Re: [CR] Modern KOF "English Path Racers"?

(Example: Books:Ron Kitching)

References: <>
Date: Sun, 25 Oct 2009 14:26:44 -0700
From: Kyle Brooks <>
To: Jon Spangler <>, Dale Brown <>
In-Reply-To: <>
Subject: Re: [CR] Modern KOF "English Path Racers"?

I'm currently having a bike like you describe built by Dan Polito, whom some CR members might recall won Best in Show at this years NAHBS with his Jack Taylor inspired grass-track racer. The frame is almost done and will be going out for paint within the next week or two. I'll get some pictures posted as soon as it is complete.

I'm also a big fan of Mercian bikes, and they will build just about anything a person wants. They have builders on staff who have plenty of experience making Road/Path bikes. Mercians are the epitome of KOF. And with current exchange rates, you can get a fully custom frame and fork for about $900 - $1600, depending on how fancy you want to get.

Kyle Brooks Akron, OH

________________________________ From: Jon Spangler <> To: Dale Brown <> Sent: Saturday, October 24, 2009 10:49:28 PM Subject: [CR] Modern KOF "English Path Racers"?


Every once in a while I feel an urge to try an English "Path Racer" like this Flying Scot:<blah>

(Ebay item #190341964114).

I like the idea of having a long, relaxed ride with all the "bits" that the folks in Great Britain brazed to their road-design frames, along with the track ends and provision for brakes, but I want to ride a bike like this every day and not have to worry about it as I would the gorgeous Flying Scot that is in such nice shape (and beyond my budget). My sense of stewardship would keep me from using or riding a bike like that regularly around town with so many thieves, bike-crunching cars, and other threats about, and I would not want to "dishonor" an historic frame like that with modern components.

On the other hand, I have seen some of the modern brake-compatible 'fixie fad" frames, some of which have braze-ons for water bottles, cables, and such, but no one seems to use the longish designs of the original path racers. I am as much interested in the KOF-based *concept* of the path racers as I am interested in the details of on- or off-topic components and such, and would be particularly interested in what other, more experienced listers consider the "key ingredients" of the path racers and their designs. (It strikes me, for instance, that there is a certain spiritual and pragmatic similarity between the French "randonneur" makers like Singer/Herse and the GB-based makers of the path racers, which I believe has been addressed here before. (The idea being that one bike could serve many uses, be adapted from utility use to racing and/or touring, and that incorporate performance into everyday riding.)

1) Where might I find a more modern/current/KOF "path racer" or "path racer concept" bike with a long, "traditional" English (1940s-1960s?) road design and track ends for use as a daily commuter?

2) Are there any older and less-valuable path racers that were made in greater numbers that I could ride everywhere with a clear conscience?

3) Does anyone regularly produce such bikes or frames now in 531 or similar tubing?

4) Has anyone set up a path racer or similar-concept (KOF) frame with more modern components that are the spiritual heirs or equivalents of Chater Lea, Williams, Sturmey Archer, etc.? (Phil Wood comes to mind for hubs and BB, for instance. The hubs could be a flip-flop fixed/free, or the rear hub width could be set to 126 MM or 130 MM for use with cogs/cluster and a derailleur or even a more modern and perhaps OT internally-geared hub...)

Thanks for your indulgence and for your expertise in advance,

Jon Spangler who lives far from Glasgow in Alameda, CA USA, but who feels some odd kinship with older English and Scottish bikes

Jon Spangler Writer/editor Linda Hudson Writing

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