Greatest ever uk frame builder?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
patthebike
Posts: 36
Joined: 14 Feb 2014, 7:36am
Location: Kent

Re: Greatest ever uk frame builder?

Postby patthebike » 31 Aug 2016, 11:14pm

Can't believe only 2 people have mentioned Chas Roberts, and no-one has mentioned his father Charlie! When I took my Chas to get resprayed, the painter said they're the best frames around, as he does get to see them naked as it were! Had mine built in '92 and wouldn't be without it.

Philbrook frames, very well thought of in the day.

What about Tony Oliver? Don't know how long he was building for but he was well regarded. Got a book of his, an excellent read about touring frames.

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The utility cyclist
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Location: The first garden city

Re: Greatest ever uk frame builder?

Postby The utility cyclist » 1 Sep 2016, 12:30am

This is the big problem with GOAT discussions, it's all very subjective. Some older frame builders seem to have a great reputation based on some fancy lugs and a small cult following due to said looks and a decent ride compared to other frames of the time, the reality is some of the 'names' of old are not that great to ride compared to some newer frames that either came out of a factory by the thousands or built by later frame builders like Burrows, Yates and the like.

People's minds play tricks with them, blinded by looks and the history, they also hate to admit that something newer and off the peg could actually be a much better ride, more functional than a frame that was lovingly and painstakingly put together by an old boy with a big rep such as MN etc. Looks in themselves again is very subjective, everything is in the eye of the beholder.

Fit can be subjective also, this can be changed so easily to be perfect with frames that have differing geo/tube lengths. The first half decent bike I bought was mass produced in the 90s, it fitted right out the shop as it stood and I rode it for many tens of thousands of miles, commuting, fast rides at the weekend and touring, it handled fantastic at 50mph and yet could take a load if need be. It was still going strong when I sold it after 11 years use come rain or shine.

ATEOTD unless you come to an agreement as to how you weight the points for x aspect of a frame, unless you have many models from all the 'names' from over time and ride them with the same kit then you can never come close to having a winner.

I love all my bikes, some are work-horses, some make me want to ride as hard as I can, some make me want to take things steady and chill, some are better at what I want them to do for any given task and some are more aesthetically pleasing than others.
Does it matter if any were made by a master craftsman, does it matter if they are not a 'name' and mass produced, no, not really, if the wheels go round, if a bike does the job you want it to, if it meet your needs and ultimately gives you pleasure or mobility or whatever other reason you bought it for then none of that matters a jot.

JohnW
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Location: Yorkshire

Re: Greatest ever uk frame builder?

Postby JohnW » 1 Sep 2016, 11:35am

I'm glad that we've returned to bike frames after the digressions above.

I'm quite surprised that no-one has mentioned Pennine frames before - built by Johnny Mapplebeck (himself), and Graham Saunders. Johnny has been retired for at least 15 years now, and Graham has now retired, but I still keep hearing of top and famous racing folks' frames that they built under the names of other sponsors.

Unfortunately Johnny's paint jobs sometimes let him down; having said that I've just had a 1981 Pennine refurbished and it still had it's original paint job and transfers and very little deterioration despite have been my commute bike for about ten years in the late 90s and early noughties. Otherwise the frames were magic.

You can still order a classic/traditional handbuilt Pennine frame - it'll probably be built by Chris Marshall, who was trained at Pennine and still has his frame-building/repairing/refurbishing/re-spraying business in Keighley. His paint jobs really are of the very highest order - my 1981 Pennine frame is now better than new.

pete75
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Re: Greatest ever uk frame builder?

Postby pete75 » 1 Sep 2016, 12:03pm

The best brazed and finished frame I ever had was by Kevin Winter - a still active frame builder who doesn't seem to advertise but gets most work by word of mouth based on his reputation. http://www.63xc.com/pauls/kwint.htm

pete75
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Re: Greatest ever uk frame builder?

Postby pete75 » 1 Sep 2016, 12:17pm

Mike Sales wrote:
reohn2 wrote:It's all engineering unless you haven't noticed :?


Is civil engineering or electrical a permissible topic, or only mechanical?


Modern bridges don't seem to last like the old ones did - just compare the Forth road and rail bridges for example though did make some cock ups in the old days like the first Tay rail bridge.
Does anyone else think these modern street lights give a lot less light than the carbon arc ones used in the past?


Happier now?

JohnW
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Joined: 6 Jan 2007, 9:12pm
Location: Yorkshire

Re: Greatest ever uk frame builder?

Postby JohnW » 1 Sep 2016, 1:31pm

pete75 wrote:
Mike Sales wrote:
reohn2 wrote:It's all engineering unless you haven't noticed :?


Is civil engineering or electrical a permissible topic, or only mechanical?


Modern bridges don't seem to last like the old ones did - just compare the Forth road and rail bridges for example though did make some cock ups in the old days like the first Tay rail bridge.
Does anyone else think these modern street lights give a lot less light than the carbon arc ones used in the past?


Happier now?


................but that's nothing to do with the topic or subject of the original post.

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Vetus Ossa
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Location: London, Paris, New York but mostly Plymouth.

Re: Greatest ever uk frame builder?

Postby Vetus Ossa » 1 Sep 2016, 1:41pm

After wanting one for several years, but given up hope of ever finding one I acquired, quite by chance, a lovely Stan Pike recently. I didn’t want another bike at the time but when I saw it I just couldn’t say no.
Unlike most Pike’s it’s not a pure racing frame but has braze on mudguard eyes, to which I have fitted guards to it that I had going spare.
I rode it for the first time today and it rode beautifully and is a definite keeper.
I have had many bikes over the years from some of the best British builders and most, well post mid 70’s frames ride very well, as they are more responsive than the older long wheelbase gappy frames that came before.
To be honest there is nothing special about the Pike, it just looks good and rides well.
I have two Vic Edwards built frames, one quite ordinary and the other something very special in my opinion, with beautiful thinned lugs and some lovely detailing on the bottom bracket, top eyes and drop outs that make it so. Pretty sure that one took more than 10 hours to build.

SpannerGeek
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Joined: 12 Nov 2015, 2:16pm

Re: Greatest ever uk frame builder?

Postby SpannerGeek » 1 Sep 2016, 3:42pm

If anyone is interested in the difference between machine (robot) built frames and hand finished , hand made bespoke frames this video pretty much nails it. Though it's from the 80's the only thing that's really changed is the speed of manufacturing. Pulsed robotic welding machines can complete an entire steel or aluminum frame in under 10 minutes. Finishing and paint about the same. The Wester Ross frame you see in this video took about 35hrs for the same process, including design and working drawings. This is what you're paying for!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fL25BYkA6Xw

pete75
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Joined: 24 Jul 2007, 2:37pm

Re: Greatest ever uk frame builder?

Postby pete75 » 1 Sep 2016, 11:02pm

JohnW wrote:
pete75 wrote:
Mike Sales wrote:
Is civil engineering or electrical a permissible topic, or only mechanical?


Modern bridges don't seem to last like the old ones did - just compare the Forth road and rail bridges for example though did make some cock ups in the old days like the first Tay rail bridge.
Does anyone else think these modern street lights give a lot less light than the carbon arc ones used in the past?


Happier now?


................but that's nothing to do with the topic or subject of the original post.


Neither is that :lol:

JohnW
Posts: 6226
Joined: 6 Jan 2007, 9:12pm
Location: Yorkshire

Re: Greatest ever uk frame builder?

Postby JohnW » 1 Sep 2016, 11:56pm

pete75 wrote:
JohnW wrote:
pete75 wrote:
Modern bridges don't seem to last like the old ones did - just compare the Forth road and rail bridges for example though did make some cock ups in the old days like the first Tay rail bridge.
Does anyone else think these modern street lights give a lot less light than the carbon arc ones used in the past?


Happier now?


................but that's nothing to do with the topic or subject of the original post.


Neither is that :lol:


Neither is what? :lol:

brynpoeth
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Re: Greatest ever uk frame builder?

Postby brynpoeth » 13 Nov 2018, 9:28pm

A S Gillott of course
Entertainer, juvenile, curmudgeon
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we love life

landsurfer
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Location: Rotherham

Re: Greatest ever uk frame builder?

Postby landsurfer » 13 Nov 2018, 9:42pm

Dave Marsh .... if its a Carlton it may be one of Dave Marsh's .... i have 2 ......
Ulster will fight, and Ulster will be right ... Carson.
The Road Goes On Forever ...

peetee
Posts: 1368
Joined: 4 May 2010, 10:20pm

Re: Greatest ever uk frame builder?

Postby peetee » 16 Nov 2018, 11:45am

I do appreciate a good frame and have examples by Ellis Briggs, Rixon, Condor, Dennis Field, Tom Bromwich, Raleigh SBDU and Rick Powell. Both Powell's I have owned were the best of the bunch. I have also had a Holdsworth, Claude Butler and Dawes and, whilst all profess to be 'hand made' they were at best indifferent and at worst just plain shoddy off-the-peg bikes.
Current status report:
Latter side of fifty and feeling less than nifty.
Too many bikes on pegs and too few miles in the legs.

drossall
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Location: North Hertfordshire

Re: Greatest ever uk frame builder?

Postby drossall » 16 Nov 2018, 8:31pm

My Holdsworth Mistral doesn't claim to be anything more than off the peg. No claim to be the greatest UK frame builder either (at least not when they were mass-producing these bikes). It's very nice though.

Canuk
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Joined: 4 Oct 2016, 11:43pm

Re: Greatest ever uk frame builder?

Postby Canuk » 18 Nov 2018, 5:58pm

I have a soft spot for Ellis Briggs. Really well put together and makers of some really quite exotic machines.