Chrome Speedwell track bike - old, yet new to me
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  1. #1
    angel of the morning
    Reputation: Spirito's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001

    Talking Chrome Speedwell track bike - old, yet new to me

    hey cool cats,

    Chrome track/fixed/path ??? bike by Speedwell of Australia (not Speedwell Ti of England).Similar to one ridden by Gold medalist Dunc Gray in the 1932 LA Olympics (exhibited in the Dunc Gray Olympic 2000 Velodrome in Sydney). Alas, has parts from mostly the 50's & onwards. No braze ons, track ends, oiler b/bracket, internal headset parts & chrome plate all over (or is it nickel).

    Still getting more opinion & info on the era of the frame but so far it looks likely that its from around 1928-1932. Faint trace of "speedwell" where the logo was painted on the downtube. Neat but non-original steel Magistroni crank arms with bolted cotters & adaptor plate holding the steel Williams chainring. B/bracket axle set is by Brambton (original?) & the bottom bracket lug features a cool oiler. Cheezy mystery headtube decal fitted by previous owner sometime in the 70's - at 68 years old he sold it as he wasnt using it. Rear brake bridge undrilled - crude but effective clamp for mounting the rear brake. Possibly non-original track ends. Sadly he knows little about it other than fitting it with clincher rims & tires when he bought it in the early 60's. Measures 21 x 22.5" c-c. steel cinelli track bars ... not original but hee, hee-he-he

    help needed ID-ing make or dating the headset. will be opening it up to see if there is a stamp on the fork steerer matching the stamped serial # on the underside of the bottom bracket. then some fettling & a ride report to come - looks slack angled & long wheelbased compared to current track stuff. I wonder if they'll let me ride it at the Olympic velodrome ????

    Cool parts as found but more correct stuff would have been a leather saddle, wood rims, inch pitch running gear & adjustable stem with swooped bars. Hmmmmm ..... I'll figure it out, enjoying it as it is but can't wait to polish that chrome up & take it for a ride. Was looking for a cheap street fixie .... i guess i got more than i wished for.

    anyway, have a "butcher's hook" (look).

    ciao ...... mate ;)

    Last edited by Spirito; 08-04-2004 at 09:48 PM.
    I watched him walking in and it was like they say, you know, he kind of glowed. Like a ray of light was around him. A kind of Jesus. - Spirito (interviewing Spirito)

  2. #2
    Old and Fixed, Moderator
    Reputation: Dave Hickey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Wow. That is a great find.. It looks like it's in amazing shape for it's age.

    Polish that bad boy and go for a ride.

    Is that a TA water bottle cage? I just bought a similar cage for my 753 LOOK
    Dave Hickey/ Fort Worth

    My 3Rensho Blog:

  3. #3
    angel of the morning
    Reputation: Spirito's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001

    cheers Dave ....

    Latest word from a gentleman who has a few of these & original catalogues, dates the frameset (& headset & bottom bracket) somewhere around 1932. What is unusual is the full chrome for that era, most were chrome fork, stays & bottom bracket with painted tubes - full plated framesets were more common after the war (2nd that is). So is this a later plating or a rare original? .... thats what makes it all fun.

    It is probably nickel plated but my old man "the engineer" will clue me up on that one. Its probably Reynolds tubing and when sold it would have been a top tier price bracket (more info to come). Track ends & fork dropouts are probably BSA .... there was some fluctuation on making in house & sourcing them from England.

    Now have a good idea of method for taking out the headset & BB, so after some cleaning, inspecting & grease I will give it a good shine as well. My dilemma then is shall i leave it hanging on a wall till I have the means and time to find correct parts (which will be some time as yo either pay for them parts handsomely or be really patient), ........ ride as is, which doesn't suit what i would like nor is original with the parts it has, ...... or fit the 70's era campy wheels i have waiting for a home. If the latter, then i have to make a decision on whether its right for me to file away some metal in the fork and track ends to accept the larger later size axles; thus converting it permanently from original. As that is a weighty decision i will take my time before deciding & may well offer it on to someone who will make it the prize it really is. Whatever happens I have enjoyed this immensely & have yet to even ride it.

    If only my "other" track bike didn't have an undrilled twin plate fork crown i would easily hold this until i could get it right. Not complaining but Im gonna buy some high tensile P-O-Sheet just so i can have a street fixie that dont need much worrying what i do to it.

    Bottle cage is a close copy of the steel TA - as classic a cage as has come. Really do wanna take the speedwell for a ride just to see what its like - that seat tube is far slacker than any I have ridden - it intrigues me. I still have visions of a nice fendered, front brake fixed gear bike for about town ... maybe it wont be this one.

    Them "fishtail" headtube lugs got me by the balls ..... anyone got some Baylis Wiley flip flop hubs, period style wood rims, BSA crank arms & chainring, renolds block chain, constrictor pedals, steel post & major taylor style steel stem & bar for sale .... cheap ???

    from the Classic Rendezvous Speedwell pages .....

    and examples of another better known Oz bike - Malvern Star

    I watched him walking in and it was like they say, you know, he kind of glowed. Like a ray of light was around him. A kind of Jesus. - Spirito (interviewing Spirito)

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