SP 4136

Robin Darch got in touch through the contact form and said…

I was about thirteen or fourteen when I started getting interested in cycling, starting off on an Eddy Merckx from Halfords. After a while I was lucky enough to get my hands on a Stan Pike (SP 4136). It was purchased from Ken Prescott Cycles of Southbourne in about 1983 or 1984. This really was a great bike and I suppose still is. I time trialled with Poole Wheelers making quite good progress in my first season – clocking 25.34 on the 10 mile.

Alas with one thing and another, mopeds, work etc, I never carried on with the time trials, which I suppose is a regret. I would’ve liked to know how good I could’ve become.

SP 4136 was still used, even taking a journey to Crewkerne to visit the shop. Alas it was shut on the Saturday I cycled from Poole to Crewkerne.

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I had started to refurbish the bike to bring it back to life, as it’s been hung in the garage for the last decade or so, preferring mountain biking to road use.

A few years ago, whilst watching the Tour of Britain pass through Crewkerne, I met Steve Pike outside the bike shop. I was admiring one in the window. Steve kindly offered the information (see below) which I’m passing on.

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A copy of Stan Pike’s frame building record from January 1981

Thanks for the site which has pushed me into getting some motivation to get it back on the road.

The bike is mainly made up of Shimano 600 with a Dura Ace front mech. It did have the matching rear, but falling off it no longer. Mavic Monthlery Route sprint rims.

Just need to source some period bits ‘n’ bobs to finish.

If anyone has any information on the original owner, Barry Perry (from Bournemouth), please get in touch.

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UPDATED 10/11/2016

I received an update this week from Robin…

Have finally got round to getting SP 4136 back on the road. Sourced a period dura ace rear mech from Hilary Stone and just got other bits to finish. Went for a gentle ride Sunday, well to start with. Didn’t know if the tubs would stay on the rims. They did and 13 miles later what a lovely ride it is. So much more compliant than the carbon. Need to get some other bits which I hope to see next summer at Eroica Britannia.

Some pics from the ride.

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SP 7864

Here is Barry Dobson’s Stan Pike, renovated by Chris Davey, who is based just south of Bristol.

This cycle, frame number SP 7864, was built in 1978 for Charles Flippance, who in 2012 reluctantly decided that, at age 91, he was unlikely to ride again.

Charles had retained the original spec sheet (shown below) which shows the frame was to be finished in Post Office red.

Stan Pike build sheet

The bike, as it was received from Mr Flippance, is shown below, sporting a Cinelli 1/A stem and 63-40 bars, Tange Headset, Shimano 600 chainset 170mm 42/52, Shimano front mech and levers, Sun Tour VX rear mech, Ofmega hubs, Weinmann concave 27” rims, Weinmann 500 brakes, SP100AL pedals, Milremo seatpost and a Brooks B17 Champion Narrow saddle.

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Since this was looking rather tired after 36 years; Argos Cycles of Bristol were commissioned to re-spray in Old Pastel Blue, replicate the original white lug lining and top eyes, and add bottle bosses to the down tube.

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In rebuilding Chris is making widespread use of Shimano 600 arabesque hardware (headset, front mech, rear mech, brakes and chainset), some from the original bike and some replacement parts. The seat post needs to be replaced (we found it had been shortened for the previous owner). The saddle appears to be sound, if dry. Chris is building wheels using Shimano 600 hubs on Super Champion 27” rims and Sapim Race spokes.

Updated November 2014. The finished bicycle…

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Expect to see Chris and Barry riding Stan Pikes at L’Eroica Britannia 2015 in Bakewell!

SP 230652 PG

Paul Goodrich got in touch through the contact form and said…

I knew Stan, his wife Audrey and the children very well having spent many weekends sleeping over at their house at Misterton and helping Stan in his workshop.  I first knew Stan when I was a teenager and Stan was working at Westland Helicopters as a welder.

I believe this photo was taken during the Chippenham Wheelers 25 mile TT in about 1974. This was the first frame that Stan built for me. As I remember it was 531 with fancy curly lugwork which was handcrafted by Stan. It also had round track forks which you don’t often see these days. It was finished in white with a turquoise blue lug lining. Although I wasn’t the fastest rider around I could regularly get into the top 10 of a local TT and occasionally the top 3. On a good day I might even have sneaked a win!

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You may be interested to know that I had a hand in designing the original Stan Pike decals. Stan and  I were doodling designs for his decals at work when he latched on to one of my rough designs which eventually became his transfers. The head badges are still the same. Later he reverted to using block capitals for the downtube.

Here’s another photo of me in action aboard a Stan when I was younger stronger and fitter! Taken sometime in the seventies , note the wool shorts lack of helmet and the single 55 tooth chain ring coupled to a 13/18 freewheel. I can’t turn gears of that size now ! The spare tubular is under the saddle. This frame was black with gold lug lining.

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Stan built me a couple of frames – one for road and one for time trials. The frame number of the one below is SP 230652 PG. My date of birth is 23/06/52 , so as you can see I’m getting on a bit and now retired from Westlands after 43 years.

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This frame was originally silver in its first incarnation and was resprayed blue by Argos Cycles when Arthur Needham was running it.

The frame was silver soldered, the seat cluster wrapover is hollow and the tubing is a mixture of Reynolds 531 Superlight (?) and Columbus.  It’s a mixture of parts – Cinelli 65 bars & 1A stem, Campag Seat Pin with a Turbo saddle, chainset is Shimano 600 53/42,  headset, front changer and brakes are also Shimano 600. Rear gear is a Suntour Superb. Wheels are Campag record 32/32 with Mavic GP4 rims currently shod with Continental Podium tubulars. The freewheel is a Maillard six speed compact on the Campag  5 speed hubs.

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I lent this bike to my neighbour to compete in  triathlons and it has been gathering dust and cobwebs in his shed for the last few years. I am currently in the process of selling it to James Eddiford, who lives near Bridgwater, as I now have more modern bikes.

I knew Terry Manuel from years ago when he lived in Taunton.

I attended Stan’s funeral.

Hoping that the new owner will update me with post-restoration photos. Fingers crossed.

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PJ 111

I was recently contacted by Charlie Rimmer. He was looking to find out more about the Stan Pike he’d inherited from his father…

Have attached a couple of photos for you as is, following a clean and some minor refurbishments (saddle, bar tape etc). It doesn’t do it justice though. Frame is looking quite tired in places, and some of the components have seen better days. The Campag rear mech and TA chain set still have plenty of life though.  I’m looking to re-spray (no idea what colour yet), add 700c wheels if I can and maybe a group set (or a mix and match) worthy of the frame. Looking on eBay – some of the Campag kit looks very nice.  My dad, who rode with Wellington Wheelers CC for years, is now 75 years old, and I’d love to see the look on his face if I could restore / bring it into the 21st century.  As you’ll see from the photos, no frame number. Instead his name, postcode (which they lived at 1984-1991), and the initials PJ? So must have been built to order, which dad always liked to do (he had a couple of George Longstaff’s as well).

I contacted Stan’s son, who replied…

This one was built in 1983, the year my father died. The frame number allocated is a post code (Manor Road, Taunton). If it wasn’t for the specific allocation of the post code, which could only have been requested at order, then this one would have been PJ 111 – that’s build number 111 and hand built by my brother Philip.

The frame is built from Reynolds 531 double butted tubing. Frame size is 23″ with the following additional specification:

Top tube length 22 & 3/4″
Fork Rake: 1 & 7/8″
Chain stay length: 17 & 1/4″
Head tube and seat tube angles: 73 degrees
Rear wheel clearance: 14 & 3/8″

Charlie is in the early stages of talks with Argos Cycles regarding a re-spray, and has located a guy local who specialises in restoration of bikes.  Good luck Charlie.

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Stan Pike on ebay

I had an email on 17th June, 2014 that read:

Hi, I have an original Stan Pike cycle which was given to me locally on a ‘freecycle’ site. The bike is stamped under the pedal crank ‘SP1712’ and is also stamped with the name ‘Raymond Cawthorne’. I wondered if anyone could tell me anything further about the bike please. Thank you.

I contacted Stan’s son, Steve, who supplied the following information:

SP1712 was made in January 1981 for a Raymond Cawthorne who apparently lived in Williton, Somerset.  The frame was made from Reynolds 531, the main tubes were a heavier gauge 531.  The remaining tubes are noted as 531 “Best” 

The recorded spec is as follows:
25 & 1/2″ frame size, 24 & 1/4″ top tube length. 1 & 3/4″ fork rake, 17 & 1/2″ chain stay length. The head tube angle 73 degrees, the seat tube angle 72 degrees. 

It turns out that the present owner was selling the Pike on ebay…

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It sold on 22nd June for £149.00.

I’ve asked the seller to pass my details onto the new owner in the  hope that we can keep track of the bike. And possibly see the results of a restoration?

Fingers crossed.

And if anyone has any information about the original owner, Raymond Cawthorne of Williton, Somerset, please get in touch.

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SP 22964

Barry Smith contacted me and said…

I have looked a couple of times for people with interest in these fantastic machines. I have still got my Stan Pike, but it is laying neglected in the shed. Would you like me to dust it down and take some photos? It has all of the original parts (even the wheels and the slightly unsightly mud guards).

IMG_0325 IMG_0326Spot the Stan Pike – hidden away in Barry’s shed!

I think I actually got the bike on my 16th birthday, when we lived in Yeovil, as I was really into cycling and myself and my mates would go riding every weekend. A lot of them lived out in the villages so I used to start off from Yeovil and meet up on the way round. I remember getting the bike and being really nervous of riding it to school as I didn’t want to get it damaged but luckily it was only admired.

We all talked about joining a club or doing some events but we never did. Soon after finishing school we moved to Bristol and the cycling reduced as the distractions of being an 18-year-old.

The only part that was not on the bike when I got it was the saddle. I remember that was a leather one that after a little while just got more uncomfortable.

BB is stamped Barry Howley Smith – SP 22964

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Terry Manuel

I found Terry’s details on the internet after Googling ‘Stan Pike cycles’. I emailed him and he replied with loads of information and a slideshow of Stan building a frame. Now living in France,  and aged 72,  Terry is considering selling his Stan Pike (details below). 

When I first met Stan, it was to thread down a pair of forks I had shortened. At that time he was working at home out of his garage, while still being permanently employed by Westlands. At Westlands he was leading a small group of specialised welders, and all jobs were priced by him. As the work was for the MOD, all the welders had to retake exams every six months (if I remember correctly) and Stan was alone in never having failed an exam. He also helped out at the local motorcycle garage (Vincent & Jerrom), welding aluminium finned engine blocks.

Stan naturally build a lot of frames for local riders. One weekend, Bob Maslen broke his current Stan frame in an accident. He contacted Stan, who promptly build him another to the same spec to ride the following weekend.

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In 1977, after leaving Westlands, Stan moved to full-time premises – a bike shop that had previously been rather run down. I did some carpentry work for him in an attempt to keep heat in the building. That’s how I became the owner of my first Stan. He had been asked by a local rider, Brian Miles of the Somerset RC, to make a new frame using the new Shimano vertical dropout. Needless to say, the new ends were in short supply, so he built the frame and waited for delivery of the ends. On arrival, he finished the frame, had it sprayed and passed it over to the purchaser. Shortly after he realised that there had been a mistake – the frame had been ordered to track spec, although it was for road use. The owner, being a well known track rider, as such it was short (under 36″s). The dropouts were closer to the seat tube than Stan’s previous use (Campag) and as such, even with a thin locking band for the front changer, only a maximum of an 8 oz Barum tubular could be used. Stan rebuilt the frame, removed the LHS brazings, and donated the frame to me for my time spent. After the original home spray, I had it done professionally by Argos in French Blue.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATerry’s first Stan Pike before its respray by Argos

As has been said he built for many others, Ken Ryall, Don Farrell etc.

John Woodburn was known to say of him, “He was the only one he knew who built a dead straight frame. ”

In 1979, I was photographing the Isle of Wedmore Tour. Stan was providing a frameset for winning rider. After the presentation, Stan would build another to the spec of the winner, which was how they were then marked on the BB.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA At the 1979 Isle of Wedmore Tour, the lucky winner was given a Stan Pike frame. Other prizes included tubs of clotted cream, pots of paint and a bag of potatoes!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStan at the prize-giving ceremony

Later, I helped out Stan by assembling bikes for him at weekends. He then offered to build me one of his “specials” (no maker decals!), which he did, silver soldered. He added 1/4″ to the rear, and 1 degree less on the head, with a little more rake. Once  finished it was lighter than a 753, and rides like a dream, even all day.

Needless to say, at his funeral, the crematorium was overflowing – top local riders from all over the county were there. It was a day not to be forgotten.

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My particular frame was made in a mixture of tubings, all chosen for their particular properties.

  • Seat tube – basic 531db
  • Top tube – 531db, but from a large frame tubing, and then with the butted ends shortened, so very little thicker tube left.
  • Down tube – 531sldb
  • Rear chainstays – Super vitus.  (very rigid)
  • Seat stays – Old 531db featherlight (says it all!)
  • Forks – Columbus road (best road forks in Stan’s opinion complete with rifled column)
  • Bottom bracket – Good quality standard with thick walls and tight threading.
  • Fork column – Cinelli investment cast

Seat tube c-t – 21.5″/54.5cm
Top tube c-c – 21″/53.5cm

When I chose the fork column, Stan approved of the choice, but immediately said I had to file it away.  It was too heavy.  When I said that worried me, his answer was, “never mind, if you get it wrong, do another one!

When soldered to the forks, he then fixed the brake bolt in place thereby avoiding the common problem at that time of the brakes moving and therefore rubbing on the rims.

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As regards the lugs, Stan did not approve of the older generations ideas.  The lug had to be an even thickness, and with 90% edges. Otherwise the heat would not be even, and therefore a poor joint.

As can be seen from my photos (see slideshow above), when Stan brazed the tubes did not get red, and therefore overheated.  A publicity shot by Holdsworthy at that time shows them forge brazing with tubes cherry red half way to the next lug. That appalled him.

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When 753 was brought out he applied for the licence and was sent two sets to return a finished BB assembly.  Sent some pieces into Westlands for testing with some 531.  The result, if overhreated the characteristics of 753 was lost, and it then was much the same as 531.  Sent off a bracket assembly (silver soldered), and Reynolds failed it.  Said it should have been sent sand/bead blasted. Stan enquired why. Answer they had to have a clean assembly to test.  He said with silver solder you get rid of the flux with boiling water.  Needless to say they did not know that.  He cleaned the sample, sent it back, and needless to say got the certificate, virtually by return.

Stan would not jig build.  He had at some time built a jig to use, but was appalled by its use. He therefore built all his spec frames off of board; tacking each joint and checking for true, before doing a final braze.  Competitors said it was not possible to do the wrap over seat join in silver, so he did one for me in his hands in front of my eyes; no problem.

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“Top eyes” he hated, far too heavy, so all stays etc were shaped by hand and brazed as such.

Regrettably, at the age of 72 and with balance problems, I will need to sell my Stan, preferably as a whole, either period or 9sp Ergo, together with lots of other parts around that period. The frame is in its original metallic silver (unmarked), fully dipped in engine oil by Stan to stop internal rust, together with a spare set of Stan decals.

If of any interest, I also have the very first Graham Tomlinson frame, which he built with some knowledge from myself.

If anyone is interested in purchasing Terry’s Stan Pike (the silver bike in the photos above), please get in touch through the contact form. 

NB.  In the slide show one shot is of a BB being brazed.  Terry points out that, in this instance,  it is being brass brazed not silver soldered.

 

SP 16539

I was contacted recently by James, wanting to find out more about his Stan Pike frame. Here are the photos and information James sent me:

I came by the frame via a bike forum. The chap I purchased it off had just had it re-finished by Mercian cycles (allegedly it was pink beforehand) and he had it decal’d up as 531SL frame. He said he wasn’t actually sure which tubing it was built from but said that it was lighter than a 753 frame he had recently sold.

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In fact, he said it was so light, he wasn’t prepared to ship the frame by post, so the excellent price I agreed with the seller was muted by me having to drive from Norwich to Sheffield to collect it.

I told the seller, once back home with it, that the frame was built from Ishiwata 015a, the lightest steel tube-set made, lighter than even Columbus Record, which was in itself lighter than Columbus KL, another very light tube-set indeed, both lighter than 753. It’s so light that it’s recommended for smooth surfaces and a rider weight of no more than 10 stone!

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Many folk don’t realise that even with 531 there are many gauges over and above 531/531c/531st/531SL etc … such as 22/20 20/18 gauge et al.

The seller said to me, “Crikey James, I had that frame for months and knew nothing about it, you have had it a day and imparted all this information to me, how do you know all this?” I told him, ” It was dead easy, it’s all stamped into the bottom bracket …”

Here’s the information from the frame:
Ishiwata Alpha
Silver Brazed
Sam Shear
16539

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A quick internet search shows that Sam Shear was a hairdresser, time trialist and now lives in Majorca. I think he’s also member of the Veterans Time Trials Association? 

Sadly, the frame is too small for me so my goal is to build it up, with some of the lightest period parts I can find, as a 10 mile TT machine for my girlfriend.

If anyone has any further information about James’s frame,  or knows where he can purchase the correct Ishiwata decals, we’d love to know. Please contact me through the Contact form.

SP 17851

Bought on eBay in July 2011,  from a man in Chard, Somerset who’d owned it for the past 27 years. Made from 531 SL and silver brazed, he’d resprayed it at some point and added new decals.

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My bike before its restoration

I’ve been in touch with Steve Pike, Stan’s son, who couldn’t find a record for the frame number (SP 17851). However, when I sent photos of the actual frame,  Steve replied:

“Clearly from the photographs it is without doubt one if my fathers frames. It is an early one as can be seen from the seat stay wrap around attachment, he adopted different methods in the later ones.”

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As well as the frame number, the frame is also stamped with:
Winner 1976
Tour of Somerset
Ivor Earl

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After some internet searching, I sent a letter to an Ivor Earl I found in Calstock, Cornwall, who appeared to still be regularly cycling. I received this reply:

“Yes, I am the same Ivor Earl who won Tour of Somerset in 1976.

Glad to hear that the bike is still being used and looked after.

Stan donated the frame set as first prize. The race was a major local event and Stan, being a local bike shop owner, wanted to get involved. A photo of me holding the frame aloft appeared on the back page of a number of local newspapers.

The frame I held aloft was actually too big for me and Stan arranged to make a tailor made one for me. Hence the inscription underneath the bottom bracket. The frame was officially given to me at the Weston Super Mare Wheelers Club dinner later that year.

I won about 30 road races on it including Devon and Cornwall division champs and a stage in Tour of Ireland. It also travelled with me to Durham where I was 2nd in the British Triathlon Champs and to the World Triathlon Championships in Nice.”

I loved finding out about my bike’s history and it makes owning and riding it even more special.  I use the bike now as my winter bike and for touring, completing a 1146 mile cycle ride from Land’s End to John o’ Groats with my 14-year-old son in 2012. See our blog for details.

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In 2015, I had my bike restored by Chris Davey, with a respray from Argos. He did a great job. See below…

John Woodburn

“John Woodburn is a most remarkable rider… notably the End-to-End record (Land’s End to John O’Groats) which he broke in 1982 at the age of 45.”

John Woodburn (born 1937), was a British road and time-trial cyclist,  who set the Land’s End to John O’ Groats (end-to-end) record in 1982 with a time of 1 day, 21 hours and 3 minutes, with an average speed of 18.828mph. He broke the existing record by 96 minutes. 

And guess what? He rode the the 848 miles on a Stan Pike. Actually, two Stan Pike bikes were used*.

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A postcard sent by John Woodburn to Stan Pike on completion of the record-breaking ride

Click on the extracts from Cycling, May 12, 1984 to read about his epic cycle ride.

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A film by Ray Pascoe, John Woodburn: 2 days and 2 nights Revisited, is available on DVD here. There are several shots of Stan and a closing shot of him with the record breaking bike at the end.

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Stan Pike with the record-breaking bike he built for John Woodburn

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John’s time was beaten by Andy Wilkinson in October 1990 by less than two minutes. The record is now 44 hours, 4 minutes and 20 seconds, set by Gethin Butler in 2001 when he cycled a route of 840 miles.

John added to his long list of achievements by winning the RTTC’s national 12-hour championship on a Stan Pike…

JW_3 Sept 1983 Cycling Mag 12 hour champ

*Two frames were made for the record breaking event. One broke (and we think was later repaired and returned to John), and the other is owned by the Pike family. Both frames were made from Reynolds 753.

There have been a number of frames advertised for sale with descriptions such as:
“It is the same build as the John Woodburn frame that he rode on his End-to-End

The Pike name will forever be linked to the Woodburn record. When people advertise a frame with the description “same build” as the record-breaking bike, they own a Stan Pike frame, built by Stan Pike, but not a replica of the Woodburn frame.  No replicas of the John Woodburn frames were ever built.

John passed away, aged 80, on Friday 15th April 2017.

A site dedicated to the legendary frame builder