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Frames and Framebuilding (1970-1979) WITCOMB, Ltd

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Frames and Framebuilding (1970-1979) WITCOMB, Ltd

Old 02-09-20, 10:42 AM
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SpeedofLite 
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Frames and Framebuilding (1970-1979) WITCOMB, Ltd



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WTB: Slingshot bicycle promotional documents (catalog, pamphlets, etc).
WTB: American Cycling May - Aug, Oct, Dec 1966.
WTB: Bicycle Guide issues 1984 (any); Jun 1987; Jul, Nov/Dec 1992; Apr 1994; 1996 -1998 (any)
WTB: Bike World issue Jun 1974.













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Old 02-09-20, 10:43 AM
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Yeah an upper end British bike has been on my wish list for a long time and a Witcomb would be on the very top of that list.
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Old 02-13-20, 08:37 PM
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Where J.P. Weigle and a few other great builders got their start.

Now preserved, this one was gifted to me. Arrived in a sad state of condition. Raced on three continents.




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Old 02-14-20, 01:37 AM
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My Witcomb is at Atelier gugie for the full 650b treatment with some racks front and rear.
I can hardly wait to build it up.
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Old 02-14-20, 04:38 AM
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Thanks for posting! Am fond of the Witcomb story since I purchased and have been working, and riding, the frame posted here (wish I knew more about the model and history):
1970 Witcomb rebuild--Suggestions?
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Old 02-14-20, 06:37 AM
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I remember a polite British gent peddling his wares at our bike shop in 1973 or 1974, beautiful lavender Witcomb frame in hand.

Didn't Richard Sachs apprentice with Witcomb at their facility in Connecticut? J. P. Weigle, too?
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Old 02-14-20, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Didn't Richard Sachs apprentice with Witcomb at their facility in Connecticut? J. P. Weigle, too?
They apprenticed at Whitcomb England in the early 70's. Their time overlapped in the UK but they didn't start and end at the same time. I don't remember which one was there 1st. They worked together making frames at Witcomb USA. Chris Chance got his start at Witcomb USA after the American business got going.
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Old 02-16-20, 08:13 PM
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Old 04-14-21, 06:41 PM
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Thanks to SpeedofLite for starting this thread on Witcomb cycles UK. I posted on in thread 2 that I'd like to find a high end British bike and a Witcomb was on my short list. The owner of the bike shop that I worked in had 2 of these and I thought they were beautiful bikes.

So a few months after posting on this thread, I picked up a Witcomb and I finally got around to starting to work on it. It came with a full campagnolo NR group which has not seen a lot of use. The bike though was repainted by the original owner. I may repaint this bike but first I'll ride it for a while. I like the full wrap around stays and the curved rear brake bridge.




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Old 04-15-21, 04:50 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Thanks to SpeedofLite for starting this thread on Witcomb cycles UK. I posted on in thread 2 that I'd like to find a high end British bike and a Witcomb was on my short list. The owner of the bike shop that I worked in had 2 of these and I thought they were beautiful bikes.

So a few months after posting on this thread, I picked up a Witcomb and I finally got around to starting to work on it. It came with a full campagnolo NR group which has not seen a lot of use. The bike though was repainted by the original owner. I may repaint this bike but first I'll ride it for a while. I like the full wrap around stays and the curved rear brake bridge.



Congrats on acquiring your Witcomb, that is a nice looking example and great that it came with what I assume are original Campy components! FWIW, you can pick up some Witcomb downtube decals and head badge decals at https://h-lloyd-cycles.myshopify.com/ and, with some stripe decals, get the artwork added back on without much cost. Looks like your black paint has some lug lining that was well done, but I can't quite see....
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Old 04-15-21, 09:45 AM
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The Witcomb USA story is pretty fascinating. Witcomb USA wasn't founded to sell US-built, Witcomb-branded frames, it was started to sell UK Witcombs built in Wales and imported into the US. The Welsh factory had never built bicycles, and only began building bikes after being repurposed with UK gov't grants/financing. When the bikes arrived in the US, they were found to be so poorly built they were unsellable. The now-famed US framebuilders had to start building frames so Witcomb USA would have something to sell.

And they built some very nice bikes. I had a '74 Criterium Special for a bit, too small for me so I sold it on.

Don't see Witcomb USA bikes very often, but one popped up on ebay recently. Interestingly in my and Richard Feder's (snl's Rosanne Roseannadanna, anyone?) hometown of fabulous Fort Lee, NJ. Note the ebay bikes similar external fork crown tang treatment. Bike definitely needs a good cleaning, but should look pretty nice spiffed up. A little tall and a lot spendy for me, unfortunately.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/63-5cm-RARE...E/284062816722














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Old 04-15-21, 11:58 AM
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1973 Witcomb Frame
As a result of the information provided by Maurice Moss previously, I was able to dig a bit farther and get additional information from rememberances published by Richard Sachs of his time as an intern at Witcomb in 1973, the exact year and place of manufacture of my frame.

Richard Sachs writes, "Hereís David Cotton at his bench, about fourteen feet from where I once stood. His station was down below by the refrigerator and coffee making area. Good times atmo."




The Youtube video provided by Maurice in his post shows a log book of some of the Witcomb frames made, by coincidence, in 1973. Mr. Witcomb's son mentions that initials beside each frame # are the initials of the framebuilder. Witcomb's son says that "DC" in the log book stands for David Cotton. I noticed that the letters "DC" were embossed on my frame's bottom bracket. So, putting 2 and 2 together, it appears that i have a photo of the framebuilder that made my frame 48 years ago!
Consequently, Witcomb replacement decals have been ordered from an English supplier. I will now definitely rebuild the frame with appropriate Campagnolo components, in David's honor.
as50x20 is online now Report Post FRAME REBUILT



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Old 04-15-21, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by as50x20 View Post
1973 Witcomb Frame
As a result of the information provided by Maurice Moss previously, I was able to dig a bit farther and get additional information from rememberances published by Richard Sachs of his time as an intern at Witcomb in 1973, the exact year and place of manufacture of my frame.

Richard Sachs writes, "Here’s David Cotton at his bench, about fourteen feet from where I once stood. His station was down below by the refrigerator and coffee making area. Good times atmo."




The Youtube video provided by Maurice in his post shows a log book of some of the Witcomb frames made, by coincidence, in 1973. Mr. Witcomb's son mentions that initials beside each frame # are the initials of the framebuilder. Witcomb's son says that "DC" in the log book stands for David Cotton. I noticed that the letters "DC" were embossed on my frame's bottom bracket. So, putting 2 and 2 together, it appears that i have a photo of the framebuilder that made my frame 48 years ago!
Consequently, Witcomb replacement decals have been ordered from an English supplier. I will now definitely rebuild the frame with appropriate Campagnolo components, in David's honor.
as50x20 is online now Report Post FRAME REBUILT


Great looking Witcomb. I'm getting to rebuild mine which is a '71. It has the same fork crown and wrap around seat stays as your bike does. It also has a little piece brazed to the downtub to keep the shifters from sliding down.

I picked up mine with a fully campy NR group, other than the Phil Wood bottom bracket, so it's staying that way though I'll likely swap out the crank to get some lower gears to a 50/34 or perhaps a 46/32.

I really like that campy sticker on the downtube. Maybe I need to see if I can find a repop of that sticker.
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Old 08-29-21, 02:08 AM
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Whitcomb

Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Yeah an upper end British bike has been on my wish list for a long time and a Witcomb would be on the very top of that list.
I have a Witcomb from the early 80's with Reynolds 521 with Campagnolo parts. Beautiful frame but it has a small crack near the bottom of the downtube which I found after getting back from a bike trip from Duluth MN to LA and back...Sitting in my attic ever since. Obviously has some sentimental value to me
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Old 08-29-21, 08:42 AM
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A brand I had not heard of a month ago until a phone call to our shop. A young man was helping his uncle clean out the garage and get rid of some old bikes. I was fortunate to pick up this and a Raleigh Super Course MK II. The Raleigh is to small, but the Witcomb looks just my size. Reynolds 531 with Nuvo Record and a few other neat parts. 1973 I believe.

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Old 08-29-21, 12:54 PM
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I bought a 25Ē Witcomb USA frame in 1978 from a guy who worked in the local bike shop. A couple years old at the time and barely used.

It was my only bike for about 15 years. I put many thousands of miles on it, running 300g training tubulars on wheels I built up, first with Fiamme rims and then transferring to Mavic rims.

It was my only road bike until I took it out of service a couple years ago to paint it for the second time. My roadish parts now live on a lowly Schwinn Sprint fron the mid 80s, a frame better suited to the torments of riding our trails.

Itís still waiting for a rebuild, since I donít really do road rides anymore and it lacks the BB height I need for larger pedals and trail rides. Itís also rather cozy trying to run a 32 on the rear.

I think itís a basic do-everything road/touring frame. It was originally a metallic silver paint job. I had it re-done in white in the early 90s and repainted it by hand two winters ago, also in white.

I think Weigle still has Witcomb USA decals, but honestly I never really liked the decals, so I didnít ever try to replace them. So itís just plain white.

Itís a nice frame. Not sure if it will ever make sense to build it up, so I may end up selling it or bestowing it on someone.

Otto

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Old 08-29-21, 03:46 PM
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and Ernie Witcomb got his start with Ernie Boult.
With Boult retiring, Witcomb took over the business and transitioned it to Witcomb.
My 1952 EA Boult.
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