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Classic find in London

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Old 01-27-12, 04:56 AM
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dpuboc
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Classic find in London

Hello All,

It's so reassuring reading other people's posts. Mine's a familiar story, I cycled everywhere until forced to learn to drive at 35 with daughter number 2 on the way. When daughter number 3, ( who has Downs syndrome), pointed at my tummy last Christmas and asked "Baby?" I knew I had to get fit.

I saw all the young Bucks riding fixed gears around London so thought I'd try that. A nice one can be pricey and I've had too many stolen to invest a bundle right off.
Whilst sourcing some timber from a reclaimation yard my eyes fell upon a beautiful headset leaning against a church pew.

When I got it back to the studio to fix it up I discovered I had struck gold. My research has taken me to the darkest corners of the internet and in doing so I've bought a second classic (with gears) with the intention of restoring it.

I have lurked around this and other forums, laid in wait stalking items on ebay, and scoured sites for detailed info. The time alone has cost me 10 times what I might have paid for a new bike and I've loved every minute of it.

Oh and the first bike is Cyril Horn's 1936 Claud Butler "Roadpath", as seen on the front of the 1936 catalogue, all original except new tubes and tyres. Unfortunately painted gloss red in the 70's by a museum.

My second is a tatty 1954 Claud Butler "Ambassador" missing many correct elements still. I could probably buy them all eventually from Hillary Stone but thats not the point is it?

Thanks for having me,
Diarmuid
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Old 01-27-12, 06:11 AM
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Hello Diarmuid,

Welcome to Bike Forums.

Post pics of those bikes.
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Old 01-27-12, 06:52 AM
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Welcome, welcome, welcome.

I went to England on 07 with my family and a friend on a business/personal trip. I took a side trip to Derby where I bought a custom built Mercian which then shipped to my home in America 3 months after I got back. It's a great bike. But my friend took off on a 3 day bike tour while my family did a car tour. My friend went to a bike shop to rent a bike but instead found a used 80's Holdsworth in mint condition and bought it; he toured the 3 days, went back to the bike shop and they broke it down for shipping back to his home here in America and loves the bike.

I don't know anyone who is into the older 30's to 50's era bikes, but they were unique with quite a bit of artistry in their designs. But I like the lightweight road bikes so I have 6 80's era road bikes, and I like them all.
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Old 01-27-12, 11:22 AM
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Ha,
Yes I was looking to post photos but being a Newbie to any, let alone this forum I wasn't sure how. As usual I haven't read the instructions.
I have yet to photograph the Ambassador but I have posted a set of the Roadpath on Flickr. I have since changed to tan walled tyres and attached toeclips. Current opinion is that it was originally silver with chromed tips to fork and chain stay

http://www.flickr.com/photos/byronoc...57627833071294

I guess following the link should allow access to all the set.

I bet Derby would be a wonderful place to tour by bike, very picturesque.I know Holdsworth bought Butler in the mid 50's, to find an unused one would tick anyones box. I never had a proper lightweight bike before. I had a Carlton Cyclone and then a Cobra in the 70's. I've not even sat on a modern lightweight, no doubt they're better. These Butlers don't weigh over 24 lbs and yet they feel so rigid and strong beneath you. The padlock I've had to attach on the Ambassador has added 20%!
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Old 01-27-12, 11:32 AM
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One tip for touring in Derbyshire -make sure you have a triple chainset and a large rear sprocket, or you'll do a lot of walking!
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Old 01-27-12, 11:36 AM
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Thanks, Neat Bike and Saddle.
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Old 01-27-12, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by olly708 View Post
One tip for touring in Derbyshire -make sure you have a triple chainset and a large rear sprocket, or you'll do a lot of walking!
Quite, I had hiked in Derbyshire as a scout...Cycled Norfolk.
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Old 01-28-12, 03:35 AM
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Originally Posted by dpuboc View Post
Ha,
Yes I was looking to post photos but being a Newbie to any, let alone this forum I wasn't sure how. As usual I haven't read the instructions.
I have yet to photograph the Ambassador but I have posted a set of the Roadpath on Flickr. I have since changed to tan walled tyres and attached toeclips. Current opinion is that it was originally silver with chromed tips to fork and chain stay

http://www.flickr.com/photos/byronoc...57627833071294

I guess following the link should allow access to all the set.

I bet Derby would be a wonderful place to tour by bike, very picturesque.I know Holdsworth bought Butler in the mid 50's, to find an unused one would tick anyones box. I never had a proper lightweight bike before. I had a Carlton Cyclone and then a Cobra in the 70's. I've not even sat on a modern lightweight, no doubt they're better. These Butlers don't weigh over 24 lbs and yet they feel so rigid and strong beneath you. The padlock I've had to attach on the Ambassador has added 20%!
I didn't get to tour any part of England by bike, the family and I went by car, but Derby is a very cute town. I was surprised as to how small the Mercian shop was though, I had a picture in my mind of a large warehouse type of operation, but the shop was very small. My friend lucked out on finding the Holdsworth, somebody brought the bike in about 3 days before and sold it to the bike shop due to an estate liquidation thing, the shop then overhauled the bike and set it on the floor to be sold the day my friend happen to walk in. Luck or what? I wish I had walked in on that one! But the bike was lightly used, and the bike shop only had to lube it and replace cables and brakes and tires, then polished it so it looked like new. The shop then installed a rear rack and panniers for my friend to use. My friend brought the rest of the gear he was going to need for a short tour.

I know of a guy locally who has a Raleigh Professional for sale; the paint is pretty good except a rear stay has a lot of marks, and the original campy parts have been replaced with a hodgepodge of components, and he wants too much money for it. But it's been for sale for about a year for $350 and no one has bought it, I may offer him a low price or $200 and see what happens. All he can say is no.
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Old 01-28-12, 09:46 AM
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I don't know anything about that model, in my youth Raleigh had the status of Ford as in A-ford-able. Ironic that he's overcharging. Yet one mans tatty is another's " original". I know such issues are already on my mind with both of my classics.
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Old 01-28-12, 10:14 AM
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Welcome and what a beautiful bike you have ! That should clean up nicely . A Claud Butler is on my "to get" list, if I ever see around my neck of the woods. Oh, we're gonna need to see pics of the geared bike, too.
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Old 01-28-12, 03:40 PM
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It looks like a sunny day tomorrow so I'll nip out around the corner to ancient Richmond Park to photograph the Queen's deer ( without poaching) and take some snaps of the beauty.
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Old 01-29-12, 05:23 PM
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/byronoconnor/6785435027/in/set-72157629089937477[/IMG]
It was a very dull and uninspiring day in London , ( tupaware skies ) to quote Bill Bryson. Here is my Ambassador.

the set is here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/byronoc...57629089937477

Last edited by dpuboc; 01-29-12 at 05:26 PM. Reason: trying to upload the image url
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