Graham Weigh Cycle Renovation

Graham Weigh Cycle Renovation

Iteration #1

1989 to 2005

My dad purchased his Graham Weigh frame around 1990, built a bike and raced on it until 1992 when, at the age of 79, on another bike, he died in a cycling accident. I inherited the bike together with a lifetime’s worth of his cycling bits to add to my own lifetime accumulation. Dad was a keen cyclist all his life; his racing career spanned 60 years from 1932 to 1992 with intervals for WW2, family and work. Over time he was a member of Goodmayes Wheelers, Suffolk Roads, Crawley Wheelers and Ribble Valley Cycling Clubs and was a good rider at all ages. As I have aged, I have become increasingly impressed with his racing times. He clocked 29 min for a 10 mile time trial at the age of 78

Len Main 1913- 1992 with the Graham Weigh

Iteration #2

2006 to 2019

I had the frame resprayed in 2005, fitted lots of new bits and added decals to advertise our business which sparked off quite a few conversations. This was my ‘best’ bike for several years. When I upgraded to a different machine it became my winter bike and gradually deteriorated until another renovation was neccessary.

Iteration #2 in action: Bealach Beag Sportive (Bealach na Ba) and Southern Uplands Sportive (Talla climb)

Iteration #3 – 2020 Onwards

My Thinking

  • The renovation is a nod towards my dad’s memory.
  • I have large pile of old, random, cycling gear,
  • I fancied creating a gravel bike.
  • I thought it might be an interesting project.

Assembly

This took a while and was a bigger job than expected; I wanted to get it right. The only major problem was that the bottom bracket threads turned out to be badly worn, and keep coming loose. At present, May 2020, a cartridge bottom bracket is held in place with epoxy resin together with the remains of the threads, but if this fails I have a threadless bracket waiting in the wings.

Never ever buy a bike from IKEA

I used our spare bedroom for the initial assembly.

The Kit

The frame was powder coated by a local firm, MK2 Powder Coatings, Gilmerton, East Lothian. They mostly work with motorcycle parts but also do bike frames. They did a good job. Check them out at – www.facebook.com/Mk2PowderCoating

The oldest components are the Campagnolo handlebar changers, the Brooks saddle with hammered rivets and the Maes handlebars with engraving; all used by me in the 1960s.

Other items are mostly from the 1990s onwards, some are new.

The first layer of bar tape is Lizard Skins, this was a great deal from a charity shop but I didn’t like it much. I found it too sticky, so I over-taped it with some nice Richie cork tape. The whipping uses ordinary string and is finished with shellac to keep it in place (clear varnish would also do).

As the aluminium seatpost is stuck forever, I had it coated with the frame. It’s my height, so there’s no need to ever move it again. The bolt to hold it in place is just for completeness.

The pump was an excellent roadside find.

Graham Weight Cycle Renovation
bar end levers in use
August 1969 – 25 mile TT – 1:06:05 – Oval Cycling Club Event
I had ridden a 12 hour, cycled across the Pyrenees and arrived home to immediatly go down with Giardiasis, picked up in the Pyrenees. I was feeling ill and his was my last race of the year. It took me many months to recover.


The Costs

I would liked to have bought more of the kit directly from our local bike shop but, in the middle of the Coronavirus lockdown, I was reluctant to visit any shops.

The Finished Bike

Future Use

The plan is that most of the time this bike will used on my turbo trainer and, occasionally, will be taken out and used ‘off-road’. In East Lothian there are many miles of fast, rideable gravel and farm tracks, not rough enough for a mountain bike. With the addition of mudguards, it may also be used as an alternative winter bike.

Would I do It Again

Absolutely not; it was fun, interesting, challenging and, mostly, enjoyable but it was time consuming. I want to spend my time riding my bike(s) and doing other things like going swimming and walking, not spannering away in the garage. However I’m very pleased I did it.

©Peter Main 2020

You are welcome to use extracts from this text but please give me an acknowledgment

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