A bike with a frame dating from two decades, built up with bits from at least three countries – that´s not what one would expect of a successful restauration. Indeed, this
The frame I bought off the late Ron Sant, or rather swapped it together with some other bits for a pair of horrible Fendt Cardanos. I was glad to be rid of them, and Ron was concentrating on shaft driven bikes and those made in Manchester, so a swap was the obvious choice.
Ron had gotten the frame minus its original forks, so he had George Longstaff reproduce one, using an old Ekla crown and also copying the mudguard stay tabs halfway up the fork leg.
It seems Granby had a strange mix between headclip and more modern headsets – note the locknut and the floating ballrun headlugs.
At the time I was hunting for what you call funny frames – those with unusual build features. The discussion why people made them is not to be repeated here, let it suffice to say that most of those strange constructions did not make it into general practice, and only two – the curly Hetchins and Baines Flying Gate, to a lesser extent the Paris Galibier – have survived in their own little niches.
Anyway, the 1936 Granby Taper Tube offered to me by Ron seemed irresistible and I decided to try and make a bike of it. Note the fat tubes arriving at the bottom bracket shell; higher up they taper to a smaller diameter. The paint, another neuralgic spot, is so thick that any measurement of tube diameters will be inaccurate.
The rims had to be 26 inch ones, and it took me years to find a pair – with 32/40h to boot, because I wanted to use my Sturmey AF. When I had found a pair, they had a strange surface – all pimply from having spent decades in the sun in a shop window.
The hub of course must be the nicest item on the bike.
It is a real working example of an AF, be it without original trigger which I think I´ll never find. The thing about the AF was that it had a special ratio, and of course the F meant Four Speed. The top three gears were close together giving plus 9.1%, direct, minus 10% and then the fourth would drop down 25% for the steep hills. The press ravished about this hub, Sturmey-Archer received the CTC Silver Plaque for it and the FM brought out in 1939, too, for having produced the most interesting innovation of the season, and then the AF was only made for two seasons, 1939 and 40, because of WWII intervening. There is a lengthy article about the AF in Tony Hadland´s fascinating book The Sturmey-Archer Story.
Then there´s a great 1930s Brooks
Two more parts on the bike which don´t really fit, I think; one´s the BT brake which only appeared in the immediate post war years, and the other´s the toeclips – more Italian I think. Need to look into this. They are unusual, and were NOS when I got them.
Lastly, a personal remark: I´m still quite booked out with all sorts of activities, including work and some health issues, so I wouldn´t be surprised at all if there weren´t any more posts until after Neerkant.