Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sun Manxman bicycle

Here's the current bicycle project on the go in the workshop. A late fifties Sun Manxman. Bought as a bare frame and slowly being built up. The Manxman was a quality factory built race bike of its day, marketed as a machine for fast touring or massed start racing.

This particular example has been resprayed in a purple / cream combo that is slightly Mercian-esque. I've sourced a pair of 27 1x1/8 wheels, Campagnolo Gran Sport matchbox front mech with matching rear and GB bars and stem. I'm on the search for a suitable cottered double chainset, GB Coureur brake set and Campag Gran Sport bar end levers if anyone can help. The Campag brakes currently fitted have too shallow a drop and are too recent. 

The notable feature of the Manxman's frame is the strutted bottom bracket (a pair of short bracing tubes running from the chainstay to the seat tube). The idea of this was to brace the chainstay on a short wheelbase frame (to shorten the wheelbase the seat tube needed to be sharply angled which necessitated a longer than desirable chainstay). Short wheelbase frames were the fashion when the Manxman was introduced early post war, as time went on you can see that the later frames had a more conventional wheelbase and seat tube angle but the strutted bracket was kept on as a feature.

More on the Sun Manxman here:

sun manxman vintage racing bicycle
Sun Manxman bicycle taking shape.

sun manxman vintage racing bicycle
Another view of the Manxman.

sun manxman vintage racing bicycle
The Sun's head badge.

sun manxman vintage racing bicycle
Close up on the Sun's strutted bottom bracket.

sun manxman vintage racing bicycle
Strutted bottom bracket and Campagnolo
Gran Sport front mech.

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