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. 60cm c-t-c; 23.5 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.

Paris Galibier left view

Paris Galibier handlebars Paris Galibier chainset Paris Galibier front view Paris Galibier front wheel Paris Galibier Campagnolo skewer Paris Galibier front wheel Paris Galibier bilaminationsParis Galibier Mafac Dual Forge brakes Paris Galibier airbrushed decal

Published by Bob Jones

Cycling enthusiast living in Wiltshire, England.

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