Saturday, 22 January 2011
This bike ended up being ridden the most last year (2010). I bought it as a frame and forks only from ebay for a small sum, local pickup in Northampton (yes, we have one in the UK too). Unusually, I didn't immediately rip it to bits, have it blasted and build it into a new one.
more later 22/01/2011
this photograph is the state of it after riding through the winter.
07/11/2011 Doesn't time fly, I've had a really busy year and not done much cycling. I stripped the REW part way and made it serviceable, replacing the front derailleur which failed to fit the R T Shayler, rubbing back the induced rust to bare metal and touching up with Smoothrite, fitting some bottle cages, a saddlebag, a new seatpost (it's 26.4 diameter) and cleaning off the crud. It looks functional now and is ready for my massive daily commute of 4 x 0.9 miles (I come home for lunch). I have to say that it is not 531, because of the seat tube diameter (and it being hand built there is probably some chrome and molybdenum in the steel). As a kid, a guy at work went to see Mr Reynolds and was measured up for a bike there. I read an article in the A5 Rangers' newsletter about a tandem modification using Mr Reynolds' old brazing jig, also the life president of the A5 Rangers and his wife have REW Reynolds touring bicycles - which is where I first heard of him and why I bought the frame and forks on eBay for the princely sum of £5. I am a big fan of 531 which this is not and the forks give quite a harsh ride but it protects a nicer bike from the winter crud. I have a set of forks which would fit, they would improve the ride but then the conflicts of originality vs function act on my guilt. We will see. Some photos here.
That said the lugs are fairly decorative and I have had worse, heavier, harsher bikes in the past so I know when not to complain too much. Interestingly I am getting quite a few hits on this site with people searching for info on REW Reynolds.
I will add more in future, perhaps adding what history I can find.
Latest news, since buying my latest Marin Muirwoods I have no need for this bike. I also bought a Richmond frame and forks from ebay with exactly the same geometry and am currently transferring components from the REW to the Richmond. Considering the poor ride quality (harsh), the weight (frame 5lbs or 2265g forks 828g these are really the problem) and the lack of space (I'm a cycleholic) it has to go. In my defence there are quite a few REWs out there and the ones that survive are the good ones, if you don't want to hate me think of me as a wolf and this frame and forks as a weak caribou. Perhaps it's high caribou steel? Anyway taking it to bits to recover components for the Richmond, I found stones in the bottom bracket compartment (the bb itself was protected by a plastic sleeve but the stones came from my young son dropping them in through the seat tube; he can be seen in one of the photos).
FYI the number on both frame and forks is 1791.