Re: [CR] Long brakes,Short brakes and 700c...TIMELINE?

(Example: Racing:Beryl Burton)

From: "kevin sayles" <>
To: Ken Freeman <>, Bob Freitas <>
References: <> <>
In-Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 26 Dec 2009 10:34:06 +0000
Subject: Re: [CR] Long brakes,Short brakes and 700c...TIMELINE?

Hi Ken, Bob etc

'When did we changeover to 700c'.?.......this is one of those things that sort of happened without any conscious degree of thought.....its not like we thought 'wow, this frame wants 700c instead of 27s'.......I think framebuilders just adapt to the 'latest' trends without too much fuss, so I can't be sure when we at Woodrup's finally stopped making frames for 27s.

Most of the frames that were shipped to the states, either via 'Ten Speed drive' or direct to the customer where based on what we termed 'fast touring' [often had a transfer saying Giro touring......which we realised later said tour touring!] these frames where made for deep drop brakes and 'fender' for 27s versus 700c.......

I think Ken is right in saying early 80s......I'd say by 82 we were only building frames for 700c unless specified......this seems to fit in with when the first 700c clinchers came out...I know before 82 I was still riding 'sew ups' in Winter.

What is interesting is who or what instigates these changes?.........who for example was the first to introduce allen key fitting brakes?..........who decided that having 3 guides for the brake cable on the top tube was a good idea [personally I hated it].....or hidden rear brake cable [another duff Idea] or who decided under the bracket cable run [though this was not uncommon on Hetchins, or Jack Taylors] I think? Dave Lloyd may have been instrumental in the trend for brazed on front changers?

Anyhow, I take it Ken that 'cushy' is good regarding your handling of your Woodrup....though this is not to be taken that all Woodrups have this particular trait......I say this because I feel many of the folk on this list who may have a Woodrup are based in the US so will have the traditional fast touring geometry......but we didn't just make fast touring frames, anyone who has seen my personal bikes will know that.

Time now to take such a bike out for a spin......having had a week off due to icey roads.

Kevin Sayles
Bridgwater Somerset UK

----- Original Message -----


No, I think they were not really obsolete. Woodrup produced bikes made for 27's in the early '80s. A local 'Lister (I'll allow him to out himself if he chooses) and I each own a Woodrup of the early '80s. He knows exactly how old his is, and mine, by inference based on the Woodrup Registry on the CR site, is perhaps a year older than his. His bike came with 27 inch wheels. Mine was unbuilt but a bit shopworn when I got it, but it looks like it is intended for 27s: 700c tubulars look too small and delicate, and tubular wheels with fat 32 mm cross tires look about right, especially the way they fill out the fender line. The handling is a bit more natural with diameter that gets close to a 27 inch wheel. Kevin Sayles' comment might be enlightening, if he's on-line soon. These are both full Reynolds 531 butted frames with good dropouts and lugwork, very nice thin and smooth paint, and at least in my case, a cushy, refined ride. They're not leaving the 630 technology to the lower cost bikes, as was done in the '60s and '70s.

I've never known just how much of an outlier Woodrups was then, but if Ron Coopers were also doing this in those days, perhaps it was still normal for a more mixed-surface or rough riding bike. Perhaps these were designed for bombing up and down in the more mountainous regions of the UK, Wales coming prominently to mind. That would tend to explain the slow handling and cushy feel of my Woodrup. If I'm going to ride all day on roads of unknown condition with my survival in my Karrimor, let it be in a Cadillac or a Bentley, rather than a Ferrari. Better to be lost and comfortable than lost and bone-weary.

On Fri, Dec 25, 2009 at 2:10 PM, Bob Freitas <> wrote:

This is an interesting question as a recent Ron Cooper came to me with 27'' wheels even though I figure the bike to be 1980. I had figured 27''s were obsolete by then specially with custom builders. Are there general dates we can attach to the swing away from 27'' wheels to 700c ? I know it might be different between European and Japanese/Asian makers. With the base line and midrange bikes, when did they or did they ever switch? I left the business in 1980 and 27'' were still common but since I slumbered for the rest of the 1980s I missed the transition if there was one.


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Ken Freeman
Ann Arbor, MI USA