Normally when I hear the words “Road Bike” or “Lycra”, I reach for my gun (lol), but something about this particular classic has won me over – for the moment. It’s a steel framed Cecil Walker ten speed, found in an interesting central coast clearing shed for “old stuff”. As I passed this shed, my recyclist’s nose began to sniff – I just had to stop and look !
There were two bikes inside, a petrol motorised beach cruiser and this one.
The first thing that caught my eye was the classy hand painted “Cecil Walker” lettering on the downtube – I had vaguely heard of the name before, but where ? Anyway, a quick 80 bucks later, it was all mine, and I have since done some research to find that there is still a Cecil Walker Cycles in Fitzroy Melbourne, and that this was an Australian bike of obviously decent specification. It’s fitted with Shimano 600 derailleurs and 600 “starfish” headset, Italian Modolo “Speedy” brakes, Cinelli “Campione del Mondo” drop bars, Ofmega CX cranks and chainwheel, . The wheels are 27 inch with narrow alloy rims and 27×1″ tyres.
Sadly the rim decals are almost unreadable and the Reynolds frame tubing stickers have frustratingly decayed away too.
The gearing looks pretty serious with only one tooth difference between each rear cog – fourteen through eighteen teeth – and at 42x18T first gear, this is surely not a hill-climbing special !
Although I didn’t buy it to ride (as I thought it too small) I have since found that the seat post and quill stem have reasonable extension, so I may get away with riding it if I can sort the other messes out.
Apart from some very tight bolts and a seized alloy seat post (steel and aluminium together have some real issues when left out in the weather), the biggest problem is the rear wheel. The rim is buckled and there are cracks around some of the spoke nipples (though the front wheel seems fine). A visit to the LBS to discuss rear wheel options is therefore needed, with fingers crossed. I’m not keen on putting “deep-V’s” on it , though I really have no idea what’s available, me being a complete road bike novice.
The bike has had some exposure to the elements perhaps under eaves or in an open shed, the rich red paintwork crinkling and lifting from a gold underlay in places and with some surface rust on upward facing frame sections. Having looked on the web and seen some old CW frames stripped, powder coated and all “fixied” up (yuk), I know I am NOT going to do that as their uniqueness had clearly been lost. This one is truly beautiful just as is, and the simple gold inlays in the lugs are quite a striking addition to the red top coat.
Serial number on the frame is 82017, and I am naively guessing that it was the 17th bike made in 1982 – could it be that simple ? The Modolo Speedy brake was first introduced in 1979 at any rate and I also believe this bike is pretty much all original as found, apart from a reflective tape fetish of the previous owner that is now stuck on like superglue in places ….
Here is a list of parts then, for anyone interested in these classic Australian bicycles :
Frame – unidentified grade of Reynolds steel tubing – lugged, 51cm from BB centre to seat tube top – S/no 82017 on downtube near BB
Headset, dérailleurs and freewheel – Shimano 600
Shifters – Shimano Dura-Ace friction levers, downtube mounted
Brakes – Modolo “speedy”, alloy side pull calipers, drilled alloy levers
Stem – Win? – stamped 9886DF Japan 22.2
Seatpost – micro adjust – 179 – roto – Italy 27.2 with San Marco Concor Supercorsa saddle – plastic base, padded brown suede top
Bars – Cinelli stamped 63 or 66 ? “Campione del Mondo”
Hubs and skewers – Ofmega
Cranks – Ofmega CX alloy 170mm, w52/42T chainwheel
BB – Ofmega 68.C axle, cups marked “Ofmega 34,8 x 24 FS”
Rims – alloy made in Italy – unidentified, with IRC 27×1″ whitewall tyres as found
Pedals – SR model SP-100BL
Toe-clips – Christophe D – marked “Brevete made in France, with KKT leather straps
It does beg the question – should I even try to get it going or merely hang it up somewhere as is – i.e would the ultimate sensitive restoration be non-restoration ?
But then, I just can’t help myself, can I ?
Happy Cycling !