Reaching for my copy of the article entitled "The History Of Bates Cycles" ( Martin Coopland may be able to e-mail you a copy , REClassicBikes@aol.com ) :
[ about the company ]
1926 Horace Bates founded Bates Cycles
1927 brother E.G. Bates joined
circa 1935 Bates Cantiflex tubing
"In 1947 the brothers decided to split the business."
"EG Bates started his own shop . . . "
[ about the Volante model ]
"In 1936 Bates Bros offered four main models , The Volante , The Ideale , the Utopian and the new Vergrandis."
"They all had special features such as Crystolante Finish . . . and all chrome head tubes."
"The Volante was their top-flight road-path model, custom built . . . "
"In the early '90's, Ray Etherton took on . . . Ray employed Ron Cooper . . . producing custom frames with beautiful hand cut lugs, continuing the Volante tradition."
>From an e-mail to me , written by Martin Coopland :
"With the move to westcliffe in the 50's the Volante became a road model with fancy lugs."
Please remember that not all Hetchins frame sets have "Vibrant" "curly" stays . Some Hetchins frames don't have ornate lugs .
And , not all Bates frame sets have Cantiflex main-frame tubes and / or Diadrant front forks .
And , some Jack Taylor frames have straight tubes with lugs , while some are lugless with curved seat tubes . . .
> I just stumbled across an eBay listing for a "BATES VOLANTE ROAD/TRACK
> FRAMESET" [details below] and I'm badly in need of enlightenment. The
> object of my puzzlement is what appears to be a well built frameset with
> highly ornate lugwork made by Ron Cooper six years ago. It is described
> as a Bates Volante and has decals which are "designs from the 1950s".
> Nice frameset. My problem is as follows:
> 1) The Bates patented "Cantiflex" tubing is not employed.
> 2) There is a conventional fork rather than the Bates
> patented "Diadrant" forks.
> According to my early Bates catalog these are "THE EXCLUSIVE PATENTS
> WHICH MAKE A BATES A 'BATES' "
> 3) Standard finish for a Bates Volante was full metal plate (nickel or
> chrome) in either a polished or matte finish. This frame is finished in
> a silver metallic paint.
> In summation, I can find not a single point of similarity between this
> fine modern frame and a 1950's period Bates Volante with the exception
> of the 1950's design decals. Enlightenment is badly needed.
> Please don't get me wrong. I'm not bad mouthing the frame. I'm not
> disputing the right of Cooper et al. to label the frame a Bates Volante.
> They do, after all, own the name. I am puzzled because, if the Chinese,
> say, owned the name and produced TIG welded aluminum bikes sold as Bates
> Volantes, I greatly doubt that they would add decals designed in the
> Somebody please help me out here. I simply and very sincerely just don't
> get it.
> Martin Needleman
> Annapolis, MD
> Item Number 2181703173
> eBay Description:
> Offered for sale is Rare BATES VOLANTE ROAD / TRACK FRAMESET.
> This rare,stunning frameset was built by Ron Cooper approx 6 years ago.
> It has since been ridden only 100 miles and is in almost new condition
> except for a few minor paint chips and 'wheel nut' marks on
> the fork-ends.
> Size is 61cm centre to centre, top tube is 58cm centre to centre,
> wheelbase is 1025 centre to centre.
> The frame is built with Reynolds 531 Professional tubing with round
> section forks.
> The lugwork has been hand-cut from Haden blanks to a very intricate
> design and follows on the fork crown and rear brake
> bridge/seatstay area.
> The frameset is finished in Silver Metallic with contrasting head and
> seatube panels. The decals are designs from the 1950s.Please
> feel free to ask the seller a question..Good luck bidding