[CR] Road/Path ride characteristics

Date: Tue, 9 Feb 2010 08:37:52 -0800
From: Kurt Henry <shrew13@yahoo.com>
To: Classics Rendezvous <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Subject: [CR] Road/Path ride characteristics

All of the recent discussion about Dawes has fanned the flames of my love for older English bikes.  I saw a Claude Butler road/path frame on Ebay (item # 270524556254) that made me wonder about how these vintage road/path frames ride.

I've seen numerous emails and articles about how bikes of this sort were used for fixed gear time-trialling, but also for commuting, touring, and generally getting about. My immediate thought was that someone using a single bike for all of these things would not want what I generally think of as a twitchy modern track bike - steep angles, high bottom bracket, etc.  The bikes I've seen like the Claude above seem to have geometry more like a typical road frame.

So I realize that there the UK has/had a number of custom builders that would build anything a customer requested.  But was there a general geometry pattern followed for most of the multi-purpose road/path frames?  And does anyone who has ridden one care to comment on how they handle?  Are they comfortable for leisurely 20-50 club rides, or will they leave you simply worn out from steering corrections like a modern criterium geometry does me.  And yes, I used to ride with a guy that rode Paris-Brest-Paris on a criterium bike - I just would choose not to!

And a final question: do bikes/frames like this make their way to the US often? I've seen a few on wooljersey, but it seems like most I've seen are for sale in the UK (which makes sense given where they were built, I just cringe at the cost of shipping!)

Thanks all! Kurt Henry Bracing for another round of winter weather here in Lancaster, PA