A few weeks ago I blogged about my acquisition of a nice, 1980s Falcon touring bike. A garage find, it polished up nice, needed no new parts, just TLC. So I went about the application of said TLC and got it to a reasonable level. But I knew I could take it a step further.
Late night perursal of RAL colour charts and researching local powdercoaters quickly ensued. I would transform the Falcon and it would rise, like a, erm, falcon from the ashes of it’s grey charcoal paint, to become the first bike from my new quasi-business venture/labour of love, ‘Mill and Forge’ – rejuvinating old bikes and forging them anew, like Aragorn’s sword, only a lot more useful.
So without further ado, I give you Mill and Forge #1, the Falcon Westminster.
This blue-green beauty started life as a charcoal grey Falcon Westminster women’s touring bike, built in the early to mid-1980s; at its heart lies a hand-built, lugged Reynolds 531 frame and a lugged cromo Tange fork.
When we first saw her in a garage in deepest Cheshire, we knew she had been loved and deserved a second life. The bike oozed quality – the components, the frame, though definitely old-skool, have an elegance and quality that you just don’t get any more.
So we brought it back to the Mill and Forge workshop and began to strip away a few decades of dust and dirt, to reveal a bike in fine mechanical fettle, apart from the paintwork, which had definitely seen better days.
So it was off to the power-coaters for a media-blast and a nice durable coat of ‘Bianchi celeste’ – a lustrous pastel bluey-green, or greeny-blue , if you will.
Back from the painter a few days later and the bike was lovingly put back together. Every component has been cleaned and polished for that ‘better than new’ look.
We also supplied brand new Michelin World Tour tyres and tubes and new cables throughout. The headset and bottom bracket have been re-greased and all bearings have been adjusted to perfection.
The results are, as we’re sure you’ll agree, pretty special.
We offer this stunning, ‘fully-reForged’, ready to ride bike for just £170, local pickup only from Liverpool or Manchester. She’s too lovely to post, we’re afraid.
Look for a comparable new bike (e.g. the Cooper Aintree) and you’ll be parting with around £900, for a bike with none of this old girl’s charm.
- Frame: Reynolds 531 lugged and handbuilt in Britain – fully media blasted and powder-coated
- Fork: Tange chromoly lugged crown with double eyelets
- Size: 21inch (54cm) – would suit rider from 5ft 5in to 5ft 8ins approx
- Colour: blue/green powder-coat
- Headset: Tange threaded chrome plated.
- Stem: SR Sakae quill type – hand polished
- Bars: SR Sakae Road champion vintage with original bar foam
- Brake levers: Weinmann short reach (good for smaller hands) with extension levers. Black hoods.
- Brakes: Weinmann 730 sidepull – hand polished
- Crankset: original SR Sakae Custom 52/42 teeth with built-in chainguard – hand polished
- Pedals: Lyotard alloy rat-trap style
- Bottom Bracket: Original Tange full adjustable cup and cone – rebuilt and re-greased
- Chain – Sedis 5 speed
- Freewheel – 5 Speed
- Gear levers – Shimano Altus LT in polished aluminium (old skool friction shift – very low maintenance)
- Front derailleur – Shimano Altus LT original spec
- Rear derailleur – Shimano Altus LT original spec – polished aluminium
- Hubs – Maillard of France, nutted axles front and rear
- Spokes – rustless
- Rims: Rigida polished aluminium (better braking than cheaper chrome steel rims and lighter too)
- Tyres: Michelin World Tour 27 x 1 ¼ brand new with new tubes
- Seat pin: Fluted aluminium
- Saddle: Original Selle San Marco Anatomica in suede/split leather
- Mudguards: Bluemels style chromoplastic in chrome/black with front flap and rear reflector
- Rear rack: Chrome steel vintage ‘randonneur’ style
- Price: £170
- Buy now