Would anyone be interested in a 1970's Alan shorter TT bike?

Pink Nigel Dean

Active Member
Could anyone please give me their opinion on this bike? I'm not a time trialler, and used it for many years as an everyday ride, but I haven't ridden it for some years now and it has been gathering dust in the shed, so it's time to move it on. I have no absolutely no idea what it is worth, if it's of any use to anyone at all, and I'm really more interested in finding someone who will cherish and use it, if this is a likely proposition?

I bought it second hand from a club cyclist in Preston in the early eighties. It was originally finished in light metallic blue, with a cream centre section on the seat tube. It was badged 'SHORTER" on both down tubes and on the forks, and also carried a 531C transfer.

I stripped and refinished it because I liked the idea of owning an anonymous bike of quality, though in hindsight i should have photographed it first, which unfortunately I didn't, and I appreciate that the respray will have devalued it.

The frame is kitted out as follows;

Maillard hubs with Simplex quick release and Mavic rims

10 speed gears Front changer - Suntour Cyclone M-II

Rear changer - Suntour ARX

Gear levers - Suntour

Chainwheel - Sakae

Headset- no visible brand

GB handlebars

Weinmann side pull brakes, branded Raleigh, with Weinmann levers

Seat pillar also branded Raleigh


These parts are not what I would expect on a Shorter, which would more likely be fitted with Campagnolo kit, as the frame ends are.
I suspect that the person who sold it to me transferred the original parts to the bike he was upgrading to, and fitted this bike with less expensive alternatives. The presence of Raleigh branding on the brakes and seat pillar goes some way towards confirming this. It is also fair to say that, despite their humble origins, the transmission components have always performed brilliantly, changing gear with satisfying precision, and this is the only bike I have ever owned which has never ever dropped a chain.

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The bare minimum it needs to get it back on the road is new tyres, saddle, handlebar tape, brake lever shrouds and a couple of cables. It also needs the paint sorting out on the forks and a full strip down and service. Ideally, however, I'm hoping to find someone who'd be interested in restoring it to its former glory and using it again which is why I've posted it here to hopefully hear some useful opinions.

Lots more photos available if anyone IS at all interested.

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carpiste

Guru
Location
Manchester
Nice bike, nice little project and a very generous offer. I`m sure you`ll find someone who will cherish it.
 

Sharky

Guru
Location
Kent
Somebody might like it just as it is, but if you compare with modern TT bikes or road bikes, it probably falls short.

However, if you strip it down and remove cables and gears etc and put a rear track wheel on it, with horizontal rear ends, I bet it would be a really responsive fixed or SS bike.
 
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Pink Nigel Dean

Active Member
Nice bike, nice little project and a very generous offer. I`m sure you`ll find someone who will cherish it.
To avoid any misunderstanding, I'm not expecting it to be worth a fortune, but neither am I looking to give it away, and I was hoping someone on here might be able to tell me what would be a fair price.

I'm based near Carnforth, Lancashire, and I haven't measured the frame dimensions, but if someone shows me where to measure from and to I'll be happy to get the tape measure out.

Comparisons with modern bikes are probably inappropriate, after all it's nearly 50 years old, and technology has moved on a bit since then, but the bike has a very short wheelbase, so much so that the toeclips foul the front wheel when in fully forward position, a feature which needs to be taken into account when cornering, and I'm told that this is what identifies it as a TT bike.

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This, together with the fairly straight forks, makes the bike very agile and manoeuvrable, and it performs like a true thoroughbred and is a joy to ride. Particularly impressive is its response to rapid acceleration, which is very impressive indeed. I haven't ridden a modern racing machine so have no point of comparison myself, but I'm sure they must perform better or else Geraint Thomas would still be on 531C. This is an antique, but a very classy one and my pride and joy for many years.
 
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Pink Nigel Dean

Active Member
Nice bike, nice little project and a very generous offer. I`m sure you`ll find someone who will cherish it.
To avoid any misunderstanding, I'm not expecting it to be worth a fortune, but neither am I looking to give it away, and I was hoping someone on here might be able to tell me what would be a fair price.

I'm based near Carnforth, Lancashire, and I haven't measured the frame dimensions, but if someone shows me where to measure from and to I'll be happy to get the tape measure out.

Comparisons with modern bikes are probably inappropriate, after all it's nearly 50 years old, and technology has moved on a bit since then, but the bike has a very short wheelbase, so much so that the toeclips foul the front wheel when in fully forward position, a feature which needs to be taken into account when cornering, and I'm told that this is what identifies it as a TT bike.

View attachment 598841

This, together with the fairly straight forks, makes the bike very agile and manoeuvrable, and it performs like a true thoroughbred and is a joy to ride. Particularly impressive is its response to rapid acceleration, which is very impressive indeed. I haven't ridden a modern racing machine so have no point of comparison myself, but I'm sure they must perform better or else Gareth Thomas would still be on 531C. This is an antique, but a very classy one and my pride and joy for many years.
 

DCLane

Found in the Yorkshire hills ...
Price-wise you're valuing the components plus the frame. As it's difficult to identify as 'original' that will naturally de-value it somewhat.

As a suggestion my thoughts would be £100-150 as is. The retro bike market appears to be a bit supressed currently unless it's absolutely original AND desirable. A vintage TT frame with non-original parts needing work is neither I'm afraid.
 

Sharky

Guru
Location
Kent
Somebody might like it just as it is, but if you compare with modern TT bikes or road bikes, it probably falls short.

However, if you strip it down and remove cables and gears etc and put a rear track wheel on it, with horizontal rear ends, I bet it would be a really responsive fixed or SS bike.
Has it got horizontal rear ends? On a second look at the photo I'm thinking it is a vertical drop out, in which case, I withdraw my suggestion to turn it into a fixed/SS bike.
 

biggs682

Smile a mile bike provider
Location
Northamptonshire
@Pink Nigel Dean as for value i would agree with @DCLane prices are low at the moment unless it's something somebody really wants it .

I have this https://www.cyclechat.net/threads/shorter-no-3277.245135/ in the garage also an ex tt bike but from the mid 70's and it reminds me i must get it out shortly .

Best way to measure is from centre of bottom bracket to centre of seat pinch bolt and then centre of seat post to centre of stem and i would think it's around a 54 or 56 cm frame
 
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Darius_Jedburgh

Looking for the lost chord.
, but the bike has a very short wheelbase, so much so that the toeclips foul the front wheel when in fully forward position, a feature which needs to be taken into account when cornering, and I'm told that this is what identifies it as a TT bike.
That is a steep head tube.
Way back when this bike was built they were all the rage for testers. Fashion really. As you say cornering under any sort of pedal movement could be "interesting".
No possibility of fitting mudguards.
 

raleighnut

Legendary Member
Why sell it, I've got a Reynolds 653 TT bike with similar dimensions.

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When I got it it had a Campagnolo seatpost and headset so I built it up with mainly 'Campy' bits (apart from the Roval wheels obvs) but originally this frame would have cost the best part of a grand to be built (it's a 653 tubeset ffs)

How much did I pay for the frame (bearing in mind it had a Campagnolo seatpost and headset) fifty quid....................................If I'd took the the headset or even the seatpost off and sold them on e-bay I'd have made a profit.

I spent nearly a grand building the bike up but would I ever get two thousand selling it................................I think not
 
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Pink Nigel Dean

Active Member
Thanks for the valuations, much appreciated. Ironic to find that it's worth less than a noddy bike from Halfords, considering the way it rides, but I take your points.

Frame dimensions measured as suggested both come to 54.5 cms, so that was a rather good guess, and rear dropouts look like this;

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Obviously before I came on here seeking information I checked the usual sources to see what these bikes sold for, and found quite a few going for decent money, though to be fair these were in original livery with the right parts, so I'm not disputing your estimates.

Curiously though, every single Shorter bike I found was built using lugs, and I began to wonder whether mine was a fake as I could find no evidence that Alan Shorter had ever built lugless machines, until I came across this;

https://pezcyclingnews.com/interviews/time-trial-king-alf-engers-part-2-rider-interview/
 

midlife

Guru
Interesting frame and I hope you get what it's worth as a bike.

The brake clearences and design make it less of a TT bike and more of a fad for short wheelbase road bikes of the early 70's. A TT bike would have been made for Campag piccolo or Weinmann 500 brakes.

Way back then road /Kermesse frames got shorter and shorter wheelbases with vertical dropouts until the boys at Holdsworth called a halt at riding their 75 degree frames and wanted something more practical lol. Those of us with less money pushed the rear wheel forward in the dropout until it was just about to fall out...... And then closed the QR. Pretty stupid really!

The lack of braze ons was also an early 70's fad :smile:

Don't think Alan Shorter made his own frames but that one looks like a Liverpoo Green frame, I've got one almost the same badged as a Carhall.
 
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