The Dawes Kingpin was introduced in 1965 as a folding and non folding model and preceded the introduction of the Raleigh Twenty by 4 years and most would agree that it is a superior design as it is built on a much lighter tube set and was handbuilt by skilled craftsmen.
This bicycle came to me in the saddest of ways as it was given to me by the family of my friend Ian, who passed away suddenly at at a very young age… he said I had inspired him to build up a small wheeled bicycle that he could use for touring and we had plans to do just that with me riding my P20 “Forrest”.
It hung in my shop for several years as I did not know what to do with it until a young lady came to my shop with her mother and test rode my daughter’s Raleigh 20 and they were enamoured. I told her that the Dawes was an even better bicycle and that we could build it up for her.
One of the quirks the Dawes has is that it was fitted with an obscure wheel and tyre that is impossible to source on this side of the pond so we decided to build it up on a set of 24 inch wheels with an AWC hub which is a three speed with a coaster brake.
This required that the frame be widened in the rear to allow for better tyre clearance and the seat and chainstay bridges had to be moved for what was a taller tyre and new fork had to be built as well.
I seem to have misfiled my shots of the frame after I started cutting and brazing… but the after shots look so much better.
The rear section had the kickstand plate removed, stays were widened (pressed) and new bridges were brazed in with threaded bosses for the fenders… the colour we chose is called Allusion Violet and this work was done by our partners at Cyclone Coatings.
The front section…
Putting it all together… the tyres are Specialized 1.5 cross, the stem and handlebar came from a Raleigh 20, and the front brake is a Weinmann centre pull.
You just have to have wingnuts…
I had a set of Wald chrome fenders which are fine in themselves but the mounts left much to be desired, I changed those to a modern style mount to allow for more precise adjustment and fit.
Another teaser… that colour really is amazing.
And as they say… the full Monty.
I think Ian would have been pleased and the bicycle’s new owner just turned 11… one would expect that she will be able to ride this bicycle into adulthood and beyond and the look on her face when we rolled it out of the shop was simply priceless.