Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking
25 posts • Page 1 of 1
I just saved a rather unusual bike from a swapmeet over the weekend and was hoping to shed some light on it. Sadly the frame is too rusty to be ridden again (heavy pitting in one rear stay, heavy surface rust in many areas) but hopefully it will make a nice wall ornament for someone.
I have been doing a bit of research and it appears it may be 1940's/1950's. It is one of their welded frames (no lugs) very nice thin rear stays, forward facing rear dropouts, mostly black paint with cursive Claud Butler up the sides, brazed on shifter lug. One of the remaining decals says 'rustproofed', obviously this didn't work too well. Big metal head badge has CB but does not have the square olympic rings of later bikes. Headstem is lovely and original, as is leather saddle. I initially thought the forks had been replaced as they are chrome but they have similar form including boss for light mount to period forks by the company so are perhaps original. Unfortunately handlebars, cranks, brakes and wheels have all been replaced at some point in history.
Are there any ID marks on these which can determine age? I will add some photos when I get a chance later in the week.
Frame number under the bottom bracket or on the fork steerer tube will tell you the year, month and production number. Post it up and I will translate for you.
Sometimes Clauds have a transfer with the model name on the front end of the top tube.
Depending on the year it could be one of many models but if it has 'scalloped' tops to the seat stays then it is almost certainly a Jubilee.
This site is a big help http://homepage.ntlworld.com/nkilgariff/ClaudButler.htm
I'm a big Claud fan and don't mind replacing stays and tubes if necessary, look forward to the pics.
I had another look at the frame tonight and it actually does have the olympic rings head badge. Condition is as bad as I thought but brakes might be original as well, they Appear to say GB SPORT British Made. Frame is black with red head and partial downtube.
Scallop topped seat stays as you say, number under the bottom bracket appears to be 5258
Will upload pics tomorrow
Well, lug-less construction, with seat stay ends like that - almost certainly a Jubilee from 1953-55 sometime.
Could be a Coronation as I have seen one with scolloped stays but they were a bit more downmarket and didn't have GB brakes whereas the Jubilee came with them as standard. Mind, neither came with an alloy GB stem as standard either. Which brings up, what is standard? Really when you bought the bike from a shop you could just buy the frame and fit it out yourself or buy the whole bike and specify mods which either the factory or the shop would undertake. The catalogue was just a starting point... And then people upgrade over time of course.
The number you found only looks like half a number, maybe the construction sequence, see if there is another bunch of digits there somewhere nearby
or perhaps not
Source: Classic Lightweights, Wheels for 1945-60s classic lightweights
however the original wheels would have had the original 3 (or 4 or 5) speed cluster, instead of the replacements which are fitted with a Shimano 3 speed internal.
is the chainring for a 1/8" chain?
You can still get 3 and 5 speed freewheels quite easily, 4 speed are less common but there are some about.
When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments- Elizabeth West.
OK, built in August 1954, 5258th frame out of the factory that year.
Sadly Clydesdale Scot is right about the rims. Apart from the Dunlop “Special Lightweight.” Stainless (which are like Basilisk's teeth) I wouldn't trust any period rims unless they had been stored well and were in excellent condition.
Original hubs would have been nice tho'
Last edited by WyvernRH on Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
they do exist.
I bought these from the author of the Classic Lightweight article I quoted from, and they were built up by Warren (Bicycle Passion).
So what are you going to do with the frame?
Wow, I'd assumed they were fitted when the later wheels and handlebars were added, could be original though.
Honestly Philip, I have no need for a bike in this condition, I bought it as it appeared it would be thrown out. If someone is willing to make use of it they can have it for what it owes me (also would be happy to consider a trade for a more basic better condition bike of the period )
I'm in outer eastern Melbourne, will put some more complete pics up on Friday.
Richard had his hand up
and he would do it justice!
Oh yes they exist alright, just very, very rare, especially in Oz and in good condition. Look out for toothless Basilisks in your area!
I gave a 32/40 pair away when I emigrated to Oz with a load of other gear I couldn't ship and have regretted it ever since...
Sorry about the delay in getting the photos up. I have tried to capture the condition of the bike. The mudguards have me puzzled, they appear to show rust at their edges but the surface definitely looks oxidised like an aluminium.
Richard, if you want this at cost PM me, I just want to see it put to a use and I don't have one for it.
This is undoubtedly the rustiest frame I have ever owned but it is straight.
As you can see there is a light corrosion colour on the guards which makes me think steel, but the silver bits look like oxidised aluminium
dv I got a good chuckle out of the rust proofing too
As mentioned via PM, I'd be keen to use the brakes and stem on my Viking if nobody's willing to make a repair to the frame. The guards do look alloy, so I'd suggest Roger is in luck.
LG = Low Gear
Sorry about the delay, finally remembered to take a magnet out, guards are very magnetic, must just be an odd coating on them unfortunately, steel they appear to be.
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