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Latest find: a 70's Speedwell titanium

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Latest find: a 70's Speedwell titanium

Old 12-19-11, 03:17 PM
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70's Speedwell titanium - update: new pics

Update: new pics in post # 22

Picked this up yesterday: a Van Deursen labeled Speedwell. I didn't have clue what it was when I saw the ad, but it looked like it might be titanium, so off I went.
This is the picture from the ad:



When I got home and looked the bike over I saw the "TitaLite" sticker:



It took Google all of .34 seconds to find me the Speedwell story:

http://www.handmadebikes.net/speedwell.html

Nice! The wheels are not original, and neither are bar and stem, but black ist gen. Dura-Ace seems at least period correct.









Two things make me wonder: the pedals (first time I've seen clipless pedals with clips):



And the seat post. Anyone recognise this?


Last edited by non-fixie; 12-26-11 at 03:35 PM. Reason: new pics below
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Old 12-19-11, 03:34 PM
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Wow, nice score! That's a legend, for sure. Too bad that somebody used it as an errand bike, but luckily it's in good hands now . Is it your size?
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Old 12-19-11, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Italuminium View Post
Is it your size?
Well, that's the only thing wrong with it: it's a 55, where 62 would be ideal.

Then again, they seem to flex a lot, so a smallish frame might be a good thing.
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Old 12-19-11, 03:55 PM
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I guess the pedals with clips and clipless could be useful, I think everyone's missed the front of a cleat engaging before, and you can still get a toe in place to start pedaling so you don't get stranded in an intersection.
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Old 12-19-11, 03:59 PM
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Freakin sweet. Is the fork Ti as well?
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Old 12-19-11, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
Freakin sweet. Is the fork Ti as well?
Yes, as far as I can tell:

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Old 12-19-11, 04:58 PM
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seatpost looks like an american classic I've seen before,
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Old 12-19-11, 05:32 PM
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I just examined the seat post a little closer. It seems to be a DIY attempt at a zero offset post:

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Old 12-19-11, 05:58 PM
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wow, i'd love to find something like that!
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Old 12-20-11, 01:11 AM
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any idea how much it weighs? as is.
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Old 12-20-11, 01:41 AM
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Nice find
I'm certainly curious to see it finished.

OMG I can see Ocana even rode one of these bikes when he won the tour in 1973.
One of my all time cycling heroes on this bike


Last edited by pullup; 12-20-11 at 01:57 AM.
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Old 12-20-11, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
Well, that's the only thing wrong with it: it's a 55, where 62 would be ideal.

Then again, they seem to flex a lot, so a smallish frame might be a good thing.
that is quite a gap. You definitely need a bigger seatpost! And perhaps a 16 cm stem
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Old 12-20-11, 07:37 AM
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Wow---what an interesting piece of titanium evolution! I'd probably think of that more as a wall hanger curiosity than as a rider. That thing must have been a fortune in the 70s - titanium was not easy to come by, especially in higher grades. The US set up shell corporations overseas to buy it from the USSR and considered it a strategic resource. It was used in some of the spy planes the CIA had overflying Eastern Europe.
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Old 12-20-11, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Kanegon View Post
any idea how much it weighs? as is.
I'm afraid don't have any useable weighing instruments. It's either the kitchen scale (2 kg max) or the bathroom scale (accuracy +/- 5 kg). According to CR the frame, fork and headset weigh 4 lb. 1 oz. Whatever that is.
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Old 12-20-11, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
That thing must have been a fortune in the 70s
The only price info I have found so far is a handwritten note on a catalogue that says "polished frame in stock, $ 575 shipped UPS". I don't know how that compares to other bikes from that era.
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Old 12-20-11, 03:15 PM
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Quite the find. I need some of those brake calipers.
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Old 12-21-11, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
According to CR the frame, fork and headset weigh 4 lb. 1 oz. Whatever that is.
Just found out: 1.842718995 kilograms, which is roughly equivalent to a full set of ishiwata 017 Record Breaker tubes (not including lugs, BB shell and headset). Pretty light, I'd say.
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Old 12-21-11, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
Just found out: 1.842718995 kilograms, which is roughly equivalent to a full set of ishiwata 017 Record Breaker tubes (not including lugs, BB shell and headset). Pretty light, I'd say.
Very light indeed. Most modern Ti frames are about 1300 grams, it seems, with much beefier tubes. So expect a noodle! have you ridden it yet? I know the weather hasn't been kind in our corner of the world this week, but I managed to sneak in two nice rides.
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Old 12-21-11, 02:32 PM
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That's a score and a half!
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Old 12-21-11, 04:13 PM
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No, I haven't ridden it yet, but it is the work, not the weather that's keeping me indoors. Regarding the noodly character: that remains to be seen. Early examples weren't very stiff, but according to this article that had been cured by '75, and as mine is from august '77, it should be fine. We'll see.
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Old 12-21-11, 07:06 PM
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Amazing find. Get some drops on it!
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Old 12-26-11, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by metalrideroz View Post
Get some drops on it!
Yes sir! It took christmas for me to find some time to do this and make the bike look a bit more like when it came out of the Van Deursen shop, but here it is. Very pretty bike, if I say so myself.















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Old 12-26-11, 03:46 PM
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boooiiinngg!
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Old 12-26-11, 03:54 PM
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Neat
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Old 12-26-11, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by pullup View Post
Nice find
I'm certainly curious to see it finished.

OMG I can see Ocana even rode one of these bikes when he won the tour in 1973.
One of my all time cycling heroes on this bike

I wonder how much it was actually ridden, I have a feeling it was a time trial only piece?
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