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Any Davidson Fans Out There?

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Any Davidson Fans Out There?

Old 06-07-21, 11:03 PM
  #1  
Jacob_R_59 
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Any Davidson Fans Out There?

Hello, I’m a new member from the Northwest. Frames by Bill Davidson are well respected here. I know Drillium Dude has one.

I have 2, a very large (65.5cm) TIG welded steel frame from the late 90s or early 2000s, and a 64cm lugged “credit card tourer” frame from the early 1980s. The TIG welded bike is one of my favorite riders.

Any other Davidson fans out there? I’ll be posting pictures of mine here in the future.

Thanks!

Jacob_R_59
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Old 06-08-21, 04:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Jacob_R_59 View Post
Hello, I’m a new member from the Northwest. Frames by Bill Davidson are well respected here. I know Drillium Dude has one.

I have 2, a very large (65.5cm) TIG welded steel frame from the late 90s or early 2000s, and a 64cm lugged “credit card tourer” frame from the early 1980s. The TIG welded bike is one of my favorite riders.

Any other Davidson fans out there? I’ll be posting pictures of mine here in the future.

Thanks!

Jacob_R_59
Jacob,

I am a fan, though haven't had the pleasure of owning one. That said, I've been on the lookout for a 59/60cm frame for a while.

Mark Bulgier (aka bulgie here) worked there for quite a few years, maybe built thousands of those frames... certainly hundreds and hundreds of them.

Best regards,
Kirk Pacenti
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Old 06-08-21, 09:43 AM
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You don't see too many around here. Everyone bought Groves.
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Old 06-08-21, 10:19 AM
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I don't have a Davidson but Elliot Bay Bikes was my LBS way back when. Sure miss that place and all those beautiful frames.
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Old 06-08-21, 11:31 AM
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Welcome to the forum, Swampgas
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Old 06-08-21, 01:12 PM
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https://www.bikeforums.net/early-bri...1231920-a.html
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Old 06-08-21, 01:45 PM
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Davidsons

I’m embarrassed to admit that I only went to Elliot Bay Bicycles once while they were open. I took a look at the price tags and told myself that I couldn’t afford one…

It’s pretty ironic, considering that Robert Freeman, Bill Davidson’s former partner in Elliot Bay, has become a dear friend and riding partner. We rode 69 miles together on May 30th. I will post pictures soon.

Jacob
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Old 06-08-21, 01:52 PM
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Thanks, it's nice to be here.
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Old 06-09-21, 07:45 PM
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About 10 years ago I had a disc brake Ti Davidson made. About the same time I was starting to revisit my earlier desires to build a bike for myself. When I bought my bike I talked to him about framebuilding and he was so kind and generous with his time and knowledge. I took some sample joints back to him a week or so later and I think his response was 'holy crap you burned that thing!'. Then he did some triage and determined my flux was wrong, filler was wrong and my torch was too small and I dressed funny. He gave me a cup of flux from his big bin and some filler and a couple lugs and dropouts and a small box of scrap tubing. I brought more samples back a few weeks later and he slowly coached me up. He spent way too much time with me. He could have cut me off much earlier and still would have been considered generous. I met Will a couple times - his builder at the time. I think he saw that I was willing to put in the effort and that I was making progress. I have since shown him a few of my finished, unpainted frames and discussed tooling, alignment and design. He always acts interested even when I know he's probably annoyed that I'm wasting his time.

I have been looking for an early 56-57cm Davidson. I'd love a new one too!
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Old 06-10-21, 10:41 PM
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Davidsons

Well, I’m glad to hear that many folks here have heard of Davidsons and that many people here like them.

Forum member Drilium Dude has a gorgeous metallic orange Davidson with Campagnolo 8 speed Ergo, but both of mine are more workmanlike than his. Neither of mine have any chrome, for one thing.

I’m taking my TIG-welded one apart to have the top tube dent removed and then repainted, and I’m also building up the lugged one in the next few weeks and I will post pictures when it’s done.

Thanks for all of the comments!
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Old 06-14-21, 10:42 AM
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I've got a late 80s Davidson Impulse as my daily driver. Mine also has a dent in the top tube, unfortunately. Doesn't seem to affect the ride though.
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Old 06-14-21, 11:13 AM
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I missed out on one on eBay once upon a time and have regretted it for a long time afterward.
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Old 06-14-21, 11:18 AM
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Dented Davidson

My Davidson’s dent is on top of the top tube where it stares at me every time I ride it.

Additional “incentive,” in the form of rust forming where the paint’s flaking off under the dent is leading me to strip the bike and take the frame to Cyclefab in Georgetown (Seattle) to have the dent removed.

I never liked the dark blue paint anyways, so from Cyclefab it goes straight to the painters!

Jacob
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Old 06-14-21, 03:03 PM
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One Davidson fan who surprised me is Jim Merz. He was on the very short list of the world's best framebuilders for a while in the '70s and early '80s before he quit to be a design engineer for Specialized, maybe Head Engineer or some such title? Recently, like within the last 5 or 10 years (I don't remember), he bought his wife a nice ~'84 Davidson that I probably* built when I worked there. His wife Heidi Hopkins was a top racer, probably loads of wins and medals, and she's still fit. She knows a nice bike when she rides one.

*can't say who built it because Davidson kept no records and didn't put serial numbers on the frames. Soon after I started there I was the main custom builder, and after maybe a year I built all the custom frames. Heidi's was made about when I started there, so it could have been made by Frank Kaplan who was the previous main custom guy before me.

Mark B
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Old 07-04-21, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Jacob_R_59 View Post
My Davidson’s dent is on top of the top tube where it stares at me every time I ride it.

Additional “incentive,” in the form of rust forming where the paint’s flaking off under the dent is leading me to strip the bike and take the frame to Cyclefab in Georgetown (Seattle) to have the dent removed.

I never liked the dark blue paint anyways, so from Cyclefab it goes straight to the painters!

Jacob
Hi Jacob!

You should hang out over at the C&V sub-forum, lots of like minded vintage bike folk there, with a big overlap of members that post to the CR group. The definition of classic and vintage is a lot looser there than CR, but lots of members would love to see pix of some of your "XL" frames and bikes!

Hope that Bob puts on his annual ride and show this year, I'll make sure and get up there for it. It'll be nice to see you again after the calamity of this last year and a half.

Mark
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Old 07-04-21, 10:24 AM
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Is this the one & only location? We’re staying in Fremont over the 4th and we were walking by this shop when I noticed the sign. I remember this thread and hearing of Davidson’s work as exceptional, but I was surprised how small & “folksy” for lack of a better word the shop appears to be if this is the one location.

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Old 07-06-21, 12:46 AM
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Yes, that's the current location. They were down at the north end of Pike Place for decades before he closed up that shop and moved to Fremont. I like the new shop. It's smaller and you can see into the framebuilding shop.
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