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Ever heard of a "Bill Whitcomb"????

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Ever heard of a "Bill Whitcomb"????

Old 12-19-08, 12:51 AM
  #1  
iptem3000
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Ever heard of a "Bill Whitcomb"????

Hi there,
I am new to this forum as a member but i have trolled here for some time because of all the great information on vintage bikes. I ride an old steel Peugeot that used to be my uncle's in the 80's (Super Sprint). Its a fixed gear conversion and I wasn't really happy with it, so I went out and got my self a new old bike.

I saw an add on CL and it looked good, 531 tubes, campy parts, cheap price. I was sold. Only thing, I have never heard of this bike make ever. The guy selling it had never heard of it either. When I google the name nothing really comes up and a search of this site was not that helpful. It is a "Bill Whitcomb" and that is really all that it says on it except for the reynolds decals. It has Zeus derailleurs, Campy headset, brakes, hubs, and cranks. The rest of the parts, I'm pretty sure, are not original. It has nice Ws located on the fork crown.

I was wondering if anyone could tell me anything about this bike and maybe where it was made and for whom. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks

here are some pics




Last edited by iptem3000; 12-19-08 at 12:56 AM. Reason: poor pictures
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Old 12-19-08, 06:50 AM
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http://www.classicrendezvous.com/USA...itcomb_USA.htm
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Old 12-19-08, 07:05 AM
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Whitcomb is spelled differently than link. Perhaps it is a custom frame one off with owners name??? Certainly the decals look very basic for such a nice bike.

How about a close up of the lugs? The ones around the headtube would be helpful. And it looks like something cast into the tops of the forks?
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Old 12-19-08, 07:10 AM
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Close, but that's "Witcomb," not "Whitcomb."

Neal
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Old 12-19-08, 07:25 AM
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They both have laurel leaves on the head tube logo, which I thought was too coincidental to be unrelated. Need more pics fo' sho.
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Old 12-19-08, 10:53 AM
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Go here to see a Soens Brothers triplet designed by Bill Whitcomb...
http://velospace.org/node/12770

That lead me to this Soens Brothers site, interesting but still yielded no info on Bill Whitcomb...
http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk...s-builder.html


Very nice looking bike by the way. How about some more detail shots. Seat cluster, dropouts, fork crown etc.
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Old 12-19-08, 11:22 AM
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Jim Soen's Liverpool shop was taken over by Pete Matthews. Seems to still be in business...

Pete Matthews
Cycle Shop
58 Lower Breck Road, Liverpool, Merseyside, L6 4BZ
Tel: 0151-263 1116

From the Classic Lightweight's site:
Jack Quinn was the brother of Harry Quinn. Harry made wonderful frames and also trained Terry Dolan and Billy Whitfield. On losing sight in one eye he sold out to Falcon Cycles (Ernie Clements) but later started building again in Tenby with son Peter. When Reg Harris's Macclesfield business closed Harry purchased his Campag frame jigs. One of his employees, Billy Whitfield, is said to have emigrated to the USA.

Last edited by cyclodan; 12-19-08 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 12-19-08, 05:16 PM
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Let the investigation begin!! Here are some more pics. The crank arm says strada with a 3 in a diamond. That would date this bike to 1973...? Here are the pics





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Old 12-19-08, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by iptem3000 View Post


Ouch! That needs some fixin' ASAP!
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Old 12-19-08, 08:03 PM
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+1 That seat post clamp bolt is doing some damage there.

Nice frame by the way!
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Old 12-19-08, 09:44 PM
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http://www.wooljersey.com/gallery/ma...tSettings%5D=1

one finding
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Old 12-19-08, 11:11 PM
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The rear dropouts with the screw holes for a Campagnolo Porta Catena came out in 1978 so no earlier than that.
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Old 12-20-08, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by JustCruisin View Post
Well, the first one is the tandem that's posted on Velospace and the second (green) one is a Witcomb.
So far the OP's bike is the only pic of an actual bike built by the elusive Billy Whitcomb that I've seen.
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Old 12-21-08, 06:47 PM
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Thanks for the info guys. I think I will start with a resto on this bike. Anyone have any suggestions with what I should do with the paint and the decals given that I won't be able to get any replacements??
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Old 12-21-08, 09:28 PM
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"It's only original once."
It's got "patina".
Seriously, a bike that is aparrently that rare (and pretty sweet I might add) might best be brought back to top mechanical condition and left with it's original finish.
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Old 12-21-08, 10:06 PM
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I hear what you are saying cyclodan. I'm going to start sourcing some parts for it in the next little while. I will post pics for all to see when it is back fully functional and complete.
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Old 12-21-08, 10:17 PM
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#1: Paint looks fine, and the components as well. Meguiars Scratch-X is your friend to clean the paint up - as for the components, grab yourself some WD-40, metal polish, and put the ol' elbow grease into it. Replacement Reynolds 531 decals are out there - that is something to consider.

Just clean it up - she's beautiful as she is, and does not need a paint job (Mind you, the C&V VLW world differs from the ideals that Speed Channel & Barrett Jackson flaunt to the car world).

#2: That seatpost binder bolt needs to be addressed immidiately before anything else. Remove the bolt, and then post the damage report here (by that, I mean pictures). Can't tell as it is now whether it is easily fixable or a more delicate matter.

-Kurt
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Old 12-22-08, 02:39 AM
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your bike is a beaut, the headtube lugs and pantographing are clean. great find...if you don't mind me asking, how much did you get it for of CL?
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Old 01-20-10, 06:54 PM
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I have known of Bill Whitcomb for many years and may have met him when I visited the Liverpool shop about 1986. However I know of him in relation to the building of two off-road 'prototype' bike frames for British mountain bike pioneer Geoff Apps in 1980/1981. Both of these frames still exist, one is designed for 650b wheels and the other for 700c and has been described as the first 29er mountain bike. I have some photos of these frames if anyone's interested. In the meantime you may like to follow this link which has pictures of the bikes which are known as Cleland' Range Riders.

http://www.james-walters.net/cleland...irst-29er.html

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Old 03-16-14, 02:13 PM
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Hi, I'm very new here as you can see, my first post.
I knew Billy W when he was a lad and worked under Harry Quinn thru the mid 70's.

He served a good apprenticeship and from last heard moved to America, after that not sure where he went.
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Old 03-16-14, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Dolanarc1 View Post
Hi, I'm very new here as you can see, my first post.
I knew Billy W when he was a lad and worked under Harry Quinn thru the mid 70's.

He served a good apprenticeship and from last heard moved to America, after that not sure where he went.
Tell us more about yourself. Welcome to the forums.
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