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Have I got a Falcon?

Old 12-30-20, 05:47 AM
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as50x20 
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Have I got a Falcon?






Hi! This one is an Ebay find for $125. total cost. The paint looks new, or very well preserved. White primer coat and a good job on the metallic burgundy top coat. The serial # on the last pic is matched by the same # on the steerer tube. The decals just look too new and are placed over the top coat. The frame was pinned during manufacture. It has a 27.2 seat post diameter, Campy dropouts all around. There is embossed lettering on the bottom bracket that seems to start with "CAVIT". English thread bottom bracket. The wrap around seat stays lead me to Falcon, but you guys would certainly know better. I am in the process of putting a modern set of componentry on it for my riding convenience(better braking, shifting, etc.) Thanks for your time.
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Old 12-30-20, 09:57 AM
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'02 nrs
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Falcon?

compare to an 85 reynolds 531 Falcon, model triathlon600.also it accepts a 27.0 seatpost.



Last edited by '02 nrs; 12-30-20 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 12-30-20, 10:16 AM
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Thank you!!!

Originally Posted by '02 nrs View Post
compare to an 85 reynolds 531 Falcon, model triathlon600.also it accepts a 27.0 seatpost.


I was looking at the OP's pics and trying to think back to the Triathalon I had 10yrs ago, I couldn't remember a thing about it except that it was red and had those 531 stickers.
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Old 12-30-20, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by '02 nrs View Post
compare to an 85 reynolds 531 Falcon, model triathlon600.also it accepts a 27.0 seatpost.
That's surprising. Both my full-531 Falcons are 27.2.
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Old 12-30-20, 08:32 PM
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My early 70s San Remo has a 27.0 Zeus seatpost
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Old 12-30-20, 08:56 PM
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...suspect frame may be slightly earlier than it appears at first glance

the long dropouts and details of blade shape suggest a machine of no later than 1975 at the very latest

eyelet removal and braze-on additions appear post manufacture & done prior to current respray

tubing transfers are too late for frame; evidently what was readily obtainable at time of respray

does anyone know the signifigance of the "STAY-TUFF" white chainstay transfer?


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Last edited by juvela; 12-31-20 at 01:34 AM. Reason: addition
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Old 12-30-20, 11:09 PM
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Seems like some other British brands came with wrap-around seat stays, older Carlton and Holdsworth come to mind,,,older falcons all had the iconic metallic head badge which required 2 rivets about 1 1/2 inches apart (or thereabouts) that were aligned vertically on the head tube. If they were filled during the repaint should still be evident inside of head tube. Newer falcons went to a foil head badge, not sure when this occurred.
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Old 12-31-20, 04:37 AM
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Thanks for the replies folks. I have looked up some of the manufacturers that were mentioned. It appears that some Holdsworth bikes appear closest, but if changes were made prior to repaint, that would make it more guess work .There are no holes on the inside of the head tube, by the way. Also, there is this weird little braze on for the down tube shifters. Here are a few more photos of the frame.


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Old 12-31-20, 06:26 AM
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That downtube shifter fixture is entirely consistent with the one on my 1972 Falcon San Remo, as are the forks. The wrap around seat stay is rounder at the point where it crosses over the top tube, though.
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Old 12-31-20, 06:12 PM
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The lugs, fork crown and the Davis Components bottom bracket shell, as well as the wraparound stay treatment were employed by multiple marques, but that serial number makes it almost certainly a Witcomb (of London). The number would indicate 1973 manufacture, most likely the second half of the year. Serials from 1010673 to 1017073 were for frames built the last week of July 1973 (see this post and the video there).

Witcomb were custom frame makers (with some then and now famous builders working for them), so feature-wise you could have many different combinations and styles.

Here are some examples of serial numbers, etc:







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Old 12-31-20, 08:47 PM
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Bingo!
A dead ringer. Very much appreciated, as the frame photos you included are identical to mine. Now, I wonder if the frame was built by Ben Serotta, Chris Chance, or maybe Richard Sachs! (Just kidding) I will have to reconsider my plan to "modernize" the frame with new Shimano components, or maybe I should mount Campagnolo of the approximate correct vintage on it.
Once again, many thanks!
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Old 01-01-21, 01:29 AM
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Nice score for $125! The Stay Tuff chainstay protector is simply a heavy gauge vinyl (or perhaps a tougher plastic film such as PU) that protects that chip-prone surface from chain slap.
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Old 01-01-21, 07:26 PM
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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, as you can see in the last photo of my original post. 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.
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