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Any ideas who made this bike frame? Reynolds 531, serial no 63169

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Any ideas who made this bike frame? Reynolds 531, serial no 63169

Old 05-04-12, 01:18 PM
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Any ideas who made this bike frame? Reynolds 531, serial no 63169

Hi, can anyone identify the bike manufacturer? I recently bought the bike in the attached photos, built up by a local (UK) bike dealership around 20 years ago from an older Reynolds 531 frame they'd acquired. As far as I can tell the components date from mid to late 1970s.

Frame is 23 inch, serial number 63169 (I think? - partly obscured) stamped on bottom bracket, numbers upright when looking from back of bike towards the down tube.

There is a worn Reynolds 531 tubing sticker on the seat tube.

Fitted with:
Sugino 'Maxy' alloy crankset, 'Forged 165', one crank stamped 75-7, the other is 75-11. For July 1975 and Nov 1975?
Shimano 'Titlest' derailleur, 6 speed
Weinmann 610 alloy 'Vainqueur 999' centrepulls with extra 'safety levers'.
Normandy alloy wheels - one is numbered 12 77 (for December 1977 ?)

I've read that Weinmann brakes with these extra levers were supplied on Raleigh, Carlton, Dawes and Falcon bikes. In addition Weinmann 610s were apparently fitted on all Dawes Galaxys. But that's about as far as my research has taken me. I would love to know who originally made this bike - eg are the lugs distinctive and a clue to the manufacturer? Or the way the seat stays wrap around the seat tube? .... any help gratefully received - Many thanks!
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P bike May 2012 (2).jpg (99.7 KB, 190 views)
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Old 05-04-12, 02:45 PM
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Nice frame. Any badge-mounting holes in the headtube? If so, how many and how far apart. My first thought is a Carlton or Sun, both built in Worksop, Notts - but I couldn't really say why. Raleigh also used that attractive seat stay wraparound for a while. Late 60's early 70's British.
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Old 05-04-12, 02:49 PM
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There are no holes for any badge. From a google search on the components, Falcon comes up as a possibility. I'm hoping the wraparound seat stays are distinctive enough to narrow it down. Raleigh Gran Sport frames have similar wrap around but the tapering of the seat stays is different and the lugs are slightly different too. Many thanks for replying ...

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Old 05-04-12, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by bluemango
There are no holes for any badge. From a google searche on the components, Falcon comes up as a possibility. I'm hoping the wraparoujnd seat stays are distinctive enough to narrow it down. Raleigh Gran Sport frames have similar wrap around but the tapering of the seat stays is different and the lugs are slightly different too. Many thanks for replying ...
You could be on to something there - https://www.classicrendezvous.com/Bri...lcon_Dales.htm

Look at the second bike down - late 1960's in brown metallic paint.
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Old 05-04-12, 03:27 PM
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Thanks, Falcon does look to be a possibility .... appreciate your help, thanks. Now all I need is a Falcon expert to check out the serial number .... but I can't rule out other manufacturers just yet.
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Old 05-09-12, 02:25 PM
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As a quick update to identifying my bike (see photos on first post on this thread) - from the distinctive wrap around seat stays (and some of the components) I'm more convinced it's a Falcon, mid 1970s going by the dates on the components although the serial number might say otherwise ... I'm guessing it's plain gauge 531 rather than double butted, simply because a double-butted would be more likely to have retained its provenance through its various owners? Possibly either a Super Route or an Olympic, maybe 'Eddy Merckx' branded (which would originally have been orange?). Will post the result if I can pin it down more. I wish there was an online resource which could identify makes and dates from bb serial numbers but I imagine different manufacturers used similar number sequences. My motivation is not to add value for resale, simply to know more about who made the bike I'm riding - and what model it is!
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Old 05-09-12, 02:31 PM
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Bit of a long shot, but you could try Falcon Cycles of Brigg, North Lincolnshire themselves - just for the cost of a phone call. I had some luck 'going direct' a few years back - they identified an "off topic" - not Classic or Vintage, just old & decrepit MTB for me and sent a replacement head crest and transfer set free of charge! The helpful chap I dealt with was Eddie Brown - no idea if he's still there, or if they can still look up old records from previous incarnations of the company?
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Old 05-09-12, 02:38 PM
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Many thanks for your help with this. By almost unbelievable chance some days ago, I mentioned this to a friend (nearby in Worcestershire), who then said a relation of his actually used to work at the factory in Brigg and would still have contacts there she could ask - armed with photos of the frame and the serial number. I'm waiting in anticipation for a result ....
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Old 05-09-12, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by bluemango
Many thanks for your help with this. By almost unbelievable chance some days ago, I mentioned this to a friend (nearby in Worcestershire), who then said a relation of his actually used to work at the factory in Brigg and would still have contacts there she could ask - armed with photos of the frame and the serial number. I'm waiting in anticipation for a result ....
Wow, if you do get to speak with the old Falcon worker, I would love to find out about my Falcon Europa.

Could get you pics and a serial number easily.
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Originally Posted by colorider
Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 05-09-12, 02:53 PM
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No promises, but post the serial number and pics on this thread and if I get a result with mine, I'll see if I can ask about yours also. Only jsharr please - I don't want to abuse my friendship by inundating them with loads of similar requests to the factory ....
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Old 05-09-12, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by bluemango
Many thanks for your help with this. By almost unbelievable chance some days ago, I mentioned this to a friend (nearby in Worcestershire), who then said a relation of his actually used to work at the factory in Brigg and would still have contacts there she could ask - armed with photos of the frame and the serial number. I'm waiting in anticipation for a result ....
Wow! What a brilliant coincidence - hope it works out, please post here to let us know. Great bike to refurb/restore by the way!
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Old 05-09-12, 03:14 PM
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Here are a few shots of the bike. Will get serial number when I get home this evening. As I found in a thread started when I got this bike, I could not find a serial number, other than 94 on the bottom bracket shell. Will give it another go tonight anyway.

Only markings I can find on the frame are on the bb shell chainstay lugs. Underneath drive side lug is a letter R and underneath non drive side lug is the number 94, the numbers are stacked. 9 on top and 4 underneath.












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Originally Posted by colorider
Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

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Old 05-09-12, 03:16 PM
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Hopefully, they won't tell you to mind your own falcon business . . . .
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Old 05-09-12, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by bikingshearer
hopefully, they won't tell you to mind your own falcon business . . . .
lol!

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Old 05-09-12, 03:19 PM
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Cool. Hope you hear back something useful.
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Old 05-09-12, 07:13 PM
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Base on high serial number it must have been a higher-volume manufacturer. My guess is also Falcon, but I'm surprised that it didn't have a headbadge if it's early- to mid-70s. Compare these stays



from my own commuter, which I'm pretty sure is a 60s Falcon (no headbadge, but holes in head tube exactly match a Falcon badge). Here's the Flickr set on this bike:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/1317574...7618753670330/

What size seat post does the bike take? Mine has seamed tubing, which is probably not 531. But I love the workmanship on the frame, even though there's nothing precious about it; much better than any Raleigh of similar "quality." One day I'll have it repainted -- it was originally blue, though I've grown fond of the orange, and wouldn't change that.
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Old 05-10-12, 06:48 AM
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I'm betting it's a 26.2 mm seat post. That's what mine has, along with the same lugs, wrapover stays, and headbadge holes as Charles'. Don't even know, for sure, that it's a Falcon. It has Cyclo dropouts, no derailleur hanger.
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Old 05-10-12, 05:10 PM
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Mine takes 26.4, though I had it honed at my favorite LBS to clean up the inside of the seat tube, which had some rust. But the 26.4 fits "just right." I had bought a 26.2 for it, too. Ditto on the Cyclo dropouts and no hanger. Has no serial number (unless it's hidden beneath the rattle-can paint job which includes primer) and it had a zerk fitting in the top of the BB housing. That's why I think it's 60s rather than 70s.
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Old 05-11-12, 08:58 AM
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the clue that grabs my attention is the massive weld bead on the BB shell: is this typical of that level and era Falcon? I'm sure it's nothing critical to the function of the frame, but sure looks ugly...couldn't even spend a couple minutes on the grinder to finish that off?
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Old 05-11-12, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles Wahl
Mine takes 26.4, though I had it honed at my favorite LBS to clean up the inside of the seat tube, which had some rust. But the 26.4 fits "just right." I had bought a 26.2 for it, too. Ditto on the Cyclo dropouts and no hanger. Has no serial number (unless it's hidden beneath the rattle-can paint job which includes primer) and it had a zerk fitting in the top of the BB housing. That's why I think it's 60s rather than 70s.
What a coincidence, mine has the same serial number. Fancy that!

But mine has a zerk fitting in the bottom of the BB. I don't think I've seen that before.

Originally Posted by unworthy1
the clue that grabs my attention is the massive weld bead on the BB shell: is this typical of that level and era Falcon? I'm sure it's nothing critical to the function of the frame, but sure looks ugly...couldn't even spend a couple minutes on the grinder to finish that off?
I saw that... but wft? Why would there be a weld there?
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Old 05-11-12, 10:03 AM
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I've seen frame with cracks there, so I thinks it's a very crude repair.
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Old 05-11-12, 10:26 AM
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stamped BB shells all had a weld somewhere. On some brands that weld was nicely removed, others it wasn't. Investment cast bb shells didn't go into wide usage until much later. There were sand cast bb shells when the OP bicycle was made, but they wouldn't have been used on many production bicycles -- even high-end production bicycles.
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Old 05-12-12, 04:36 AM
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Phoned the Falcon factory yesterday. Spoke to a very helpful & friendly lady, but I was astonished to learn that not only do their serial numbers have no inbuilt code (such as the first 2 digits being the year) but apparently they also keep no record of frame serial numbers/date and model. Such a shame that no record exists. I have searched the internet for a Falcon serial number database but can't find evidence for any.

So I have a bike that is possibly a Falcon (no decals or headbadge), a worn Reynolds 531 sticker, a list of components that point to mid 1970s (but of course they could have been added to an earlier dated frame) and characteristics such as wraparound seat stays that certainly look similar to known Falcon frames. Frustrating that I can't yet narrow down the model type or date, but will keep going.

Next step is to email the factory with pics and list of components - they may know by the Sugino Maxy cranks and Shimano derailleur which models were most likely to be fitted with those. But I don't want to be a nuisance to them .... Wouldn't it be great if there was an internet resource which ran through a checklist to help identifying a frame .......
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Old 05-12-12, 08:40 AM
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Sugino Maxy cranks on a bike of that vintage suggests to me that it came with a cottered crank. That's what everyone used to replace cottered cranks back then. I did that to my Gitane
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Old 05-12-12, 09:57 AM
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I have a bike here that looks very similar to the OP's. I've always thought it might be a Falcon.

The frame number on the BB shell is hardly legible but looks like 21368. Judging by the date codes on the parts the bike was made in 1976.








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