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Colin Laing bicycles

Old 03-02-12, 09:49 AM
  #26  
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I met him when he was at the bike shop in Tempe in '98. I was considering a custom build at the time, but like an idiot I went with a C'Dale instead. Brilliant move.

I only spoke to him at length one time, and he did impress me as a helluva nice guy, if odd. If I could go back in time...
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Old 03-26-12, 01:10 AM
  #27  
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Finally collected the frame today. The paintwork is a bit battered and a previous owner had to use caustic soda to remove a stuck seat post. No doubt as to the quality of the build however. Lovely lug work, shot in seat stays, Campag front & rear dropouts, interesting fork crown. No frame number under the bottom bracket, but has the number 100 stamped into one rear dropout. Removed the forks and they have the same number 100 stamped into the steerer - so at least I can be certain the forks are original and match the frame. Rear dropout spacing is (as best I can measure it) 123mm. I can't believe the thickness of the paint - even though it's badly marked. Fortunately, the bottom bracket came out very easily and a relatively new Campag Athena headset came with the frame - so that's a bonus.

It also has the following message - hand printed in block letters on the top tube - underneath the lacquer....."I RIDE, THEREFORE I AM". This was obviously someone's pride and joy at one time. A sensitive restoration is on the horizon. Some pictures below.



















It was purchased from the north-east of England, where Colin used to live and work. If it actually is one of Colin's frames, it's one he must have built in England, so if anyone can advise on the approximate date, or can put me in touch with Colin, I'd appreciate it. I know he's not been well, but he might be interested in knowing one of his English-built frames has survived the passing years relatively intact.

Last edited by olly708; 03-27-12 at 01:31 AM.
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Old 03-26-12, 03:49 AM
  #28  
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That's a nice frame, Olly!

I'd say it's mid-late '70s, but that's only a guess.

I'll see if I can track Colin down for you. He may still be living in this area... don't know for sure, but I'll ask around.
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Old 03-27-12, 03:38 PM
  #29  
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Thanks. If you do manage to track Colin down and he's not well, please don't bother him if he doesn't seem very interested. It's probably more than 35 years since he built that frame, assuming he actually did. I'm fairly sure I'd struggle to remember what I did all those years ago!
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Old 06-08-12, 01:28 PM
  #30  
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olly708 - By the looks of your photo's, that frame was made before 1974. I say that because Dad brought us over to the USA in Feb. 1974. We lived in Tucson for ten years before moving back to England for 18 months. That frame was not made in Tucson, and not on the 18 month stent.
Thank you all for keeping his name out in the web.
cheers
Stuart Laing
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Old 06-11-12, 05:59 AM
  #31  
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Stuart:

Thank you so much for the reply and the information. Unfortunately, some bad news on the frame. When I stripped the paint from the chain stays, I discovered pinhole rust on the underside of each stay, close to the bottom bracket end. On further investigation (with a rotary wire brush to get back to bare metal) the rust has come through from the inside and the holes have become slightly bigger. In a couple of places, the holes have elongated.........The stays still have plenty of "meat" around the holes, so there is a possibility of making a repair. At a guess, I'd say water has entered the chainstays via the bottom bracket, settled in the lowest part of the stay and then rust has worked it's way through from the inside where the tubing isn't painted. Unfortunately, steel does rust!

The frame is now with a friend who is an expert professional welder. He is going to try to repair the holes by carefully applying brazing around the perimeter of the holes and building up successive inner rings of brazing to seal the holes with brazing material, then carefully file back to the original profile of the stay. If that doesn't work, then the frame will have either to be consigned to the scrap metal bin (something I'm really loathe to do), or will have to go to a frame builder to have both chain stays replaced. Again, I'd prefer not to have to do this as it would almost be as cost effective to find another quality steel frame in good condition and re-paint it. I'm a bit gutted as I really like the frame and had high hopes for a really sympathetic restoration.

If you have any suggestions, I would be very pleased to hear them.

best regards to you and Colin

Steve
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Old 06-15-12, 02:11 PM
  #32  
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Without talking with Dad, I would think about doing the following. If along the seat stay or chain stay, fill in slowly with brass and file back. If near the bottom bracket like you are saying, how about cutting some other metal in a diamond shape and brazing that on the frame. It would look a little like the fork crown.
cheers
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Old 06-16-12, 08:54 AM
  #33  
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Colin has left a sprinkling of his craft all over Tucson and Phoenix over the years, been close to owning one a few times but I have not found the right one yet - or again, I should say. I saw plenty of the ones I would like in the 80's at his shop but sadly never bought one new!
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Old 06-18-12, 08:28 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by selaing View Post
Without talking with Dad, I would think about doing the following. If along the seat stay or chain stay, fill in slowly with brass and file back. If near the bottom bracket like you are saying, how about cutting some other metal in a diamond shape and brazing that on the frame. It would look a little like the fork crown.
cheers
Stuart
Thanks for the advice Stuart. I should have made my description a bit clearer. The rust is on the underside of each chainstay, extending rerwardsfrom the bottom bracket for 3-4 inches.I had considered having a patch of metal cut to shape and brazed on the underside of each chainstay, especially as this would be difficult to spot when the bike is upright. In an ideal world I could find a scrap Reynolds frame and cut a section from the chainstays and have that brazed over the rusted section. As you say, to look like a fork crown. It would certainly a put some strength back into the frame in a critical area. I'll have a word with my chum, the welder and see what he has to say.

best regards

Steve
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Old 06-26-12, 01:03 PM
  #35  
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Hi,

I just joined, finding this thread while randomly searching for recent info on my bike.

I bought my frame at the bike shop where I worked in '74 and they had purchased it from England. I used one bike for training and racing (mostly criteriums), so this frame was great for me. It has a more extended angle on the fork, compared to most crit bikes but a very tight triangle, making it great for sprinting. I transferred all the campy record stuff I had from a Raleigh International, bought a set of Campy brakes and upgraded the pedals to super records. Bottom bracket is campy, but with a TTT titanium axle (was a brand new product then). Back then, I built a set of really light wheels with Hi-E hubs and some too-light-for-my-weight rims and a really close ratio titanium cluster. The whole bike in racing trim and silk tires weighed 19 1/2 pounds. Not light by today's standards, but when it was finished in 1974, it was indeed state of the art. Being in the thows of the "drilled out water bottle" age, I went to some extremes, using plastic zip ties to hold my aluminum bottle cage and removing some of the stickers since, well, they weigh something. I still have the bike although a couple herniated disks keep me from riding the thing. I'll get some pictures up.
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Old 06-26-12, 01:40 PM
  #36  
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Jack, sounds like an excellent bike. Those of us who also own Laing's bikes (and everyone else too) would love to see pictures.
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Old 06-26-12, 09:17 PM
  #37  
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Have been friends with Colin and Margaret since we moved to Tucson in 1978.
He had a small shop on Grant Road at that time and we got along very well as I am also from Europe (Belgium).
Margaret used to invite me in the back of the shop to have a cup'a . . .
They moved back to England for a few years and then came back to the US and settled in Tempe area where he also had a shop. He later worked at Tempe Bikes and was their featured custom builder.
Sons Ian and Stewart were also into cycling/running. Ian became the youngest-ever certified 753 builder by Reynolds.
When Colin and family came back to the US we approached him to build a tandem for us.
We'd been long time tandem riders and knew what we wanted. So gave him our specs.
We wanted Reynolds 531 racing tubing except for the downtube that would be 531 tandem guage.
Specced a lugged frame and Colin said that with the mixed tubing he'd have to handmake the lugs.
He said: I've got the time . . . OK if I do something fancy for you and Kay?
And he did! Ornate chromed heattube lugs with his initials (CL). A snake-like chromed section on the fork ran from top of the crown down about 2/3rd of fork. He spent over 40 hours handmaking the lugs.
Rear triangle was also chromed. That tandem also featured a fastback seatstay/rear seattube junction with fillet; internal cable runs and a U-brake.
Also had an adjustable stoker stem; a gorgeous pink/lavender fade paint job finished off the bike.
Truly a combination of art and craftsmanship.
We put 56,000 miles on that great tandem!

When Colin was still in Tucson he contemplated on getting out of the building business and taught a fellow named Peitsch how to build frames. He also sold him the rights to the name Colin Laing.
From then on he re-named his frames 'Colian', a combination of Colin and Ian who was then a certified builder in his own right.
Ian did build a few frames under the name Vivacian when in Tucson.
We do a bit of freelance writing and did an article on Colin for BikeWorld (remember that one?) that covered several pages somewhere in the mid-80s.
Regretfully have no photos to share . . . but some great memories!

Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 07-20-12, 05:22 PM
  #38  
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Here's a Colian that I bought recently from a fellow Bikeforums member. It's not set up exactly as I'd like yet but I figured I ought to take some pictures otherwise I may never get get around to it.

The workmanship is gorgeous and the ride quality is wonderful. I don't know when it was made and I was not able to find a serial number so any information would be appreciated.

I apologize for the god-awful seatpost and the black-wall front tire. The white tape on the chainstay was probably a bad idea but it will have to suffice until I can find something more respectable.

I took the pictures at noon so it was a little too bright and the quality is rather poor. I'll try to take some better ones eventually.

100_8245 by Mon Jaque, on Flickr

100_8246 by Mon Jaque, on Flickr

100_8254 by Mon Jaque, on Flickr

100_8269 by Mon Jaque, on Flickr

100_8270 by Mon Jaque, on Flickr
And here is a picture of me with the bike. Check out the cool fur markings.

100_8271 by Mon Jaque, on Flickr

100_8272 by Mon Jaque, on Flickr

100_8275 by Mon Jaque, on Flickr

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Old 07-20-12, 05:29 PM
  #39  
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Some more pictures...

100_8277 by Mon Jaque, on Flickr

100_8279 by Mon Jaque, on Flickr

100_8280 by Mon Jaque, on Flickr

100_8281 by Mon Jaque, on Flickr

100_8282 by Mon Jaque, on Flickr

100_8287 by Mon Jaque, on Flickr
Check out the mono-stay and internal cable routing for the rear derailleur.

100_8291 by Mon Jaque, on Flickr

100_8293 by Mon Jaque, on Flickr
Obligatory cockpit action shot.

100_8295 by Mon Jaque, on Flickr

100_8300 by Mon Jaque, on Flickr
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Old 09-12-12, 05:45 PM
  #40  
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Ludo?

Originally Posted by selaing View Post
olly708 - By the looks of your photo's, that frame was made before 1974. I say that because Dad brought us over to the USA in Feb. 1974. We lived in Tucson for ten years before moving back to England for 18 months. That frame was not made in Tucson, and not on the 18 month stent.
Thank you all for keeping his name out in the web.
cheers
Stuart Laing
At the risk of imposing, I'm wondering about the vintage frame I picked up a couple years ago off CL here in Phoenix. It's branded Colian International Bicycles and is stamped on the bb shell: "LUDO 1974 57" and then below "?20" possibly 320 or 520.

Apologies for the crappy phone pics...


2012-09-12_16-15-32_984 by The Scalded Ape, on Flickr

And the photo set at https://www.flickr.com/photos/the_sca...7631522762082/

The Mavic bits are apparently 80s, but 1974 seems pretty blatant. Any info would be much appreciated!
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Old 09-12-12, 05:54 PM
  #41  
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With paint like that you would think 1974?

Colians were a collaboration between Ian and Colin. Go by the component dates on this, if they are all the same. Colin liked to build with Campagnolo, given the choice.
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Old 09-13-12, 08:48 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by teetime View Post
With paint like that you would think 1974?

Colians were a collaboration between Ian and Colin. Go by the component dates on this, if they are all the same. Colin liked to build with Campagnolo, given the choice.
Thanks for your response, teetime. I should have been more specific in my initial post. My interest is not just in vintage, but also in builder. Was the Colian built by Colin, Ian, or someone else? The paint looks more like the "Fire Pit Fade" on my 2000 Cannondale Jekyl than anything from the 70s - that's for sure. Couple that with the components, and it certainly suggests 80s at least. Searching the forums for "LUDO" produced lots of hits, so I'll drill through the annals and report back any useful info.

The wishbone seat stay design ought to reveal much to someone with deeper knowledge than I possess, so I'll chase that angle too. Thanks again!
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Old 09-13-12, 09:54 AM
  #43  
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Most likely built by Ian with Colin's guidance.
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Old 09-13-12, 10:17 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by teetime View Post
Most likely built by Ian with Colin's guidance.
+1. Cool bike. I would think late 80's? Not sure when they started using the Colian name. I have a Colian which is, I think, late 90's.

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Old 09-17-12, 02:07 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Zort View Post
At the risk of imposing, I'm wondering about the vintage frame I picked up a couple years ago off CL here in Phoenix. It's branded Colian International Bicycles and is stamped on the bb shell: "LUDO 1974 57" and then below "?20" possibly 320 or 520.

Apologies for the crappy phone pics...


2012-09-12_16-15-32_984 by The Scalded Ape, on Flickr

And the photo set at https://www.flickr.com/photos/the_sca...7631522762082/

The Mavic bits are apparently 80s, but 1974 seems pretty blatant. Any info would be much appreciated!
That's just lovely. A classy bike built by a proper frame builder.
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Old 09-18-12, 06:59 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by olly708 View Post
That's just lovely. A classy bike built by a proper frame builder.
Thanks, olly708! Still no info on who did the actual construction or when, but ah well it fits me and rides well. In a WalMart world it feels very good to own QUALITY.
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Old 10-29-12, 11:50 PM
  #47  
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I recently acquired a Ian Laing Frame. I'll have to post up pictures soon. Wondering if anyone knows anything about his frames? The frame does have some paint chips and looks like it was originally a purple. Now it is Yellow with a white Sunburst around the bottom bracket shell. The decals read Ian Laing and it has Suntour stickers all over. The Seat Stay and chain stay bridges are unique. I don't know the rear spacing but I am assuming it is 126. No information on tubing material, but would be interested to find out what kind of tubing it uses.

I'm not sure if I will keep the frame paint original or re-powdercoat it one day since it is kind of rough in a few spots. Anyone know if you can still get the Colian decals? I like the headtube badge with the guy giving the thumbs up.

Thanks for any information...I'm sure the pictures will help.
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Old 10-30-12, 01:43 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by whentruthdivide View Post
I recently acquired a Ian Laing Frame. I'll have to post up pictures soon. Wondering if anyone knows anything about his frames? The frame does have some paint chips and looks like it was originally a purple. Now it is Yellow with a white Sunburst around the bottom bracket shell. The decals read Ian Laing and it has Suntour stickers all over. The Seat Stay and chain stay bridges are unique. I don't know the rear spacing but I am assuming it is 126. No information on tubing material, but would be interested to find out what kind of tubing it uses.

I'm not sure if I will keep the frame paint original or re-powdercoat it one day since it is kind of rough in a few spots. Anyone know if you can still get the Colian decals? I like the headtube badge with the guy giving the thumbs up.

Thanks for any information...I'm sure the pictures will help.
I know Colin liked building with 531, but would build anything the customer wanted. Can't speak to Ian's preference, though.

Decals would be close to impossible to come by, I'd think.

Can't wait for pics!
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Old 10-30-12, 09:08 PM
  #49  
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Well a couple more details: Tange front fork dropouts, brev campagnalo rear dropouts, the bike is stamped 10 on the bottom bracket shell (maybe ian's 10th frame?) The bottom bracket shell does have some rust in it and possible the chain stays which is a bit concerning. the rear spacing is 125. One of the decals reads hand crafted by Ian Laing. You can notice from the pictures where the paint is scraped off that it was a sparkle purple paint and then it looks like it was painted over. Not really sure why. Click pictures to enlarge



I realized in taking these detail shots I forgot to take a full frame shot
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Old 10-30-12, 11:35 PM
  #50  
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I think it's VERY cool.
Who knows why the respray, but obviously Laing did it...
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