Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Crowdsourcing my next bike--British please

Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Crowdsourcing my next bike--British please

Old 12-01-18, 08:08 AM
  #1  
bikemig 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 15,157

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 107 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3627 Post(s)
Liked 78 Times in 70 Posts
Crowdsourcing my next bike--British please

My build queue cup is full with a 1973 Motobecane grand record and a 1970s Mercier 300 on the top of the build list. Still I like having inventory for future builds available. I have a weakness for old British movies (my Dad really liked them) so it's time to find something cool and British to fix up (I realize that may be an oxymoron!). So what would you get? I don't want a flat out racing bike and no 3 speeds please (I already have a 1969 Robin Hood). I want something that can fit a 32c tire. What should I be looking for?
bikemig is online now  
Old 12-01-18, 08:10 AM
  #2  
nlerner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 12,107
Mentioned: 247 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1100 Post(s)
Liked 15 Times in 14 Posts
What size do you ride?
nlerner is offline  
Old 12-01-18, 08:13 AM
  #3  
bikemig 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 15,157

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 107 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3627 Post(s)
Liked 78 Times in 70 Posts
Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
What size do you ride?
56-57 cm. Since I'm looking for a British bike, I guess I need a 22-23 inch bike and/or frame. I can deal with a 23 as long as the top tube is right around 22-22.5 inches.
bikemig is online now  
Old 12-01-18, 08:44 AM
  #4  
repechage
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 13,341
Mentioned: 77 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 936 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 13 Times in 11 Posts
Older will be longer.
Other than a track bike, most will have room for 32c tires.
So, so many.

A Raleigh Lenton or RRA come to mind for a production bike.
Way back there were many many smaller firms building.
I would look at the ClassicRendezvous British Isles pages and then co.uk 'bay
repechage is offline  
Old 12-01-18, 08:46 AM
  #5  
bikemig 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 15,157

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 107 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3627 Post(s)
Liked 78 Times in 70 Posts
Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Older will be longer.
Other than a track bike, most will have room for 32c tires.
So, so many.

A Raleigh Lenton or RRA come to mind for a production bike.
Way back there were many many smaller firms building.
I would look at the ClassicRendezvous British Isles pages and then co.uk 'bay
Right, 32c is rarely an issue on older bikes but I'm just putting that out there.
bikemig is online now  
Old 12-01-18, 11:36 AM
  #6  
jetboy 
Senior Member
 
jetboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 2,988

Bikes: centurion ironman, look hinault 753, Zunow z-1, 83 stumpy sport, look kg96, various others

Mentioned: 57 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 624 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
there is a viscount in omaha: I like the looks of it for sure.


. I like holdsworth if you can find one- easy enough to get in england, a lot less so over here.
jetboy is offline  
Old 12-01-18, 11:55 AM
  #7  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 22,368
Mentioned: 166 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8524 Post(s)
Liked 82 Times in 74 Posts
Mercian?

https://www.merciancycles.co.uk/

They're still around, and I believe could do a custom frame if you wish.
CliffordK is offline  
Old 12-01-18, 11:57 AM
  #8  
Bikerider007 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: AZ
Posts: 2,376

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 432 Post(s)
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
X2 Mercian
__________________
Bikerider007 is offline  
Old 12-01-18, 12:41 PM
  #9  
steelbikeguy
Senior Member
 
steelbikeguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Peoria, IL
Posts: 1,591
Mentioned: 50 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 508 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
the options are wide and varied, but let me offer some suggestions that have worked well for me....

#1 ... what is more British and classy than a Raleigh International? Chromed Nervex lugs, flamboyant (i.e. "candy") paint that glows in the sun, 531 frame, a ride that has inspired a cult-like following, and that great heron on the head tube.




#2 ... if the International is too ordinary, then perhaps something like a Hetchins Magnum Opus with curly stays would do the trick?? You're not going to find it on Craigs List, but that just makes the purchase a great adventure.



the only caveat is that mine was designed for smaller tires... 28mm might not fit. Of course, it was built in 1987, when 20mm tires were popular.
There are versions of the Magnum Opus with chromed lugs too, for those days when you want to overwhelm anyone who sees your bike.


Steve in Peoria
steelbikeguy is offline  
Old 12-01-18, 05:23 PM
  #10  
thinktubes 
Fast+Bulbous
 
thinktubes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Across the street from Chicago
Posts: 4,484

Bikes: Battaglin Cromor, Ciocc Designer 84, Schwinn Superior 1981

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 323 Post(s)
Liked 23 Times in 12 Posts
Go for broke - Bates B.A.R.

thinktubes is offline  
Old 12-01-18, 06:05 PM
  #11  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 22,368
Mentioned: 166 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8524 Post(s)
Liked 82 Times in 74 Posts
Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
#2 ... if the International is too ordinary, then perhaps something like a Hetchins Magnum Opus with curly stays would do the trick?? You're not going to find it on Craigs List, but that just makes the purchase a great adventure.

the only caveat is that mine was designed for smaller tires... 28mm might not fit. Of course, it was built in 1987, when 20mm tires were popular.
There are versions of the Magnum Opus with chromed lugs too, for those days when you want to overwhelm anyone who sees your bike.

Steve in Peoria
There are two Curley Stay Hetchins bikes on E-Bay right now.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1936-Hetchi...e/173634767692

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Rare-Hetchi...e/302966213102

That 1936 bike looks relatively unmolested, but also has some deep pitting.

Love those brake calipers + headlight.


CliffordK is offline  
Old 12-01-18, 06:14 PM
  #12  
Reynolds 531
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Reno nevada
Posts: 248

Bikes: 4 Old school BMX, 6 Klunkers, 5 29er race bikes, 4 restored Sting Rays, Now 3 vintage steel bike being built up

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 92 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
I like Carlton, but hard to find. I don't know if I'm correct but I always thought of them as an Acura and Raleigh as the Honda.
Reynolds 531 is offline  
Old 12-01-18, 06:59 PM
  #13  
steelbikeguy
Senior Member
 
steelbikeguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Peoria, IL
Posts: 1,591
Mentioned: 50 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 508 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by Reynolds 531 View Post
I like Carlton, but hard to find. I don't know if I'm correct but I always thought of them as an Acura and Raleigh as the Honda.
well.... I'm searching for a better metaphor.
The actual relationship is that Raleigh was the giant soulless behemoth and Carlton was the small business with the creativity and craftsmanship. Raleigh bought Carlton somewhere in the 60's(??) or so, and that's where they got their top road models during the 70's when I was so captivated by the Raleigh models.
Raleigh was still using the Carlton brand in the UK, iirc, and still included the small Carlton logo on their Raleigh models here in the USA.
Carlton's brand color was "lagoon blue", which was used on a few models over the years. I remember it best as the color of the Gran Sport that I rode for 14 years....



Steve in Peoria
steelbikeguy is offline  
Old 12-01-18, 07:18 PM
  #14  
Wileyone 
Senior Member
 
Wileyone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: GWN
Posts: 1,970
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1053 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
the options are wide and varied, but let me offer some suggestions that have worked well for me....

#1 ... what is more British and classy than a Raleigh International?
A Holdsworth.
Wileyone is offline  
Old 12-01-18, 07:38 PM
  #15  
Reynolds 531
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Reno nevada
Posts: 248

Bikes: 4 Old school BMX, 6 Klunkers, 5 29er race bikes, 4 restored Sting Rays, Now 3 vintage steel bike being built up

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 92 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
well.... I'm searching for a better metaphor.
The actual relationship is that Raleigh was the giant soulless behemoth and Carlton was the small business with the creativity and craftsmanship. Raleigh bought Carlton somewhere in the 60's(??) or so, and that's where they got their top road models during the 70's when I was so captivated by the Raleigh models.
Raleigh was still using the Carlton brand in the UK, iirc, and still included the small Carlton logo on their Raleigh models here in the USA.
Steve in Peoria

How about AMG and Mercedes?
Reynolds 531 is offline  
Old 12-01-18, 08:10 PM
  #16  
3alarmer
******
 
3alarmer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Tomato
Posts: 17,269

Bikes: old ones

Mentioned: 227 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14563 Post(s)
Liked 76 Times in 65 Posts
...hard to say. A lot of Raleigh Competition bikes from the 70's (and even 80's) show up here at reasonable prices. But a lot of stuff I think used to sell for more is selling for less here now. I just bought an '87 Bianchi Giro ( which in '87 was up there in their top models) for $550. I didn't want to buy any more bikes, but I've never had a top of the line Bianchi, just the lesser ones.

Just keep doing random Craigslist searches using the term "Reynolds" or "Reynolds 531". Something will turn up. Good Falcons usually fly under the radar.
3alarmer is offline  
Old 12-01-18, 08:24 PM
  #17  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 22,368
Mentioned: 166 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8524 Post(s)
Liked 82 Times in 74 Posts
Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
Good Falcons usually fly under the radar.
The original Merckx?
CliffordK is offline  
Old 12-01-18, 08:49 PM
  #18  
Wileyone 
Senior Member
 
Wileyone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: GWN
Posts: 1,970
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1053 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 4 Posts
I would think falcons would be pretty low on a best of British Bike list.
Wileyone is offline  
Old 12-01-18, 09:15 PM
  #19  
bikemig 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 15,157

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 107 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3627 Post(s)
Liked 78 Times in 70 Posts
Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...hard to say. A lot of Raleigh Competition bikes from the 70's (and even 80's) show up here at reasonable prices. But a lot of stuff I think used to sell for more is selling for less here now. I just bought an '87 Bianchi Giro ( which in '87 was up there in their top models) for $550. I didn't want to buy any more bikes, but I've never had a top of the line Bianchi, just the lesser ones.

Just keep doing random Craigslist searches using the term "Reynolds" or "Reynolds 531". Something will turn up. Good Falcons usually fly under the radar.
Not in middle earth. I don't think British bikes had much market penetration in Iowa, or for that matter, within 200 or so miles of where I live. I keep my eye out for old bikes. I've seen my share of old French, Japanese, and American bikes but British as well as Italian bikes just don't pop often. Bianchis and Raleighs sometimes but not much in the way of other brands.
bikemig is online now  
Old 12-01-18, 09:35 PM
  #20  
Kilroy1988 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Dinuba, CA
Posts: 892

Bikes: ~1950 Raleigh Popular, 1951 New Hudson Silver Arrow, ~1970 Frejus Tour de France, 1970 Raleigh Super Course, 1980 Raleigh Super Course 12, 1986 Club Fuji

Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 387 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
I've had quite a few adventures with this one, but it's still for sale...

FS: 1951 New Hudson Silver Arrow

Vintage geometry, all components made in England, classic 26" steel rims. Couldn't get much more British, if that strikes the sorts of nerves you're looking to tickle!

Shameless plug, I know, but if it doesn't sell I'm still riding it come better weather.

-Gregory
Kilroy1988 is offline  
Old 12-02-18, 01:48 AM
  #21  
3alarmer
******
 
3alarmer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Tomato
Posts: 17,269

Bikes: old ones

Mentioned: 227 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14563 Post(s)
Liked 76 Times in 65 Posts
Originally Posted by Wileyone View Post
I would think falcons would be pretty low on a best of British Bike list.
...and you would be wrong. Like a lot of the 70's bike makers based in the UK, they had a range of models and quality. There's not a much prettier or finer bike than a baby blue Falcon San Remo with stupidly shiny chrome lugs and a full livery of Campagnolo. The problem is that Falcon was all over the map over the lifespan of the brand. That, and they didn't have much market penetration in a lot of places.

3alarmer is offline  
Old 12-02-18, 01:53 AM
  #22  
3alarmer
******
 
3alarmer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Tomato
Posts: 17,269

Bikes: old ones

Mentioned: 227 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14563 Post(s)
Liked 76 Times in 65 Posts
Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Not in middle earth. I don't think British bikes had much market penetration in Iowa, or for that matter, within 200 or so miles of where I live. I keep my eye out for old bikes. I've seen my share of old French, Japanese, and American bikes but British as well as Italian bikes just don't pop often. Bianchis and Raleighs sometimes but not much in the way of other brands.
...it's different here, as you already know. Bicycle Odyssey down in Sausalito had some sort of link to Ron Cooper, so those show up all the time here. I think they probably sold a lot of those Raleigh Comp's where you live. It was the bike people who wanted something racy and double butted got because they couldn't afford a Professional.
3alarmer is offline  
Old 12-02-18, 06:51 AM
  #23  
bikemig 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 15,157

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 107 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3627 Post(s)
Liked 78 Times in 70 Posts
Originally Posted by Kilroy1988 View Post
I've had quite a few adventures with this one, but it's still for sale...

FS: 1951 New Hudson Silver Arrow

Vintage geometry, all components made in England, classic 26" steel rims. Couldn't get much more British, if that strikes the sorts of nerves you're looking to tickle!

Shameless plug, I know, but if it doesn't sell I'm still riding it come better weather.

-Gregory
I love the bike but I'm not sure I'd want to ride the snot out of it! Those fenders aren't the most durable and they're part of the charm of the bike. I was thinking something more 70ish to 80ish where I could run a triple.
bikemig is online now  
Old 12-02-18, 08:59 AM
  #24  
Salamandrine 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 4,892

Bikes: 78 Masi Criterium, 68 PX10, 2016 Mercian King of Mercia, Rivendell Clem Smith Jr

Mentioned: 106 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1718 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 37 Times in 25 Posts
Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
I love the bike but I'm not sure I'd want to ride the snot out of it! Those fenders aren't the most durable and they're part of the charm of the bike. I was thinking something more 70ish to 80ish where I could run a triple.
Sounds like you want a British made touring bike. There were many. Most of the small British builders made a variety of frame styles from touring to road racing to track. Mercian and Bob Jackson made touring frames, and they still do. Raleigh International is worth consideration. There were plenty of others: Hetchins, Holdsworth, Woodrup, Dawes, etc.
Salamandrine is offline  
Old 12-02-18, 09:06 AM
  #25  
Kilroy1988 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Dinuba, CA
Posts: 892

Bikes: ~1950 Raleigh Popular, 1951 New Hudson Silver Arrow, ~1970 Frejus Tour de France, 1970 Raleigh Super Course, 1980 Raleigh Super Course 12, 1986 Club Fuji

Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 387 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
I love the bike but I'm not sure I'd want to ride the snot out of it! Those fenders aren't the most durable and they're part of the charm of the bike. I was thinking something more 70ish to 80ish where I could run a triple.
Yeah, it definitely deserves to be taken care of some! I wouldn't hesitate to regularly ride a Raleigh Lenton or other similar model from the 1950s, assuming it was not in such great original condition, and probably had newer plastic or alloy fenders swapped for the originals. Good luck on your quest!

-Gregory
Kilroy1988 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.