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Brian's gugificazion Witcomb

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Brian's gugificazion Witcomb

Old 05-17-21, 09:52 AM
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bwilli88 
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Brian's gugificazion Witcomb

Well I purchased this from nlerner awhile back and he sent it directly to gugie for him to massage for me.
I had him braze on studs for a pair of Mafac Raid center-pull brakes, another set of water bottle bosses, brake cable stops on the top tube and he redid the fender brace on the seat stays and at the chain stays.
I purchased a set of Dura-ace 7700 derailleurs from another member here, a 7703 RD and 7700 FD along with a real nice set of 7700 brifters. Also in that purchase was a Dura-ace headset (which I probably will not use).
I acquired a set of Acorn bags; their mini rando, trunk bag and a tool roll all in brown.
I will find a pic from before,


A pic from gugie,


And now here are a few pre-build/mock-up photos.


Last edited by bwilli88; 05-19-21 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 05-17-21, 09:54 AM
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I am thinking a nice British racing green with cream head tube and seat tube panel.
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Old 05-17-21, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by bwilli88 View Post

I am thinking a nice British racing green with cream head tube and seat tube panel.
Looking forward to seeing this built up. I am thinking of doing a similar color on my '71 Witcomb. It needs some work done on the fork first by my local framebuilder. Mine has zero braze ons so if I get the bike painted, I may have the bike spread to 128 and add braze ons (water bottle, pump peg, and top tube cable guides).

A 2 color wet paint job though is expensive but green and a lighter contrasting color seems the right choice. Have you picked up the decals? H Lloyd in the UK has them.

What size tire? That looks like it has a healthy volume.

Last edited by bikemig; 05-17-21 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 05-17-21, 10:13 AM
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650b x 42 for the tires
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Old 05-17-21, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by bwilli88 View Post
650b x 42 for the tires
That's cool. I hadn't thought of doing a 650b conversion on mine.
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Old 05-17-21, 11:41 AM
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Nice, looking forward to more. Enjoy!
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Old 05-17-21, 12:38 PM
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Sweet! I like that trunk bag and roll setup.
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Old 05-17-21, 01:53 PM
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One of the things I've enjoyed about doing 650b conversions is the variety of frames that people bring by for "the full gugie". Brian's Witcomb was certainly one of the nicer vintage bikes that have graced the Atelier. I seem to learn something new on each project, and have to figure out how to make the mods when a curveball gets thrown.

Normally brazed on posts either center on the tubes or are biased towards the inside to accomodate proper width for the brake. MAFAC RAID pivot posts are nominally 75mm apart. @nlerner's name is somewhere on that post, so it has to be true. Cantilever posts, which are further down stays have to be brazed on "inside" of the seat stays, and special rear posts are made to accomodate this:



Centerpulls braze on higher up, the seat stays get closer together, and centerpull posts typically work closer to centerline, but typically bias on the inside a bit as well:



On Brian's Witcomb, I measured several times and was confused for a bit - they "wanted" to mount on the "outside" of the seat stays. I was thinking I'd done some bad cyphering, then realized the frame had fastback stays, which are narrower at the brake position than the standard fitting:

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Old 05-17-21, 02:25 PM
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Do you have a special jig that holds them measured, parallel and in-line while you braze/weld them? I love seeing the odd conglomerations of brazing you do for members bikes. Very cool stuff.

Originally Posted by gugie View Post
One of the things I've enjoyed about doing 650b conversions is the variety of frames that people bring by for "the full gugie". Brian's Witcomb was certainly one of the nicer vintage bikes that have graced the Atelier. I seem to learn something new on each project, and have to figure out how to make the mods when a curveball gets thrown.

Normally brazed on posts either center on the tubes or are biased towards the inside to accomodate proper width for the brake. MAFAC RAID pivot posts are nominally 75mm apart. @nlerner's name is somewhere on that post, so it has to be true. Cantilever posts, which are further down stays have to be brazed on "inside" of the seat stays, and special rear posts are made to accomodate this:



Centerpulls braze on higher up, the seat stays get closer together, and centerpull posts typically work closer to centerline, but typically bias on the inside a bit as well:



On Brian's Witcomb, I measured several times and was confused for a bit - they "wanted" to mount on the "outside" of the seat stays. I was thinking I'd done some bad cyphering, then realized the frame had fastback stays, which are narrower at the brake position than the standard fitting:

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Old 05-17-21, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc View Post
Do you have a special jig that holds them measured, parallel and in-line while you braze/weld them? I love seeing the odd conglomerations of brazing you do for members bikes. Very cool stuff.
In reverse order:

First, thanks!

Second, "odd conglomerations of brazing" will be forwarded to my publicist to add in my marketing collateral.

Third, and to answer your question, I use an Anvil Notorious B.B.G. (not made anymore) for cantilever and centerpull post installs:

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Old 05-17-21, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
In reverse order:

First, thanks!

Second, "odd conglomerations of brazing" will be forwarded to my publicist to add in my marketing collateral.

Third, and to answer your question, I use an Anvil Notorious B.B.G. (not made anymore) for cantilever and centerpull post installs:

That thing is cool. And consider my contribution to your business prospectus gratis!
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Old 05-20-21, 06:05 PM
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Got a bit more done...

Installed a Stonglight roller bearing headset.
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Old 05-20-21, 06:51 PM
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Next to my dingle speed 73 SuperCourse.
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Old 08-31-21, 08:50 PM
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I got it built and the parts fit great. I was not sure that a Shimano Dura-Ace 7703 rear derailleur would work on a 12-36 9 speed cassette. But it does well.

running an SR 86BCD crankset with 49x46 chainrings. Test ride coming soon, then to tear down and get it painted. Shifting is being done by Shimano 9 speed barcons.
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Old 09-02-21, 09:02 AM
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Rode it for the first time today, probably close to 2 or 3 years since I bought it from nlerner and had gugie do his magic on it.
it rides soooo nicely and the 650b wheelset is great.
Here are some pictures. I hope to put a few more Kms on it then strip it down for paint.







The front brakes squeal a bit but the shifting is perfect. 9 speed Dura-Ace 7703 RD and bar end shifters over a 12x36 Shimano cassette. Ultegra FD over an SR Apex crankset with 49x46 chainrings. KMC chain and MKS pedals. Gugie supplied the Mafac brakes along with the brazed on studs with 105 levers pulling cable. Bars are some GB I picked up somewhere and the stem is a Nitro dynamic II. Saddle is a nicely broken in Brooks flyer and the bags are Acorn held in place by racks custom made by gugie.

Next up is painting????
The original color is really nice but I think a British racing green.
​​​​​​maybe with a cream head tube and seat tube stripe or stripes. Then decals.

Also thinking of cutting an inch or so from the ends of the bars to move the barends up a bit.

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Old 09-02-21, 09:06 AM
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Impressed by the 7703 handling that cassette.

Nice work all around!
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Old 09-02-21, 10:10 AM
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Another 650B convert!

I've flirted with having the rest of my frame gugified, but with all the stuff I'd want, I'm not sure if it would be worth doing that frame or starting with a different one. Or going full custom.
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Old 09-02-21, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Another 650B convert!

I've flirted with having the rest of my frame gugified, but with all the stuff I'd want, I'm not sure if it would be worth doing that frame or starting with a different one. Or going full custom.
I think about this every time I see these posts. Having never had mods like the ones gugie does done before, I can’t speak to the cost/benefit but when this much is changed on a frame it almost seems like it makes as much sense to purchase a frame that was already meant to be a 650b rando bike. But I know that such frames are also quite pricey, so I could be totally wrong and based on the amount of these being done I probably am! I’m sure I’m grossly over estimating the cost of mods as well.

That being said I also understand the allure of having some of your favorite vintage frames still be those frames when it’s all said and done.

In other words, Gugie, without going into what specific customers are spending could you give us an idea of how this process compares to searching out and purchasing a frame that is already ready for 650b, fenders, dynamo wiring, extra bottle cages etc. and doesn’t need a new paint job, component swaps and the cost of shipping back and forth on top of the cost of modifications?

Again, not saying it’s not worth it, it must be, I’m just very curious as to the how, why, when etc.

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Old 09-02-21, 12:50 PM
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I won't speak to relative costs, but if you have a frame that fits you really well, has the kind of tubing and frame angles that produce the kind of ride you enjoy, AND has reasonable clearances in the rear triangle for at least 650B x 38mm wheels, then you're working with far more known qualities than if you were to buy something new off the shelf.

I should also add that the bike in my fleet that got treated to the full Gugificazione is a '71 Raleigh Int'l that I owned for at least 10 years before I had Mark modify it. It was a regular commuter for many of those years, including through messy Boston winters, as well as just a regular rider for weekend rides and whatnot.
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Old 09-02-21, 06:24 PM
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As a happy Gugificazione customer, I can tell you that all things considered (original purchase + mods + powder coat, etc.) I may have the most expensive Motobecane Grand Jubilé on the planet, but I think it's probably in the ballpark of off-the-shelf 650B bikes (maybe more expensive than a Surly, I think cheaper than a Crust) and definitely cheaper than a full custom. You don't get custom geometry, but you can ride the bike before Gugificazione, so you mostly know what you're getting in terms of fit. The fork raking will change the handling, but that's the part I've been happiest with. Also, you end up with something totally unique and you get to pick all the bits and bobs you want.

One of the things I like about these kinds of modifications is that at first glance you don't see exactly what it is, but the more you look at it the more you see. This was one of my first impressions with @gugie's "Big Red", which is a 650B conversion that Peter Weigle did on a Raleigh Competition. At first glance you just think, "Oh, that's a really nice Competition." But as you look closer, you begin to think things like, "I've never seen a Competition that had that braze-on," and the more you look, the more you find little details that are just right for the bike's purpose. And you can go as far with that as you want.

Gratuitous picture of my Grand Jubilé, showing no less than seven points of customization (and there are more that aren't visible here)

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Old 09-02-21, 06:49 PM
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No brainer here to me, gugificazione = one of a kind, "this is exactly what I wanted and thought it would be".

Full custom = "man this thing is nice but I didn't think of this, that, the other thing and wish it rode more like my (insert favorite, favorite here) does".

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Old 09-02-21, 07:06 PM
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My take: if you can afford a Chapman, get one! A used MAP or L'Avecaise would also be perfect for less money.

Taking a vintage frame with the right attributes, making the mods, and inserting a custom front rack + single color powder coat gets you perfect fenderlines, pre-wired and ready for generator lights for a bit less than an off the peg similar modern frame, plus you get the mods exactly as you want.

PM if interested.
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Old 09-03-21, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
A used MAP or L'Avecaise would also be perfect for less money.

That's what we did for my wife. Bought the MAP frameset for a surprisingly reasonable amount and then collected parts and built the wheelset.

It was not cheap, but she loves the bike.

I have been looking for a MAP for five years, but just can't seem to find one in my size.

Maybe someday.
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