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BATES B.A.R. 1954 build advice

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BATES B.A.R. 1954 build advice

Old 06-29-20, 02:12 PM
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JJScaliger
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BATES B.A.R. 1954 build advice

Today I received this 1954 Bates B.A.R. from England. Its been repainted but does have matching fork and frame numbers U11854. Rear spacing is 110mm for track but it does have a drive side braze on for a shifter and a chain stay braze on for a derailleur. The bb shell has an oil port no cap.The frame has a small paint chip on the top tube I would like to touch up. My plan is to build it up for now with a flip flop rear wheel to enjoy it while I try and acquire the parts for at least a semi-period correct build. I was going to use a stronglight 49d with a single chain ring for now. Headset and bottom bracket will probably be my biggest hurdles. I might run Campy record for now. GB spearpoint stem maybe. May become a three speed for a spell. Any suggestions are welcome. I'm pretty stoked!








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Old 06-29-20, 02:23 PM
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Bates BAR
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Old 06-29-20, 02:24 PM
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Nice! Love the look of those cantiflex forks.
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Old 06-29-20, 02:58 PM
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Cool frame.

If you space the rear to 114, you can put a 3-speed using a 1/8 chain or a 4-speed using a 3/32 chain on your flip-flop hub. If you use a derailleur up front, a rod derailleur would be a cool option.
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Old 06-29-20, 03:06 PM
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Thanks! I My flip flop will be 120 so I'll probably cold set once, maybe try to find a 120 axle for a Sturmey. I've considered making it a 5 speed with a Campagnolo grand sport possibly later. The seller dated this frame as 1954, but maybe earlier if the frame numbers are sequential with no date stamp. Bates Cycles 4 Late 40s?
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Old 06-29-20, 03:33 PM
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Take out a spacer or two, make the hub 114 and use the GS with a 4-speed. More appropriate for earlier bikes. My 59 Cinelli is 114 with a GS.
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Old 06-29-20, 03:42 PM
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That is an excellent suggestion! And if I wanted to use a Sturmey AM in the future the spacing would be right for the normal axle! I will probably set this frame up more than one way in the future. Thank you!
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Old 06-29-20, 03:51 PM
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What a beautiful frame, and I love the 4 speed GS idea.

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Old 07-02-20, 08:11 PM
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I need some advise on what I should do about a bottom bracket. My crank is a Stronglight 49D with a veloorange 44t single chainring. My intent was to install Campagnolo record bb until I find something more period correct. I read on Classic Lightweights that Campy bottom brackets may fit tight. Campagnolo BB Axles

In addition I was looking at this old campy page and trying to decide if I could make do with a road spaced spindle or if I needed the pista one for the right chain line. Would a 111 mm length be ok? It seems like the difference between the pista and the strata is about 6-7mm on the drive side shoulder. https://www.minortriad.com/campagbb.html

This is a work in progress and I don't have any really set expectations, I just want to get this frame turned into a rideable bike. I'll sort out the proper upgrades later. I bought a Campy Nuovo Record headset to use for now. I have a TDC on my Dawes, but I'm not that interested right now in swapping. I'm going to post some better pictures soon. This frame is hot!
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Old 07-03-20, 09:54 AM
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the proper headset would be a TDC or Chater-lea. are you adverse to cottered cranks? a Chater-lea or BSA
would be beautiful. the Sturmey is a good idea (remember the British were wary of derailleurs even into the
early 60,s. look up the story of how the Cream named the album Disraili Gears for a spot of Brit humour)
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Old 07-03-20, 10:22 AM
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Old 07-03-20, 11:34 AM
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Beautiful!!! I love that fork!
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Old 07-03-20, 02:42 PM
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That fork is really cool, I have never seen anything like that. Is it any different to ride than a standard fork?
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Old 07-03-20, 03:22 PM
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Thanks guys, I'm with you I think the fork is cool too! I saw some old pictures from the 1930s of racers riding Bates frames and thought they looked pretty wild. So I figured it must be a gimmick. Then I saw a frame being offered for a reasonable amount and decided to do a little research. It appears that Bates made some real innovations back in the 1930s. The short version is that the fork, diadrant as Bates patented it, is supposed to dampen road vibration more than a regular fork. The frame also has those cool cigar shaped main tubes, cantiflex . Basically oversized in the middle to be stiffer and narrower but thicker at the ends were they join the lugs. Those seat stays are so thin and delicate. The resulting ride is supposed to be pretty good. I haven't ridden the Bates yet so I cant speak from first hand experience. I'm dying to try!
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Old 07-03-20, 04:15 PM
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With the frame you have the easy bit done.


Not an oil port for the bottom bracket, but a grease nipple

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ORIGINAL-...oAAOSwUcteIKkx

and get one for the head tube as well.


My standard reference book for the period is the 1952 Brown Brothers catalogue, which should be checked against the 1954 Holdsworth Aids catalogue for any later components


Other Bates owners can be found at this Facebook group Bates Cantiflex Diadrant Classic Bicycles


Why do you say "semi-period correct build"? Why not full period components?
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Old 07-03-20, 06:28 PM
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Wow, those two catalogues are a wealth of information! Thanks for posting them and the link for the grease nipples!

My goal right now is to get this frame built into a bicycle so I can ride it. I bought this frame to get out of my comfort zone on rebuilds. I'm thinking this frame will be built up in at least a few incarnations. A flip flop to start and then a Sturmey Archer IGH next after I build up a rear wheel (tubular). I haven't even considered that I could fit a 4 speed freewheel on the flip flop hub. That is a killer idea by Iab. I would rather put some anachronistic parts on now and chase down period correct replacements later. It seems like Charter Lea and TDC parts are hard to find in nice condition. I probably will have to be patient to get the appropriate, period correct components. I'm certainly not adverse to installing a nice cottered crank like a Chater Lea or Williams 1000. I will say I'm not interested in weighting down this light frame with any boat anchors or something that is not aesthetically pleasing because it is period correct. I have a lot of reading to do in those two catalogues thanks again!

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Old 07-03-20, 07:04 PM
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I have been mentioned.

First thing to do is contact the current marque owner, Martin Coopland. He can verify the build date for you. My email search function is just not cooperating or I’d give you his addy. He is active in a lot of ways and not too hard to find. If you want a fuller set of decals he has those too.

My 1950 was refitted by Oscar Wastyn in 1959 and had been spread to 120 when I got it. The slightly later spec has made it completely a rider. If you want to be fully period correct Iab is right, 114 would be the most likely OEM spec for gears. If you wanted fixed wheel either 110 or 114 would work and those are easier to find than you might think. Yes, the fork absorbs shock, no question about it. Check the alignment of that fork before you do anything else. Getting them straight is double the curves, double the work. And confusing. And worth it.

Just go get a Stronglight bracket for your Stronglight crank. Still common enough. The most frequent original crank on Bates of this period is Stronglight 3 pin steel. Either way is good. Old headsets are pretty available. If a basic Rewax headset is good enough, Andy at Yellow Jersey has supply for 3 lifetimes. English and period correct and cheap.

Measure the brake reach. Mine is really very long. Many Bates have this, not all. Mine has 1959 Weinmann 999-750 with the single spring. Pads are all the way completely to bottom. Much stronger brake than later Weinmann. If you wanted super correct it would be GB or other English side pull that wouldn’t much stop the bike. Only period correct that stops the bike would be Mafac, Mafac w/enough reach might be hard. Raid?

B.A.R. is a race bike. Used with tubulars. Old rims are still available, I think they are stronger than familiar 70s 80s parts. Hubs should be 40/32 hole rear/front. Hubs not hard to find. The 40 hole rim is the hard to find.

Gran Sport is just a wonderful derailleur. Prefer them to Record or Nuovo. That braze on shift fixture is completely wrong — but maybe not so bad. One of my other bikes is a 1958 Rivetts that has Campy 1010 drops and the Campy shift mounts. Very original, frame had never been built up. So Dennis The Slasher Beales could have put that on when it was first repainted. I wouldn’t take that off.

Older Brooks can be found. This kind of bike does look a lot better with a saddle that completes. Mine is a 1960 Swallow that had been given to me 1969 and had never found the bike that wanted it. Find a good one.

Getting every detail perfect is less important than getting the bike out on the road. I just would not ride mine with correct 1950 brakes and am never going to do linen wrap cable casing. Can’t care that the toeclips are 70s. Although if some old and workable clips came by that would be fun. If you make an effort to be respectful nobody cares if something or other is wrong.

If you succeed in getting that old bike rideable it is like nothing else. First thing you discover is the front wheel goes over the bump or hole so smooth you almost don’t even notice. Then the back wheel crashes hard into that hole because you didn’t think to lift your butt off the saddle. Maybe practice this with a basic wheel before sacrificing a 70 year old 40 hole sprint rim. After a while it teaches you to feel the tiny bump and float the back wheel. The fork is also the most precise steering fork I’ve encountered. Just two weeks ago today I was hit by a car while riding the Bates. The rubber side stayed down. I didn’t do all that much, it was like the bike took over and told me to sit back. When the bike does that much ya gotta like it.

One last would be that after you are done being wowed by the smoothness this is a normal and surprisingly modern bike. The head angle is steep and the fork rake is normal, weight distribution is normal. You ride this one like any other bike. No surprises. Easy from the start.
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Old 07-04-20, 06:53 AM
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An example of period correct out of control. A friend recently offered me a pair of Continental tubulars from late 50s. He thought they would be suitable for the Bates. They held air, were round, looked good. Price was right. Some kind of heavy duty track tire, very skinny. Well, crack time trialists did use track tires. The B.A.R. was the time trial bike so why not? Because I wouldn’t have a bike to ride.

Old tubulars were fat. Roads were bad and any with sense used wide tires, which were very available. And available again. Use them. Tan sidewalls and black sidewalls are both perfectly correct.
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Old 07-04-20, 07:35 AM
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Thanks for your posts 63rickert! You have given me a lot to think about! I'm definitely running tubulars on the flip flop wheel set. My flip flop is a Suntour Sprint, so not period correct. I had been thinking about building up a Sturmey Archer AW 36 hub I have as a 700c tubular with a modern aluminum rim, but now I think I'm going to wait until I am able to get a Sturmey AM 40 hole and a 40 hole tubular rim, hopefully not steel. Maybe I'll do both. For now I'll run a fixed /single speed and when I'm ready I'll switch to 4 speed with the Campy GS. Brooks saddle, GB handle bars and stem maybe Universal brakes. I need to measure the reach when the wheel set arrives. I have a pair of challenge paris-roubaix tires salted away that will be a good fit for this build. I'll post some more pictures as the build progresses.
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Old 07-18-20, 10:56 AM
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Build update





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Old 07-18-20, 11:10 AM
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I've been acquiring some components for this build in the last couple of weeks. In hand I have: Suntour sprint flip flop wheelset and cogs, challenge paris roubaix sew ups, Campagnolo Gran Sport rear derailleur, GS shifter, Atom 4 speed freewheel 14-22, grease nipples from UK, Brooks swift saddle, and record pedals. Patiently waiting for: GB spearpoint stem with Reynolds alloy Bailey bars, Reynolds R5 alloy seatpost, GB standard brakes hiduminium, cheap headset, shimano un55 cartridge bb.

My persistence to use Campy record bb and headset did not pan out well. Neither worked. BB was super tight on drive side, I didn't even try non drive. Headset race was too small and stack height looked too high. I bought a cheap 1" threaded headset with a larger fork crown race 27mm for now and a shimano bb just to get things rolling and make sure I have all the right sizes before investing in something period correct.
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Old 07-18-20, 11:30 AM
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In addition there is a beautiful Bates B.A.R. fully restored for sale on ebay right now which has a frame # very close to mine; U12002. Mine is U11854. I think I saw this bike on either Classic lightweights or classical rendezvous. My frame must be from the late 40s, probably same year, 1948.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1948-Vintag...kAAOSwWQdewcEa

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Old 07-19-20, 02:25 PM
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SunTour Sprint hubs are identical to Sansin hubs that were available as early as 1960 and maybe earlier. Andre Bertin definitely sold the old ones so very likely Kitching would have had them in U.K. Never saw them on an English bike, a lot of 1960ish French bikes had them. Try to find some older QRs and remove the SunTour logos.

UN55 is a hack to get the bike on the road. Stronglight spindles are readily available and are available in 118mm, 122, 123, 125, 128. Something will work. Old bikes look strange with cartridge BB cups.

My email has eaten everything before 2017 so I definitely do not have an address for Martin Coopland. Try to find him. I think your bike is older than 1954 but don’t want to go too far in that direction when there is a guy with original build sheets who knows for sure. At the peak, when both our bikes were made, Bates was doing over 2000 frames a year.

27.0 crown race was the old Brit standard. Some Japanese bikes used that ‘standard’ forever. If the parts play nice together, and they usually will, you can use your larger crown race inside any other headset. On mine someone had attacked the race seat with a rasp and it needed brass filler and recutting to make a 26.4 sit properly. Campy headset is too new for this bike.

The bike for sale is a dream. Looks to be original paint. Or an artist with the lining brush. Faking original finish on these usually just fails, this one is spectacular. Someone should grab it.

If you want this to look old use a 46, 47, 48 big chainring. They spun the pedals back then.
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Old 07-19-20, 02:37 PM
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One other. I’ve never seen a SunTour flip flop but like the idea a whole lot. Standard or normal or medium gear for Brit when your bike was new was 48x18. Since there is no other definition of medium gear 48x18 is still it. Higher is a big gear, lower is a small gear. The tradition for the hard men was to do early season TT in fixed gear, fenders and maybe even clinchers until they broke the hour in that 48x18. Only then did they turn the wheel around and fit the derailleur. I’ve only done a few rides on mine with a fixed wheel, you can tell the bike loves it.
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Old 07-19-20, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by JJScaliger View Post
I think I saw this bike on either Classic lightweights or classical rendezvous. My frame must be from the late 40s, probably same year, 1948.
at Classic Lightweights
for the asking money, it would have been nice for some extra photos
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