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Help me restore this bike correctly - Advice needed

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Help me restore this bike correctly - Advice needed

Old 11-02-20, 02:42 PM
  #1  
berkleydriskill
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Help me restore this bike correctly - Advice needed

After a lot of research to determine the make of an unidentified frame I had recently purchased, I finally reached out to this forum to see with other users might suggest. With a bit of luck, I was advised that I had unknowingly purchased (for $75 off of craigslist) a rare Roberts Cycles track frame. I reached out to what is left of the now-folded Roberts Cycles Company and they too agree I was in possession of a Roberts Cycle Track Frame. The frameset I purchased is serial number #414 dating from the mid to late 1960s. Unfortunately, because the data was lost in a robbery at the Roberts premises, determining the exact year of the frame is lost to history. Regardless, I am taking on the project of restoring the frameset to its original condition to the best of my ability.

Are any of you familiar with early model versions of the Roberts Cycles Track bikes/frames? I am trying to pinpoint the exact color the frame should be for this period as well as the correct components. The manufacture shared with me photos of an earlier model frame (serial number 66) that showed a red and silver (possibly chrome) paint scheme with gold pinstriping. I have also located a late 1970s catalog from a USA based importer stating that the majority of the Roberts Track Frames from the 70s were all white.

I have searched tirelessly online to get photos of these frames, but the majority of the photos available are of frames from the 1980 and on.

If any of you have any knowledge of mid to late 1960s to early 1970s Roberts Track Frames, could you please provide some advice?

Thank you so much for your help!
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Old 11-02-20, 03:41 PM
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@berkleydriskill

H**Y CRAP MAN!

Very cool, no real advice but to stay the course your on and that it was likely all Campy of the day which would be the go to if not.

Wheels and hubs for this may be the biggest challenge as time is not kind to them and track hubs come at a premium.

Road hubs are acceptable and can be converted to solid axle for place holders if need be but the rear is a kludge with freewheel threads.

The color you have looks to be original but who knows. The few Roberts I have seen included 2 that were white with red panels.

You should be able to find at least 1 here on BF if you search and are prepared to sift a lot.

Last edited by merziac; 11-02-20 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 11-02-20, 04:30 PM
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@berkleydriskill

Ed Litton painted one of the ones that is here somewhere, you may be able to get info from him.
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Old 11-02-20, 07:18 PM
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Ive found a lot more information on Roberts on the retro bike uk forum.
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Old 11-03-20, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
@berkleydriskill

H**Y CRAP MAN!

Very cool, no real advice but to stay the course your on and that it was likely all Campy of the day which would be the go to if not.

Wheels and hubs for this may be the biggest challenge as time is not kind to them and track hubs come at a premium.

Road hubs are acceptable and can be converted to solid axle for place holders if need be but the rear is a kludge with freewheel threads.

The color you have looks to be original but who knows. The few Roberts I have seen included 2 that were white with red panels.

You should be able to find at least 1 here on BF if you search and are prepared to sift a lot.

Thanks so much! The plan as of now, and as long as I can afford it is to do a Campy groupset. Considering the price, I might have to piece it out bit by bit making the restoration process take a lot longer than I would like. Being as impatient as I am, this is going to be tough, but I don't see any other way around it. As far as the wheels/hubs go, I too feel this will probably have to be a deviation from a complete period piece restoration. Not sure yet what would look best or be within budget, but always open to suggestions. Also, thanks for the advice on Ed Litton. I am still a newbie to the forum, but I am sure I will eventually be able to find him and the photos you mentioned. Thanks again!
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Old 11-03-20, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by uncleivan View Post
Ive found a lot more information on Roberts on the retro bike uk forum.
That is a great suggestion. I will see what I can find there as well.
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Old 04-12-21, 10:20 AM
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After 6+ months of work, she's finally done.
A full list of photos can be found here Roberts Bike | Flickr









Period Correct Components dating 1950’s-1960’s:

Ambrosio Champion “Dural Forge ET Estampe” Stem 95mm x 26mm

Ambrosio Champion Pista Drop-bar Handlebars

Campagnolo #1051, Record Pista (144bcd) 165 mm Crank Set with matching Campy Crank Bolts and Campagnolo Pista Chainring Bolts

Campagnolo seat post 27.2 diameter, 180 mm length #1044

Campagnolo Super Record Road-Track Alloy Toe Clips (Most likely from the 1980’s)

Campagnolo Nuovo Super Record #1072 Seat Post Binder Fixing Bolt 8 x 19 mm

Campagnolo Headset – Exact model unknown

Modern Components:

Campagnolo Record Pista Bottom Bracket

Charles Roberts, Chrome Racing Bar Plugs

Brooks Cambium Saddle C15

Izumi Jet Black with Gold Pins 1/2 x 1/8 Track Bike Chain

MKS Sylvan all black Track pedals

6KU 30mm Deep V Double-Walled Alloy Wheels

Novatec Flip-Flop Hubs

Christophe Vintage Leather Toe Straps

Custom printed Decals provided by hlloydcycles.com

Alternate Setup - Nitto B259 Urban Riser Handlebar + NITTO Y-3 Bicycle Stem 6-9 Young 22.2, 90mm
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Old 04-12-21, 11:19 AM
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Heck of a bike.
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Old 04-12-21, 11:29 AM
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Looks beutiful! Who ended up doing the frame refinishing work, I didn't see that listed? (sorry if I missed it)
And how'd you settle on black for the color? 9surely there must be a story)
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Old 04-12-21, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by francophile View Post
Looks beutiful! Who ended up doing the frame refinishing work, I didn't see that listed? (sorry if I missed it)
And how'd you settle on black for the color? 9surely there must be a story)
You're right, I totally forgot to mention and give credit to Robert Gassie, owner of https://www.bingbicycle.com/aboutus.html for his excellent frame painting skills.
Black and Gold is just my favorite color combination. Using a photo of a similar-aged Roberts frame with original paint intact, I designed the paint scheme and Rob did a great job bringing it to life.
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Old 04-12-21, 12:07 PM
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Wow! Really nice.
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Old 04-12-21, 12:14 PM
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Fantastic work on this build.
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Old 04-12-21, 12:46 PM
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Beautiful build

Perfect blend of period correct and modern. Classy af!
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Old 04-12-21, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Senrab62 View Post
Perfect blend of period correct and modern. Classy af!
Thank you so much! I was a bit worried there would be negative feedback for the lack of a complete restoration using all period components, but I do plan to use this as my daily commuter, so certain items needed to be adjusted. Thanks again for the compliment.
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Old 04-12-21, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by berkleydriskill View Post
Thank you so much! I was a bit worried there would be negative feedback for the lack of a complete restoration using all period components, but I do plan to use this as my daily commuter, so certain items needed to be adjusted. Thanks again for the compliment.
The only thing I think anyone could give you beef about is the riser/tracker bar with BMX style grips, but seeing the bike with a proper old school drop-wrapped track bar BEFORE the other pics, I'd be shocked if anyone will give you hell

I'm sure you already had to spend enough on the repaint/re-decal alone. I can't imagine what the crankset and other parts cost. SS campy hubs will set you back a mint, I see single hubs go for $50-125 all day long in piss-poor to good shape, respectively. I can't knock your choices in this case. You brought a classic back to life.
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Old 04-12-21, 01:46 PM
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This bike is beautiful. No one will give you grief over the mix of parts. A lot of posters here do that from time to time especially when the bike is a rider and not a museum piece.
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Old 04-12-21, 01:49 PM
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What kind of riding are you doing on this beauty? And I'm not clear on whether you're using the riser or the drop bars.
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Old 04-12-21, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
What kind of riding are you doing on this beauty? And I'm not clear on whether you're using the riser or the drop bars.
Admittedly, I will be using the risers more often than not and this is only due to comfort and practicality. While the risers are more suited for my daily ride, I agree and concur that the Ambrosio Drop-bars give the bike its proper look, but are simply not my preference for daily riding. Richmond has quite a lot of hills and I have little experience on a velodrome, so the drop bars will come out on special occasions. Thank you all so much for the feedback. Hearing others talk about this project has really made the last 6 months worth the effort and breaking the bank.
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Old 04-12-21, 02:37 PM
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The shot in the creek is cool. Not afraid to get a little wet?
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Old 04-12-21, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
The shot in the creek is cool. Not afraid to get a little wet?
Honestly, it was the quickest and easiest way to rid the tires of all the pollen that had covered the tires. After giving the wheels a few spins in the creek I noticed the sunlight through the trees and figured it was as good a shot as any to take of the new bike. I like the way it came out. Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 04-12-21, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by berkleydriskill View Post
Thank you so much! I was a bit worried there would be negative feedback for the lack of a complete restoration using all period components, but I do plan to use this as my daily commuter, so certain items needed to be adjusted. Thanks again for the compliment.
We're actually pretty far from that kind of bunch, still around longer and see! Awesome bike.
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Old 04-12-21, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by berkleydriskill View Post
Thank you so much! I was a bit worried there would be negative feedback for the lack of a complete restoration using all period components, but I do plan to use this as my daily commuter, so certain items needed to be adjusted. Thanks again for the compliment.
Again, H**Y CRAP!

No worries, great job.

All good, period.
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Old 04-12-21, 03:55 PM
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Wow, what a beautiful bike... Yeah, most folks here believe bikes are meant to be ridden, and comfort and fit are foremost. Great job!
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Old 04-12-21, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by berkleydriskill View Post
Thank you so much! I was a bit worried there would be negative feedback for the lack of a complete restoration using all period components, but I do plan to use this as my daily commuter, so certain items needed to be adjusted. Thanks again for the compliment.
From the feedback you can see the love and passion. It's what's awesome about the forum and bicycles in general. Do what you will as long as you ride it. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 04-12-21, 04:44 PM
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@berkleydriskill

Poetic license can serve us well as it has you here.

The ability to tastefully "reroute" the vibe, aesthetic, etc. can be very good in many cases like this.

If it had come with all the original or like components in usable condition, it might have been a different story.
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