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Old 03-27-11, 04:45 PM   #1
nlerner
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Ken Ryall, British steel project

Well, I've recently thinned the herd some, which meant room for more bikes! And my birthday coming up next month was just enough incentive to spring for some vintage British steel from Hilary Stone: a Ken Ryall frameset. And the Nervex lugs didn't hurt to persuade me either. This frame is from 1960 according to HS, but I've built it up with largely 70s components:

--27" Mavic rims, Spidel hubs, and Pasela 1 1/8" tires (thanks, scottryder!)
--Campy NR RD (thanks, scott!)
--Campy Valentino FD (I needed something with a cable stop)
--GB Sport MkIII brakes and GB superhood levers
--Stronglight 99 crankset set up as a compact double (44/32) and MKS touring pedals (for now)
--Sachs/Huret 6-speed freewheel (which fits on a 5-speed hub; 28t large cog, which the Campy NR handles just fine)
--SunTour barcons
--Campy seatpost and Brooks B17
--Nitto stem and randonneur bars, Fitzik microtex tape
--Bluemels mudguards with the usual lousy Bluemels fender line

My camera crapped out before I could fully document the bike, but you get the gist from these. It's got patina galore, but the ride feels terrific so far:















Neal
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Old 03-27-11, 05:34 PM   #2
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Very nice, I like it a lot!

Cheers,
Chris
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Old 03-27-11, 05:44 PM   #3
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Very nice, Neal. Fork crown complements the lugs nicely. What's the story behind Ryall? Were these custom built or production frames?
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Old 03-27-11, 05:54 PM   #4
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Golly Neal, it amazes us all how you keep coming up with such cool old bikes!
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Old 03-27-11, 06:04 PM   #5
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How lucky am I that I get to see all of Neal's bikes in person? He brought the Ryall up to for our lunch date last week (fried clams) and I took a good look at it. it's gorgeously, the lug work is stunning. Even the pump pegs were beautifully crafted. The seat tube cluster was the best!!!

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Old 03-27-11, 06:09 PM   #6
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One of the best-looking frames I've seen here in ages. Beautiful, Neal!

-Kurt
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Old 03-27-11, 06:27 PM   #7
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Very nice, Neal. Fork crown complements the lugs nicely. What's the story behind Ryall? Were these custom built or production frames?
Here's what Hilary Stone wrote about that frame: "Ken Ryall’s shop was in Hounslow just to the west of London. This frames dates I think from the time when the frames were probably built in the shop."

He's also written this: "Ken Ryall frames were built by a number of different framebuilders - Wally Green built some of the early framebuilders, Stan Pike built some of the later ones (he’d learnt framebuilding at Wally Greens) and many were built by Holdsworth."

So a bit mysterious!

Neal
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Old 03-27-11, 06:46 PM   #8
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Very nice! The frame is really quite a looker.
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Old 03-27-11, 09:55 PM   #9
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That is a great looking bike. The fork crown is very pretty, is it a Nervex variation or another brand all together? I was watching your Raleigh on ebay and surprised at the ending price.
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Old 03-27-11, 10:08 PM   #10
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I love it! And it's even better that you didn't refinish it. Now just put some Campy 11 on it and you would have yourself a decent ride...

On a side note- did I see you at Trader Joe's this afternoon? Remind me to NEVER go to that TJ's on a Sunday afternoon again, I don't think I've ever felt so claustrophobic in my life... I would have said hello but I couldn't wade through the hoards of people.
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Old 03-27-11, 10:43 PM   #11
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On a side note- did I see you at Trader Joe's this afternoon? Remind me to NEVER go to that TJ's on a Sunday afternoon again, I don't think I've ever felt so claustrophobic in my life... I would have said hello but I couldn't wade through the hoards of people.
I have only been to Trader Joe's once, and it was on a weekend since the nearest one is an hour a way. OMG, it was pure insanity! I don't want to experience that again if don't have to.
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Old 03-28-11, 05:38 AM   #12
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I love it! And it's even better that you didn't refinish it. Now just put some Campy 11 on it and you would have yourself a decent ride...

On a side note- did I see you at Trader Joe's this afternoon? Remind me to NEVER go to that TJ's on a Sunday afternoon again, I don't think I've ever felt so claustrophobic in my life... I would have said hello but I couldn't wade through the hoards of people.
Hah! Yup, I was there. It was the second of three grocery stores I had to go to yesterday afternoon (Whole Paycheck, Trader Joe's, Stop & Shop). Good thing I didn't need much at TJs and good thing I was able to read on my iPhone while I waited in the checkout line!

Neal
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Old 03-28-11, 05:39 AM   #13
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That is a great looking bike. The fork crown is very pretty, is it a Nervex variation or another brand all together? I was watching your Raleigh on ebay and surprised at the ending price.
Surprised high or surprised low? I was glad in that I didn't lose any money on the frameset, given what I paid.

Neal
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Old 03-28-11, 07:19 AM   #14
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Neal, I'm always surprised by how great a bike with "character" and well worn patina can actually look. Very nice!
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Old 03-28-11, 07:22 AM   #15
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Surprised high or surprised low? I was glad in that I didn't lose any money on the frameset, given what I paid.

Neal
I was thinking low, but then again I don't have much on idea about the value of a frame like that. I liked it and was a little tempted but I already need to get rid of some stuff as it is. I didn't mean to derail the conversation though, the bike above is another great one.
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Old 03-29-11, 02:14 PM   #16
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You've done a great job with that frame; its lovely to see it being used again...
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Old 01-12-12, 03:51 PM   #17
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I had three Ken Ryalls, all purchased in the 1980s from an old boy who was selling off his all bikes. I sold one quite soon afterwards to help finance buying all three. Both the bikes I kept were stolen. One of the stolen ones ( a small black 531 frame) was a real beauty and perfect for touring on. T.A. chainset, lovely hand built Campag Record hubs on silver Mavic Rims, Brooks saddle, bar end shifters, front & rear pannier rack braze-ons etc. So relaxing and comfortable to ride on.

Ken Ryall was one of the mechanics/drivers on the British Tour de France team in the 1960's, including sadly the Tour during which the great Tom Simpson (my boyhood hero) died on Mt. Ventoux. I don't think he produced very many frames.

Last edited by olly708; 01-12-12 at 03:53 PM. Reason: added info
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Old 01-12-12, 04:48 PM   #18
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Wonderful! those fenders really finish the build. Many happy miles to you.
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