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Swap Find: Oxford Custom

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Swap Find: Oxford Custom

Old 10-04-22, 04:29 PM
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Swap Find: Oxford Custom

Local swap. End of the day, had looked at this but not talked to the owner about it, when I went by seller's friend said the owner had just left. Asked what his price was, jaw dropped at how cheap it was, so couldn't resist, owner came back and not it's in the basement.

Oxford was apparently a custom frame builder in Santa Cruz, CA, this bike is circa 1980. Haven't found much else, but nicely constructed, full Campy except for pedals and brake levers, a sport touring design and kit.

Fall/Winter project. What to turn it into???

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Old 10-04-22, 04:36 PM
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The Sandy blvd swap?
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Old 10-04-22, 04:39 PM
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OK, so make us all jealous -- how cheap WAS it?
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Old 10-04-22, 05:17 PM
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Is that a Rally rear mech with Campy triple crank? Nice score.
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Old 10-05-22, 12:01 PM
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Back in the late 80ís I read an article in Bicycling magazine written by Jim Langley about his favorite personal bike, his custom Oxford. The builder was a Santa Cruz artist who did fine metal sculptures and built custom lugged bikes on the side. I tried to find that article on the internet, but havenít been successful. Maybe someone else can find it. It was a great looking bike. You got something pretty special.
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Old 10-09-22, 11:34 AM
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I connected with Jim Langley who told a nice story on Oxford - with his permission, this is his recollection (which he acknowledged is his own, not James Oxford's):

Hi John! I can give you the history as I worked at the Bicycle Center in Santa Cruz, CA, the shop that got Jim Oxford to become a framebuilder for our shop. Roger Sands was one of the NorCal visionaries who realized road riding would take off in the late 60s, early 70s and decided to open a pro shop in what was a rapidly growing university town already in love with cycling and surfing.

As far as cycling goes, lots of famous bikemen worked in Santa Cruz for Roger from Tom Cuthbertson (Anybody’s Bike Book), Dannie Nall (top road racer who also with Cuthbertson) brought cyclocross from England to NorCal, Tim Neenan (Lighthouse frames), Ross Shafer (Salsa), Robert Wright (first book on how to build wheels), Laurence Malone (5x USA Natl cross champ - and I could go on.

At the Bicycle Center Roger traveled to England to import famous maker’s frames such as Hetchins, Harry Quinn, William Hurlow, Bob Jackson. In 1980 when I was hired Roger was having trouble getting frames from England delivered on time. He had a customer and friend James (“Jim”) Oxford.

Jim loved bicycles and riding. He went to Berkeley and as far as I know studied to be a metal sculptor/artist. He was a machinist and also a blacksmith, too. Specialized hired Jim to design the prototype of their first Globe commuting bike model, which was exactly what went into production they liked it so much.

I believe Jim built about 100 frames - all custom - in the about 10 years he worked for Roger. I know he made a handful of tandems, too. I own the only cross bike he built, which I raced for 2 years and in the 1984 Natl Championships on. I also own a fancy lug road Oxford.

Jim mostly used Henry James parts and Reynolds or Columbus tubing, though he would mix tubes if he felt it was right for a rider. My road Oxford is built with Tange Prestige because I requested it.

Jim now lives in Washington state and is healthy and happy - not building frames anymore but still making amazing metal kinetic sculptures mostly to entertain family and friends.

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Old 10-09-22, 11:41 AM
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That is extremely cool. That bike will never command big bucks, but it is off the charts on history, bragging rights and I bet in ride quality. (That last one is a matter of personal taste, but I hope it is so for you.) Ride the hack out of it, as it was meant to be.
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Old 10-09-22, 12:40 PM
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Wow, crazy this came up! Earlier this year a guy donated one of these to a local co-op. I wasnít familiar with the brand but it was dripping with Campy Record and/or DA.
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