Memories of the Dawes Galaxy

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
jb
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Location: Clitheroe

Re: Memories of the Dawes Galaxy

Postby jb » 23 Dec 2020, 1:24pm

I think the Galaxy & Supper Galaxy lost their magic with me when the frame building went abroad. The tubes went from being slender and elegant to fat and gobby. Then the fork crown changed from a beautiful brazed lugged casting to that god awful bent tube welded design that should have any self respecting frame builder hiding their head in shame.
Standing my galaxy next to the latest offering is like a ballerina stood next to a goat.
Cheers
J Bro

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pedalsheep
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Re: Memories of the Dawes Galaxy

Postby pedalsheep » 23 Dec 2020, 3:46pm

Back in 1979 my first serious boyfriend had a Super Galaxy. He won my heart by regularly riding it from Leeds to Liverpool to visit me.
'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
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Re: Memories of the Dawes Galaxy

Postby Brucey » 24 Dec 2020, 11:26am

jb wrote:...Standing my galaxy next to the latest offering is like a ballerina stood next to a goat.


I think I see what you mean but it does rather invite comment about the respective riding qualities of ballerinas and goats; I didn't think it was that kind of discussion... :shock:

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

jimlews
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Re: Memories of the Dawes Galaxy

Postby jimlews » 24 Dec 2020, 11:31am

My ballerina rides very well indeed, thank you.

Bmblbzzz
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Re: Memories of the Dawes Galaxy

Postby Bmblbzzz » 24 Dec 2020, 12:29pm

pedalsheep wrote:Back in 1979 my first serious boyfriend had a Super Galaxy. He won my heart by regularly riding it from Leeds to Liverpool to visit me.

That's lovely! Last summer, I bumped into a bloke who was riding from Leeds to (IIRC) Bournemouth to visit his girlfriend. He was taking a fairly lightweight approach.

tim-b
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Re: Memories of the Dawes Galaxy

Postby tim-b » 25 Dec 2020, 7:25am

Hi
Here's my Super Galaxy Tandem, bought second-hand to get our (then) small boy out on longer bike rides. I bought it from an elderly couple who delivered the tandem in their Volvo estate, it wouldn't fit either in or on our car :)
Totally original apart from Bontrager tyres, I added SIS indexed levers on the handlebar stem and split the front, rear and drag brakes (I wasn't confident in the peculiar double-cabled brake lever and went for a more conventional set up). A ratchet gear lever on the end of the pilot's handlebar restored the drag brake and gave a bonus parking brake
My abiding memory was riding uphill for the first time and realising that the stoker wasn't stoking. We got to our destination, I was cream-crackered, and I reached into my back jersey pocket for a snack only to realise that small boys can't pedal because they're eating. We enjoyed a gentle, energy-conserving ride home
The tandem was eventually sold to another cyclist so that he could take his son out, the circle complete
Regards
tim-b
Sm-Tandem.jpg
~~~~¯\(ツ)/¯~~~~

saudidave
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Re: Memories of the Dawes Galaxy

Postby saudidave » 28 Dec 2020, 12:01am

My first Galaxy circa 2008/9 was when I realised my immaculate 1987 Raleigh Granada was no longer an economically upgradeable proposition. The 23.5" frame was 2" too big for me and it lacked sufficient braze ons et al.

I found a very filthy 20.5" Galaxy of a similar vintage on ebay, caked in grease, dust, mud and a bit battered, but salvageable, so I bid it to £170.00 and won it. I collected it from a pub cellar in a rural north Wales village where it had been stored for 15 years from when the Landlords son had gone off to Uni and his Dad bought him a motorbike to commute home on. My wife was horrified when she saw it, but I knew that alloy could be polished back to a mirror and a respray would sort out a myriad of cosmetic horrors.

Once home I degreased it, stripped it down to every last nut and bolt and spent hours polishing said alloy. A paint match was achieved by T-cutting the forks and wandering around the carpark of Tesco's, Handforth Dean in Cheshire looking for a match. A Jaguar saloon provided more or less an identical match that I applied to the top tube and rear triangle. A phone call to Dawes to request the purchase of original transfers resulted in them sending me a set for free. I then rebuilt it with new bearings, stainless steel fixings, a new Brookes B17, cables (inner and outer), new cantilevers and blocks, (cheaper than blocks alone!), stainless steel bolts, new mudguards, chain, etc. After 2 weeks of evening and weekend graft until all hours I'd finished it and it looked superb. Total cost around £270.00. There is a link to the photographic record of the whole process, here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/yddy1klj1y88 ... 6HHFa?dl=0

Any critique would be appreciated!

Thanks, Dave

colin54
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Re: Memories of the Dawes Galaxy

Postby colin54 » 28 Dec 2020, 6:40am

That's a good colour match for my favourite colour Galaxy, nice job, and another 'Galaxy Dave' !
I was tempted to buy one when this model was new, in a Cambridge bike shop which used to get new model Galaxies every year (now a restaurant I see, 'The Old Bike Shop :roll: ). I can't recall the name of the shop then, it was just along from the Railway Station at the top of Regent Street. I could still succumb one day if I see one cheap enough.
Useless fact (?), didn't the millionth post on this forum relate to the Dawes Galaxy, very appropriate somehow if I've remembered correctly.

Brucey
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Re: Memories of the Dawes Galaxy

Postby Brucey » 28 Dec 2020, 7:56am

colin54 wrote:..I was tempted to buy one when this model was new, in a Cambridge bike shop which used to get new model Galaxies every year (now a restaurant I see, 'The Old Bike Shop :roll: ). I can't recall the name of the shop then, it was just along from the Railway Station at the top of Regent Street....


Howes Cycles. When it closed, it was the oldest bike shop in the world.

Image

cheers
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colin54
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Re: Memories of the Dawes Galaxy

Postby colin54 » 28 Dec 2020, 2:37pm

Brucey wrote:Howes Cycles. When it closed, it was the oldest bike shop in the world.

Thanks Brucey, I never knew that, from 1840 in the same family fantastic!

Bmblbzzz
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Re: Memories of the Dawes Galaxy

Postby Bmblbzzz » 28 Dec 2020, 5:53pm

colin54 wrote:
Brucey wrote:Howes Cycles. When it closed, it was the oldest bike shop in the world.

Thanks Brucey, I never knew that, from 1840 in the same family fantastic!

https://road.cc/content/news/100240-cam ... -173-years
Until 1937, Howes had its own brand of bike, Granta, named for the longer tributory of the river Cam. The shop also stocked bikes from companies now long-gone or better known for other products, such as Alldays & Onions; Coventry Eagle; Elk; Humber; Howe; Lea-Francis; Singer; Swift; and the Walter Hewitt Cycle Company of Coventry.

Alldays & Onions... worth buying one for the name alone!

saudidave
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Re: Memories of the Dawes Galaxy

Postby saudidave » 28 Dec 2020, 7:36pm

Further to my post above, I sold the refurbished Galaxy that had cost me £270.00 to buy and refurbish for £300.00, on ebay a year later. The reason I did so was that I saw an ad for an immaculate 2002 model in the CTC magazine. The ad was 5 weeks old when I rang about the bike and I was gobsmacked to find it was still available at that price. It was in Hyde, about 10 miles from me so I went to view it and it was indistinguishable from brand new, having been stored, never moving, in a bedroom ever since its purchase for a planned 2 week tour. The chap who was selling it had bought it specifically to tour Ireland for 2 weeks with a pa,l but his pal was ill when they got there and the entire round trip was cut short with a total distance of 600 miles. Included with the sale was a box of bike accessories, all new that I sold on ebay for £100.00, so I finished up buying a wreck for £170.00, selling it for a profit then buying an as new Galaxy with a total outlay of £220.00!

I rode the second one for 9 years, covered about 15000 miles on it then sold that for £350.00. Taking in to account a few sets of tyres and some chains my decade of Galaxies cost me virtually nothing! The original bike was the better quality of the two with hindsight - The more slender frame was superior. Springier and more responsive.

Dave

Brucey
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Re: Memories of the Dawes Galaxy

Postby Brucey » 28 Dec 2020, 9:43pm

a few other pictures relating to Howes Cycles

Image

Image

The above picture (from the Cambridge evening news archives) is from 1981. Richard Howes is to the left of picture, his brother Michael (who with his wife ran the shop until the end) to the right, and their parents in the middle. I guess I first set foot in their shop about a year after that photo was taken. Amongst other things they had a reasonable stock of TA cyclotouriste chainrings, SunTour and Maillard sprockets, and (as well as off the peg brands) they dealt with Mercian cycles, usually having one or two off-the peg framesets in stock.

For years, perched up high above a display unit was one of their own high-wheeler bikes dating from the 1880s.

Today;

Image

I have been in there but thinking about what it had been made me feel slightly ill. More people, but less alive somehow... :(
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RJS
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Re: Memories of the Dawes Galaxy

Postby RJS » 28 Dec 2020, 10:55pm

Bought my son a Galaxy, I think it was an '87 model, one of the last ones built in this country with pencil stays, he usedit for several years , then I took it on for a few more, I thought it rode fine, sold it to a chap Exeter way; occasionally wonder if it's still around.
I have a friend with an earlier Galaxy, she rode one 400 mile tour of scotland on it, decided she preferd walking to cyling, she talks of selling it, complete with the the bill of sale and the pump it came with.
Cheers, Rob.

Chat Noir
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Re: Memories of the Dawes Galaxy

Postby Chat Noir » 29 Dec 2020, 11:41am

We bought 2 Dawes Galaxies in 1979 from Priory Cycles in Birmingham for a 6 week cycle tour from Roscoff to Santander. Being local to Dawes, the shop liaised directly with the factory and set the bikes up for a hilly ride. Our tour to Ireland the year before was on single speed bikes, enjoyable but hard going, hence our decision to get proper touring bikes: at the time, Galaxies the obvious answer. Some friends saw our bikes and promptly bought themselves 2 Super Galaxies from the same shop so the shop’s good service for us made them extra sales. We probably still have the original handbooks that came with them somewhere.

The bikes were everything we wanted. Only the main tubes were 531 but to us they were quick, responsive and easily handled our panniers and camping gear on a 6 week tour. Over the years mine went on countless tours, commuted in London for 17 years, carried three small children, loads of longer trips, plenty of rough stuff and even what might now be considered mountain biking territory, all in the days when one bike did everything. Some of you may remember Tim Gartside who set up an early mountain bike centre in Wales. Tim invited me to a mountain bike weekend at Hay Bluff in the mid-80s and leant me a bike. No idea of the make but remember being approached by all and sundry over the w/e thinking I was the importer of that particular brand. At the end of the w/e told Tim I’d had fun but not convinced I did a lot more than we’d have attempted on our touring bikes, being particularly wary of the extra weight of the mountain bike. Of course, these days I do enjoy mountain biking and the benefits of these wonderful fat-tired machines (this link will take you to a fun trip to Georgia the other year http://yetey.wordpress.com ).

My partner’s bike was stolen in London in 1982 but mine is still hanging in the shed, too many memories to get rid of but rarely ridden these days. A lot of the components are still original: wheels replaced, fitted Stronglight chainset, new seat post (snapped while going up a col in the Cevennes with my youngest son on the back: recall we fashioned a temporary replacement out of a suitable sized branch and continued to the top of the col and then down again – what was I thinking!), new brake levers and new rack, otherwise as bought.

Had quick look for decent photo of either of the bikes when new but the best I can find is of me truing the wheel after a hard sideways impact on a rut somewhere in the south of Brittany in 1979. The clothing says it all: t-shirt and shorts and a knitted short sleeve jumper. Noting an earlier post, we crossed the Pyrenees at Porte de Larrau after a storm filled night in the village that saw a tent pole fracture.

Memories of cycle touring: priceless.

Roscoff Santander 1979.jpg
Dawes Galaxy 1979; Mercian 531 1982; Peugeot 753 1987; Peugeot 531 Pro 1988; Peugeot 653 1990; Bob Jackson 731 OS 1992; Gazelle 731 OS Exception 1996; Dolan Dedacciai 2004; Trek 8000 MTB 2011; Focus Izalco Pro 2012