The History and Features of the Dawes Gnat

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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The History and Features of the Dawes Gnat

Postby Marshall » 27 Aug 2018, 9:46pm

I have just bought this wonderful bike for my 10 year old daughter and am intrigued to know about its history as I can’t find much on the search engine! It must be over 40yrs old and has obviously been cared for. My daughter loves it and is asking questions I can’t answer! I have a Dawes Kingpin from 1982 - so I know a small amount about that but not the Dawes Gnat. I’ve attached my photos if this helps? Anyone else got one? I’d massively appreciate ANY help as she will be expecting my full thesis in the morning! Thank-you in advance.
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Re: The History and Features of the Dawes Gnat

Postby Vorpal » 27 Aug 2018, 10:12pm

Hi Marshall,

Welcome to the forum. I have a very similar bike that I bought for my daughter. I understood that mine was the child's version of a Kingpin, and I dated it to 1967 -1969 Mine did not say Gnat, but the chain guard was missing. Mine has the red & blue colour theme, and white rack. Mine was rather rusty, so I had it shot peened and resprayed.

I think yours is a little newer than mine, but not by much. Maybe 3 years?

They changed from that head badge in the early 70s. If you could find out exactly when, it might help you date it. Although they did use a similar one, later, the flame was red.

Here are some headbadges for comparison. ... 9679edad78

So, nothing definitive, but I guess the Gnat was an update of the child's version of the Kingpin. 1970 -72

Nice that you got the bluemel pump with it :)
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Re: The History and Features of the Dawes Gnat

Postby random37 » 27 Aug 2018, 11:19pm

What a lovely little machine!

Does it have a Sturmey Archer hub? I would see if the year of manufacture is stamped somewhere on it. That's probably the same age as the bike.

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Re: The History and Features of the Dawes Gnat

Postby Mike_Ayling » 28 Aug 2018, 12:22am

Good to see bikes like this still in use.

Here in Oz whenever we have a heavy rubbish collection you see numerous department store kiddies bike thrown out.
Of course they have nylon bearings etc and are not really designed for ongoing maintenance.


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Re: The History and Features of the Dawes Gnat

Postby Brucey » 28 Aug 2018, 12:30am

weinmann brakes will be date marked


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Re: The History and Features of the Dawes Gnat

Postby rjb » 8 Feb 2019, 5:22pm

Theres a nice one on gumtree.$_86.JPG
Ad ID: 1329164811
no connection to the seller.
It looks slightly larger than the gnat but with 18" wheels its smaller than the kingpin which had 20" wheels.
Perhaps Dawes made them in several sizes :?
At the last count:- Focus Variado, Peugeot 531 pro, Dawes Discovery Tandem, Dawes Kingpin, Raleigh 20, Falcon K2 MTB dropped bar tourer, Longstaff trike conversion on a Falcon corsa. :D