Roberts Cycles-Croydon

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
jahknob
Posts: 31
Joined: 25 May 2012, 5:02pm

Have you seen? Roberts Cycles moving & going "on sabbatical"

Postby jahknob » 25 Mar 2015, 12:32pm

Just seen the Roberts Cycles website - it seems that after more than 50 years in the business, Chas Roberts is finally taking a break. They're moving out from their Croydon base and having a showroom sale, that should be starting any day now. Details are on the website. There may be bargains to be had - Chas has always had a good name among audax and touring cyclists (not to mention women, retro-mountainbikers and anyone who appreciates a really nice steel frame)

mercalia
Posts: 14439
Joined: 22 Sep 2013, 10:03pm
Location: london South

Re: Have you seen? Roberts Cycles moving & going "on sabbati

Postby mercalia » 25 Mar 2015, 1:46pm

sounds like really closing down?

Samuel D
Posts: 3075
Joined: 8 Mar 2015, 11:05pm
Location: Paris
Contact:

Re: Have you seen? Roberts Cycles moving & going "on sabbati

Postby Samuel D » 25 Mar 2015, 1:51pm

Yeah, it doesn’t sound like a return is a sure thing.

Here’s a link to the statement.

User avatar
hondated
Posts: 2412
Joined: 27 Mar 2008, 7:59am
Location: Eastbourne

Re: Have you seen? Roberts Cycles moving & going "on sabbati

Postby hondated » 25 Mar 2015, 3:00pm

Good luck to them all. I think Chas may be at the right age to do it but I think Brian his assistant may be a little too young. Hopefully he will be ok because he is a really nice fella.
Don't give up hope though if you do want to buy a Roberts as if you go to Facebook and type in Geoff Roberts Chas's brother you will see he has started building bikes.

User avatar
pedalsheep
Posts: 1140
Joined: 11 Aug 2009, 7:57pm

Re: Have you seen? Roberts Cycles moving & going "on sabbati

Postby pedalsheep » 25 Mar 2015, 6:36pm

Good luck to them all. I think Chas may be at the right age to do it but I think Brian his assistant may be a little too young. Hopefully he will be ok because he is a really nice fella.

+1
'Why cycling for joy is not the most popular pastime on earth is still a mystery to me.'
Frank J Urry, Salute to Cycling, 1956.

User avatar
CPeachey
Posts: 56
Joined: 18 Jan 2007, 6:10pm
Location: Loughton, Essex

Re: Have you seen? Roberts Cycles moving & going "on sabbati

Postby CPeachey » 25 Mar 2015, 7:25pm

We got a Roberts Tandem 5yrs ago and last year I collected a new 953 solo frame.
I'm feeling rather pleased with myself now!!! It will be a pity if Chas has stopped building, particularly tandem frames as his are definitely the best.

Des49
Posts: 738
Joined: 2 Dec 2014, 11:45am

Re: Have you seen? Roberts Cycles moving & going "on sabbati

Postby Des49 » 25 Mar 2015, 8:03pm

Surprised in some ways, but for Chas retirement must be an option. Sure he hasn't been building all the frames for a while.

Brian has always been such a good chap to have on the end of the phone.

May be the premises lease is up?
Wonder how certain the re-opening is going to be?

In any case the end of an era.

Between my wife & I we have 5 Roberts, all over 20 years old. 2 awaiting rebuilds after resprays. Wish I had my racing bike resprayed over the winter now as the original 28 yr old paint is well past it's best, looks like it will become more difficult to arrange now.

chocjohn9
Posts: 285
Joined: 20 Mar 2012, 10:07pm
Location: Sunny Belgium

Re: Have you seen? Roberts Cycles moving & going "on sabbati

Postby chocjohn9 » 25 Mar 2015, 8:23pm

...but I have been promising myself one...what on earth am I going to do now?

I finally visited the show room a few weeks ago and the very decent chap there said they were not taking orders because the waiting list had reached 8 months and in their opinion, that was too long....!!

Des49
Posts: 738
Joined: 2 Dec 2014, 11:45am

Re: Have you seen? Roberts Cycles moving & going "on sabbati

Postby Des49 » 25 Mar 2015, 8:57pm

chocjohn9 wrote:...but I have been promising myself one...what on earth am I going to do now


There's the showroom sale...

I finally visited the show room a few weeks ago and the very decent chap there said they were not taking orders because the waiting list had reached 8 months and in their opinion, that was too long....!!


With such healthy orders to generate an eight month waiting list may be they will re-opening again soon.

greyingbeard
Posts: 851
Joined: 24 Mar 2015, 10:41pm

Re: Have you seen? Roberts Cycles moving & going "on sabbati

Postby greyingbeard » 26 Mar 2015, 8:19pm

8-month waiting list, with Roberts prices - they arent cheap ! Must be good. Plus of course the London factor - everything costs more there, not everyone earns more to pay it.

Des49
Posts: 738
Joined: 2 Dec 2014, 11:45am

Re: Have you seen? Roberts Cycles moving & going "on sabbati

Postby Des49 » 26 Mar 2015, 9:55pm

greyingbeard wrote: Must be good.


I love my 3 frames, aged between 20 and nearly 30 years, still in regular use.

Only thing is I felt the paint was not so tough, nowadays the modern paint seems much worse. My last frame to be resprayed took months with whoever Roberts used for the painting seemingly the issue.

Not sure if I would be willing to buy/afford a new Roberts frame even if it was possible to get one made now.

User avatar
pedalsheep
Posts: 1140
Joined: 11 Aug 2009, 7:57pm

Re: Have you seen? Roberts Cycles moving & going "on sabbati

Postby pedalsheep » 27 Mar 2015, 9:19am

Only thing is I felt the paint was not so tough, nowadays the modern paint seems much worse


I'm puzzled by this. I've had my Roberts 8 years, its done 63,000 miles and has only a couple of tiny chips to the paint.
'Why cycling for joy is not the most popular pastime on earth is still a mystery to me.'
Frank J Urry, Salute to Cycling, 1956.

Brucey
Posts: 41359
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Have you seen? Roberts Cycles moving & going "on sabbati

Postby Brucey » 27 Mar 2015, 9:35am

Roberts may not use the same paint shop every time. Even if they did, the materials they use will have changed over time; you are not allowed to use a whole range of solvent based paints (on a professional basis) these days.

Back in the day (30+ years ago) I always suspected that Roberts used a local car paint shop, probably associated with the local Ford dealer. For some years there was a spooky correlation between the colours the Roberts offered and those available on MkIII Continas, Granadas, etc.... :shock:

My own Roberts (which dates back that far... :oops: ) is in a fetching shade (ahem) which matches perfectly with Ford 'Purple Velvet'... :lol:

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

greyingbeard
Posts: 851
Joined: 24 Mar 2015, 10:41pm

Re: Have you seen? Roberts Cycles moving & going "on sabbati

Postby greyingbeard » 27 Mar 2015, 10:04am

There are some beautiful bikes in his sale, from frame-only to complete, some with S&S couplings. Some are very expensive indeed, others just expensive. One is used, a couple have paint chips. For the cash, I'd have a bike built for ME, but I've no doubt that most of these will sell as they are pretty quickly. Some already have.

Des49
Posts: 738
Joined: 2 Dec 2014, 11:45am

Re: Have you seen? Roberts Cycles moving & going "on sabbati

Postby Des49 » 27 Mar 2015, 10:15am

pedalsheep wrote:
Only thing is I felt the paint was not so tough, nowadays the modern paint seems much worse


I'm puzzled by this. I've had my Roberts 8 years, its done 63,000 miles and has only a couple of tiny chips to the paint.


That's a good mileage you are putting on your bike. Glad that the paint is holding up so well for you.

I was never that impressed by Roberts paint, it used to wear quickly where the brake cable went across the top tube and also seemed to suffer a bit from an effect as if something was borrowing underneath the paint surface, I assume moisture ingress. This goes back almost 30 years. Our 4 road bikes were all similar. The White Spider I had (20+ years ago?) seemed tougher but this was plain white not metallic like the others. Retouching this bike still with Hammerite almost constantly, will do so today before this weekends race.

As Brucey said the paints today are different to what was allowed years ago, mainly water based now I believe. Even Roberts admitted that the modern paints are not quite so tough.

More recently I have had 3 bikes resprayed 2 and 3 years ago. Can't remember where they went, Roberts did tell me and it wasn't too far from their workshop. The paintshop did seem a pain and was blamed for long delays, my first frame was away for close to 6 months! I was even given the option to go direct to them, which I preferred not to, but may have to now in the future.

I am only riding one of these resprayed frames and use it a lot unless the weather is really bad when I use an old fixed bike instead. The other 2 frames are still packed up awaiting time for rebuilds.

Any small knock will remove the top colour coat, I am retouching the frame as necessary. For example see below, this was spotted a couple of months ago, not one but SIX chips on the inside of the chain stay. No rough roads or curbs were encountered on the ride and it looks like the chain flipped upwards and the paint has too easily chipped off. I took the pic on my phone at the time as I was going to post on this forum and have a rant about modern paints but never got around to it.

Chatting recently to someone I know when we bumped into each other on a ride he agreed about modern paints being worse, he had recently had a frame resprayed by Mercian and had also noted how it was softer and more prone to damage than it should be.
Image Attachments
photo-2.jpg