Derek - nice note on Braxton. The bike on ebay has the Braxton specialty; phil wood hubs, Super champion rims and 4x spokes for the Light Touring wheel package.
Sam and Gary MacFaddon wrote a great book on bicyles and frame design for touring in 1982. He addressed chain ring setup for three rings or two rings, wheel design and brakes. He also moved the shift lever position to the head tube, which for some can be more comfortable than the down tube position.
His book spoke about Ian Hibbell stopping in his shop over a few years, but only mentioned Sam making modifications to his drive chain. He gave Hibbell a gear set-up w/ 46/38 on the front and a 14-31 freewheel for his tour of the Peruvian Andes.
Do you know what the significance of his serial numbering is - mine is 012 7AE, and I saw another Braxton with 0123AE?
Brian Van Baush Anacortes, WA USA
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2011 14:15:15 -0800 From: Jim Merz <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: [CR] Braxton touring on ebay To: "Dr. Paddle" <email@example.com> Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: <AANLkTi=3_Mguci=ZNsELr4tAF3YvPWuYVaOhL2c=5SQL@mail.gmail.com> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
I met Sam in his shop must have been 1975 or so. On a big loop kind of covering the Lewis and Clark trail. This was after my trip to Panama and I had some experience building bikes and racks since then. After a long day we came into the shop and Sam first thing says my setup is not going to work. You can't put all the weight on the front like my bike had. We just about got in a fist fight right there. I think his wife broke us apart. When we cooled off from that and he figured out that I had done some touring we became friends. Stayed in his house and dinner. He did things differently than me, but had his reasons. I never rode one of his bikes, but he did make at least one bike for Ian Hibell (see article below), so they must have been somewhat functional.
I never did get to meet Hibell, but that guy was really into touring.
Jim Merz Big Sur CA
On Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 1:52 PM, Dr. Paddle <email@example.com> wrote:
> Sam built a bike for me in the early '80s. It was gorgeous. It had the
> front and rear racks, Mafac cantis, brake and stay bridges that pierced the
> stays, and excellent workmanship. The equipment was top-line French with
> Phil hubs as in the eBay offering. Thing is, though, I never liked the way
> it rode. It was nearly impossible to ride with hands off the bars. The front
> wheel would fall to the side, even when the bike was unloaded. I theorized
> that the bad handling was due to the very shallow head angle. Do you have a
> similar problem with your Braxtons?
> I kept the bike as an object of art more than anything else until the early
> '90s when a cashflow issue associated with a new family and house forced me
> to sell most of my bike stuff. I consigned it through R&E in Seattle, as
> there was no market for touring bikes in San Diego at the time.
> Kevin Montgomery
> San Diego, California
> --- On Mon, 1/17/11, firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com> wrote:
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>
> Subject: [CR] Braxton touring on ebay
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Date: Monday, January 17, 2011, 1:25 PM
> Stumbled across this earlier today - a really fine example of a Braxton
> touring bike - 21" seat tube. Based on the diamond reinforcements on the
> waterbottle braze-ons and the reverse placement of the rear brake - a
> style Sam adopted from his time spent studying under Jack and Norm Taylor
> - it's probably late '70s; he'd dropped this style by about '81 in favor
> of cantilevers on almost all of his touring bikes. Since there's no
> tubing decal, it's likely a blend of Reynolds and Ishiwata. TA, Simplex
> SLJ, Phil hubs, BB and CHP pedals, Campy sidepuls with Mathauser pads and
> Mafac levers, lovely brazed on rear rack. Fairly high spec for one of
> Sam's bikes of this era, and in what appears to be exceptional shape.
> I'd add it to my fleet - I own 4 Braxtons - but there's a bit of a cash
> flow issue just now. Somebody on this list should jump on this.
> No relation to the seller, etc.
> Derek Vandeberg