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Tuesday
Sep302014

Working Bike

It gives me great satisfaction to see a bike I built in pristine condition, but there is also a measure of fulfilment when I see one that has obviously been ridden hard and has seen a lot of use. Like this one pictured here.

In the heyday of my custom framebuilding, the years 1982, 1983, and 1984 I built only three of these pure track frames. (One in each year.) They were all actually raced on the relatively few banked velodromes that exist in the US.

No one rode a brakeless, fixed wheel bike on the streets back then, with the exception of a few New York City bike messengers, who started the whole trend.

I built so few that looking through my original frame numbers record book, I can safely say (Even though I don’t have its frame number.) this one was built in February 1983. It is a 61cm. frame, the other two track frames built were a 49cm. and a 57cm. which is definitely not this one. It was built for a Jim Zimmerman, who I seem to recall was a pretty good rider.

It is fitting that this bike is now being used by a Brooklyn, NY bike messenger. My thanks to Patrick Gilmoure who saw it by chance, and managed to snap a few pictures before the bike’s current owner had to rush off to make another delivery. How cool is that? Enjoy the pictures as I did.

 

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Reader Comments (9)

Very cool!

September 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPhil Strong

Yes, very cool indeed! I wish there were also a shot that showed the whole bike all at once. Is the bike as big as that second shot of the headtube makes it look?

October 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRubeRad

Ah, reading more carefully I see you stated it is a 61cm. That's a big bike!

October 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRubeRad

Yeah, I would loved to have seen the whole bike instead of just bits and pieces. Such a tease.

October 1, 2014 | Unregistered Commentersouth

This is a track bike built to be ridden on a banked velodrome. It would have a very high bottom bracket. Probably around 11 inches (28cm.) When the BB is raised, so is everything above it including the top tube, thus making the head tube longer, because the front fork length is the same for any size frame.

The bottom head lug is in a fixed position, but with a level top tube, as all frames had back in the day, the top head lug raises or lowers with the height of the BB. And the head tube gets longer or shorter.

This 61cm, track frame would give the illusion of being even larger, when put along side a 61cm road frame with a BB height over 1cm. lower. We get used to judging frame sizes by the head tube length, but that only works on frames with a standard BB height.

I hope this is clear.
Dave

October 1, 2014 | Registered CommenterDave Moulton

Whoa, that's a tight clearance at the front wheel!

October 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterYoav

Sorry about the photo tease. I'll post some more pics as soon as I see the bike again. Want to check the serial against Dave's log book anyway. Eddie - the current owner - is going to be blown away when he hears that the bike is one of only three ever made by a master frame maker. I reckon I'll get free deliveries for life!

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPat Gilmour

The stories that bike could tell , a "Divine Rights Trip " tale as told by the bike . Flame and fortune , spinning down the road !

October 9, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterlee kenney

That must have given you a real buzz, Dave. Well done, photographer!

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaul H

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