Claud Butler Majestics

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Brucey
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Re: Claud Butler Majestics

Postby Brucey » 3 Aug 2018, 10:36am

it is pretty much what I expected to see tbh. The list I prepared earlier would be about right, and in addition you would need to service every bearing on the bikes.

Good news is that the front brakes have enough adjustment to accommodate a 700C wheel; the bad news is that the rear doesn't, and that the brake model that is fitted to the rear is the longest of its type already. For quite a few years it was popular to braze cantilever bosses onto such framesets, so that they could be used with 700C wheels, and not have brakes that are so long a reach that they barely work.

Weird that they moved the pump pegs to the seat tube vs the catalogue photo.

BTW the smaller bike should probably not be ridden (even if you manage to get the tyres to hold air for more than five minutes) because the stem isn't far enough into the steerer tube.

FWIW I have seen plenty of bikes like this given rattle can paint jobs and turned into fixed gear or singlespeed bikes. A bit of a travesty, but better than scrapping them I suppose.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jezrant
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Re: Claud Butler Majestics

Postby Jezrant » 3 Aug 2018, 8:32pm

A few months ago someone on Retrobike was trying to sell a similar bike for £150 without much visible success. It may have eventually been sold on evil bay. If you just want rid of them, try listing them with a quick sale price on Retrobike, or LFGSS where some hipsters might want them for fixies as suggested by Brucey.

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The utility cyclist
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Re: Claud Butler Majestics

Postby The utility cyclist » 4 Aug 2018, 7:04am

Brucey wrote:it is pretty much what I expected to see tbh. The list I prepared earlier would be about right, and in addition you would need to service every bearing on the bikes.

Good news is that the front brakes have enough adjustment to accommodate a 700C wheel; the bad news is that the rear doesn't, and that the brake model that is fitted to the rear is the longest of its type already. For quite a few years it was popular to braze cantilever bosses onto such framesets, so that they could be used with 700C wheels, and not have brakes that are so long a reach that they barely work.

Weird that they moved the pump pegs to the seat tube vs the catalogue photo.

BTW the smaller bike should probably not be ridden (even if you manage to get the tyres to hold air for more than five minutes) because the stem isn't far enough into the steerer tube.

FWIW I have seen plenty of bikes like this given rattle can paint jobs and turned into fixed gear or singlespeed bikes. A bit of a travesty, but better than scrapping them I suppose.

cheers

Why would you 'have' to, you don't know the condition . You might want to but i've riddenold bikes without touching them.
You seem obsessed with adding 700C wheels, why? There's absolutely no need to do so, none..
There's every chance the rear will work with 700C, it's past the brake track already.

Put it up for £120 & see what happens.

slowster
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Re: Claud Butler Majestics

Postby slowster » 4 Aug 2018, 11:26am

The bikes are worth whatever someone will pay for them, but I doubt that will be very much at all. I suspect there are many bikes of more recent vintage and in better condition that end up in skips, and people will be disinclined to pay much for a bike that they could scavenge for free.

It's not a quality of frame or components that would inspire an enthusiast to spend either much time or money on it in a restoration. Apart from sticking it on a turbo trainer as I did with mine, I think the best options would be either to spend the absolute bare minimum of time and money on whatever might be necessary just to get it rideable as a hack bike, or to use it as the basis for building a Brucey style supercommuter with hub gears and drum brakes. In some respects the frame is ideal for the latter:

- no problem then with using more easily available 700c wheels and tyres (and a bit of welcome extra mudguard clearance for when using such a bike on tracks)
- sloping rear dropouts for chain tensioning
- no downtube lever bosses nor bottle bosses

The handlebars fitted on the bikes were far too narrow for my liking (38cm or possibly even less), and I would replace them with some cheap flat bars and flat bar brake levers to operate the drum brakes.

Brucey
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Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Claud Butler Majestics

Postby Brucey » 4 Aug 2018, 11:59am

I don't particularly want this to turn into a pointless argument (with TUC...) but perhaps some comments (which are most likely all I will make on the subject BTW) will help clarify matters.

After a refurb, unless the bike is merely to be a decorative object (which some vintage bikes can be, but not these, they are not rare/special enough), it needs to work and work well, be repairable, and be expected to be so for some years to come, else you are basically wasting your time.

When the bike is stripped for a respray you will have to dismantle and service the headset and BB anyway. Not to do anything with the hubs and pedals at the same time would just be stupid; at best they will be full of forty-year old grease that wasn't that great when it was put in the bearings to start with. [BTW cones and axles for sanshin (sunshine) hubs are often a bit weird; if you break them you will have difficulties in finding a truly suitable replacement in many cases]

BITD I used to tour on 27" wheels and I soon worked out that when touring on the continent I needed to carry a spare tyre, because only a few shops in (say) France had even one 27" tyre in stock. Since few (if any) bikes have been sold new with 27" wheels for about 35 years now, the situation regarding spare tyres in the UK is a bit like it was in France back then, or at least it is heading that way. Near me LBSs have maybe one 27" tyre in stock and some order them in specially as the need arises. (Anyone needing a wheel is steered towards 700C ones; good quality 27" ones are no longer sold by wholesalers, so the choice is cheap junk or handbuilt, the latter if you can find the rims, obviously.) There is still a choice of about ten different 27" tyres via mail order, but like any other bike that uses a 'specialist size' you run a risk that you will have a tyre failure in the wilds and be stuck. So running 27" wheels is just about viable at present but in five or ten years time it will be less good than that. Unless you are pretty short-sighted you would not choose to paint yourself into a corner like that.

Thus I'd certainly think twice about buying any bike that will only accept 27" wheels, and sadly these fall into that category; there is a 750 type CP caliper at the rear and the brake blocks are already in the bottom of the slots. I know these bikes quite well and this is exactly what I expected to see; not suitable for 700C wheels. I've put canti bosses on lots of similar framesets and made them more usable/future proof, but this costs. So do drum brakes as suggested by slowster.

Like I said in my first post, none of this is a show stopper, but it does make the bikes less workable and/or add cost to the refurb. Look at it from the potential buyer's POV; why would someone spend (say) £100 on a bike that needs a lot of time and money spent on it when you can buy a good example (or something similar which will accept 700C wheels and doesn't need paint) for only a bit more?

BTW one thing that I have not mentioned yet is that these bikes are (I think) fitted with the Huret Duopar Eco model rear derailleur. BITD this was a then rare thing, being a touring mech that shifter pretty well, but it swiftly gained a reputation for wearing rapidly and the result of that is that after a relatively short mileage, the mech ends up in the rear wheel, in a tangled mess. Needless to say they caused so much trouble that they were only fitted to new bikes of any kind for a year or two before most manufacturers chose to fit something different instead. In the case of the Majestic model, the gearset was swiftly replaced with (lighter, better shifting) SunTour stuff as per the 1982 model upthread. Possibly an unworn Duopar mech has some value to loony collectors (check prices on e-bay if you like) , but it is a part that I wouldn't actually choose to use. I have not seen a working one, attached to a bike that was in regular use, for about 35 years.

cheers
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brynpoeth
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Re: Claud Butler Majestics

Postby brynpoeth » 4 Aug 2018, 12:11pm

One could buy ten 27" tyres now, they do not deteriorate if stored properly
Enough for many years if the bike is not used/abused too much
Entertainer, juvenile, curmudgeon
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
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Brucey
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Re: Claud Butler Majestics

Postby Brucey » 4 Aug 2018, 12:23pm

brynpoeth wrote:One could buy ten 27" tyres now, they do not deteriorate if stored properly
Enough for many years if the bike is not used/abused too much


yes , (sort of, not all tyres tolerate being stored) but no good unless you happen to have one with you when you tear one to shreds out in the wild. 700C tyres are much easier to source in an emergency.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

brynpoeth
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Re: Claud Butler Majestics

Postby brynpoeth » 4 Aug 2018, 12:32pm

People pay a lot of money for pictures or other pieces of art to adorn their homes

An old bicycle is a beautiful thing and a work of art in itself. One could use several of them to make a room divider or a feature in the garden, or a trellis for climbing plants, one could be put outside a cyclists cafe to drum up business. Maybe even witherspoons would be interested, per recent thread

Other uses are available
Entertainer, juvenile, curmudgeon
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we love life

tim-b
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Re: Claud Butler Majestics

Postby tim-b » 5 Aug 2018, 6:46am

Hi
700C tyres are much easier to source in an emergency.

I'd have to disagree there...(link) ...spares are easy to carry

My Dawes tandem had 27" Weinmann rims (the concave ones) I put Bontager Hard Case on that and the only issue was remembering not to over-inflate the tyre because the tandem didn't have hooked rims

That catalogue takes me back, I had the Holdsworth Pro that I built up with Campag Record

Regards
tim-b
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AJW
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Joined: 2 Aug 2018, 7:35am

Re: Claud Butler Majestics

Postby AJW » 5 Aug 2018, 11:25am

Thank you for all the replies which have been interesting and informative. I have looked at some of the other sites that have been mentioned and have decided to put the Majestics on Retro Bike at £40 each and see what happens.

Andy

colin54
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Re: Claud Butler Majestics

Postby colin54 » 5 Aug 2018, 1:30pm

I wouldn't think they'd hang around long, at that price you could buy one and use the other for spares.

I had a gold one of these from new , I liked it, never gave me any trouble The next model up from

The Majestic was the The Dalesman, I thought of the two models as being equivalent toThe Dawes Galaxy

and Super Galaxy, my Majestic cost nearly 180 quid new in 1982.

Good luck with the sale.

Spec' of 1982 model from my sales pamphlet, ( just about readable ).

P1100104 (640x269).jpg

Brucey
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Re: Claud Butler Majestics

Postby Brucey » 5 Aug 2018, 2:05pm

tim-b wrote:
700C tyres are much easier to source in an emergency.

Image
I'd have to disagree there......spares are easy to carry


ah yes....

My Dawes tandem had 27" Weinmann rims (the concave ones) I put Bontager Hard Case on that and the only issue was remembering not to over-inflate the tyre because the tandem didn't have hooked rims


I still have a dawes tandem (with the original 27" wheels still used occasionally for touring) and IIRC it originally came with Vredesteins that had a low pressure rating anyway. The rims are A129 (I think) and I'd describe them as being 'semi-hooked' (moreso in the photo than in the dwg in fact) in that the rim bead profile is (unlike say a classic endrick profile) slightly re-entrant;

Image
Image

It appears that the rims were thought unsuitable for kevlar beaded tyres (in 1981?), but I think that this rim design ought to tolerate pressures somewhere between an unhooked (endrick pattern) and a fully hooked bead rim.

BTW I think the Majestics ought to sell pretty swiftly at £40 each. If you wanted to maximise the value of them, I'd suggest selling the parts individually, then donating the rest to a bike charity.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

thirdcrank
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Re: Claud Butler Majestics

Postby thirdcrank » 5 Aug 2018, 2:27pm

Re replacing 27" tyres in an emergency, I'll give my usual plug to Wilco's, who always seem to have one in stock whenever I check. Basic quality and presumably aimed at the type of rider still trying to keep an old bike running for utility purposes. Wilco's have branches all over with extended hours.

Weinmann concave rims: super strong but devils for collecting water. When I had them on a bike I used to lie it down at journey's end to let the water drain away and the rims to dry.

drossall
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Location: North Hertfordshire

Re: Claud Butler Majestics

Postby drossall » 5 Aug 2018, 6:45pm

We've still got the Majestic II tandem that we bought in the mid-80s. Sadly, it hasn't seen as much use as I'd like.

wjhall
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Re: Claud Butler Majestics

Postby wjhall » 8 Aug 2018, 11:52am

GOHughes wrote:I had one of these which I rode LEJOG on in 1981. I bought it from Rayment cycles in Brighton and with his advice made the following modifications for a long tour:

• TA 28/46 chainset
• Blackburn rear rack....


Your suppliers recommendations point to the main fault with mid-market touring bicycles in the early 80s: the semi-racing gearing, and often chainsets that would not take smaller rings.

I think a triple chainset is the one upgrade worth recommending for such bicycles, providing all the conditions are met: feasibility, the cost, including any purchase price for the bicycle, is acceptable, the bicycle is generally in good condtion, you like riding it and your riding style would benefit from lower gears.

This upgrade can be defended against the charge that you are starting on the path of spending money trying to turn old bicycles into what they are not, for example trying to fit 700C wheels, by the argument that you are spending a modest further amount to turn it into what it should have been in the first place.

I suppose you could argue that if you wear the original chainset out replacing it is then a maintenance rather than capital expenditure. My views are probably also conditioned by having a small stable of these that have mostly been in the family since the 80s, so the exception that I bought for GBP 50 on the basis that it might at minimum provide a spare pair of 27 inch wheels fitted into that ecosystem. In fact, with a cheap triple chainset it has turned into a reliable workhorse, covering utility miles for two riders, and even touring in the UK. But... a purchaser is still venturing on expenditure where the condition of everthing is difficult to verify.