New (old) bike

figbat

Slippery scientist
I went to the dentist today - came home with this:
1401E5D0-7D66-48D7-A572-3ED79816EDA8.jpeg

An Elswick-Hopper Cosmopolitan with a 1976-stamped Sturmey-Archer AW hub. It all started just before I left to go to the dentist when this popped up in Facebook Marketplace quite close to me. Before contacting the seller I did a little research and stumbled across the same bike being sold on Gumtree for somewhat less, so I contacted them and offered them the Gumtree money which they accepted. This was all done as I sat in my car in the dentist’s car park awaiting my appointment time - I then arranged to collect it on the way home.

It looks sound enough, it all works, just some surface patina. I already have a Dawes Kingpin of the same era so might decide which bike to make ‘best’ and combine all the best parts onto that.

It’s not a brand I know a lot about - it seems it fizzled out some years ago but was based in Barton-on-Humber. It is a simple lugged frame, rather than the tube-to-tube brazed Kingpin. It’s on 451 chromed steel rims with fairly cheap-looking calipers and levers.
 

Sharky

Guru
Location
Kent
Hope you don't get teething problems with it.
 

SkipdiverJohn

Veteran
Location
London
Sharky said:
Hope you don't get teething problems with it.
Drago said:
Did you get a commemorative plaque?
Kempstonian said:
Nifty little bike for filling figbat's bike shed.
weareHKR said:
Think it was handbuilt by Phill McAvity, should come up nice after a scale & polish!... :rolleyes:
And the winner of the CC groan of the week award is........ @weareHKR on account of thinking up corniest name imaginable for a dental surgeon. Phill McAvity indeed! :laugh:
 
OP
figbat

figbat

Slippery scientist
Well, I gave it a proper once-over today and the first thing I noticed was that it was set up as left-hand drive (front brake on the left lever) - not realising this is a quick way to require another dental visit! I had it swapped over in under a minute, so now it is how it should be.
 

SkipdiverJohn

Veteran
Location
London
As a matter of interest, what is the diameter of the seat post? I seem to have "accidentally" rescued one of these Elswicks, IIRC a 1982 build, but I'm not convinced I can get the seat high enough with the existing seatpost and will probably need a longer one. It's been stashed in a storeroom at work so I haven't measured it up properly, but I'm hoping it might be a standard inch one. if I can easily make it fit me I'm contemplating swapping the old school 20" rims for more modern 20" alloys from a donor shopper bike I scrapped, which are a different ISO size. Ideal bikes to lob in the back of a car.
 
OP
figbat

figbat

Slippery scientist
Just measured it at 25.7mm, so I guess 1” near enough. I rode mine today and it fits my 32” inside leg, although the reach is quite short. My handlebars are stuck in the steerer so I can’t raise them, and the bars and stem are one piece so I can’t alter the angle.

It also needs the rear wheel spokes tightening and truing and the front truing. In fact I’m tempted to strip and respray it. However, it rode to and from the farm shop ok, so it is fit for purpose.
 

SkipdiverJohn

Veteran
Location
London
My legs are about 33 1/2", so I suspect I might have to use a longer seatpost, and max out the bar height. I agree they aren't very "reachy", but I suspect a lot of their typical riders will be female and somewhat more petite than you or I!
To me, these are the ideal sort of bike to have in reserve if you need an occasional use, easily transported bike without the faff of removing the wheels. A good use might be if you need to drive your car somewhere and leave it, you could chuck a 20" Shopper bike in the car, then get it out and ride home on. I wouldn't spend big bucks on one (not that I ever spend big bucks on any bike :laugh:) but I can see a use for a low-budget one though.
I quite like Elswick/Hopper/Falcon bikes as a matter of fact. They were far from rubbish quality and tended to be somewhat underrated and overlooked.
 
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