Old Bloke On An Old Bike

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

20 Feb 2016: The bikes are ready!

Here she is, pretty much ready to go. I’m still messing around with the freewheel, chain and derailleur to get the drivetrain working as smoothly as possible, but I think … Continue reading

February 20, 2016 · Leave a comment

14 Jun 2015: The joys of research

I came across some old cycling magazines from the 1940s and 50s and hoped to find some ideas about components for the restoration of my reserve bike: the 1942 Claud … Continue reading

June 14, 2015

15 May 2015: The joy of cycling museums!

I’m very lucky – I have lots of opportunity to travel for work. I’m writing this in Italy, where I’ve made a detour to Florence to visit the Museo “Gino … Continue reading

May 15, 2015

12 Apr 2015: Nearly done!

Well, she’s now built up and nearly complete – 14 months early. I had thought it would take much longer to track down the right sort of old components and … Continue reading

April 12, 2015

10 Apr 2015: The dangers of addiction…

The Ellis-Briggs is nearing completion and she’s lovely. The only problem is… I’ve so enjoyed building her that I’m now a cycle restoration addict.¬† So much so that I’ve now … Continue reading

April 10, 2015 · 1 Comment

1 Mar 2015: Action!

After ages messing about with the spacing of the hub and freewheel, I think I’ve managed to get the chainline¬†more or less right, so that the drivetrain now works (sort … Continue reading

March 1, 2015

28 Feb 2015: Lights!

If there’s one area of cycle development that has really transformed things, it’s lighting. LED lights and rechargeable Nickel-Cadmium or Nickel-metal Hydride batteries are so much brighter and more efficient … Continue reading

March 1, 2015

8 Feb 2015: The first ride…

… of at least 20 metres! Well, I put tyres on the wheel rims and, after an age fiddling around with spacers, managed to get the back wheel centred, and … Continue reading

February 8, 2015

26 Jan 2016: Wheels!

The wheels are a worry – if one breaks catastrophically on a fast descent, I’ll be in deep trouble. The problem is that 65 year-old rims and hubs were poorly … Continue reading

January 26, 2015

29 Dec 2014: The market for bike bits

One of the most interesting aspects of this restoration project is the large and very active market for old bike components that I hadn’t previously known existed. Ebay is a … Continue reading

December 29, 2014