Monthly Archives: March 2019

Time Capsule Ellis Briggs

This wonderful 1983 Ellis Briggs surfaced this year in a charity shop in the East of England.

A friend of my son spent a year doing an internship at a school there, and volunteered as a helper in the charity shop to which on one of his last days of the internship, the bike was found leaning one morning. My son´s friend had seen that we already own a good flock of EBs, and thought he´d send us a text while the people at the shop were affixing a very moderate price tag to the bike, and after a short exchange of messages I was able to acquire it.

As if there had not been enough good luck, my son´s friend owns a 940 Volvo estate car in which the bike fitted easily, and it was expedited in all comfort and style to Germany. What a story.

But it goes on. Paul at Ellis Briggs was contacted, and promptly sent a scan of the page in his build book which described the bike, and it turned out that it was a veritable time capsule. Paintwork down to the sticker of the bike shop that is mentioned in the scan, and all the rest too seems to be original, save the saddle and the seatpin, which had over time been replaced with really cheap horrors, but I had better ones in my Box, so that was good too.

So, the bike itself. No chrome, Campag only where absolutely necessary, TA as an added bonus, my favourite derailleurs, early SunTours, and also the blue handlebar tape and toeclip straps go well with the blue lug lining. Exceptionally beautiful in its simplicity. Money spent where it was necessary to achieve a good ride, but no shying away from less prestigious Japanese parts where they had proved to do a good job. OK, the pedals, I would have chosen others there, but ok, that´s how it is. It´s precisely what I would have ordered for the job at hand, which seems to have been Club Riding, as there is no lighting or any luggage capability visible, save a saddle bag support which is not pictured.

Also looking at the rims and the mudguard flap as well as at the near absence of any scratches, let alone dings or dents, it seems the the bike has not been ridden a lot.

What will I do with it? I think I will leave it just as it is, riding it easily and rarely (the chain is nearly worn). The only SR seatpin in 27.2 I still had is a long version, slightly younger than the bike too, but I chose it as the frame has 62 c-t while I usually need about 4 cms more, so a slightly longer seatpin came in handy for moderate riding of a bike which is a bit too small.

Hey, what an enormous pleasure this bike is, and completely unexpected too.

Enjoy the rest of the pics.