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Bickerton Classic folder

Old 11-12-18, 11:44 AM
  #1  
Rcartes
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Bickerton Classic folder

I've recently acquired an original Bickerton and am engaged in restoring it, maybe even making it rideable (lol). It's not in bad condition for its age, but it does need a fair bit of work.

The one thing I'd like to do is replace the horrible headset/stem arrangement, probably the bars too. Does anyone have any advice, specifically on replacing the headset?

All help much appreciated.
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Old 11-13-18, 03:00 AM
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Sorry, no advice from me as I've never owned a Bickerton but I've always found them extremely interesting. When it's possible, could you please post a couple of photos; I'd love to see your Bickerton.

I must say that I think a change of the stem and the headset would be an improvement.
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Old 11-13-18, 02:22 PM
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Bickerton Folder

Originally Posted by Rcartes View Post
I've recently acquired an original Bickerton and am engaged in restoring it, maybe even making it rideable (lol). It's not in bad condition for its age, but it does need a fair bit of work.

The one thing I'd like to do is replace the horrible headset/stem arrangement, probably the bars too. Does anyone have any advice, specifically on replacing the headset? All help much appreciated.
We sold a few of these Bickerton folders back about 1976. My friend who owned our shop took one over to Europe and traveled all over France and northern Italy with a Eurorail Pass. He rode it around the towns where he stopped.

They were very light but extremely torsionally flexible. The long seatpost and bars were almost scary. For some reason I think that these had plastic headsets. Replacing the bars and headset is going to take some creative work.




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Old 11-16-18, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by verktyg View Post
They were very light but extremely torsionally flexible. The long seatpost and bars were almost scary. For some reason I think that these had plastic headsets. Replacing the bars and headset is going to take some creative work.:
You can say that again!
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Old 11-16-18, 07:01 AM
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QUOTE=Gary Fountain;20660874]Sorry, no advice from me as I've never owned a Bickerton but I've always found them extremely interesting. When it's possible, could you please post a couple of photos; I'd love to see your Bickerton.

I must say that I think a change of the stem and the headset would be an improvement.[/QUOTE]

Thanks, Gary: I wanted to add a couple of photos but I haven't posted enough here to do that. I'll put up the photos when I have.
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Old 11-16-18, 07:15 AM
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Bickerton

Very interesting bike. Good luck!
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Old 11-16-18, 07:40 AM
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QUOTE=Gary Fountain;20660874]Sorry, no advice from me as I've never owned a Bickerton but I've always found them extremely interesting. When it's possible, could you please post a couple of photos; I'd love to see your Bickerton.

I must say that I think a change of the stem and the headset would be an improvement.[/QUOTE]

Thanks, Gary: I've now fulfilled my debt to society and am adding here a couple of photos of the bike as bought (except for a rather cursory attempt at cleaning it, and the addition of a prop stand).

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Old 11-16-18, 08:10 AM
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I own both models of the Bickerton that were made because I collect folders. Having said the they are the 2 worst bicycles that I own. Everything is flimsey and as you pedal the frame flexs so much it is hard to ride in the direction you want. If you are collector fine but they are not a bike I would care to ride daily. I will see if I can find some pictures of mine. Roger
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Old 11-16-18, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by rhenning View Post
I own both models of the Bickerton that were made because I collect folders. Having said the they are the 2 worst bicycles that I own. Everything is flimsey and as you pedal the frame flexs so much it is hard to ride in the direction you want. If you are collector fine but they are not a bike I would care to ride daily. I will see if I can find some pictures of mine. Roger
yes, exactly my feelings: I'm nervous even trying it out on the patio at about 2 mph! And it's certainly not a bike I'd reckon on using for a 30+ mile ride. But pootling round Putney? That might do it, but I don't think I'd venture out as far as Richmond Park. Having said that, there's a guy (Nigel Moore) on the facebook page who posted a photo of his in Egypt near the pyramids. I hope he won't mind my posting the picture here. It's rather an impressive upgrade, with a derailleur etc...
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Old 11-16-18, 10:19 AM
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Over the years most bicycles have been "over engineered" in the sense they are "machines" that can easily support more than 10 times their weight!

Bickerton bikes were DEFINITELY under engineered!

Aside from my friend who owned our shop, the rest of the guys or at least I thought that Bickerton bikes were designed for light weight women, sort of like a faddy accessory to their wardrobe....

I think that they came with a carrying bag like a big purse. The idea was you could take it anywhere (as long as you didn't plan on riding it much).

I wouldn't recommend them for anyone weighing over 9 stone (125 Lbs.). My friend never rode the bike much after he returned from Europe... Come to think of it, he may have even left it there??? Anyway he made an under his breath comment about it's flexibility.


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Old 11-16-18, 12:33 PM
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The Brompton is what the Bickerton should have been.
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Old 11-16-18, 05:14 PM
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Plastic Headsets

Originally Posted by noglider View Post
The Brompton is what the Bickerton should have been.
Tom,

The 2-3 Bikerston bikes that we sold had white plastic headsets. That made them even less stable and rigid.

See pictures in post # 3 above.

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Old 11-17-18, 10:16 AM
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Here is a photo of my Bickerton. I haven't ridden it in many years, but as I recall, it was very flexible and scary! Note the reinforcement bar in the photo, that, at some point, Bickerton was forced to add before the US would allow them to be imported. I don't think it would be very easy, or practical to replace the handle bars. I guess you could replace the head set but, I always understood that the bearing less plastic headset was used to add a little resistance to the steering, to make them a little less squirrely,

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Old 11-19-18, 04:52 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by donc49@hotmail. View Post
Here is a photo of my Bickerton. I haven't ridden it in many years, but as I recall, it was very flexible and scary! Note the reinforcement bar in the photo, that, at some point, Bickerton was forced to add before the US would allow them to be imported. I don't think it would be very easy, or practical to replace the handle bars. I guess you could replace the head set but, I always understood that the bearing less plastic headset was used to add a little resistance to the steering, to make them a little less squirrely,
Thanks for that: I notice there are at least two differences from my Bickerton: the headset looks like a metal one rather than the black plastic in mine, and you have a reinforcing arm between the seat tube and the mainframe. Maybe the latter was added at the request of the US authorities?
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Old 11-20-18, 08:47 AM
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I never got to try one, but by the sounds of it here, it seems highly crappy.
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Old 11-20-18, 09:08 AM
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They're really just a curiosity, I have a NoS one in the loft in it's original Bickerton bag together with the handbook and bill of sale.

John.
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