In the 70s (I was still in university) I spent my holidays hitchhiking across Europe, usually in search of the sun, but also through England. One of these trips, my (twin)brother, a real Anglophile, was in England too. He already had taken up cycling before me, and was riding across the south of England with his Allin bike, saddlebag, handlebar bag etc. We both usually stayed in youth hostels. In one of those hostels a guy came up to me, and said with surprise on his face: hey, you're back! Where's your bike? It appeared my brother had been there a couple of days before ... remember, no mobile phones those days!
We met each other in Wales, and agreed to meet again in the Cotswolds. So there we were in Stow-on-the Wold. Next day we had this nice bike trip in the country side: my brother on his Allin, me on a rented folding bike, and a quite heavyset American guy on a Peugeot lightweight. He kept breaking spokes cause of his weight. He was quite handy in replacing them btw, had a whole bunch of spare ones with him. Kept complaining about not losing weight, cause of all the holdups, cause of his weight .. This day trip convinced me I had to get a nice bike too, so on the way back i bought a bike in London somewhere. A Dawes ...
Main tubes plain gauge 531, Suntour gears, Sugino Maxy chainset ... Back in Holland I rode it a lot, although at that time I thought cycling shorts and jerseys were over the top, so cut-off jeans and t-shirts it was. The Dawes was build on a Monday I think: rear triangle was a bit crooked, bb axle was very tight, and when taken out you were greeted by a mass of paint chips. This bike must have been put together in great haste .. It angered me quite a bit, and reminded me of the Morris 1100 my dad owned in the mid-60s. What a terrible car that was, spent more time in the garage than on the road. Quality control ... sigh ...
The Dutch distributor took care of a new frame for me though, so that was good. By that time I had contracted the virus and ordered a Mercian Routier (off the shelf, but still Ok I hope, hey Barrie?) from one of those London shops, and picked it up the next summer. The Dawes went to a basketball friend; he is a quite well-known architect now, and the Dawes has gone to his daughter, so all is well!
Freek Faro Rotterdam Netherlands
2010/2/7 Hilary Stone <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Claud Butler still built great frames up until their bankruptcy in
> 1957/8... Bill Gray was their chief foreman framebuilder for most of the
> post-war years and is one of the largely unsung greats of post-war British
> framebulding. Afterwards Holdsworth used the name for their more budget
> priced frames.
> However Raleigh did build the frames that Ray Booty and Reg Harris used -
> they were of course not off-the-shelf RRA frames but how many Team/sponsored
> rider frames are? RRA frames were very highly thought of by serious cyclists
> - not so much TTers or massed start riders but by CTC members who were
> equally serious riders but in a different way... Of course Lenton's were a
> budget frame but were certainly a cut above basic sports frames from Raleigh
> or any other of the large builders - of course the market for Lentons was
> not racers but for riders who were on a tight budget and would have often
> been the less affluent CTC members.
> Hilary Stone, Bristol, British Isles
> barrie carter wrote:
>> Hi Niell, sorry you are wrong. Firstly, lug patterns meant little, the
>> builder and his pro of independants successes did. Firms that made pretty
>> lugs only appealed to the better off riders, and they were seldom the race
>> winners. Your average club rider would buy what he could afford, but would
>> NEVER buy a Raliegh et al. It was well known who the builders of these
>> frames were ,and it was only the Name that was real. Im sure you must know
>> that. Can you immagine Ray Booty riding a Record Ace straight from the shop
>> for his RRA and other records. I dont think so.
>> Another make that annoys me when mentioned is that of Claud Butler. Before
>> the war he was respected. His frames were built by Holdsworths at the anerly
>> factory after and who knows wsho built the rubbish, though Bill Hurlow, an
>> old work mate at Condors and still a friend, built the odd ones.
>> Whenever you say you are a bike rider, bet your life some hopefully
>> impressive liar says"I had a Claud Butler " as if its the Open Sesame to the
>> bike world. Its the open sesame to the junk yard and a great big zero in the
>> impression stakes. You are right though, our TTs were far from flat and at
>> 14 I was riding 25 miles to a 25 aand 25 home again, all on a bowl of corn
>> flakes and on a fixed wheel. I cant even remember the name of the frame, but
>> it wasnt a Raleigh, a Dawes, a C. Butler, a.............Barrie Carter, in a
>> vanishing world and frightened of current accepted history, in a 299 year
>> old house, in Roundham, Somerset Uk, Home of Stan Pike