Dick Tressider Find!

Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking

Dick Tressider Find!

Postby WyvernRH » Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:51 pm

I am quite excited about this one. Despite vowing that the collection was complete, when dropping off the Subaru for a service the boss wandered out to admire my Flying Gate that I was going to cycle to work. Now this guy is Chris Duncan, top Scottish fiddle player, and after chatting a bit he mentioned he still had his Dad's bike and would I like it? Do bears etc etc.... I was really excited to be given this bike as it has a real history as his Dad Bruce was a working man who raced all his life and saved up for years to buy this high quality bike from a local shop run by Dick Tresidder. I knew Dick as an old man before he passed away and frequented his bike shop in Beaumont St to buy parts etc.
Chris remembers the bike in the late 60's but I think it must be earlier, It has Nervex Professional lugs but the dropouts are of a style I don't recognise. Stamped steel but incorporating a Campag style hanger - any guesses? The 'Dick Tresidder' logos are handpainted and it has Cinelli badged steel stem.
It also has these odd (to me) 'coke bottle' profile forks, not like anything I have seen before. I have been promised pictures of Bruce racing. Here are some photos, any guesses to age and the like or knowledge about Dick Tresidder and his shop much appreciated.
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Cheers
Richard
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by BNA » Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:00 pm

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Re: Dick Tressider Find!

Postby drubie » Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:00 pm

Nice. Shame about the brake levers/cranks though - any thoughts about what you're going to fit?
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Re: Dick Tressider Find!

Postby WyvernRH » Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:46 am

drubie wrote:Nice. Shame about the brake levers/cranks though - any thoughts about what you're going to fit?


The cranks are a 'natural' upgrade, he always wanted Campag cranks and towards the end of his racing career he saved up enough and bought as set. So I'll probably keep those as part of the bike's history. The pedals are crappy ones that were put on to do 'shopping trips' so I need a new pair of rat traps.

What's wrong with the brake levers apart from the missing rubbers? :? They are Weinmanns that match the Vainqueur centre pulls which are from the right period for the bike. Centre pulls were all the go from the mid-fifties til the early 70's on top of the range bikes until Campag produced their 'retarders' :roll: and everyone switched back to the less efficient sidepulls.

What stuff am I going fit, good question....
I am going to try and keep all of the equipment on the bike that I can salvage. The front dérailleur and the gear levers are cactus as are all the cable stops but I have spares of those in the collection. The stem will need re-chroming (when I can get it out) and I'll need some old style cotton tape. The wheels need re-spoking with stainless as the chromed spokes are stuffed. Headset should clean up OK but I have a treasured NOS Brampton that I can use if necessary (knew all this 'junk' would come in useful one day :P )

My main concern is dealing with all the surface rust without damaging the remaining paintwork too much. I really do not want to re-paint this one, even if I can get the logos reproduced by Greg at Cyclomondo, tho it might come to that.

Any suggestions as to appropriate equipment for an Aussie bike in Newcastle in the early to mid 60's anybody?

Cheers
Richard
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Re: Dick Tressider Find!

Postby MichaelB » Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:03 pm

Seems like the dt shifters are not original based on the paintwork (obsuring the lettering) ?

It would be good to see it done up and went to someone who is capable and willing to do it !!
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Re: Dick Tressider Find!

Postby drubie » Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:58 pm

WyvernRH wrote:
drubie wrote:Nice. Shame about the brake levers/cranks though - any thoughts about what you're going to fit?



What's wrong with the brake levers apart from the missing rubbers? :? They are Weinmanns that match the Vainqueur centre pulls


Heh at first glance I thought they were dia-compes - that handlebar tape put me off a bit (note to self - spend less time looking at junk bikes at the tip).

Interesting about the campag cranks - makes for a cool story and adds to the history like you said.
So we get the leaders we deserve and we elect, we get the companies and the products that we ask for, right? And we have to ask for different things. – Paul Gilding
but really, that's rubbish. We get none of it because the choices are illusory.
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Re: Dick Tressider Find!

Postby Johnj » Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:21 pm

Congratulations Richard, good to see a lovely old bike going to a good home. Let me know how you go with the Cinelli stem, Italian chrome doesn't seem much good. My Bol D'or came with one about as rusty which I'm thinking of dipping in oxalic acid. Were it up to me I'd leave the paint alone, but it's your choice.

Don't know if you've seen it, but here's a photo from the Hunter Photobank of Dick Tresidder (incorrectly listed as Tressider) in 1949. Apparently Dick's Speedwell Olympic track bike is in the Newcastle Museum collection, perhaps you might have a look for us Richard? Dick's brother John was also a racing cyclist. I think they're the sons or grandsons of "Dick" Tresidder, a champion rower from Newcastle who won a pile of championships between 1895 and 1908.

Image
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Re: Dick Tressider Find!

Postby rustychisel » Fri Sep 24, 2010 5:19 pm

cool story, nice to know it in terms of keeping the bike. Equally important, why is he on the roof?
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Re: Dick Tressider Find!

Postby WyvernRH » Fri Sep 24, 2010 5:48 pm

MichaelB wrote:Seems like the dt shifters are not original based on the paintwork (obsuring the lettering) ?!


Quite likely, I have suspicion that it was set up as a 5 speed before the much anticipated Campag chainset was purchased. This is backed up by the fact that the front derailleur is a 70s/80s IRRC VX model that is 10 years or so younger than the 1960's rear SunTour derailleur.
Cheers
Richard
Last edited by WyvernRH on Sat Sep 25, 2010 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dick Tressider Find!

Postby cludence » Fri Sep 24, 2010 10:39 pm

Richard,

Nice story and glad to see you have a bike local to your area with a story behind it and a badged stem too!

From what I recall Jim telling me, the Tressider family was very involved in water sports. Dick (or one of his brothers) sustained a spinal injury late in his career.

I will ask another friend of mine tomorrow who knew the Tressiders and see what he recalls. I will also check again with Jim.

Hope the bike is your size.

Karen.
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Re: Dick Tressider Find!

Postby WyvernRH » Sun Sep 26, 2010 4:32 pm

cludence wrote:Richard,

Nice story and glad to see you have a bike local to your area with a story behind it and a badged stem too!

From what I recall Jim telling me, the Tressider family was very involved in water sports. Dick (or one of his brothers) sustained a spinal injury late in his career.

I will ask another friend of mine tomorrow who knew the Tressiders and see what he recalls. I will also check again with Jim.

Hope the bike is your size.

Karen.


Yup, the bike is my size :wink: 22 1/2 inches square! The stem might make the position a bit 'aggressive' in length tho....
You are quite correct, Dick was in a wheelchair when I knew him, got knocked off his bike by a car I think.
Any info you can accrue from your network of contacts would be much appreciated!
Cheers
Richard
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Re: Dick Tressider Find!

Postby WyvernRH » Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:35 pm

I finally got the bike stripped down to its component parts and found a couple of interesting details. The steel stamped(?)dropouts, front and rear have SunTour stamped into them. They are good quality similar to Cyclo dropouts but have an integral 'campag style' gear hanger and raised sections along each edge of the wheel slot to take the wheel nuts. I think they are stamped out cos the raised area is formed by depressions on the inside of the dropout. Now I have seen the later investment cast Suntour frame bits from the 70's/80's but never stamped steel. A dating tip possibly? Karen, can your framebuilding friends give us an idea when these were used in Oz?

I think it also indicates that the bike was meant from the beginning to have the existing SunTour Competition rear gear. These came out circa 1965 but the gear is not branded 'Maeda Iron Works' but has 'Maeda Industries' stamped into it, which I believe dates it post 1969? Maybe Chris's vague memory was right that this bike was acquired by his Dad at the end of the 60's.... Also the headset is a TDC copy of a Brampton. Possibly for economy's sake but maybe all that was available as TDC kept on making parts long after anyone else in the UK. More evidence pushing the date to the 69/70 period?

The paint is really stuffed. At the slightest pressure it turns to dust or flakes off - big problem...

There is an number '018' stamped into the underside of the Bottom Bracket at an angle, in addition to all the stuff Nervex felt necessary to cast/stamp into the shell. Frame number I'm assuming. I also wonder if Dick used the torch himself or bought in from somewhere (local or otherwise) and finished them off at the shop. I suspect the latter case is true. I do know other locals (Stead for example) did build frames and this has too many individual touches to be a mass-produced frame. It would have been special order from somewhere but maybe one of a short run?
Dunno, I'm going to have to hunt down someone who was around in the 60's in Newcastle but that is getting difficult a they all pass on. Do we have any 'long term' Novocastrians reading the forum?

An aside, it has been indicated in answer to questions on this forum that there was considerable aversion to Japanese kit in the 50s/60s due to the war. however i have found or been given a lot of bicycles(mainly wrecks admittedly) from this area fitted with early SunTour, DNB, KTT etc gears, hubs and other parts. Is it possible that this aversion was less amongst the high proportion of immigrants or 'New Australians' in the Hunter area? Especially as they would have been short of cash and a SunTour Competition worked just as well or better than a Campag Grand Sport and cost what, a third or less of the price?
Cheers
Richard
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Re: Dick Tressider Find!

Postby cludence » Mon Sep 27, 2010 10:30 pm

Hi Richard,

As you were typing your recent reply, I was in my spare room sorting through papers and came across some info on Dick. It is nothing signifigant but is interesting reading. It mentions his plans to head overseas in the hope of fixing his spine and returning to cycling etc.

It is too lengthy to post on forum so if you pm or email me I will post you up a photocopy.

In regards to the stamped steel dropouts, I am not sure. I will ask.

I'm also waiting for my friend who knew Dick to phone me back.

Karen.
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Re: Dick Tressider Find!

Postby WyvernRH » Tue Jan 04, 2011 8:40 pm

Made an interesting discovery today.
The paint on this bike is just coming off in flakes but he metal is not rusty underneath, the paint just doesn't seem to have stuck. Anyway, another large piece of paint fell off the outside r/h fork, just below the fork crown revealing the word 'DURIFORT' stamped into the forkblade. Hmm, quick look on the other side and yes, there is the word on the other fork blade under the paint. Now I have never seen a frame made of DURIFORT tubing before. The frame is pretty light and appears to be made of butted tubing with a 26.8 I/D seat tube.
A little Web research shows that in the late 60's DURIFORT was a good quality seamed tubing which was heat treated and butted. The heat treatment and working apparently eliminated the normal disadvantages of seamed tubing giving a cheaper tubeset with (from what some of the reviews say) a good ride quality.
This explains the odd (to me) fork blade section which must be unique to DURIFORT(?). A quick bit of sanding in the most likely spots on the main tubes failed to find any other tubing stamps tho. As far as I know this type of tubing was never used by UK builders but from the Lennie Rodgers thread, the Backshall threadhttp://www.bicycles.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=33864 and the small track frame I posess, which all have the odd shaped fork blades, it seems Aussie builders must have liked the stuff in the 60's and 70's. Can anyone confirm this? Bertain and Gitane certainly used this tubing, sometimes using DURIFORT forks and stays but 531 main tubes (so they could use the Reynolds sticker one supposes)
While I have found some info on DURIFORT on the Web, I would be interested in finding out more if anyone has any info.

The use of this type of tubing on this frame seems to be in tune with the general spec of this bike by the original owner in staying within a budget while specifying equipment that performed well but ignoring 'bling' componantry.
For example;
Durifort butted tubing instead of 531 butted (probably better than 531 plain guage)
Suntour steel dropouts instead of Campag/Simplex
Suntour gears instead of Campag (actually the Suntour gears worked better...)
Simplex 'Campag copy' alloy seatpost instead of Campag
Weimann Centrepull brakes. Now these definately worked better than Campag or Mafacs of the time but were slightly heavier.
Normandy hubs with Weinmann rims. These hubs are often looked down on due to their use in 70's bike boom trash but they were free-running, functional and light.
Cinelli steel stem and alloy bars... OK some bling :wink: ....but I have a suspicion they came off his previous bike.

So... what you end up with is an 'economy' bicycle that would perform as well as most racing machines more than twice the price.

Cheers
Richard
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Re: Dick Tressider Find - FINISHED!

Postby WyvernRH » Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:24 pm

OK, I finished it! In the end a lot of components got replaced but the core of the bike is original. I aimed for a early-mid 70's rebuild of a (probably) late 60's bike to match the chainset.
Image
I did the transfers myself on my computer as I couldn't justify a one off from Cyclomondo. They came out 'OK' but I may have to redo the main downtube set so I havn't put clear over the top. Not up to Greg's standard but I am reasonably pleased with them. I'm hoping the coat of clear acrylic lacquer over the transfer sheet will protect them from weather and fading. We shall see....
They are as accurate as I could make them except for the seat tube transfer which originally was a badly damaged 'generic' so I used artistic licence with another old ' generic' I had and added some scrolls.
Durifort transfers are from Velocals
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The scrolls are in line, the photo makes them look odd for some reason....
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I would normally lug line Nervex lugs (as the bike was originally) but the painter did such a good job with the pearl paint it picks out the lugs really well so I thought to leave it plain.
The parts list:
Stem: Cinelli steel (original)
Bars : Cinelli Champion de Monde alloy
Headset: Steel TDC Continental (replacement but same as original)
Chainset: Campagnolo Record 52/42 (original mostly, I had to replace the right crank and the outer ring with a drilled Gian Robert)
Pedals: Campagnolo Record
Seatpost: Simplex (Original)
Saddle: Brooks Competition (original)
Brakes: Gipiemme Sprint
Front gear: Campagnolo Record
Rear Gear: Suntour Cyclone 'R'
Gear levers: Suntour Campag clones (slightly later model but very close to original)
Freewheel: Suntour Winner 14-26
Hubs Normandy 36/36 (original)
Rims: Mavic unknown type 27" Vitorria tyres
various Campag/Suntour/Shimano cable clamps

Weather has restricted riding but on the short trips I have got in so far it is a very smooth ride. First Durifort frame I have ridden and it is like silk on the rough roads around here. Might be a bit flexy if you were a powerful rider but it holds the line dead true around around rough high speed downhill corners so that'll do me :wink: I will be taking it into town to show Chris Duncan his restored father's bike next week. I hope he'll be pleased with it.
Cheers
Richard

PS As an aside, I recently found short mention in a book on Tom Simpson that John Tressider (Dick's brother) apparently raced with Tom Simpson in the 6 day track races in Europe in the early 60's. As I can find very little other info about John and Dick, if anyone has any info about the brothers or the shop it would be really helpful.
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Re: Dick Tressider Find!

Postby silentbutdeadly » Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:12 am

That is very pretty....another little bit of history rescued for the future. Don't forget to make a little laminated write up sheet to keep with the bike to prevent further loss of context as time ticks by in the future.
Ours is not to reason why...merely to point and giggle
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Re: Dick Tressider Find!

Postby ldrcycles » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:53 am

Only just found this thread, when you mentioned the 'coke bottle' fork blades i went hey i've seen that before, and my suspicions were confirmed by your discovery of the DURIFORT stamp.

Image

Mid 60s Tom Wallace (made in Brisbane) as picked up from the tip a few years ago. I poorly restored it and built up as a single speed. The only markings i found were on the inside of the fork blades, so i don't know what the main tubes are.
What i can say is that the forks absorb shocks from the road beautifully, but the frame is a bit sloppy, i can actually feel it flexing under me when i'm out of the saddle. On the whole though, i love it and sometime (hopefully soon) i'll give it a proper restoration.
When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments- Elizabeth West.
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Re: Dick Tressider Find!

Postby Matt Zac » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:48 am

Great work as always Richard!

It's wonderful that such a bike should find its way to such an appreciative owner :D
No, honey, I've had that one for ages...
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Re: Dick Tressider Find!

Postby cludence » Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:34 pm

Richard,

Great job on the bike!

Ironically the day you posted the pics I was looking at the Tressider letter I have here of which I am long overdue sending you a copy of.
I am not game enough to look back through the post to see how long you have been waiting. :oops:
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Re: Dick Tressider Find!

Postby WyvernRH » Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:51 pm

cludence wrote:I am not game enough to look back through the post to see how long you have been waiting. :oops:


Probably less time than you have been waiting for the alloy mudguards I found hanging at the back of the shed this week marked "Keep for Karen" :)
Do you still need them?
Cheers
Richard
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Re: Dick Tressider Find!

Postby cludence » Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:10 pm

Hi Richard,

Yes I still need the guards. Did you still want that Mercian I had for you? lol.
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Re: Dick Tressider Find!

Postby singlespeedscott » Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:20 am

Very nice. What happened to the Weinmanns? I think they look really great on older road racers. And like you, I have to agree they work better than early side pulls as well.
Image
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Re: Dick Tressider Find!

Postby WyvernRH » Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:01 pm

singlespeedscott wrote:Very nice. What happened to the Weinmanns? I think they look really great on older road racers. And like you, I have to agree they work better than early side pulls as well.


This is all true.
However, sourcing decent condition replacement centre-pull hangers was a nightmare and in the end I gave up and fitted the period Gipiemme's which were sitting in the spares box.
The levers are still Weinmann tho ' :wink:
Cheers
Richard
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Re: Dick Tressider Find!

Postby cludence » Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:10 pm

Richard! You should have sent me a msg. I know I tend to be slow, but I do have some of the centrepull hangers that you need.

I think you might need to visit my place next time you are in town. :)

Karen.
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Re: Dick Tressider Find!

Postby tresidder » Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:41 pm

Good job restoring the Tresidder Special, however, one crucial point is that the name has one s and two d's. Tresidder. If you look at the photo of the before shot of the bicycle, you will see the correct spelling. Also, the bicycle is one of several that were made at Dick Tresidders Cycle Centre, with Dick Tresidder specially made transfers, but not one of Dick's actual racing cycles. One of his cycles that he did use racing is on permanent display at Newcastle Sporting Hall of Fame, at Newcastle Museum. Also, John Tresidder was a champion cyclist in Europe for many years, and achieved great fame. Dick had a water-skiing accident at the age of 29, and became a quadriplegic, only weeks before he was to return to Europe to race.
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Re: Dick Tressider Find!

Postby WyvernRH » Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:20 am

tresidder wrote:Good job restoring the Tresidder Special, however, one crucial point is that the name has one s and two d's. Tresidder. If you look at the photo of the before shot of the bicycle, you will see the correct spelling. Also, the bicycle is one of several that were made at Dick Tresidders Cycle Centre, with Dick Tresidder specially made transfers, but not one of Dick's actual racing cycles.


Thank you for the information, that is much appreciated!
You are absolutely correct about the spelling! Those first attempt transfers on the downtube did not adhere well and lifted off (maybe the paint was still gassing?) I will be printing new ones on different media soon and shall make sure that the spelling is correct this time. However, the original text on the frame downtube was not decal or transfer but hand painted. They were actually very slightly different from one side to the other.
The seat tube decal was a 'generic' transfer which under (very) detailed investigation had 'Tressider Cycles' hand painted into the scroll. Yup, spelled just like that, so I suspect it wasn't a Tresidder who painted it on there. That's where I went wrong as the bad spelling stuck in the brain :oops:
I'm not sure at the moment if I'll re-do the seat post scrolls as well as this was maybe an 'original' mistake? :)

Cheers
Richard
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