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
Quite a bit of progress to report..
The bike now has a beautiful hard leather “Swallow” saddle made by Lycett in the 1950s. Lycett was one of the early competitors of – and was eventually absorbed by – the well-known Brooks Company. The saddle is well-worn and in very good condition, but it’s adapted to the shape of someone else’s rear end! So I’ll have to break it in…
The double chainset is now in place – French Stronglight steel cranks married to alloy 30- and 48-tooth “Cyclotouriste” chainrings made by another French company, TA. Installing the cranks was a hellish job – they’re fixed onto the bottom bracket axle by cotter pins which had to be filed to the right sloping profile and then pressed into place using a powerful clamp. But it worked eventually and the cranks now run beautifully on nice smooth bearings.
Gear changing at the front will be done with the awkward Simplex “Competition” shifter. I haven’t yet got this working properly, and I don’t think I’ve yet got a definitive plan for the gearing.