Hi, I have just enrolled on the site. I'm not an equipment fanatic although I find fairly interested.
I started cycling in 1958. My first bike was a Carlton, cost £2. Only intersting feature was the oversized BB shell. Made by Chater-lea I believe. Pretty sure it used 5/16 inch balls. Next was a lugless Claud Butler. had a 1 1/8 inch top tube In 1964 I bought a Flying Scot. It had Simplex verticle drop outs, snapped twice. I took it to Harry Quinn who fitted campag ends in about twenty minutes! This included shortening the chain and seat stays to suit the new ends. He checked the tracking with a piece of timber ! Never broke again. In about 1978 I was on holiday in Nor Cal and saw a Philbrook- loved it. Back in Blighty I tried to find a Mr Phil. Brook ! I eventually tracked down Bill Philbrook in Gillingham, Kent. What a man He was the last word in frame bulders. His shop was Dickensian. He had been foreman for Claud Butler and had worked with Roberts, Gillot and Ron Cooper and no doubt many more. At the time he hada young American called Jeff (I think)working with him who had worked for a very well known London builder . What horror stories he told me. Bill died in the eighties. I believe I have the last solo frame he built. In 2003 aged 59 I decided to ride P-B-P so I got a Roberts frame. Chas said as I was so "lardy" (6ft 3in 15 stone) I need Columbus Max. Fine frame but maybe the chainstays are too stiff for 1240 km in 80 hours. Certainly I finished with a sore ar.. As a change from Audax in 2004 I decided to ride the track here in Brighton. I got Terry Dolan that had been used by the British track team. Almost new frame but old equipment. The wheels are 28 spoke campag L.F tied and soldered with dark grey Martano rims. I've never heard of the brand before. I can hang in the group with the young guys so I must be doing something right. When I get the hang of the technology I'll send some photos of my Philbrook. The workmanship will amaze you. Hope I didn't go on too long but I've been a cycling club member for 47 years so I've worn out a fair bit of kit. Finally my real love is the Ronde Van Vlaanderen. That race is just the greatest. Ray Green, Brighton England
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