Saturday, March 15, 2014

Personal bike:1971 Jack Taylor Tourist

     This is one of my personal bikes. It is a 1971 Jack Taylor Tourist model, which I purchased as a frame, fork, and rear rack off Ebay in 2005 ish. I have always loved the Taylor brothers work and when I finally got the opportunity to own one in my size, I jumped at it. I was excited when I saw the auction because it looked to be in great original shape, and when I won the auction my excitement level increased. I started thinking of how I wanted to build it and all the adventures I would have in the coming years riding it. when it arrived, I was surprised to find it was NOS (new),  the original paint in the drop outs had never had a wheel in them!
I then was conflicted, do I preserve its original condition and keep it as an investment? Or do I build it and use it for what it was originally intended. I chose the latter.
     It took me about a year to acquire all the parts and put it together. I built it with about 75% correct-ish parts and some modern stuff too. It did not come with a front rack, so I figured I would have to get something after market or wait a long time for something appropriate. Luck was on my side though as I was able to acquire the correct front Taylor made rack and crazily enough, the serial number on the rack is one digit off the serial number of the frame!
     I put it together with an early Phil Wood rear hub with the chromed barrel. The front hub is an earlier Schmidt dynamo 6V-3W, laced to Rigida box section rims that Velo Orange sold at the time. The Grand Bois Cypres tires are nice and supple, 30mm size. T.A. Pro 5 Vis crankset with 50-39-32 gearing and modern T.A. bottom  bracket. Now that I know more about gearing I want to change the ring combo a bit. Berthet Lyotard touring pedals work well and look great. The Stronglight Competition headset came with the original purchase. The Honjo hammered fenders look like older LeFol ones, but were much more readily available. I converted the Campagnolo Nuovo Record rear derailleur to a long cage version using the Rally cage plates and Bullseye pulleys as an upgrade. Front derailleur is a standard Campagnolo Nuovo record, however it has always shifted a bit funny and I want to change it to a Huret Duopar,  the Duopar works much better from what I am told. Suntour bar-con shifters are my favorites and work great. Campagnolo seat post and Brooks Professional saddle are quite comfy. I was lucky to also score the Jack Taylor stem and GB Tourmalet bars. Classic MAFAC cantilever brakes offer plenty of stopping power, I changed the pads to modern Kool-Stops though, the levers are the drilled MAFAC competition version with nice original hoods that are nice and comfy. the front light is a Schmidt E6 and the rear tail light is a Bush & Mill LED with stand light. I chose modern lighting because it is far superior and more efficient than vintage stuff. Although it does look a bit out of place.
     The frame has lots of cool braze-ons and bits. The fillet brazing is very clean and what The Taylor brothers were primarily known for. The top tube has a tab for a Primus camping stove, the frame has internal routing for the lighting wires, a feature I really like. Bottle generator braze-on on the non drive side seat stay. The BB has a zirc grease fitting. One thing i really like is the flint catcher braze-ons. From what I understand a piece of leather is tied between the two attachments and it loosely runs on top of the tire catching any foreign objects from puncturing the tire. I have not utilized them, but it is a feature I had not seen before. Classic Mondrian style decals and intact box lining. The paint is now a bit chipped up, but still looks good in my opinion. The bike also has Campagnolo vertical rear drop outs, a bit of a rarity.
      The bike is my favorite, very versatile and comfortable. I also use a T.A. handle bar bag for day trips, and panniers for longer trips, it performs well when loaded and actually feels better when it is loaded. I have been on many solo trips with this bike and also many trips with my wife. Now that we have a family it gets ridden less and the memories of those good times and adventures are nice to think back on. I look forward to many more trips when our daughter is old enough. This bike will be paitently waiting until then.







































2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fabulous!
I love the serendipity of the serial numbers.

So impressed with your keeping it original - looks great.
As for the vertical dropouts, an example of the Taylor brothers willingness to do special orders. Sam Braxton of Missoula brought in many 'Tour of Britain' framesets in the 1970s and he had them built with Campy vertical dropouts and with the early 'gothic' font decals.
My only criticism of your build: put some period correct straight lever Campagnolo OR skewers on it (N.Record or Tipo).
AND, if you ever want to sell it, let me know!
Bruce R
Mc Leod, Montana

bikeville said...

Bruce,
I do have the correct skewers, I forget why I have that one on there. Anyway, thanks for the compliment, it is a great bike!