I bought this rare bike in October 2014 as an unrestored frame. I originally thought it was a 1951-52 model but it now been confirmed by the VCC’s marque specialist, Alvin Smith, as a mid-1949 build, so it’s 70 years old this year. The frame was checked and restored by Argos Cycles in Bristol. Argos made two modifications to it at that time:
- The rear dropout spacing was increased from 115mm to 125mm to allow a 5-speed freewheel to be fitted
- The unthreaded bottom bracket shell (for use with an oil-bath bottom bracket) had threaded inserts fitted so that the bike could take any bottom bracket with an English standard thread (if a purist wanted the inserts removed, Argos tells me that this can be done for around £45)
The bike was resprayed in its original ‘Old Yellow’ colour then white lug lining was added. I have the receipt for this work. The head badge was NOS and the Paris logos were beautifully airbrushed, rather than using decals.
You’ll see from the specification below that I wanted to make the bike rideable, rather than strictly period correct.
I’ve completed two century rides on it, both with Category 1 climbs along the way. I’ve also ridden it locally and would estimate I’ve covered about 500 miles on it since the restoration.
The condition is excellent. There are a few minor marks and some loss of paint, mainly around the rear dropouts where the rear wheel has been inserted and removed a few times. (I’ve since been told that you should leave a resprayed frame for a year to allow the paint to harden before building it up!)
Here’s the rest of the specification:
Frame: Paris Galibier Reynolds 531 restored by Argos Cycles in December 2014. 59cm c-t-c; 23 inches.
Stem: Milremo spearpoint
Bars: Primo Giro di Sicilia with clear, highly ornate engraving
Headset: Tange Levin, period style, fitted by Argos
Wheels: Hand built; vintage Campagnolo Record hubs with flat-lever skewers built onto 27-inch Mavic MA40 rims (which were NOS at the time of build); 36 spoke
Bottom bracket: Shimano sealed BB (loose bearing, period BB available if required)
Chainset: TA cranks and 40-tooth chainring (NOS Simplex cottered crankset available if required)
Shifter: Simplex Retrofriction
Freehweel: Suntour Perfect 14-32 tooth
Rear derailleur: Suntour V-GT long cage
Tyres: Schwable white wall
Brake calipers: 1950s Mafac Dual Forge (NOS at the time of build and the same model that was later called ‘Mafac Racer’)
Saddle: Brooks B17 Special with copper rivets
Seatpost: unbranded, chromed; purchased new in 2014.
Pump: Bluemels (included)
PRICE: £2,000 (a bargain compared with this one!)
I would prefer that the buyer inspects and collects the bike (near Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire) but I am happy to package it securely for your own insured courier. Alternatively, I could deliver to London.
Please contact me on 07802 956179.