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A Retro Homage

When my mother went into palliative care towards the end of last year, we reflected on milestones in her life. One of her most memorable adventures was a tour from the south of England to the northernmost point of Scotland on her bike with my father whilst in their late 60s. Mum on her trusty Claude Butler Majestique and Dad on his Dawes Galaxy. So many happy memories compressed into a magical trip of 6 weeks.

By some twist of fate and bloody mindedness, mum beat the prognosis and can now be found alive and kicking and pushing her Brompton around town with a smile! Coincidentally, I entered the 2023 Pan Celtic at the time mum started showing signs of recovery. The race distance of 1500 miles mirrors that of her Scottish tour, so I have decided for this year’s race to build a traditional flat bar touring model in homage. Yes, our Bostal should really be the weapon for the job - fast, stable and uber comfortable - but this year is all about reflection and taking it easy for me.

Aesthetically speaking, slim tubing is a must for that 80s look, and ideally straight chain and seatstays, but with a more modern 32mm clearance for better comfort and handling. Slimmer tubing will also provide a bit of flex for long distance cosseting, but I’ve gone to an oversize T47 bottom bracket shell for more efficient drive. And I’m definitely going disc brakes and thru axles! So, a retro classic with just the right modern modifications.

After a bit of overtime and tinkering in the workshop last week, the project has come to life. We had some 1 1/8” head tube in stock and this was ideal given the brief. Some 35mm tubing was ideal for the down tube, 32mm for the top tube and 29mm for the seat tube. All Reynolds’ finest of course. The whole bike has been brazed (our Beacon and Bostal models are predominantly TIG welded) for that retro vibe.

So, it’s now off to the powder coaters in the coming week and then we’ll consider groupset, wheels, finishing kit and luggage system options. Hopefully, I’ll then be race ready in terms of hardware by early April, with the joyous prospect of hours of springtime riding to get into shape!


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