Hang on a minute, Barry, if you're going to write off all these marques as complete rubbish, then you might as well do the same with cars, and say that verything except a racing car is complete rubbish. I suggest that it was more a case of "horses for courses", plus a large dose of snobbery, ignorance and fashion. I say ignorance, because I suspect that many clubmen of the day wouldn't have been able to recognise a well-built machine, but went for what everyone else did, the flashier the better, and the fancier lugs, the better. (And as to the anonymous grey porridge which was churned out using Nervex lugs over a couple of decades, try to identify who built a frame if the transfers and headbadge are missing).
The Raleigh Record Ace built just post war until about 1954 is a quality machine, better-built than some machines I've seen from smaller makers which would have been deemed acceptable to clubmen, and this model was good enough for Reg Harrris and the great Ray Booty, although the ordinary clubman might well have been nervous of what his clubmates would say if he turned up on one, and would have taken the path of least resistance.
I stand to be corrected, but I don't believe that this level of snobbery regarding different makes of lightweight existed to the same extent before the war; I say "lightweight", because there certainly seemed to be a divide between the clubmen and the utility riders, whom they affected to despise. Again, citing the Raleigh Record Ace and its predecessors, there seems to have been no shame in using one of these well-built machines for club and racing purposes, and top riders of the day, including Jack Rossiter, Sid Ferris, Bert James and Charles Holland used them for successful record attempts.
As to flat TTs: I'm reading (for the second time) "A Wheel in Two Worlds" by Ron Kitching, and any notions of all Time Trial courses being flat will be quickly dispelled when you read what some of the Yorkshire courses were like.
Neil Foddering Weymouth, Dorset, England
> Date: Sun, 7 Feb 2010 14:40:41 +0000
> From: email@example.com
> To: Classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
> Subject: [CR] TTs and Dawes.
> who told you all this rubbish about Flat Time Trials? The mere meaning of the words TIMED TRIAL, should tell you that it was a TEST over an out and home equidistant measured distance. I only en
> ver saw a flat one. round the reservoirs at Thames Ditton and that had more corners than a maze. All the time trials I road ,and that was many, were hilly, but most people rode fixed gear bikes in TTs and it wasnt until the late 50s that guys started to use gears. The fixie craze now on was the norm in the pre and post years.
> As for front changers, you dont seem to understand that these great lumps of iron you call lightweight, Dawes, Phillips, Raleigh, etc were complete rubbish and no club member would be seen dead on them. They never had front changers because most of them had 3 gears not 5 with great chunks of steel williams, phillips or Raliegh chainsets. If you wanted front changers, you were a club rider and had a lightweight that was hand made. The Dayton was another piece of junk that people rave about. None4 of these bikes were ever used by club riders .
> Dont also forget that just after the warf, we had a poor economy m most people had a bike, few had cars, we had petrol rationing too and cars were not made available to \joe Public until the mid 50s, so you rodce everywhere. Hence the suedo racer, Dawes, Dayton, NEVER Raleigh, or Hercules unless you were the local vicar, posty or copper, bikes like the Phillips Kingfisher, sold for 9 guineas[not your sort!] and was usually bought on finance. These old horses were sold with 3 gears and front changers were only fitted to lightweight european steeds.
> Dont EVER think that we only raod flat TTs. The UK may not be the Alps, but little of it is flat, and the organisers of such were sadists.
> Sorry for the lesson
> Barrie Carter Roundham in hilly somerset. UK