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Classic lightweight restoration


= getting rusty ancient machines back into use. Anybody else in the club indulge in this expensive and time consuming hobby?

I'm about to send my (possibly) fifties Claud Butler off to Bob Jackson for respray and minor work. Claud frame numbers are quite hard to date but it has a Stronglight 49D chainset and was far from new when I got it in 1981

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That's a superb photo! Where was it taken? Can't wait to see pics of the restored bike.

Saffron Lane Leicester :'-( what a tragic loss, like so many tracks

When the Claud comes back, although the Stronglight 49D is going back on, I am a fan of modern brakes (having had a fifties brake lever disintegrate in my hand while riding to Palmer Park). And it will have an allen key seat pin fitting - the original seat pin bolt was rather nasty.

My (wild) aim is to get fit enough to ride it in Club 10's, and possibly even Preston Park again.

It'd be nice to have a Nomad taking part in the track races at PP. They do training sessions on some of the Friday nights during the track season which would be a good place to re-find your track riding skills. You also forgot to mention that you could use your refurbished bike for the 2018 hill climb as well 😉

Quote from Alex Beyfus on 8th January 2018, 10:48 pm

you could use your refurbished bike for the 2018 hill climb as well 😉

Exactly - the last time I went up White Down Lane climb, someone went past me on a bike like this

As you probably know there are two parts to the Claud Butler story. He was in business in London from the early thirties until about 1958 when he went bust. He was a pioneer of "lugless" frames aka fillet brazed. He also introduced Bi-Laminated frame construction which is as good as it gets in steel frames.

His trademarks were bought from the Receiver by the Holdsworth Co. and in 1959 they started selling "Claud Butler" bikes. From the start until the early seventies they sold the Olympic Road/Path frame for about a tenner and I suspect that is what you have.

What's Bi-laminated frame construction?

Bi-Lam is a method of frame construction where a steel sleeve is added to a lugless frame to increase strength or add decoration. In the eighties I had frames made by the late Bill Philbrook. Bill had been foreman for Claud and he was a fan of Bi-Lam construction. I wanted a lugless frame but also a contrasting head tube colour which sounded impossible (where does the colour change?) but Bill said no problem with Bi-Lam (which I hadn't heard of at the time). as you have the appearance of a lug. In the unlikely event of me being able to upload a photo you can see my frame. Check out the brazed on centre pull brake, another Philbrook speciality. He also hand cut his own drop outs and finished them with a brass plate to protect the paintwork. BTW Alan Limbrey, the main animator in the Butlin Trophy Race 1955, has a Philbrook frame.

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I'd heard of bilaminated, but hadn't seen a pic  - thanks for the info. Campag down tube lever! Centre-pull brakes!

Hadn't heard of Philbrook (maybe not well known in the Thames Valley, where I came from) but see there's a lot of detail here

I've been up Ditchling on the Claud a few times on 59" - not pretty. Dead top by the nature reserve sign. I probably need a 48 x 30T 🙁


Thanks Ray (Big Green is Ray - right?). I love the quote in the article Janet's post links to about Philbrook:


I remember once a fellow brought him a frame for some braze-on work and painting. It took him so long that when he finally finished it and called up the fellow, someone at the other end of the line said, “Oh I’m sorry, Harry’s been dead for six months now”. Nonetheless he was still fussy about detail.’