My collection of bicycles has one commonality in that none of them were purchased new and in most cases were put together from a mix of used and recycled parts.
They cover a span of 50 years with the oldest being a 1951 and the newest being a 2006 and I do hope you enjoy the little tour and commentary.
You may click any image for a larger view.
1966 Moulton Mk1:
I acquired this Moulton early in the spring of 2013 and it has been completely refitted with modern components; Shimano Nexus 7 speed, Shimano generator, handbuilt wheels, and dual pivot brakes. The GB handlebars and stem date to 1973 and the Sugino Competition crank also dates to the early to mid seventies. The bicycle is an absolute delight to ride in every respect and was a bicycle I sought from the first time I was able to ride one.
2005 Surly Pugsley:
Although fat bikes were being built in the 1980’s for arctic events it was Surly that introduced the first mass produced fatbike in 2005 and I believe that there were only 600 of these purple monsters built and the rest is, as they say, history.
After passing my last Pug along to a friend (also a 2005) I happened upon this one this past spring and could not resist the price and the fact it had been so nicely upgraded and well kept over the past decade.
Most folks seem to buy these for the snow we get but there is just as much fun to be had riding this bike on the trails and along our river and it gets used for more than it’s fair share of commutes because it puts the F in fun.
2002 bikeE CT:
I purchased this semi recumbent in the summer of 2014 to help me deal with my back issues and provide a therapeutic ride that works muscles that do not get engaged when I cycle and the workout is more akin to running, which I cannot do because of balance issues and the pain flare ups it causes. It has proven itself to be a very comfortable and utilitarian bicycle that works well in an urban environment and also serves quite well to tow my second utility trailer.
1951 CCM Path Racer:
I wanted to build a retro styled path / road racer and found this frame hanging from the rafters of the co-op in 2008 and saved it from getting tossed in the recycling pile. It got a coat of red paint, found a repro fork and some bars, and used the fixed gear wheels off my old Peugeot. The bars have been cloth wrapped and then given half a dozen coats of amber shellac and it is topped off with an Ideale leather saddle.
Raleigh Safari (fixed gear conversion):
Picked the frame and fork up for pocket change and then fitted up a set of spare fixed wheels I had with Specialized Team Control tyres, added a Nitto Bullmoose bar, and swapped the steel crank for a Sugino XT that I singulated. It is a lot of fun to ride in the snow as those tyres suck up the bumps and have excellent hook up.
1954 Raleigh Sports:
Pulled from a dusty garage this bike languished in my shop for a number of years and the old stem took a great deal of persuasion to come away from a frame it had been joined to for 55 years. Once that was done I upgraded the old EA1 Dunlops to modern 700c wheels and replaced many of the rusty steel bits with shiny alloy ones and fitted some white Bluemel fenders.
1955 Raleigh Lenton “Reg Harris”:
In the 1950’s reg Harris was one of the greatest names in cycling and a hero in his native England, in 1955 he lent his name to the venerable Lenton. Although superficially similar to the 1954 this frame was built with Reynolds 531 tubes and is the fixed gear model, for a few more dollars you could have ordered the bike with a 3 speed.
This bike came to me because of a random meeting with a fellow who was helping settle the estate of a friend who had passed away and had owned and ridden this bicycle since it was new. That fellow is now a good friend and we often talk about the old Lenton which I have had since 2008.
I saved this bicycle from being tossed into a dumpster (I kid you not). She is one of those bicycle that warrants her own little page so I can show finer details and have done more restoration work since this picture was taken in the spring of 2010.
The chrome frame and fork are quite eye catching but the bike itself is middle of the road. The new / old parts I installed like the Stronglight crank, Marcel Berthet pedals, and custom Arvon hubs and hand built wheels are astonishingly nice and were waiting for something like this to come along. The shifting is being handled by Suntour Vx derailleurs and Simplex retrofriction shifters which as as nice as friction shifters get
1987 Kuwahara Cascade:
I picked this bicycle up 8 years ago for the princely sum of $25.00 and it was in nearly mint, original condition. I have probably ridden this bicycle more than any bike I have owned and it served me well as a fixed gear commuter for many years and then I decided to turn it into a full on 26 inch wheeled expedition bicycle since it was too nice for the daily grind.
It was Kuwahara’s top of the line, hand built bicycle and is built on an Ishiwata quad butted tube set and has been fitted with a Suntour drivetrain, vintage Blackburn racks, and is topped with a Brooks B17 Imperial demo saddle that I tested before their release.
In the world of hand built bicycles there are but a hand full of builders who can be called masters and among those, Ron Cooper was regarded to be the best of them all. He passed away in December 2012 at the age of 80 and continued to work right until the time of his death.
This bicycle is amazing in every detail and the frame and fork are without flaw or equal, and the attention to detail is amazing.
In 2014 I upgraded the drive to Ultegra 8 speed with Formula hubs and Campagnolo rims
It hits the curb at 22 pounds and comes off the line like a rocket, handles like it is on rails. and yet… is so smooth and comfortable that you might think you were riding a touring bicycle. I wish I still had the legs to really take advantage of this bicycle’s potential but enjoy the ride nonetheless.
My custom built extra bike, called this to differentiate it from the commercial Extra cycle conversion which is a fine kit but I am a do it yourself kind of guy.
I built this bicycle in 2008 after seeing other people’s efforts at building their own longbikes and it has not seen many changes since that initial build although I have upgraded a few things as better spares became available.
It uses a Norco Katmandu frame up front and I recycled the rear triangle from a full suspension CCM to create the extension and if I was to try and tell you what I have hauled with this bike it would need it’s own page.
It is also the most stable winter bicycle and the long wheelbase makes for a smooth and stable ride and by un-weighting the rear makes it very easy to spin up.
The new bags are re-purposed military surplus rain packs that I purchased for $2.99 each.
Update: On Sunday, November 26th I converted my extrabike into an Extrabike by adding a front hub motor.
The Raleigh Twenty
I have had a long love affair with the Raleigh 20 and our family currently has four of them and of those, my Phillip’s 20 is probably the most customized bike I own and maybe one of the most customized 20’s on the planet.
I owe this to the late great Sheldon Brown who served to inspire many people like myself to restore and customize the Raleigh 20 or it variants like my Phillip’s.
I currently own a stock 1972 Raleigh 20 that I received as a wedding gift and it is a near match to my wife’s 1974 Raleigh 20, my youngest daughter has a 1978 Raleigh 20 that she adores, while my oldest rides a 1980 Raleigh Saffron which is a non folding 20 inch wheeled adult bicycle.
Here is our little fleet of folders and one Raleigh Saffron…
1980 Raleigh Saffron:
Although my daughter was ready for a larger bike she found that she was not comfortable on 24 inch wheels and I sought to find her a folder but by chance came across this Saffron. It is the non folding version of the Compact and without the poor hinge assembly is a much better bicycle. It was made in Italy for Raleigh and my daughter has been riding it for three years and likes the fact she can keep it forever as it will grow with her.
Wit the smaller wheels and good geometry it is a very stable and smooth riding bicycle and it has custom built wheels and better brakes.
“Basil” 1978 Raleigh Twenty, British Model:
The British version of the R20 differs from the export model in that it was fitted with the slightly larger 451 wheel and came with better Raleigh steel brakes and as such is a little quicker and rides a little higher. I realize that when I took this picture the saddle had not yet been lowered to accommodate my daughter who is only 4 feet and a few inches tall.
1972 Raleigh Twenty:
Received as a wedding gift this August from a good friend… this bicycle is in nearly mint condition and I replaced the front wheel with an alloy one and upgraded the brake pads to give it better stopping power. More upgrades are in the works but I probably won’t change the upright configuration as I only use it for short trips and use it as a loaner.
1974 Raleigh Twenty, Portland 2012:
This bicycle was in mint condition when I purchased it for the whopping sum of $40.00 and I built up new alloy wheels and upgraded the braking system to give it adequate stopping power before I gave it to my girlfriend (who is now my wife).
“Forrest”, 1973 Phillip’s Twenty, super modified – It does not get more radical than this when it comes to Twenties and I have devoted a full page to cover all the modifications this bike has seen. We also have a long and interesting history as this was the first bike I could ride after my back injury.
Rocky Mountain Blizzard:
The call of the wild can be rather strong and when the road isn’t a road and it is covered with dirt, rocks, and roots the Blizzard is by far, one of the nicest steel hardtails ever built.
We have one of the nicest urban park systems in North America and there is a lot of great riding to be found just a few miles from my back door.