The story of the restoration of a 1950s classic bicycle for a Land's End – John O'Groats charity ride in aid of Alzheimer's Society
Our plan is for Eric to make the ride on an old hand-built bike too. My earliest surviving bike is a tourer bought from Mosquito Bikes in Upper Street Islington around 1987 (I think). I used this on some wonderful long tours in France.
But – what a crime! It has been slowly dying of rust and neglect in the shed for at least 20 years. I’ve now made amends by getting the frame repainted by Mercian Cycles of Derby – in the orange and midnight blue colours of Eddy Merckx’ Molteni racing colours..
Mosquito bikes have confirmed that the frame was built by Nigel Dean. Nigel Dean was (another) professional cyclist from the Isle of Man, who went on to build a successful framebuilding business, which produced some fine bespoke frames and also many “specials” for independent bike shops. This one was built up with Sun Tour XCD components, which I’ll re-use in the renovation. Sun Tour lost out in competition with Shimano and went out of business in the mid-1990s, and replacement parts are now difficult to find.