Sunday, 1 September 2019

Sunday 01 September 2019 - Jack Taylor Sport Wheels - Sachs/Van Schothorst

Here is a few photos of the wheels that were found with and came with the Sports frame.
They have never been used and as they were found alongside the frame it is assumed they went in the loft with it back in approx 1963/64.
Sachs, Made in France stamped hubs with Van Schothorst made in Holland rims, 27 x 1 1/4 . Rear hub stamped 7V  W6, Front hub stamped T6.  No glue, tape so have never been used and while have some slight sort of pitting starting they are in great condition, maybe need a re grease but on the jig they are straight as an arrow. Made by the Midlands Wheel Co LTD Birmingham.


*** update 3/9/2019
It seems these wheels may not be related to the JT frame they came with. Been digging for clues with the help of the good people of Retrobike forum. The phone number on the decals is a newer style number, the lack of a date stamp on the Sachs hubs may put them pre 1985 so a bit of a mystery really. The rear has a nut/spacer put on that doesn't look like it belongs on there and this makes it 126mm whereas the frame is definitely 1963 and 120mm rear spacing. May possibly be completely unrelated to the frame. Nice wheels anyway. 

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Sat August 21st 2019 Jack Taylor Sports - 23/7/1963 -

Spent last weekend staying in a lovely pub in Stockton on Tees ready for the VCC Jack Taylor ride in North Yorkshire held on the Sunday and Monday. It was a really fabulous weekend, though a long round trip. Between Friday night after work and Monday night around 10.30 I did about 947 miles and had spent 19 hours driving, 9 down and 10 back.
I was asked why I wasn't headed to SSUK as per my usual riding but just decided on a change for this year. I missed the Jack Taylor weekend last year due to last minute family stuff and really regretted it and told Brian back then that the Jack Taylor weekend was for me in 2019.
I decided a long while back that the Jack Taylor weekend would come first this year. The single speed isn’t the same without Brian anyway, though I did have his entry but to be honest, I have a bit going on and it would just be too much as I thought of racing Sat then driving down there for Sunday morning but to be honest it would just make both things stressful. Maybe I'm getting old ;) 
One consolation was I had to detour through Durham to pick up this 1963 Sport frame I bought a couple of months back.
It came with a set of wheels and while the frame may have been built, it looks like it was barely used, if at all, and the wheels are as built, never used. Sachs hubs and Dutch Van Schothorst 27 x 1 1/4 rims built by Race Wheels Birmingham. Found in the guys mother in laws loft and believed to be her husbands sisters husband. Unfortunately they are long gone and the sister in law has dementia, so after several months the trail comes to a dead end. It was just found when clearing out the mother in laws loft in a bin bag. Several chips but as good as new. Well pleased.
Yeah it was a good buy. I had been worried about buying it off of photos and from a guy who knows nothing about bikes. Then paying knowing I wouldn't see it for a couple of months, but we both did our homework and assurances were given and all worked out very stress free and accommodating. It was a fair price but seeing the condition and the fact he threw the wheels in it is now a bargain.
I helped originally to identify it and pointed him to where to sell it. He mentioned on several posts that he would like to maybe sell it, though he had given the size wrong. I did ask about the size and asked if he could check and he assured me it was a 22'', which is too big for me. In the photos it didn't look 22'' judging by the headtube and also the build books from Ken Taylor showed it being a 21" Sport model. When it was offered to me for helping ID etc I again said about the size and it was still 22" but I took a safe gamble that the size from the old build book was correct and did a deal. Still a slight relief when I finally got to take it out the bag that it was indeed 21", which was clear to me without any tape measure needed. I never mentioned it, as it wasn't needed to be, I was just happy it was indeed 21".  I paid his wife as the money was for his mother in law. The mother in law had no idea of anything in particular about it and only vaguely remembered stuff coming from her sister in law when she passed. Clearly covered in the bag as while a couple of chips the paintwork, it is still so bright and vibrant and the only defect is the Reynolds 531 decal is crinkled and all dried and flaking as these went on after clear coat, so not protected. Wheels have some pinpoint rust spots but not a mark of fitting, use and never had a brake pad touch them.
As I said before, I already knew what it was as the gentleman had given me the number and with access to the copies of Ken Taylors build books on the groups document pages I knew the size, model and the fact it was finished on 23/7/1963.
I went to the ride meet on the Sunday morning and met a lot of really great new friends and met up with people I had spoken with and conversed online with in various groups for  a long while. So nice to see so many great condition Jack Taylors in one place as well as such an enthusiastic bunch.  A great social ride before returning to Swainby for the historic car show that as well as having some of the nicest motorcycles seen in a while had lots of historic bike displays with some really amazing examples. Our Jack Taylors, amongst other marquees joined the others at the VCC setup.
On the Monday I had decided that I wouldn't do the ride to Stockton on Tees as I had such a long drive home and it wasn't going to finish until later that afternoon. I was going to the meetup and breakfast/coffee as I knew I would be there for a few hours socialising. As well as meeting a lot of new people who couldn't make the day before we were also joined by Ken Taylor. This was a highlight for me to be able to spend a couple of hours with everyone sitting around outside in the glorious sunshine admiring all the bikes, Jack Taylors and lots of others, everybody chatting away in a really relaxed and friendly atmosphere and also to chat away to Ken, discussing everything from wheels sizes to telling me stories of cyclotouring in France.
We took a couple of photos with my Super Clubman and the Eric suggested showing Ken the new frame as several wanted to see it as well. Most were well impressed with it's original condition and Ken signed the back of the seat tub on the yellow band with his usual ' Have a great ride' and then asked if I wanted him to sign it like the old shipping boxes with Taylor Brothers, I said I would prefer Ken  :wink: 
One of the nicest guys you could meet and a true gentleman. Even after he flagged the guys and girls away on their ride he and his wife Honor sat round and chatted for ages. As it was I managed to get away just on lunchtime.
Just one of those weekends that just falls into place and makes the world right again. It was certainly an easy drive back north feeling like one lucky guy on all fronts.
To think as well that on the way down I was thinking that maybe I should sell the new frame, not that that is why I bought it, more because my Super Clubman is my favourite ride so wasn't sure I even needed another Jack Taylor. Then after the weekend, eventually seeing it, then having it signed, I thought, this isn't going anywhere and is the closest I am going to get to a new JT. It may now sit in my loft until I get a few other projects sorted, but there's no rush, it's not going anywhere ;)
Apologies for the bad lighting, and also this is as found, not even wiped over with a rag.

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Thursday, 29 August 2019

25/26 August 2019 - Jack Taylor group weekend - Swainby North Yorkshire

Finally got the Super Clubman finished on the Thursday night and loaded into the van ready to leave straight from work on Friday to head to Perth for the first part of the journey down to Swainby for the Jack Taylor Facebook group and VVCC meeting on the Sunday and Monday of the bank holiday weekend.
Will write up elsewhere about the weekend. other than to say it was a great couple of days and well worth the trek down. Weather was great, rides were great and the people friendly and so welcoming. Spent Sunday morning enjoying chatting with Ken Taylor, who has some really great tales as you can imagine. More than happy to talk about frame designs and why and how they did this and did that, but above all else a real gentleman.
My Super Clubman ran really well with the upgrades which I was more than pleased with as when I fitted the Arabesque rear mech and shifters, I thought, just maybe, putting on the long cage rear mech and the friction shifters I just might be able to make it shift the seven speeds instead of six. No chance, just wont shift onto the out small gear, which is fine, could have been worse and not shifted onto the biggest ;) Otherwise it shifted faultlessly. I was also really impressed with the Jack Brown tyres from Planet X. They are the old Rivendall Jack Browns that they bought the moulds or rights from Panaracer but are made exactly the same compound. They are really supple tyres and these ones are 700 x 33.5 and they soak up all of the rough farm roads laneways we rode. Really nice. I ended up putting the cork/white bar tape on and it was pretty comfortable with the new bars and the old Mafac levers now fitted. Thankfully everything was in the right spot and was working and comfortable throughout the ride. Well happy and while still maybe needing to change the shifters no to at least get the 7 speed back and maybe fit the Stronglight triple, it is much more riding how I prefer it. All coming together :)
I did also pick up a frame on my way south that I had purchased a while back and had been waiting in Durham for me coming this weekend. It's a 1963 JT Sport which for reasons we haven't been able to uncover completely was partially built then put in a loft in about 1963/4 and had been moved once and then forgotten about until a few months back. Blue and Canary yellow and looks like it was painted yesterday. ….but that's a story for another day. except to say that Ken signed the back of it's seat tube on the yellow band with his trademark ' Have a nice ride'

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Tuesday, 20 August 2019

20th August 2019 - Jack Taylor Super Clubman update - Refurb wheels, Nitto bars, Arabesque gears

Had spent a couple of hours over the weekend mucking about with the Jack Taylor as have been wanting to change things about  for a while, just to make it a bit nicer ride.
Had been putting a few things aside over time for it and with having the Jack Taylor rides coming up next weekend down south I thought I better get my finger out. Not a lot of time as work has been brain zapping with some changes going on so not really motivated the last two nights but needed to get it at least rideable.
I was putting my Arabesque changers and rear derailleur on and while 6 six speed I was hoping that with the long cage mech and both being friction shifting that it would make the jump to 7. Unfortunately not, oh well 6 it is for now. I had straightened/tweeked and refurbed the original wheels (MA2) and fitted some Jack Brown tyres from Planet X. These are made by Panaracer and are the old Rivendall Jack blacks that Planet X bought the moulds. They are 700 x 33.5 and due to the clearances on the JT they fit perfectly even with mudguards. They are a slightly higher than normal volume but are very supple and feel great to ride on. A real bastard to fit though as they are so tight.
I also fitted my Nitto B36 randonneur bars, Nitto stem and fitted the non aero Mafac levers. Need another ride tomorrow to adjust the fit again to make sure before taping the bars. I was going to go with the brown tape that I had on before but now thinking I may try the white I have in the box.
Only took it for a very short ride tonight as I was late in again and had to finish cabling up the brakes and fitting the levers but it felt really nice. Very different as a lot of things have changed but a lot must be down to the tyres. It felt great before, one of my favourite rides if not the, favourite but now its just got a bit more fitted how I like. Need to leave on Friday night so I will probably just adjust and tape the bars tomorrow and that will do for the weekends rides.
Later I will most likely change out the Arabesque back to something 7 speed and also swap the Dura Ace chainset for the Stronglight triple I have.
Just thought I would share.


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Sunday 01 September 2019 - Jack Taylor Sport Wheels - Sachs/Van Schothorst

Here is a few photos of the wheels that were found with and came with the Sports frame. They have never been used and as they were found alo...