1977 Jack Taylor 650b Tandem

2014-09-21 001 031 1977 Jack Taylor Tandem

This is an unrestored Jack Taylor Touring Tandem, built for 650b wheels.  I had it shipped from England several years ago, but haven’t started work on it yet.

Even in its present state, it’s quite a pretty bike.  The frame color is silver, but with plenty of bright highlights that include red, yellow, green, blue and white.

The frame is built with Reynolds 531 tubing, and is fillet brazed.  It features a sloping top tube, giving 23″ and 21″ seat tube lengths for the front and rear positions.  Components include Maxi-car hubs, Campagnolo shifters and derailleurs, Weinmann 650b rims, Taylor Bros hammered fenders, front and rear constructeur racks, Mafac cantilever brakes, plus a front Maxi-car drum brake.

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Double front brakes – cantilevers + drum; Mafac levers and hoods in great shape.

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Jack Taylor transfers in really nice condition

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Smooth brazing and a U.K. touring club sticker

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Simple cable stop,, elegantly brazed seat stays

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Reynolds transfers in great shape

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Pin striping is still in really nice shape

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Maxi Car hubs, Campagnolo dropouts – with SN 7183

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TA crankset – there are two cranksets and each has at least one chain ring mounted on each side

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A type of presta valve I hadn’t seen before – there’s nothing under this cap – just an open valve – but I popped my presta fitting on anyway and pumped air into the tube.

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TA triple crankset with 50/40/28 rings

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Eccentric bottom bracket plus internal routing for the dynamo wiring

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Redundant chainring on the drive side front crank

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Campagnolo front derailleur

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Very cool Zefal pump

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Mafac cantilevers

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Campagnolo Rally rear derailleur, with Suntour Perfect 14/24 freewheel

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Color matched Milremo stem, Stronglight headset

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Dynamo and wiring

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Brooks saddles – a B-72 in the back and a B-17 in front

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Some pitting in the top tube’s stoker section.

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Fork blades feature brazeons for the drum cable routing.

One of the things that surprised me about this bike was how similar it is in many ways to my 1973 Jack Taylor.  That bike is is also fillet brazed, and sports the exact same lighting system and rack design as this tandem.  In fact, its rear reflector is also broken, just like this.

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Another broken reflector

However, this reflector got broken in the shipping process.  One thing that I did was to have the bike shipped intact from England.  It boarded the Rio Mediera in Southampton, but was detained when it reached port in New York as suspected contraband.  The large container, built by Sheffpack, bore a suspicious resemblance to an arms shipment, and so it had to be x-rayed before it could continue its journey to the Port of Portland.  Consequently, the bike spent many weeks inside its shipping container, before it was finally literally broken open by port workers using hammers and tire irons.

However, it is safe and sound now, and with the fall and winter months looming ahead, this might be the perfect project to occupy the colder and wetter days ahead.

Theresa’s New (Old) Raleigh

1976 Raleigh Gran Sport

1976 Raleigh Gran Sport

My partner in all things, Theresa, has been riding a Raleigh Alyeska touring bike for the last decade or so.  While it is a great bike, it is a touring bike and relatively heavy.  So, when we ride together I often feel that I am cheating by zipping around on one of my nimbler machines.  And, the Alyeska’s top tube is just a bit shorter than she prefers, so I decided to build up this Raleigh Gran Sport, which has a longer top tube, into a lighter weight iteration of its original self.

The early 60’s version of the Gran Sport was something of a sought after machine, with Sheldon Brown describing his lust for its Campagnolo components, even though at this time the frame was built with standard tubing.  This model, which I have dated to approximately 1976, is built with Reynolds 531 tubing for both the frame and fork, and it sports a Carlton logo as well.  However, some of its original components left something to be desired, such as the low end plastic Simplex derailleurs and shifters.

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I admit to a great fondness for this beautiful sky blue color scheme.  It is reminiscent of my 1976 Centurion Pro Tour.  With the white accents, I decided it was really necessary to use white cable housing.  I set up the drivetrain using Suntour components.  I had a NOS Suntour V-GT rear derailleur that I mated to a single bar end shifter.  I used a vintage Sugino crank with an SR drilled 42 tooth ring.  The freewheel is an early index version 6 speed 14/30 Shimano.  Index freewheels actually work better with friction shifters than non-index versions.

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I wanted to keep this bike very light and simple, so there is no front derailleur or extra shifter.  To add to its elegance and feathery weight, I decided to use my treasured Campagnolo/Mavic wheelset.  This was one of the first sets I built, using smooth as butter vintage Campy hubs laced to new Mavic Open Pro 36 hole rims.  That meant a conversion to 700c, from the bike’s original 27 inch wheel diameter – not a problem at all.

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The blue color in the Mavic logo nicely accents the sky blue frame.  For the riding position, Theresa expressed a preference to be more stretched out as well as upright enough to make city riding safe and enjoyable.  I was thinking of using these big ol’ Soma bars, but I knew I would need a pretty long reach for the stem.  I found this Nitto stem with a whopping 130 mm of reach, but it had to be shipped from Japan!

Soma Oxford bars Cardiff saddle

I also ordered this very pretty Cardiff saddle, a brand which I have come to love (one is installed on my Meral), and I will be curious to see how she likes this compared to the Brooks on her current bike.  I used Mafac Racer centerpull brakes, and installed a small TA randonneur rack to mount to the front calipers.  Probably we will add a minimalist rear rack at some point, as well as some fenders.  These 35 mm Panaracer Paselas will be perfect for the kind of riding we do.  One of the very nice features on this frame is the elegant cable stop for the rear brake.

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I found some light blue cloth bar tape from Velox that matches the frame perfectly.  To keep with the vintage appearance I used Velo Orange’s City brake levers.  Now this nice old Raleigh has a new look and a new lease on life.  I am looking forward to Theresa’s first test ride!

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1970’s Austro Daimler Inter 10

1970's Austro Daimler Inter 10

Here is a late 70’s Austro Daimler Inter 10.  It is built with Reynolds 531 butted tubing and has an unusually nice mix of quality components.  I have overhauled and restored it in my usual way, which involves removing all components for cleaning and mechanical overhaul, cleaning and waxing the frame, treating the frame internals for rust, then putting the bike back together with new: cables, housing (if needed), tubes and tires and of course a rebuild of hubs, bottom bracket, and headset.  With its high quality frame and excellent overall condition, this is a bike to keep as original as possible.

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Campagnolo Nuovo Record Long Cage Derailleur

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Campagnolo Front Derailleur

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Top end Red Label Normandy Lux Competition Hubs

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Stronglight crankset with 42/52 rings – showing no wear

Not all Austro Daimler Inter 10’s were made with Reynolds 531 tubing, but they were mostly set up with components for light touring and sport riding.  This Inter 10 also has higher end components normally found on the upper level models such as the Super Light and the Vent Noir.

The drive train is geared for touring, with a 14/34 freewheel mated to a 42/52 crankset.  With this wheel size, the yields a gear inch range of 33-100.  That’s a pretty good range conducive for all types of riding.

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Rare and beautiful GB Maes bars in fantastic shape.

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Atom 600 pedals

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Weinmann 605 Sidepulls with quirky Mathauser finned brake shoes

 

Maillard 14-34 5 speed freewheel

Maillard 14-34 5 speed freewheel

I encountered just about every marquis existing in the bike world in the 70’s on this bike:  Reynolds, Campagnolo, Weinmann, Normandy, Maillard, SR, Atom, Simplex (the seatpost bolt!), GB, Shimano (forged chrome drop-outs), Stronglight, and Huret.  To clean the component mix up, I replaced the Huret downtube shifters with Campagnolo shifters from the same era.  I also replaced the Weinmann levers, which were in bad shape, with these Campagnolo levers also from the same era:

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Campagnolo downtube shifters

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Campagnolo levers – this style first introduced in 1976

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Campagnolo shifter cable guides

I also had a nostalgia moment when I removed these “extras” from the bike – an odometer, tire savers, and flick-stand.  These were de rigueur back in the day.  The flick stand is actually a very useful device that I will probably use for one of my bikes.  The Huret odometer shows less than 1600 miles on the clock – that seems about right given the nice condition the bike was in.

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All of the Austro Daimler’s I have encountered have been surprisingly nice.  The company had a lengthy and complex relationship to bicycle manufacturing.  If you want to know things you never dreamed of wanting to know about the company, here is an amazing manifesto on the subject.

This frame is built with Reynolds tubing. The sticker is missing on the seat tube, but still present on the fork.  This bike’s top tube is 57 cm, even though the seat tube is 53 cm.  Apparently, Austro Daimler just used the same top tube length for most of its bikes, regardless of seat tube length.  Fortunately, when the bike was built up, a short reach and tall SR stem was chosen, so the ergonomics on this bike still fit like a typical 53 cm bike.  The bike has an unusual seat post – a “G.S.” San Marco, which is actually very attractive and has the diameter inscribed in a helpful location.

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The build quality of the frame is extraordinarily nice, with Shimano forged drop outs, lined lugs, a chrome fork crown, and top quality finish work on the seat lug.  There are no braze-ons of any kind, but the clamp-on Campagnolo and Weinmann guides are very attractive.

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This is another great example of a quality touring/sport-touring bike from the late 70’s.  Although a production build, the bike has survived quite well and has many miles left to go.

Update October, 2016:  Sold!  Congratulations to Bob in Pennsylvania.