Gillott - 1955
How it was acquired:
This frame was found hanging from the roof of a barn and covered in
rust. It had been stripped of paint and left unprotected for many
years. Fortunately the rust was superficial with no pitting of the
surface so the basic integrity of the frame remained. All it needed to
bring it back to its former glory was bead-blasting to clean off the
rust followed by chrome plating of the forks and ends, a repaint, new
transfers and lug lining. The chrome plating probably doubled the cost
of refinishing, but was worth it.
Seeking out period-correct components to build the frame into a running
machine proved to be particularly rewarding. Some of the componentry,
including the rare FB large-flange wheels, I had already, but most of
the bits were the result of many pleasant hours rummaging around at
cycle jumbles. As with all of my machines, the specification of this
Gillott does change from time to time because I can never resist
tinkering. Sometimes it has gears rather than single-fixed, while in
winter it usually has alloy mudguards fitted.
||Frame serial number 554253. Built 1955.
Reynolds 531 butted tubes, forks and stays, Nervex Professional lugs.
Campagnolo rear dropouts. Gillott gradual rake front forks. Braze-ons:
brake cable stops, gear cable stops for front and rear gears. Finished
in metallic burgundy with cream band for seat tube and head tube. Lugs
lined in gold. Chrome plated front forks and ends of stays. Bayliss
Wiley bottom bracket fittings, TDC type headset.
Dimensions: Seat tube 24", top tube 22.5", Wheelbase 40.5"
||Weinmann 27-inch alloy rims. Italian FB
large flange front hub. Maillard large-flange rear hub with Reynolds
wingnuts (with fixed gear) or FB large flange (with freewheel). 27" x
||Stronglight 49D with TA early-logo 46-tooth
chainring (or double with 34/48 rings)
||Allez with Christophe toeclips and straps
||Single fixed 18-tooth sprocket (as shown) or
Campagnolo Gran Sport and Everest 6-speed block
||GB Coureur with GB Superhood levers (early cast
type, with adjusters), genuine GB hoods
||GB 531 spearpoint chromed steel with GB Ventoux
engraved alloy bars
Swallow with chrome frame, dural seatpin
fitted): Bluemels Tour de France aluminium mudguards, Carradice
Features that make
The fact that this machine was 'saved from the scrapper' makes it
special to me. Also, when building a cycle from a bare frame there is
the added attraction in that it allows you the freedom to create
exactly what you want, from the colour of the frame to the type and
number of gears to the precise specification. The end result is a
machine that looks and feels just 'right'.
Seat cluster including Nervex
Nervex Professional head lugs
plus GB steel stem
Nervex Professional lugs with
rim top and bottom intact
centre 'fishtail' denotes later version - mid 50s?
Rear brake bridge with GB
Coureur stirrups which
introduce in 1951
Round-bladed forks, Coureur
stirrups and close-up of the Professional lugs
F B front hub with second circle
of lightening holes
The FB hub
later became the Campagnolo Gran Sport