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Are Rotrax all that?

Old 01-25-23, 07:38 PM
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Are Rotrax all that?

I canít find a lot of information on this brand. eBay has decals for sale. But no frames

A friend is trying to sell me this week that was built for a member of the Rotrax Family, but never ridden

two things. Just because Iíve never heard of this brand doesnít mean a thing. Five years ago I had never heard of Doug Fatta.

At $800, iím not really sure I need another project.







are any experts out there who can tell me if this is a good deal?
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Old 01-25-23, 07:49 PM
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Rotrax? I thought they made snowmobiles. $800 for a frame & fork would be way up there for me anyway, but for a fixie/single speed? Seriously, how often would you ride that?
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Old 01-25-23, 07:55 PM
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I did not notice it was a fixie. I think maybe it was meant for a hanging derailer

Velo base has nothing on it. I found a little blurb that they were popular in the 50s to early 60s. Thatís too old for me.
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Old 01-25-23, 08:40 PM
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Seat stay bridge is gorgeous.

Iím guessing repaint? Never mind reread your post
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Old 01-25-23, 09:19 PM
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Well, I was told by my friend who said this bike was never built up. It was meant for a family member.

But my friend also said he thinks itís from 82 to 84 which does not make any sense at all.
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Old 01-25-23, 09:36 PM
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https://rotraxcycles.co.uk/about/

"Rotrax Cycles are based in Southampton and make bespoke high-end framesets."
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Old 01-25-23, 09:53 PM
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Is Google not working in Portland these days? Must be all the antifa.

https://tinyurl.com/zabbsdct
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Old 01-25-23, 10:37 PM
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Thank you for the tips. I tried Velo base, two other respectful sites, I searched eBay, And found nothing.

Even using these links, I still have not found one for sale so I have no idea its value.

but I appreciate you finding this information for me.

Plus until a minute ago, I could not find my readers.*




* they were on top of my head
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Old 01-25-23, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Robvolz View Post
Well, I was told by my friend who said this bike was never built up. It was meant for a family member.

But my friend also said he thinks it’s from 82 to 84 which does not make any sense at all.
That headset looks about right for early '80s.

Some Rotax were made back then. You might try posting at the bottom of the "About" page on their site for more info. That's unlikely to find a value for you but you can possibly nail down a year it was built.

It looks like it's been built up to me, but sure hasn't seen many miles, perhaps they put wheels on to test out before shipping.
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Old 01-25-23, 11:07 PM
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He told me it would come with campy wheels, etc.

still confused by the drop outs. Who uses a derailleur hanger in this era. Itís a Pista w a brake bridge??

I already passed
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Old 01-25-23, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by daka View Post
Rotrax? I thought they made snowmobiles. $800 for a frame & fork would be way up there for me anyway, but for a fixie/single speed? Seriously, how often would you ride that?
Rotax makes engines for non highway applications.

​​​​​​https://www.rotax.com/en/products/ro...wertrains.html
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Old 01-25-23, 11:28 PM
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There's more than one company called "Rotrax" (note there's two "r"s) but the marque you are calling for info on is the one who built (and apparently still builds) bicycles in the UK.
I thought their heyday had passed in earlier decades but clearly they made some very nicely finished stuff in the 1980s (and beyond) so here's one place to look:
Rotrax main

Another would be to search the archives here in C&V: there was a guy (Brit living in Tokyo) who used to post here that had a modest collection of Rotrax. He thought very highly of them, I can't recall his handle.

But $800 for that frame might be a *little* steep, even for the world's biggest fan.
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Old 01-25-23, 11:30 PM
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I absolutely love my Rotrax. This probably wonít help establish a market value on a frame 30 years newer, but I paid $600 locally for the entire bike. Itís an all chrome Super Course from 1953. Rotrax has been around for many years and has made some stunning bikes. Here are a couple of shots from the day I found it. Seller originally tried to get $1000 for it but there were no takers. Rotrax bikes can be quite special.

It looks to me like the subject frame is very well made and beautifully finished but $800 is quite a bit for a starting point.

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Old 01-25-23, 11:55 PM
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Rotrax main (classicrendezvous.com)
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Old 01-26-23, 12:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Robvolz View Post
But my friend also said he thinks it’s from 82 to 84 which does not make any sense at all.
How so? You think it's older?

The Reynolds decal style was used from '81 to '89, so that fits. (Not sure who'd bother making a track frame from 501, but I guess it's fine.)

Originally Posted by Robvolz View Post
still confused by the drop outs. Who uses a derailleur hanger in this era. It’s a Pista w a brake bridge??
It's a track frame, eg; no rear derailleur. There is no hole in the rear bridge for a brake. It is odd that there is a hole in the fork crown, but there's a few reasons that may be: builder just used a fork/crown that was intended for a road bike, or customer requested a brake hole - riding your track bike on the street isn't a 21st century idea.

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Old 01-26-23, 06:30 AM
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Beautiful bike! like the blue and the gold lining. Screams quality to me.
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Old 01-26-23, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Robvolz View Post
Thank you for the tips. I tried Velo base, two other respectful sites, I searched eBay, And found nothing.

Even using these links, I still have not found one for sale so I have no idea its value.

but I appreciate you finding this information for me.

Plus until a minute ago, I could not find my readers.*




* they were on top of my head
If itís value youíre wondering about, this thread should be in the C&V valuation forum. If youíre thinking of buying it for yourself and not merely to flip, then itís primarily what youíre willing to pay, how much extra cash you have, etc.
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Old 01-26-23, 07:00 AM
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This might be my ignorance, but I was unaware that they made bicycles beyond the club era AND they had quite a reputation for showy bicycles with fancy lugs - possibly second only to Hetchin's.

There seems to be a segment of British enthusiasts (larger than in the US) who send their bikes to be refinished after even a mild bit of wear shows. Rotrax is one of the prime brands which I've noticed for receiving this treatment.

Seamed 501 tubing seems an odd choice for a very nice bicycle - which this DOES appear to be. However, if this is not actually made of 501 tubing or if this is not a Rotrax, what is it?

Finally, the price strikes me as high if it is only for frame/fork/headset/bottom bracket, but low if it includes Campagnolo wheels, shifters and crankset.

I don't have any real answers, but many questions. I advise satisfying yourself that you are getting what is claimed, or at minimum, that you're getting a fair deal for an unknown before proceeding.
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Old 01-26-23, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Pcampeau View Post
I absolutely love my Rotrax.......Rotrax bikes can be quite special.

.
Wait, that's it? You can't just post those two teasers- you have to show more/all of that bike! I mean, c'mon!
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Old 01-26-23, 09:57 AM
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If I bought this it wouldnít be to flip but to build it into a touring bike.

lots of Brit parts, etc

The lugs are downright sexy.

And I really donít know Reynolds 501. I thought those were Leviís.

I only know 531 and 735.
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Old 01-26-23, 10:14 AM
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???
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Old 01-26-23, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Robvolz View Post
If I bought this it wouldnít be to flip but to build it into a touring bike.
Just about the worst frame to do that with.
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Old 01-26-23, 11:10 AM
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Some good info to be had in this article.<br /><br /><a href="https://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/classic_designs/rotrax/">https://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/classic_designs/rotrax/</a><br /><br />The article, to me, sort of explains the thinking behind offering a track frame featuring a drilled fork and brake bridge. Rotrax moniker was a combination of road and track and many of their customers would use the track frames for both track racing and training, even fitting them for mud guards, etc. Brakes would be very helpful on the roads, and nowadays are required in most places in order to be considered legal.<br /><br />I think it is a nice frame and it would be hard to buy one of comparable quality, with lugs, for less than $800.00 today.

Edit: This verbiage might help on dating the frame:

Frame Numbers
Rotrax frames are easily dated and identified Ė they used a small stamp for the numbers which were neatly punched round the bottom edge of the bottom bracket shell. The first two numbers eg 51 denote the year in this instance 1951.

Last edited by TugaDude; 01-26-23 at 11:16 AM. Reason: New Info
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Old 01-26-23, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Robvolz View Post
If I bought this it wouldnít be to flip but to build it into a touring bike.

lots of Brit parts, etc

The lugs are downright sexy.

And I really donít know Reynolds 501. I thought those were Leviís.

I only know 531 and 735.
How would you set up a track frame as a touring machine? There are zero fittings - so you'd have to be attaching clamps for everything. The British parts allusion is puzzling also.
I'm not trying to tell you what you should or shouldn't do, but just hoping to understand.
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Old 01-26-23, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
if it is only for frame/fork/headset/bottom bracket, but low if it includes Campagnolo wheels, shifters and crankset.
I have never seen a track bike with shifters.
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