Bates: It only took a decade

Many years ago, I posted a picture of this frame. It’s a 1960 Bates.

I bought it in London circa 2007. It was a sad, rattle-canned mess. I dropped it off at Argo, a shop that specializes in painting bicycles in the UK. Two years later, they still hadn’t completed it, so I out of frustration, I had them send it directly to Brian Bayliss in California. He had it for…many years and then, sadly, he passed away. Several years after that, Joe Bell contacted me, as he was going through Brian’s estate. He sent it to me for shipping cost + a 12-pack of fine beer (he didn’t insist on the beer, I did–it was the least I could do!) So I finally got my frame back!

I made the decision to use modern components. The folks at Bicycle Depot in New Paltz built this up for me. I was sure that there was going to be some weird things that would interfere with my plans, but other than the dropout screws, everything worked quite nicely. Still looking for some dropout screws that will fit.

I haven’t weighed it, but just hefting it, it doesn’t seem like much more than 20 lbs, maybe even a little less. I’ve only ridden it around the block, and not even in proper shoes, but it rides exactly like a modern steel bike. The bars need to come down another couple centimeters, but the bike otherwise rides like it was built for me.

I’m agnostic about bike materials–I’ve had titanium, carbon, steel, aluminum. But steel really is real…I doubt there will be many 2019 carbon bikes that are still rideable in 2079!

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4 thoughts on “Bates: It only took a decade

  1. William Schmitt

    Beautiful job, a lovely bike, I’ve always admired those Bates forks!
    Are the wheels 700c or 650b?
    Best regards
    Bill Schmitt

    Reply

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