Saturday, 7 October 2017


My first racing bicycle was an Orbit America. I bought it new in 2002.

Time flies. I bought this Orbit on ebay in July 2009 for £35 collection only! Bargain. Eventually I got around to bringing the frame and forks back to life. I created an album on Flickr to log some of the work. Here, see for yourself:

"531 frame and forks, probably an Audax design due to the four point rack mountings at rear, bought on ebay in 2009. It was listed with a stuck seatpost, actually this came out pretty easily BUT I had to fight with the stem (machining a drift to remove it) after that it was time spent with a wire wheel on an angle grinder, my beloved mordant solution and metal paint from Aldi. 
(In one of the photos those wheels are MTB with 1.5 tyres and BMX brakes to reach all the way to the rim. The short cockpit was unpleasant and it looks stupid. Bits were transferred in 2016 and it waited a few more years.)"
In 2020 I eventually finished it and used it during the first lockdown to put some miles in. It is a lovely ride but I have too many bikes (though you wouldn't think it) and decided to sell it later in the year. 20 watchers and lots of views at £75 but collection only meant it didn't sell. I have posted three bikes, the Raleigh and the first Orbit and I hate it, takes forever. Anyway I am ripping it to bits again and transferring the bits, I will sell the frame and forks only and this is less trouble to post. 22/11/2020
I can't find the photos, looks like I deleted them after it failed to sell and ebay deleted the draft photos from the resale I didn't get round to. I will photograph it before it comes apart and update the album.

It went back on the road again in 2021 until I cleaned it then broke a spoke while truing a wheel, I replaced two spokes but it's still off the road in May 2021.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

BSA probably, 30's probably, old certainly

I bought this on ebay long after I should have stopped buying bikes.  It was a gamble just like anything on there.  On 11/10/2015 I paid about £30 + £22 postage and it arrived promptly and well packed.  It seemed quite small when unwrapped, the short headstock surprised me but the measurement centre to centre was on a frame with relaxed angles, the vertical measurement is a fair bit less.

There is no indication that it is a BSA, why then did the seller suggest it might be?  Looking at his other items, there were a couple of large flange chromed steel hubs engraved with BSA and which probably came off this bike.  The number 69224 isn't really a lot of use, it seems Raleigh and Sunbeam can be dated easily but not Dawes or BSA.

Once I had examined the frame and forks, and impressed by what I had bought, I had a hunt round for which bits could be used to turn them into a bicycle.  I had taken a Dawes down the tip; 500 CroMo is actually quite a heavy frame, the tube is quite thick-walled - and the frame was far too large for me.  However I had kept the wheels and the calipers.  This BSA probably took 26 by 1 1/4 wheels, whereas the wheels that came out of the Dawes were 700C.  I offered the front wheel to the forks and it fitted, the axle was 8mm and the hub narrow!  It was the only hub in my garage that would fit the forks; it gets better, the caliper's drop was perfect for the 700C wheel and the drop at the back matched too, both with room for mudguards.  In many cases modern bikes are built with wheel clearances far too close.

The seat tube clamp bolt was seized so I cut through it and could see that the seat post entry was not circular, gentle persuasion with a lever and the seat tube opened up to 27.2 mm!  The bike was described as a lightweight in the listing and I only know one tube which takes that size seat post, 531.   No it's not.   14-02-2016 More later...

30/06/2016 I've done a bit more work on the frame and discovered damage to the left hand seatstay, looks to be filled with lead.  Never mind, I don't think the seller knew, and it will still work - after all the bottom bracket threads are undamaged.

25/09/2017 The seat tube is actually 27.0 mm and I have a correct seat post fitted. I have removed the drive side LH bearing cup and cleaned out the crud. An aluminium sleeve was fitted to keep out dirt etc. but which restricted the new bearing cup, I removed it.

Also I had no idea the steering head bearings were so different, they have proved impossible to find on ebay but I bought a frame and forks with a full set. I prefer the BSA so it will get the set and I am considering machining a set from steel (and hardening them) for the other frame and forks. But we will see.

Album here

Mike Mullett #pig in a poke

I don't know how I do it!  The frame and forks looked good on eBay, the seller had a high number, it was priced to sell at £59 + £15 postage. Mine was the only bid, which I've often noticed is a bad sign. It arrived promptly but not very well packed. I took it to my garage and unwrapped it, alarm bells went off immediately, the bottom bracket was showing damage on the drive side, the internal threads didn't look healthy. I photographed it and uploaded the photos (on to a different Flickr account) then contacted the seller.

He said: 

I stripped the frame myself and removed the bottom bracket. The bike rode absolutely perfectly before I stripped it. I wanted all the parts and I have reused them all. The frame is way too small for me.
Please return the frame and I will refund all costs including postage.

Good start, does it end well?  We will see.

Then he said: 

I am a bit puzzled. The bottom bracket was absolutely fine. I myself removed the components form the whole frame as I said. can you explain what the issue is more clearly. 
Have you tried to put a bottom bracket in?

I had not at this stage, I didn't want to touch it, anyone with an ounce of mechanical sensibility could see it was dodgy, thoughts flickered through my brain regarding liability. I went ahead and tried it. What could happen next?

I told him: 

I just tried to put the bearing shell in the bottom bracket, the threads are so worn that it is possible to wiggle it past that ding, at this point there is not enough metal for the threads to get a proper grip and turning it to tighten it is not enough it needs to be pushed, right at the last with about 4 mm gap between the bottom bracket and the bearing shoulder the threads get some purchase and it is possible to screw it home. This would have held it in place for you to use but you must have noticed some unusual activity as you removed it. To repair this someone would have to fill the damaged thread area with braze and re-tap the thread. This is not suitable for use as it stands.

I hope this is clear enough.

He replied: 

Really clear thank you
I am just very very surprised I did not notice this. As far as I am concerned the bottom bracket came out as normal. That amount of damage I would clearly notice.
I have 1343 positive feedback score I have never had a returned item. 

I am happy to accept the return but this is now costing me the postage on top and it seems I have a knackered frame. 

I want to believe you, but who is to say you didn't cross thread the bearing cup yourself. I hope you understand.
Simply I will accept the return but you will have to pay the return postage. I am not bothered how long it takes so you can do it cheaply but it will need to be tracked.
I hope you understand.

So in his head I am the sort of person who would unpack a frame, immediately and incompetently cross thread a bottom bracket then lie that it was like that anyway, presumably I photo-shopped the photos I posted on Flickr immediately too?  Why would anyone reach that conclusion, why would they think like that?  Obviously because he has a feedback of 1343 he is infallible.  He didn't do it.

I replied: 
I did not cross thread the bearing, I have worked in engineering environments since I was 16 and I am 54 now, I responded to you within minutes of receiving the frame, photographed the threads to the best of my ability and at that time I did not put anything into the bottom bracket, I could see the external damage and photographed the threads and identified to you I thought they showed signs of cross threading. I tried to insert a bearing as you suggested and was amazed at how damaged the threads were, and amazed someone would not notice this. To use your thinking, who is to say that you didn't try to pass off a damaged frame and put the blame on the buyer, that side of the frame was not photographed where the dent would have been visible. You removed it, and I have only your word for this, the black gunk was pretty thick all over the inside of the bottom bracket so it must have been a while ago, and you forgot how bad it was when you took it out. I hope you understand.

If I had to suggest what happened, a previous owner dropped the frame, dented the bottom bracket on the sprocket side (which is visible in your photos) and forced a bearing in there cross-threaded, damaging the threads in the process, tried again and got it in square with the few that were left, which were enough to retain the bearing for you to ride it. 

I will send it via Hermes tracked insured to the value of £75 to save your postage costs.

You will be getting the frame back in the same condition I received it.

He replied: 

Thanks for your quick reply. I do understand. I am wondering, maybe the frame was dropped whilst in transit at some point and my packaging was not good enough to protect the frame. I honestly check over all the frames I sell meticulously, so I guess I am disappointed I missed this because it is so obvious.

I am very sorry for the inconvenience. I would never knowingly sell a damaged item. I will make my own assessment when the frame is returned. I will have a go at putting the old bearing cup back in and see for myself. As a result, I may well refund your return postage costs fully.

Thanks for your time

At this stage I thought that maybe one side could have been damaged and perhaps was re-threaded to an Italian size and maybe he had the original that he removed. But I see from Sheldon that this would be a right hand thread.

So eventually he received it, (packed much better than I received it) he refunded the purchase and after another push he refunded my return postage.

And here is the punchline: 

I can se [sic] what has happened to the frame. I took the right hand bearing cup out with a vice, so I can see that it pinched the bottom bracket slightly.

I had no problem putting a shimano sealed unit in, nice and tight. To be honest not sure what all the fuss was about, but hey.

So this is this is the person who says "I honestly check over all the frames I sell meticulously" and "I have 1343 positive feedback score I have never had a returned item" (BTW only 488 of that 1343 is as a seller).

He relisted the item immediately and it sold for more than I paid for it to some poor sod who will remove the sealed unit which is "nice and tight" on the last 4 mm of good thread, be confronted with the damaged bottom bracket and most likely be pretty angry about it, but wouldn't think that the seller had knowingly sold a damaged frame. "I took the right hand bearing cup out with a vice, so I can see that it pinched the bottom bracket slightly". It must have been like that, surely?  

Of course the buyer could have built it into a bike as received, not removed the bottom bracket, and be none the wiser.

I notice that no feedback has been left for that sale.

But hey.

And who built that gorgeous, damaged frame I owned briefly?  Who is Mike Mullett?

The design of the frame is crucial.... That’s where the knowledge of unit boss Gerald O’Donovan came in. Formerly the chief of Carlton Cycles, a revered British name, he brought his knowledge and ideas to Ilkeston. Mike Mullett, a qualified engineer and former international cycle racing team mechanic who joined the team in 1978 also raised the bar at Raleigh. Because he’d worked first hand with leading riders of the day, he knew what worked in a frame and what didn’t. He’d also become interested in the application of computer technology to frame design using key measurements of a rider’s body, and developed a program to calculate the required frame dimensions.

Because of the demands which would be placed on them, the frames were built with extreme patience and care – but don’t think that because these lightweight jewels were built for racing, they were delicate and fragile. Quite the reverse – bear in mind that the SBDU Raleighs were built to be pounded relentlessly and mercilessly by the most powerful cyclists on planet Earth, generating more watts than you or I could ever dream of. Over the Alps and Pyrenees they rode, across the awful cobbles of Paris-Roubaix and the wind-swept flat lands of Holland en route to classic race wins in Milan San-Remo, Paris-Roubaix, Ghent-Wevelgem, The Tour of Flanders, Amstel Gold, The Tour of Switzerland, world road race and track championships and many more, including the Tour de France.

- From my point of view, it was a beautifully made frame, the attention to detail spot on, no forming for clearance for wheels or sprockets, and a lovely little touch, the mounting point for a race number under the top tube.

Raleigh!  I have saved the photos in Trouble with Raleighs.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014


I bought the frame and forks on eBay, late 2013 for £75 including postage.  It was sold with a stuck seatpost, but this came out easily when held in the vice and the frame twisted off it.  The bottom bracket was very tricky, I have to clamp the frame to the vice using a bolt through the bottom bracket so the bearing doesn't jump out of the vice when it is held by the jaws; rotate the frame a quarter of a turn clockwise then slacken the clamp and repeat.

The dimensions, frame angles, wheelbase, brake drop were all identical to the REW Reynolds. And I had a new Tange Passage headset on the shelf, the sizes given on box 30.2 diameter 26.4 diameter and it fitted.  (I have had problems in the past which are best described elsewhere).  I transferred all the items from the REW and renewed the cables. I finished it on 9th March 2014 and took it for a test ride. Very nice, it wasn't my imagination about how harsh the REW ride was, this is lovely and lively with a great feel. (Interestingly two REW frames came up on eBay last week, quality examples of his work). Looking for Richmond online brings up the Raleigh Richmond, a bicycle shop that isn't related to this Richmond and one that may well be.

What's good and what's bad?  Well listing bad first - it takes 27 x 1 1/4 so that's another wheel size I have to buy tyres for, there is a bit of toe overlap (it's not fixed so I can get round that), the gear cables run above the bottom bracket so the lines aren't as clean as underneath, the standard frame spacing is 126 and it's a five-speed so there are bent rear axles to come in future, the brazing for the bottle mounts is angled to the left a good five degrees, the pip for the derailleur lever band was a bit big (I had to file it down) and it too is offset.  And the good bits: the chainstays are not formed at all either inside for tyres or outside for the front sprocket and there is loads of clearance, the frame gives a comfortable and lively ride, it's as light as a 531 frame should be, all the tubes make that beautiful ringing sound (this is 531 frame tubes, forks and stays).

Other things to note, that paint I used is metal paint from Aldi.  I imagine it is similar to Hammerite or Smoothrite, having an acidic base so it etches the metal and prevents corrosion.  These days powder coating is too expensive for me, it's also pretty final; once it is on it doesn't come off easily.  The rear derailleur is a lovely Suntour item with only 1 full side plate so it is breathtakingly easy and convenient to unravel the chain for maintenance.  The front sprockets are a 48 / 28 combination, by the time I need to change to the lower ring I am so tired that spinning in such a low gear is bliss. A double gives a low Q factor and if I'm going fast enough to spin out of 48 / 13 I can coast thank you very much.  The front and rear MAFAC centre-pull callipers match, including the cable hanger off the seat bolt.  I was cleaning the calipers and lost the plastic washers behind the springs but it turns out that milk bottle plastic is exactly the right thickness, drill an 8mm hole and spend some time with scissors and you are sorted.  Also the straddle wire is new, manufactured by turning brass rod (from an old ballcock arm) down to just under 6mm, drilling a 1.2mm hole through the centre, countersinking one side, pushing gear cable through and unravelling and spreading the strands into the countersink then using a lot of flux and a heavy duty heat gun and solder.  A trick I picked up from Malcolm in Vale Onslow's (Birmingham) back in the 70's. The second nipple is held in place at the right distance using a wooden jig with two 6mm holes at fixed spacing.  The saddle you see is a Brooks frame recovered with two thicknesses of leather from a welding apron from Aldi.  It feels a bit like a hammock.

It should be ideal for light touring with a saddle bag and handlebar bag.

More playing, 14/08/2014 I fitted a new chain.  The one from the REW was worn out and the Linklyfe I used created a world of pain when cleaning up for the new one.  I also ended up with the leather saddle from the Archie Wilkinson, (an Australian leather saddle bought from Spa Cycles).  It's pretty good.

Now I love it!  01/10/2014  After discovering the 4mm difference between 27" and 700C could be taken up by the slot in the front caliper, I fitted a 700C wheel in the front with a 32mm tyre already on there.  After a week with good handling, I fitted the matching rear and a new 7-speed cluster, 12 - 34 from the shelf.  Incredibly the brake blocks in the rear caliper didn't need changing.  I didn't bother setting the frame, it spread quite easily; I'll wait for Summer 2015 before doing that.  Two days later I changed the rear derailleur for one with a longer cage and I can get all the gears. It rides beautifully, the cushion from tyres at only 60 psi complementing the frame flex is a joy.  (This is what Grant at Rivendell is always banging on about).  I can get all the gears, I have a wider range and a larger selection.  I have retained the double up front as I think this will do everything I could ask.  The chain skipping has stopped, which makes me think the rear 5-speed was worn.  AND I get the strength of a freehub with its minimal bearing overhang.  I have uploaded more photos to Flickr.  Of course I like it so much now it's too good to be ruined by the winter crud.

Visit Antenna - Theory .com's Antenna Fundamentals Page

Saturday, 4 January 2014


OK, what am I doing writing about refurbishing such a new bike?  Well I just bought it on ebay for £500, my most expensive purchase ever, and it had tubeless tyres.  Cars and trucks drive on tubeless, that is a mature technology.  It is more recent for motorcycles, but even more recently the early adopters are using them on bicycles.

On delivery the tubeless tyres on the LATITUDE were flat.  I pumped them up and they went down; I pumped them up a lot and went around the block on a test ride.  They were deflating as I rode.  The next day they were flat.  I went on to youtube and watched some bloke who loved the things, spend a long time in a clean garage doing everything exactly right with all new equipment.  He went out for a ride the next day in a downhill stylie and then showed the camera where the air leaks had happened around the rim - but didn't think this was a problem.

The arguments for tubeless are weight saving, avoidance of snake bite flats and better performance at low pressures.  If you still puncture, the advice is to put a tube in.

I wasn't convinced and because they wouldn't stay up, I removed the tyres, peeled away 64g of damp latex from the inside of each tyre (disgusting - and the smell!) and discarded the tyre valve weighing 10g, totalling 74g (obviously) and fitted 172g of innertube.  A total weight gain of 100g per wheel.  And guess what?  A week later they are still hard.  When replacing tubeless tyres you have to remove and throw away latex or goop whereas an innertube which costs the same plus 100g is repairable with a patch or replaceable without worrying about what it will be like when it is removed from a tyre full of goop (which weighs extra).  In my years of cycling (my first bike was in 1965) I have had almost every puncture caused by something sharp rather than snakebite flats.  Until tubeless tyres are as easy to fit on bikes as they are on cars, for me it's not worth it.

The LATITUDE is a lovely bike but my other rant is MTB bars.  They are awful and seem designed to induce RSI symptoms in riders.  More than 100 years of development resulted in handlebars which kept the hands inline with the frame, placing no stress on the wrists, was abandoned back in the 80's.  With the invention of the mountain bike came the new look which was straight bars.  I think form should follow function not fashion.  But tribal thinking makes clever, rational people say that drop bars should only be fitted below saddle height and that if you want otherwise then you should fit straight bars. Why?  We all got used to sloping top tubes when we saw them enough.

I seem to remember in the old days a top-of-the-range mountain bike did indeed have drop bars but it's not in my NEW BICYCLE BOOK by Richard Ballantine but may be in a later version or in a similar book.  Anyway I fitted some bar-inners (rather than bar-ends) to allow me to protect my wrists during the road ride from my house to the trail.  Having finally taken it offroad on the red runs of Cannock Chase, they work well but slip under force, being plastic.  I will try and source some alloy ones for a better grip.  I recall cylocross in the days before the MTB was invented when they rode off-road with drop bars.  Perhaps full-tilt mountain biking doesn't suit, but the trickle-down effect means people riding mountain bikes on road wouldn't apply common sense to their choice of bars.  The benefits that may accrue are no wrist pain and, when set higher, the option to actually use the drop and get out of the wind.  You could use moustache bars or French Coureur bars or Dutch Grandmother-style bars for a comfortable wrist position, but that only gives one handlebar height position.  Why copy the racing cyclist and then be unable to use the drops because they are too low to reach without strain, because the majority of people aren't that fit or flexible.  And to do it because someone told you it looks right is basing your choices on their opinions instead of responding to twinges in your back or wrists.

I also seem to remember when they first came out that the first thing people bought after buying a mountain bike was a pair of bar-ends.  14/08/2014 Well, I bought some bar-ends via eBay.  Unfortunately the correspondent for eBay user name bankrupt_bike_parts suffers from bankrupt thinking:  "I am amazed to read your email , we have sold over 100 of these without any complaints and we have fitted them ourselves to 22.2mm handlebars, so maybe yours were slightly undersized but thats really unusaul [sic] as they are always made with the same tubing."  Maybe they failed to note that the packaging is in French, French bicycles use different diameter everything.  These bar-ends may fit French bicycles' 22.0 mm diameter handlebars but do not fit everyone else's 22.2 mm diameter handlebars.  So >100 non-complaints means they can't be wrong.  And mine are a black swan?  No I suggest it's far more likely that >100 people can't be arsed to complain, and put up with the fact they had to use a screwdriver to persuade the bar-ends on to the end of their bar.  How about some of the >100 people bought them and didn't get around to fitting them before discovering the problem?  How about the mechanics who fit the 22.0 bar ends on to 22.2 default standard handlebars at your establishment didn't know they should slide on easily and be held in place with the clamping force from the screw?  Why am I so annoyed?  Well, as noted above I don't want bar-ends, I want bar-inners and it's one thing to bodge some mis-sold thing on to the end of a bar and it's another to have to persuade the same item to slide the length of a handgrip along the bar: twice.

bankrupt_bike_parts go to the bottom of the class.

More latest news: the carbon seatpost is the wrong size!  The person that fitted it fitted a 27.0 one when the seat tube i.d. is 27.2.  I fitted an alloy post and transferred the Team Ritchey one to my Archie Wilkinson fixed gear. I was pleased that I managed to open the seat tube to accept the 27.2 by using a broom handle down it and since the fulcrum was down near the bottom bracket - no seat tubes were harmed in the restoration of this diameter.

Saturday, 7 December 2013


I got this from my brother around 1996 (free), someone had given it to him and he wasn't interested.  I left it at his house so I could ride it when I visited Birmingham.  However when I wanted to adjust the seat height the frame broke at the bolt mounting, it looked like a fatigue fracture. The frame is fillet brazed and very light, way below 4lbs it is lighter than the 653 John Fern frame I have. I took the bike home and set about it.  It came with solid aluminium forks and I knew that aluminium has a fatigue limit, the bike was old and a typical catastrophic failure would have likely killed me.  I removed them, cut them up and took them down the tip.  I stripped the frame and took it in to work.  I was working for a company which trained young people in engineering.  A handy place to work if you like mucking around with bicycles.  It seemed out of true on the surface table, and I deduced it had an offset rear triangle (produced by some framebuilders to reduce or eliminate dishing of the rear wheel).  It was probably just out. I addressed the broken seat clamp by removing the other side and filing the frame down at an angle then milling a slot the seat tube below the top joints, this would allow me to clamp it using a split clamp.  I prepared the frame and had it blasted and powder coated in Digbeth here.

Archie Wilkinson are famous for bicycle speedway, and I only recently discovered them online.  Already originality has gone out of the window so what happened next is excusable.

People learn from their mistakes, so never again will I cut off mudguard mounting lugs to save weight!  Or remove a stupid amount of metal from the bottom bracket to save weight. I needed a set of forks, and some 531 forks from a scrapped Raleigh would have matched the frame but for the missing mudguard mountings so I took a set from another scrapped Raleigh and a Campag headset from the same bike.  The chainset was from a Peugeot Carbolite special 101 (that's French marketing for Hi-Ten).  I removed the inner 48 from a double using a burr in an electric drill.  With a 108 mm axle this 52T sprocket lined up perfectly with a 21T fixed sprocket giving me about 67".  It is my lightest bike, weighing in at just over 20lbs.

Photos of this bike maybe found here.  Today 23/03/2014 I went for my first fixed ride this year, the cockpit is very short with the short and high stem and I found it uncomfortable.  Also today I changed the stem for a longer one (Profile cro-mo, very light bought on eBay for a song) due to the maximum height line it is a lot lower than previous one and a little bit lower than the saddle. Up the road and back and it is a big improvement. The steering head bearings had been causing me problems, there was a lot of play at the lower race, it seems that I had fitted a caged set of bearings from a smaller headset. I fitted a larger diameter cage which improved things but if this is not the solution I will have to fit loose balls. Another thing I changed was the handlebars, the previous ones had oxidised inside the stem and took some removing also I spotted a nasty gouge in the aluminium.  This is a stress raiser and the last thing anyone needs is the handlebars to break.  I like the new set up and hope it will serve me well for getting into shape in the spring.

24/08/2014 I have been using this once a week in good weather for distances varying from 21 to 30 miles and it is a nice ride.  I have a black Brooks B17N on there along with the carbon fibre 27.0 seatpost from the Genesis.  Problems with over inflating the rear tyre caused a sidewall failure.  I'm on Michelin World Tour 700C x 28 now, it has a nicer feel.  The front one will be replaced with the same when it wears, as the Michelin Transworld City ones were squirrelly on corners and picked up flints in the tread.  I will hang it up when the wet weather arrives and dust it off spring 2015.

25/09/2017 Well, earlier this year I stripped this down and stopped riding fixed. Much later in the year I had the R T Shayler back from Jason and transferred all the bits from this on to that.  So I am back on fixed but this Archie Wilkinson will never be ridden again, the frame was out by 6 mm at the rear, now I can be bothered to measure it and I believe there is a twist in the frame. On a good note I sold the Campagnolo headset on ebay for £27!

It went down the tip. 

Sunday, 23 September 2012

MARIN MUIRWOODS (one sold, other in use)

I have two of these, one stored at my brother's house and one I now use to commute.  I bought a third, frame only, on ebay too but then relisted it, paid £29 sold it for £10.  However the other two I still have are success stories. The second one is here.  Making the seatpost for first one took some doing see here.

The second one has done me stirling service for two years now, replacing my REW Reynolds as a commuter bicycle.  The fat tyres give me some comfort when compared to the REW and the riding position is more upright, a boon in traffic but a pain over longer distances.  The chainset is an Ofmega triple which came from my new Orbit racing bike when I replaced it with a Stronglight, it had sat on the shelf for years.  The outer sprockets of 50 and 40 are steel and came off the Raleigh Zenith, the inner sprocket had unusual fixings and is the original 28 although mostly I ride in one gear.

The handlebars, brake levers, grips, cantilevers, mudguards, chain and bottom bracket came off the Rusty Bike (originally mostly off the Raleigh 531 MTB).  The saddle is the one from Pete Coulston all those years ago; thanks again!

I bought it on ebay for £22, the wheel was shown out of line with the forks and it looked like a bent fork.  When I picked it up, the wheel had been fitted into one fork dropout only.  I ripped it to bits and fitted the parts described above.  The frame is gorgeous and delicious, slightly heavy at just over 5lbs but it is cromoly and has a good feel.  The forks are only Hi-Ten and feel dead, the tyres compensate but upgrading to 531 forks with lowrider mounts would make this a top-notch tourer; after all there are four-point fixings for a rear rack.

Ironic that I changed my bars on the Archie Wilkinson fixed to avoid a stress-riser-induced failure caused by the corrosion, only to have the bars on this Marin fail.  What was the cause?  Could it have been when I was doored with these bars fitted at the time to my Raleigh 531 MTB?  Who knows, I survived which is what matters to me.  A photo of the failed bars is now in the album, I fitted steel pullback bars as a replacement.  I believe they will outlast the time I have left with this bike.

Yes they did and I still have them.  25/09/2017 I sold the bike on ebay for £16.05 collection only. I wanted to change the pedals, one was clicking. After buying a new pair the old ones were seized into the aluminium cranks and the threads came out with the pedals.  I fitted a new bottom bracket and a 52/42 from the Dawes that gave me wheels for the BSA, removed the pull backs and fitted straight mountain bike bars. I needed the space and couldn't justify buying replacement cranks and keeping this bike. It was a great bike and will be missed. Muir Woods, I had been calling it Muirwoods.

First one used regularly by my son when we go for a ride around Milton Keynes on a Sunday afternoon.
04/05/2020 UK date.