Stolen Fame

Here´s another bike from Shipley, a nice 1958 Competition, frame # 3580, restored not by me but bought off Ebay from Crispin Jones of Mr Jones watches. I´m not a member of Ebay myself, but a friend told me about it and helped me secure this marvellous machine.

What I instantly liked about it was the high quality equipment, and that Crispin, a designer, had gone to great lengths to recreate and reprint the original transfers which are now available from Nick Tythecott at Lloyd´s Cycles. I like the result very much. The respray is by Argos and replaces an unoriginal one done by the first owner. This colour scheme is not original either as per Ellis-Briggs´ documents, because the first owner wanted to impress his mates and had it sprayed Bianchi Celeste.

I only needed to change some bits and pieces on the bike, i.e. the saddle which is a narrow B17 restored by Tony Colegrave. Crispin had replaced a rotted out Brooks with a modern B17, which in its turn now serves faithfully on another bike of mine. All the other parts are original, the Chater Lea crankset, the Campag Gran Sport derailleurs, wonderful Conloy rims, handlebars, everything. After I took the photos I changed the tires for slightly fatter and less modern looking ones.

Here we have a look at the Chater pedals, too, and the bottom bracket shell. E-B had a machine which stamped shapes into blank lugs so they could easily make different shapes.

The fifities were the decade when Ellis-Briggs bicycles were ridden in great races, the Tour of Britain amongst others. Ken Russell won the 1952 edition on an E-B. To have owned one of their machines then must have meant something as their fame went beyond the usual local builder´s who catered for his hometown´s club riders.

Looking at these features one gets an idea why this was the case.

Here´s another great part – a GB “map of Britain” handlebar.

And, of course, the sure sign of a quality bike, a Campag Gran Sport rear derailleur.

A nice touch relating to the history of the bike is that Crispin bought it from the first owner who had lived in Altrincham, quite close to a place I lived in the eighties.

So here´s a bike with a less well known name, but still of superbe quality.



  1. Jon Spangler
    Posted January 30, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Where does the title of this entry come from?

    • Posted January 31, 2012 at 6:44 am | Permalink | Reply

      It´s all in me `ead, Jon.
      It´s the only bike I´ve got which I bought ready restored, so the credit for the nice work is due to someone else.

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