river of tears if it ends up being too big but my initial impressions are good.
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Old 10-17-15, 10:40 PM
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which grad school? heh. hopefully you can take it inside- when I was in grad school I had enough room in my cubicle to stash my bike - even though it was a no name hi-ten.

Your Claud Butler is way cool. very nice find! I was never much of an english bike fan until I picked up my holdsworth and now I am a convert and would love to find a butler.
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Old 10-17-15, 10:53 PM
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Its the University of Washington. They have enclosed individual bike boxes that you cant rent. I'll be pretty close to my $400 budget when I'm done but it will have some sweet additions.

I'll probably post closer photos tomorrow after I get it cleaned up and some work done on it.
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Old 10-18-15, 03:19 AM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
They were still doing lugged frames at that point? I thought just about all mass produced bikes had gone over to tigged by then.
This wasn't actually a 'mass-produced' bike, but a hand-built model exclusive to SJS Cycles (St John Street Cycles, Bridgewater, Somerset, UK). SJS specialise (among other things) on high quality touring and expedition bikes, producing their own range of frames in a variety of materials and construction methods under the "Thorn" marque. At that time, master frame-builder Kevin Sayles worked there (he's now back at Woodrup Cycles in Leeds and he also builds exquisite custom and retro steel frames under his own name). So it's even possible that SJS might have built these frames under an agreement with Falcon Cycles of Brigg, Lincolnshre, who then owned the Claud Butler marque? Kevin himself may be able to confirm or debunk this notion. Not sure if he's a member here, he does contribute to similar forums on the web.

The original equipment spec seems practical and reliable for sustained use, which is well thought-out for both touring and commuting duties. I really AM regretting not having bought a new one seventeen years ago now! However I do have a 531 Claud Butler Olympic Road built up as a useful tourer, so I shouldn't complain!
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Old 10-18-15, 02:42 PM
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Thank you for that ! I love knowing the history of my bikes but often find it hard to unearth. Im planning some very tasteful upgrades that I think you guys will really like.

I'll have to see if I can track Mr Sayles down.
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