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1974 Speedwell Mark III Titanium

Bike tags: Fixed gear | Single speed | Road bike | rare | Speedwell | more tags >>
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This was the first production titanium bicycle in production.
This frame was very hard to come by back in 1974 and if you could get your hands on one they were super expensive.
I am by no means a bicycle historian, and all of my knowledge of this bike has been from forums and internet searches.

From what I have read the first two years this frame was in production, they were welded by Lamborghini because there were few companies at the time that knew how to weld titanium (it is still hard to find a welder that can make such perfect welds with titanium).

In about 76' they decided that it was not cost effective to outsource the welding so they started doing it in house.

Due to the aesthetic setbacks they started to paint the frames, effectively making this frame more rare as it is one of the few polished frames.

Another issue with early titanium frames was that they didn't have much experience with the tube design.

If you look at this frame it looks incredibly similar to steel frames of the say which mixed with the inherent flex of titanium made for a "soft" feeling frame.

This softness mixed with a high stress racing environment led to a lot of these early frames snapping, therefore making this frame even more rare.

With all that said I will give you the history of this particular frame (what I know of it).

About 8 months ago I was in need of a commuter bike and was a little short on cash.

A friend of mine used to be a coach/mechanic for a local racing team and over the years accumulated a pretty impressive collection of random bike stuffs.

One night I decided to give him a call to see if he knew what I should be looking for since I really do not know much about road bicycles, and he told me that he had this trick frame that he had been holding onto for about 5-6 years that should fit me.

I went to his place to help him organized his stuff in return for the frame and whatever we could find to get the bike close to ridable (he is a pack rat and literally has a basement stacked waist high with stuff we needed to organize).

He had got told me that he had stumbled across this frame at an estate sale for pretty cheap and could tell that it was titanium by the color.

The guy that had originally purchased the frame ordered it and then after receiving it was diagnosed with cancer before he got a chance to build it.

It then sat in the basement for almost 30 years until my friend picked it up at his wife's estate sale.

My friend said that he had some paperwork that came with the frame, one piece was a notarized letter of authenticity from the speedwell corporation and the other was a response to a letter that the original owner had sent them requesting a new frame due to a small ding that "can bee seen in the right light".

The letter from speedwell said that they did not feel that it would be cost effective to ship the frame back to England over a small ding.

That is how I ended up with this bike.

Components:

Frame/Fork: 1975 Speedwell Mark III Titanium

Headset: Vintage Campagnolo C Record

Stem: New 3TTT stem (unsure of the length)

Bars: Generic older (mid 90's) aero bars

Brake: 2002? Campagnolo Record dual pivot

Lever: Shimano cheap aero lever

Pedals: Vintage Campagnolo Record (a little beat up, but not bad)

BB: Campagnolo Chorus

Cranks: Campagnolo chorus 175

Cassette: Older Regina 13-21 6 speed

Chain: Older Regina (still in good shape)

Saddle: New Brooks B17

Seat Post: Newer Shimano 600

Hubs: old SunShine (Japan)

Rims: Old Weiman Super Champion 27"

Tires: New Continental

This bike is set up as a single speed and feels really tight (but flexy).
I have the gearing setup at 39/16 right now and it really moves (granted I am used to riding trials).

Images of the original catalogs:
http://bulgier.net/pics/bike/Catalogs/Speedwell/Earlier('75%20maybe)/

Forum Post:
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?s=4f203333af009e0c4823cfb8e5c517d9&p=5937665#post5937665

People who friended this bike CONDENADO, soundsgreen, c-v-tich, mr.2ter, bikerscheich, iamsomeguy, santax, vincent, tracksloth, payne, cannonhugodale, bombane, thehunter, DutchmanPhotos, Smiley, velocepedestrian, MC3, gaucho777, per.k, link0

That's a very nice piece of

That's a very nice piece of history! I definitely wouldn't ride it if I were you because it uses commercially pure instead of the much stronger 3/2.5 Ti used in most Ti bikes today. The frame should fetch a few thousand on ebay.

price

what's your price for your frame?



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