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Riding with my Dad

A while back I talked about the inspiration my dad had been in my cycling journey. We did lots of miles together. When he died I ended up with the last bike he had owned. I had built the frame and given his short stature it was the only frame he had owned that actually fitted him.

Dads bike

Dads bike

Dad being dad there was a degree of stuff that passed from bike to bike during his life. The oval label B17 Brooks had been on one or another bikes since before I was born. The Dunlop special stainless steel rims came on a set of wheels in the mid 1970’s along with the Weinman brakes. However dad rode a fixed gear all his life and used a home trainer twice a week until a couple of weeks before he died. That frame was never going to fit me. I put it aside to think about on another day. When the air cleared I remembered a conversation where he reminisced about a bike he had lusted after long ago. It had chromed lugs and bar end shifters and was black. If it had bar end shifters in the 1950’s or early 60’s it must have been pretty good quality. The seeds of an idea started to germinate when I picked up a Beasley frame with chrome lugs from 1961. Coincidentally that was the year I was born. I had some Campag bar end shifters and some Gran Sport derailleurs looking for a project. I took the Dunlop rims and laced them into a pair of Gran Sport road hubs.

Gran Sport Hubs and Dunlop Special rim

Gran Sport Hubs and Dunlop Special rim

I found a set of Stronglight 57 cranks and started to put together the closest thing I could imagine to what he described without molesting the patina of the Beasley that was cream with blue decals (including the name of the original owner).

Stronglight 57 cranks

Stronglight 57 cranks

Owners name, Hand painted

Owners name, Hand painted

I rode it on the weekend, 18 months after he died, with a bunch of guys that appreciate old bikes. It was nice to not only indulge a passion for old bikes and craftsmanship but to have that connection. To sit on that same saddle and ride with dad again.

1961 Beasley

1961 Beasley

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Posted by on June 5, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Hand Made Bicycle show Melbourne 2018

The Hand Made Bicycle Show in Melbourne http://www.handmadebicycleshow.cc  #hbsa2018 went off with a huge bang. It was a privilege to be part of something like this and to find myself showing off my work alongside some of the best builders in the country as well a a couple of people from OS. As well as current builders I met people with big historical links to the game. Leo Bates, from the Bates family in Coburg, The son of Eddie Bosomworth of Bosomworth bikes in NZ and another bloke who had worked for Frank Paino in Sydney ( I apologize for not remembering his name) all stopped by my booth for a chat. It was a great weekend of celebrating the handmade bicycle in Australia and meeting so many interested people
The first of the conversations about work materialized last night so I had better get on with it

Just a selection of the fantastic shots Andy took of one of my frames

HCBS G Duke _ FYXO-5397

HCBS G Duke _ FYXO-5397

HCBS G Duke _ FYXO-5407

HCBS G Duke _ FYXO-5407

HCBS G Duke _ FYXO-5410

HCBS G Duke _ FYXO-5410

 

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Mad March

March went by with a whirl as I prepared for the Hand Made Bicycle show in Melbourne at the end of April. #hbsa2018

Jeremy’s classic tourer is finally a complete frame. Forks are still to come but I am waiting on him to get hold of the correct dropouts from Germany. If you visit the show this frame will be on show in all its rawness. Jeremy has opted to arrange painting himself so I will sandblast it and show it as is. Have a look at the pictures here and head over to my Instagram page #g.duke_bikeframes to see more.

Adding a front derailliur tab

Adding a front derailliur tab

Fixture for a front derailliur tab

Fixture for a front derailliur tab

Reaming Jeremy's seat tube

Reaming Jeremy’s seat tube

Finally complete, Jeremy's touring frame

Finally complete, Jeremy’s touring frame

If you don’t follow Instagram, don’t worry, I have no intention to move there entirely so this blog will continue with more descriptions than Instagram encourage.

Also completed a ATP ( Australian Tubing Products ) inspired headstem complete with raygun style tip. Chrome by Star Plating in Bayswater. Tips available in a variety of colours. Just like in the old days. See it at the show as well

ATP inspired stem

ATP inspired stem

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

February

February seems like a blur
Mark dropped by with a Colnago TT frame. He had been to the electroplater and a couple of thing had been pointed out that needed attention before plating. A little bit of filler in one of the rear drops, a bit of silver at one of the joins. You don’t often get to see one of these frames let alone be trusted with working on one.

Colnago TT frame

Colnago TT frame

Jeremy’s touring frame continued. A little bit slower than I hoped while I waited on a set of seat stays to match those fantastic Llewelyn drop outs. Planning on having this at the Hand Made Bicycle show in Melbourne. Last weekend in April #hbsa2018 . Better get a wriggle on.

Llewelyn D/Os for touring frame

Llewelyn D/Os for touring frame

Rear stays assembled in the jig

Rear stays assembled in the jig

Bundit came by with another request. A set of Lowpro style forks and bars for his Rosin style street fighter. The bars are still to come. See my Instagram post for more on this build. # g.duke_bikeframes

Low pro style forks

Low pro style forks

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Jeremy’s Touring frame

Jeremy wanted a touring frame to suit his particular body. He also wanted a traditional fancy lugged frame with all the extras a touring bike needs. He went off and got measured up and after looking at the options for lugs in my stash he decided on a set of Oscar Egg lugs. I drew up the frame and had a closer look at the lugs. Most lugs are designed around the idea that frames are more or less square, ie that the top and seat tube are pretty close to each other in length. Jeremy wanted a shorter top tube so the lower head lug was going to need some tweaking. I cut a slot in the crotch of the lug and adjusted it. I brazed it up with bronze. My frames are usually silver brazed, using less heat, so this wont effect things when I put the frame together. he also wanted to use an allen key binder bolt so I filled the ears of the lug so it wouldn’t get crushed over time, once again with bronze. These are the things you have to do when dealing with older pressed lugs. It takes a bit longer but is worth it in the end. Once that was taken care of I filed up the tubes for the front triangle and lay things over the drawing. Happy with that I tacked it together in the jig and then proceeded to silver braze things together. The front triangle came out rather nicely with only 0.3mm deflection over 600mm of tube length. The rear triangle is next

Oscar Egg lugs and a fork crown

Oscar Egg lugs and a fork crown

Filling the ears on a seat lug

Filling the ears on a seat lug

Tubes, lugs and a drawing

Tubes, lugs and a drawing

Tweaking a head lug angle

Tweaking a head lug angle

Tweaking a head lug

Tweaking a head lug

Post braze check

Post braze check

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Period correct forks for Stuart’s Le Mans

Stuart wanted a set of forks to fit his Le Mans frame. As you can see it has the original version of an integrated headset. While that only really effects the length of the steerer it did seem important to create something that was of the era. So, a pair of original Reynolds fork blades and a Haden crown seemed appropriate. Enjoy your Christmas and in the words of one of my favorite TV programs ever. “Lets be careful out there”

Integrated headtube

Integrated headtube

Haden crown and Reynolds blades

Haden crown and Reynolds blades

Genuine Haden

Genuine Haden

Period correct (for the le Mans)

Period correct (for the le Mans)

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Product testing at the Giro della Donna

Over the dirt at the Giro della Donna

Over the dirt at the Giro della Donna

Like the showers at Roubaix!  After the Giro della Donna

Like the showers at Roubaix! After the Giro della Donna

While we missed the big wet the following week end, it was still pretty damp and dirty but that certainly didn’t detract from a fantastic day. Since I have complete faith in the bike I think the only product under test here was me. Have already signed up for next year so might see you there. https://cyclingtips.com/125km-holden-giro-della-donna/

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2017 in Uncategorized