87(?) Lawrencia Bike

Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking

87(?) Lawrencia Bike

Postby brendan03 » Tue May 26, 2009 4:47 pm

Hi, my name is Brendan - first time called, long time listener.

Firstly, thanks for all the informative posts on this forum - I've been lurking for a while now gathering intel for my first crack at a retro-fixie-rebuild. Which leads me to ask if anyone can help with identifying or providing some more info about a hard-waste-kerb-side-pickup frame I'm working with.

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Heaps more pics: http://picasaweb.google.com/marett/FirstFixie?authkey=Gv1sRgCKCkup3c0fmTaw&feat=directlink

I obviously know it's an old Lawrencia build, and I've read-up about those guys - but not sure about the frame. Who likely made it? Country of origin? Does the "87" on the BB stamp indicate it was produced in 87? Any other info? I also found an old "Orion" ladies bike and this frame is EXACTLY the same in several areas.

Its a good frame, hope it will be a good fit for me. So far, in a weekend I've stripped the paint, removed the cable-stays (cable-stops?) and sanded away all traces of rust and the more noticable imperfectons. Several of which were caused by my un-skilled hacksaw technique. :oops:

Would have loved to keep the original paint and decals (which were very cool) but unfortunately the rust was starting to get a hold. Some of the pics make it look better nic' than it really was.

Any ideas about it origin? Not that it matters one-iota, we;ve bonded quite well churning though the sheets of sand paper, i'm just curious to know more. Cheers!
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by BNA » Thu May 28, 2009 11:51 am

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Re: 87(?) Lawrencia Bike

Postby brendan03 » Thu May 28, 2009 11:51 am

Bump to see if anyone can help with my desire to know more about this frame. If not, I'll continue on blissfully ignorant of it's origins.
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Re: 87(?) Lawrencia Bike

Postby nickobec » Thu May 28, 2009 3:58 pm

It is a tange steel frame made in Japan in probably 1987 (going by the serial) probably by Kawamura, one of the big three frame makers in Japan at the time.

It looks very similar to my single speed project down to the lugs, but not the braze ons and identical to the brazeons but not the lugs on this frame offered here to a good home. But neither had any decals/branding and the serial numbers differ slightly in format.

You should be able to get more information from Lawrencia Cycles seeing the hawthorn based bike shop is
a long-established family business that commenced trading in 1938 in the same location as it is today


You might be able to get decals or decent quality artwork to recreate them, if you ask nicely.

It was not uncommon for bike shops to buy in frames and components and build their "own" bikes with their own decals, but that disappeared in the 80's as the big brands began to dominate and production moved to Taiwan with even cheaper labour (at that time).
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Re: 87(?) Lawrencia Bike

Postby brendan03 » Fri May 29, 2009 3:13 pm

Thanks heaps for the reply, good info.

nickobec wrote:It is a tange steel frame made in Japan in probably 1987 (going by the serial) probably by Kawamura, one of the big three frame makers in Japan at the time.


I see "tange", "chromo" and other terms thrown around a lot when talking about these old frames - can any break it down for me? Do those terms relate to the type of steel used? the way the tubes are joined or their thickness? What is best to look for? Perhaps the frame I have now is not worth drooping a (relatively) expensive paint job on? I also have another frame, a "Ricardo Elite" - would this be a better candidate? They weigh about the same so I guess there is little difference between the two.

Any pointers from other hard-waste sifters on how to spot the "quality" frame (brands and badges aside) from the run-off-the-mill?
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Re: 87(?) Lawrencia Bike

Postby nickobec » Fri May 29, 2009 5:04 pm

brendan03 wrote:I see "tange", "chromo" and other terms thrown around a lot when talking about these old frames - can any break it down for me? Do those terms relate to the type of steel used?

Higher quality steel frames are generally made from chromium-molybdenum (aka chromoly, chromo or cr-mo) steel alloys.
The exception is Reynolds 531 which is manganese-molybdenum alloy steel

Tange and Ishiwata where the Japanese, Reynolds the English and Colombus the Italian manufactures (or big names) of chromium-molybdenum steel tubing for bicycle manufacturing. The different type of tubing from these manufacturers are listed here

brendan03 wrote:Any pointers from other hard-waste sifters on how to spot the "quality" frame (brands and badges aside) from the run-off-the-mill?

Size of the seat post. All external tubing is same thickness, so the stronger the steel, the less steel required, the thinner the tube, the bigger the seat post. 25mm is heavy carbon steel frame, 27.2mm is the top flight cr-mo frame.

Ricardo vs Lawrencia as which frame to spend your money on:
It has to be the right size for you and have no damage to even be considered, the if both equal the better quality, ie lightest (I would also say strongest, but there is no easy way of measuring that in a non destructive manner). Though sometimes sexy lugwork could win out.
Last edited by nickobec on Fri May 29, 2009 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 87(?) Lawrencia Bike

Postby brendan03 » Fri May 29, 2009 5:10 pm

I tip my hat to you sir.

What did people do before the internet? Such an answer would have taken hours of research and effort down at the local book emporium of yesteryear. Time better spent sanding back the frames of said yesteryear! :D
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Re: 87(?) Lawrencia Bike

Postby nickobec » Fri May 29, 2009 6:59 pm

brendan03 wrote:Such an answer would have taken hours of research and effort down at the local book emporium of yesteryear.


I had the same questions a few months ago, asked a couple people and researched it on the net. So I knew the answers.

As for my local book emporium of yesteryear, I stepped into the public area went to 629.2272 and found "Cycling Book of Maintenance" 3rd edition 1951, nothing on chrome-moly, but a section devoted to the maintenance of "Oil and Acetylene Lamps" maybe I should of looked in 672.36 or 620.17.

No I am not a librarian ;-)
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Re: 87(?) Lawrencia Bike

Postby tier » Mon Jun 01, 2009 2:13 pm

You could contact the shop and ask. But I think someone else here did and got no info.
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Re: 87(?) Lawrencia Bike

Postby brendan03 » Mon Jun 01, 2009 2:33 pm

Spent some more quality time on the build this weekend, even got a quick ride in to tighten the rear cog and lock-ring before the blue threadlocker went on.

Here are some progress shots:

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Plan is to spray/coat the frame in yellow - so the chain seems a little out of place only for now. :P

After the initial ride I'm a little worried the frame might be a touch too large for me - 700c wheels might bring it "down to my size". Will go for some longer rides tonight since the thread-locker will be cured.

If it is to large - anyone in Melbourne in the habit of trading or swapping old frames?
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Re: 87(?) Lawrencia Bike

Postby rkelsen » Mon Jun 01, 2009 2:42 pm

What size do you need?

Nice fix, BTW :)
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Re: 87(?) Lawrencia Bike

Postby brendan03 » Mon Jun 01, 2009 4:01 pm

rkelsen wrote:What size do you need?

Nice fix, BTW :)


Cheers!

Not sure about size yet, I'll get out the tape and report back what size this frame is tonight. It might be ok, will need to play around with seat & bar heights and see how I go - was just the the proximity of jewels-to-toptube that was a little un-nerving during last nights, late-night test flight. :? :lol:
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Re: 87(?) Lawrencia Bike

Postby hartleymartin » Mon Jun 01, 2009 5:25 pm

Considered doing a 650B wheel conversion?

http://www.freewebs.com/650b/index.htm

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/650b.html

http://www.definitivecycles.com.au/650B%20Info.htm

It would lower the frame slightly, perhaps enough for you to be less concerned with your valuables.
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Re: 87(?) Lawrencia Bike

Postby nickobec » Mon Jun 01, 2009 6:29 pm

hartleymartin wrote:Considered doing a 650B wheel conversion?
It would lower the frame slightly, perhaps enough for you to be less concerned with your valuables.

And also lowers the pedals
You don't want your pedals contacting the ground on a fixed

You can play round with changing wheels, cranks, stems etc. but at this stage of the game it is easier (and better in the long run) to get a frame that fits.

Find out what size you need hint google fit calculator or go to the Competitive Cyclist fit calculator and use your own experience.

Once you work out what size you need ask here. You might be surprised what people round here having lying around in their shed.

PS There where a couple of smaller frames looking for a good home in Melbourne earlier this week on this very forum.
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Re: 87(?) Lawrencia Bike

Postby brendan03 » Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:31 am

Thanks for the advice all. I've taken the bike around the block enough times now to know the riding position is good, but I do have the bars and seat quiet low. I'm also still a little unnerved by the lack of clearance between myself and the top tube.

This bike measures:

  • top tube c-to-c = 22" / 56cm
  • seat tube (cent of BB to top of tube) = 23" / 58.5cm
  • stand over height = 33" / 84cm

Since my inseam is 85.5 cm, I think you'll appreciate my discomfort and fear of having to negotiate a spill. So I think replicating the "dynamics" of this bike on a smaller stand-over height by raising the seat and handle bars would be ideal.

I did the fit calculator quickly this morning also (thanks for the link Nic) and results were as follows:

Image

Anyone out there in forum-land looking for a larger (i think?) frame and/or have something smaller in the shed they want to get rid of? :D
Last edited by brendan03 on Tue Jun 02, 2009 11:39 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 87(?) Lawrencia Bike

Postby im_no_pro » Tue Jun 02, 2009 11:05 am

Your image didnt come up, pm me the measurements you are looking for as I have a few old road frames in the shed. Will endeavour to check em over the next couple of days (Im in Geelong, but work in various parts of Melbourne reasonably often)
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Re: 87(?) Lawrencia Bike

Postby rkelsen » Tue Jun 02, 2009 11:41 am

brendan03 wrote:stand over height = 33" / 84cm

my inseam is 85.5 cm

Are you sure it's too big?

This guy: http://www.billbostoncycles.com/top_tube_height.htm recommends a clearance of somewhere between 1 to 2.5 cm. Based upon that, the frame might be the right size for you. That said, if you're standing on tippy toes just to straddle the frame, it's probably too big.

For a fixie, smaller might be better until you learn the dynamics of riding fixed.

At the end of the day, internet advice doesn't mean much if you're not 100% comfortable on the bike... :)
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Re: 87(?) Lawrencia Bike

Postby brendan03 » Tue Jun 02, 2009 11:55 am

rkelsen wrote:
brendan03 wrote:stand over height = 33" / 84cm

my inseam is 85.5 cm

Are you sure it's too big?

To be fair, measurements were a little rushed on my way out - there might be a +/- 1cm difference to be considered. I can say though, standing over the frame in flat sneakers is adjusting my jeans upward - a fair bit. And I'm not the kind of kid to wear em' low ;)

It's about accepting the fact that i will, in all likelihood, come off this thing learning to ride fixed. I've only been married 3 months - My wife and I have plans that require functional pluming. HAHA! :P
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