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The Worlds Fastest Bikes & A Whole Heap More |  UK National Cycle Exhibition Part. 2

The Worlds Fastest Bikes & A Whole Heap More | UK National Cycle Exhibition Part. 2

– I decided that there
were so many amazing bikes inside of the National Cycle Museum, that we needed another
video, and this time to show you some absolutely
incredible bits of engineering. So here I am, waiting for them to open, I’m chomping at the bit to check out more and more great stuff
in there, here we go. (whooshing) A couple of bikes that I
dreamt of owning as a kid, and I still do dream
of owning as an adult. These two Colnagos,
first up, this one here, just like the Mexico that
Giuseppe Saronni used back in 1982 to win the
Goodwood World Championships, decked out of course in full Campagnolo. I’m not sure the exact model of it, I do apologize, we got some drilled out brake levers here too, just to minimalize the weight a little bit. Fitted on the bike of
course, we’ve got a pair of toe clip style pedals, and even with the original Campagnolo
toe straps on there, with a little emblem, and the little screw that you would put it into
place once you trim them down to the ideal length for you. We’ve got a pair of
Mavic GP4 rims on here, tubular, they’re like
a tubular training rim, and the tires fitted onto them are the quite strangely
named Walt, Wolber, sorry, Invulnerable, so they’re not vulnerable. It’s pretty cool naming strategy of them. Going to move though, onto
this Colnago behind it, because this is when things
get super interesting for me. As a 10 year old, this was
the bike I dreamt of having. Shimano Dura-Ace 7400 STI levers, the first combined braking gear levers that were commercially available. I never got to have them, enough of that, I’ve done a video all about that actually. But we’ve got a Colnago frame, and it had that really cool fluted
style tubing on it, which apparently was done
so to try and increase the rigidity over a
standard round steel tube. This one appears to have
actually been repainted or painted specially for a customer, done so by a company
in Berlaar, in Belgium. But they have left some
of the real telltale signs of Colnago, so they’ve not painted over the club logo on the bottom bracket shell, and also the club logo you can see on the fork crown, just
the Colnago engraved. Colnago was the real sort of cutting edge, or the real traditional Italian frame that we all seeked when
we were younger riders. Like I said, Shimano Dura-Ace throughout, got a pair of Look Arc pedals on there, so they’ve used the
old delta style cleets, and that’s when really the floating pedals were talked about a lot,
because previous to that pedals had you in a fixed
position, even the clipless ones. We’ve got something on
this bike which I did have the pleasure of owning, and that was the Cinelli splash handlebar tape. So genuine cork, I always remember that on the advertising, I even had it in this very same colorway
on a bike that I owned, it was pink or fuschia with a
little bit of yellow on there. Turbo saddle, got one of those luckily, and the Wolber rims, Wolber Profil 20s, super narrow, super
lightweight, yeah, this bike. I dreamt of it, and I’d still
have it now, definitely. This is the Ultimate, and it belonged to the late Bruce
Bursford, who was a rider who loved to go for speed records, and on board this bike, he
got the world speed record on a rolling road that was on
the Brooklyn’s Motor Museum in England, and it was
helped along the way by the fact that he had fitted onto it 104 teeth on that chain ring at the front, and then just 14 on the
fixed sprocket at the rear. This bike is totally
custom, just one of a kind. Just check out the saddle for instance, it’s built into the seat mast,
that’s built into the frame, there is just nothing left
to the imagination of it. The cranks too, totally
custom, Royce titanium bottom bracket inside,
square taper though, which is pretty cool, must say. The wheel is not as thin as
what you might imagine there, it’s quite bulbous
really, towards the hub. And the forks, they take
a really deep profile that must be sort of
maybe 10 to one ratio, something like that, handlebars remind me like the bat wing, or something like that. Sort of an exotic spoiler maybe, of a Japanese sports car,
and the actual handlebar extensions, you can see just there where they’re molded onto the bars, and they go really far forward, nearly to the end of that front wheel too. The rear wheel is
actually underneath this, listen to that, it
sounds like a snare drum. (drumming) It’s not a snare drum
though, but inside of there is actually a standard spoked rear wheel. So not a disk wheel inside. I’d love to be able to
peel it back and see what was in there, but it’d
ruin the surprise I guess. Got a pair of continental
Olympic tires fitted on there, I’m not sure if they’re still made. And I’ve got a very good feeling too, that when Bruce went for the record, to try and get the wheels up to speed as quickly as possible, they’re
actually filled with helium, just to save on a little bit of weight. Really nice cut out
here of the rear wheel, so you could get in
super super close to the, I’d like to say seat tube,
but it’s just into the frame. The dropouts down there
too, they’re closed off, so the wheel has to be fitted specially. I’m going to try and reach
forward and show you. There, appears to be a little
hole that’s been filled in, so I wonder if at some
point, this was also destined to be fitted with a rear
derailleur of some kind. Either way, it’s one of those bikes that I’ve always wanted to
see just like the lotus bike, and I’ve finally been able to see it. And in case you’re wondering, the cost, they rekon about 25,000
pounds, but I think it must have cost more. It must have done,
because everything on it is so tripped out and custom. The seat alone, this,
this is my favorite bit. It has to be, because I’ve been saying for years, someone should do something more aerodynamic with the saddles. Years ago I saw the Australian track team, they were doing something with cling film underneath their saddles, this is slightly more advanced than cling
film, and it’s beautiful. Bruce, nice one. When I think helmets, I think protection. But, way back before they
were actually obligatory, riders were using helmets to sometimes try and get a little bit faster too. Yeah, so Bruce Bursford, he even made his own helmet of ultra thin carbon fiber. You can see there, there’s
absolutely no padding insid of it, just simply
a couple of velcro straps, that’s all that was holding it in place, and it was designed purely to try and cheat the wind a little bit better. Look how close fitting that is. Aero, even with the hood on. And if the Bruce Bursford
Ultimate isn’t enough for you, what about this then, the Ultimate tandem. Literally, the ultimate tandem. Mindblowingly beautiful, I can’t begin to explain to you exactly
what I think about it, ’cause it’s just, oh,
its lines and everything, it’s just the type of carbon,
the weave, it’s so cool. Oh and that behind, that’s
the Sinclair X1 prototype, kind of recumbent-like faired bicycle. But this one, that wins all day every day. Many years ago, when riders
used to ride out to events, they would take spare wheels with them, or rather their race wheels, like this. So you’d fit them on to
something called a sprint carrier that would fit in between
the quick release, or the nuts of the axle,
and simply it would go out and hold a wheel in place, and then strap to the handlebar at the top there to prevent them from spinning
around whilst riding. This was done because
quite often the race wheels would use lightweight silk tubular tires, and of course they’re quite fragile. You don’t see this anymore, because cars are way more popular for
getting to events with. The Raleigh Centenary, to celebrate 100 years of Raleigh back in 1987. So what did they do, they
decided to gold plate a Reynold’s 531 competition tube set, which has to be one of my
favorite steel tube sets of all time, there’s something so cool about the feel of riding
one of those bikes. We’ve got a suede style, I
think it’s a Turbo saddle, it could well be a Isca Selle actually, to match up with the
brand handle bar tape. Normally, I wouldn’t necessarily like brown bar tape that
much, or a brown saddle, but I think on this bike
it looks pretty good. Interestingly too, they’ve
done the handlebar tape from top to bottom, something which is going to be split decision
out there with the viewers. It’s go a Shimano 105
group set on here too, six speed, and it is in absolutely
showroom like condition. The brakes on here too,
they’re single pivot, they feel so smooth, like the day they rolled out of the showroom. I like this bike a lot. Cutting edge TT tech, back in the 80s. Now a Saber built bike here, by Bartram, who are from Kidderminster
region of the UK. 753 tube set, super light that was, in fact you had to undertake an exam and build a miniature frame, and they were always really nice to have
a little look at there. We’ve got a pair of 531
chrome forks at the front, and on the rear we’ve also
got some chrome seat stays and chain stays there, always nice of you to drop your chain, you don’t
scratch the fancy paintwork, and this bike does have
some rather understated, but I think quite fancy metallic sort of magenta style paintwork on it. Campagnolo group set, aside
from the Weinmann brakes, the Weinmann brakes really slim down minimalistic, ideal for a TT,
but what about drillium then? Often spoke about, not
that often seen anymore. The art of drilling out components to try and save a little bit of weight, because in a TT, you’re not really out of the saddle that much, so you’re not putting the bike under too much stress where anything could fail,
the famous last words, because it happened eventually. So on the rear derailleur cage here, on the Huret rear mech, we do also have some drilled out holes there. And whilst I’m looking at the rear end, I’m just going to point out,
the little adjusters here for the rear dropouts,
normally they come with a little knurled knob on them, and they’re really really small, whereas these have more
of a wing style platform to them, and I prefer them a lot more. 24 inch wheel front wheel, whew, crazy. Speedwell, that was a
company that was founded way back in the 1890s,
and fabricated things out of sheet metal, and well, in 1973, Luis Ocana actually rode one of their titanium frames during the Tour de France. And there is one right over my shoulder. These grubby little hands
want to get all over it, because I’ve heard it was super light for a bike back in the day, just over four pounds, which is pretty light. It’s just a shame I can’t get
in to get really close to it. The Baines Flying Gate,
designed in such a way that the rider could have
a nice short wheel base, which is ideal for a racing cyclist, because back when these
bikes were originally built, you know, the 1930s,
bikes were quite relaxed in their geometry and everything. One thing you would have
to be quite careful about is making sure that
your seat post of course wouldn’t go all the way down
and interfere with the wheel in there, if it was nicely
tucked into the drop outs. But I have a memory of a
guy riding a time trial on one of these when I was growing up, and I was absolutely gobsmacked,
thinking, what is that? I have seen a few here and there, but you don’t tend to see them that often, so I’m really privileged actually to see such a fine bit of engineering. It must have been very stiff too, ’cause we’ve got one, two,
three, four triangles in there. Whoa, yeah. Here we go, a triplet
bike, don’t often see very many of these being used, and I could imagine
possibly you could use them in a time trial event, although you’d most definitely win your category, as I don’t think there’d
be another one in an event. Anyway, probably used then more for recreational purposes let’s say. I love looking at them, because it’s now when you realize just
how special they are. Take for instance the rear brake cable. Here we are, the length of that. You can’t pop into your local bike shop and say, could I have a
really really really really long brake cable please,
’cause this is probably an extra half as long as a
standard rear brake cable. Sticking with that rear brake cable, let’s have a look at the rear brake, because there’s not one, but there’s two. So of course this is before the time of disc brakes, or anything like that. But we’ve got these two brakes on here. Now this one, at the
rearmost part of the bicycle, is actually controlled by the actual pilot of the bike there, and
then the rear stoker, instead of the middle one, if you like, is also controlling this brake here. So what is really throwing me a little bit is that I had to check which way around the cables were actually rooted. So we’ve got a right
hand rear on the rear, and a right hand front
on the front, so to say. So there’s obviously, probably
some thinking behind it, but I’m not exactly sure what, but just looking at it
a minute makes me wonder how on earth these were
ever ridden around corners. Especially sharp ones,
it’d be truly terrifying. Final nugget then of info on this bike, is that these pedals, that look PP66, pretty sure that’s what they’re called, someone out there will correct
me if I’m wrong I’m sure, were my first ever pair
of clipless pedals. I loved those back in
1994, I did really well in the race, my dad said, well done son, you deserved those, so he
went out and bought me a pair. But the weirdest thing about all of this is that the pedals on
the front of this triplet are actually the ones
which I had prior to those, although I had some sort of plastic-y toe clips rather than these metal ones. But the base pedal
definitely, exactly the same. How cool is that, could be mine? Maybe not. No bicycle museum tour could be complete without one of these, the Raleigh Chopper. In 1971, apparently
Raleigh sales increased by 55%, and they sold 1.5
million units of this bike alone. The mismatched wheels,
if you like a bigger one on the back than on the
front, the big saddle too, which you weren’t meant
to carry your mates on, but everyone did, and of
course the gear lever too. So if you slid off that saddle, you knew about that gear
lever sooner or later. Very cool, very very desirable, and if you weren’t big
enough to ride that, then you were given it’s little brother or it’s little sister, the Tomahawk. I never had either, I was too old. Well I was too young, I wasn’t even born. Maybe you’re like me then,
and you weren’t born, or old enough to get your
backside on top of that chopper. Well this is the Grifter from Raleigh. This had motor cross
inspirational themed bits on it, such as the fenders, or the mudguards as we call them, front and rear, not to mention too, this little pad here on the handlebar, so if you
were to hit your chest on it, it’s not going to hurt
too much, but at least it’s going to dull the pain for a second until your parents come along
and pick you up off the floor. Then we’ve got a two speed Sturmy-Archer twist style shifter on the
right hand side, just like on a motor bike, pull that
throttle and you’re going to go! In this case, pull that
throttle by mistake and you’re probably going
to slow down a little bit. Either way, kids wanted one of
these, split down tube, nice. Now I’ve got to say, and
I’m the first to admit, I don’t know very much about Rickshaws, but what I do like about them, is the fact that there’s always loads
of really intricate details on them, so take this
one, you’ve got a nice little canopy here, with some
quite fancy fabric patterns, and then all of these rivets on there too, this brass styling always stands out. And I reckon the pilots,
or the owners of them take great care in them. Now they are very very popular, certain parts of the world
where they’re very crowded, and it’s necessarily that
easy to maneuver a car, these are ideal for
getting someone around in. So, they’ve obviously got
a very low gear on them, because if you’ve got
two adult passengers, and maybe a small child in the back, you need to get up to speed,
probably only go about 10 miles an hour say, but
that’s more than adequate. That is probably as much
detail as I can give other than obviously
it’s got reinforced bars and tubes on them to actually
help with the safety of them being up to the job I guess you could say. Speaking of that, the wheels on these, the rear wheels have got 64 spokes. I’ve never seen a wheel with
64 spokes I don’t think. Oh, and the tires on the
wheels, Dunlop Rickshaws. Never knew that was a thing. There we are, part two of
the National Cycle Museum explored, I’ve got to
say, again, a huge thanks to the staff there, because what they had to put up with me rooting
through everything trying to find stuff to show off. Let me know what your favorite bit was down there in the comments section below, and remember as well to
like and share this video with your friends too,
don’t forget subscribe to the channel, click the
little notification icon so you get alerted each and every time we put a video live,
don’t forget to check out the GCN shop at, and me, I’m going to leave
before I outstay my welcome, because when I visit these places, I have a tendency to do that,
’cause I love bike tech. See you later. Could we go back?

99 comments on “The Worlds Fastest Bikes & A Whole Heap More | UK National Cycle Exhibition Part. 2

  1. Outstanding enthusiastic intro Jon, a kid in a candy shop springs to mind. We featured the Gold Raleigh they were limited to a run of just 200. The bar tape top to bottom was done a lot in the 1980's it looked better however wasn't as practical as wrapping from bottom to top. A flying gate frame recently appeared on eBay sold for £260, it would of made a great build on the channel. Great Sunday morning viewing thanks for the hard work, all the best Andy

  2. If there's one thing we all know about JC, it's when he's thinking of "helmets", he's definitely not thinking about "protection".

  3. Hey Jon. I think you need to call the guys at  Quay cycles in Drogheda and arrange a visit. I moved here recently and stumbled across their shop when I saw some vintage team bikes in their upstairs window. They have a bunch of team exotics and some of Mr Obree‘s bikes.

  4. Jon, thank you for the opportunity to time travel. You are cycling's version of Dr. Who. Regarding the Campagnolo groupset on the Colnago Mexico, I believe it's Campagnolo Victory, and if I'm not mistaken I think I saw it sporting a set of Simplex Retro-Friction shifters – a common upgrade as they were far easier and pleasant to use than Campagnolo shifters. The Victory groupset, along with the less expensive Triomphe groupset, were Campagnolo's knee jerk reaction to Shimano's sudden rise onto the road scene. Shimano had been around awhile, but had never really threatened Campagnolo's dominance up till the late 70's / early 80's. At this point, Shimano launched their 600EX groupset (commonly referred to as 'Arabesque' these days) with innovations like a Freehub, Uniglide Chain, a Crankset with self pulling bolts, etc…for a ridiculously low price at the time (If I recall correctly, one could get the entire groupset for USD$35). I actually bought one of these groupsets – and it worked extremely well! Suddenly, Campagnolo, who had been resting on their laurels for decades was in trouble – particularly at the lower end of the market. They responded with Victory and Triomphe – both fairly clunky, but still Campagnolo…and something that an entry level rider could 'afford'. Both bombed. It was the beginning of a really bad period for Campagnolo – Shimano launched SIS shortly thereafter and Campagnolo's rushed it's index shifting to market – which paled in comparison. Indeed, Campagnolo was forced to run advertising that implied 'real bike riders' didn't need indexing! It wasn't till much later that Campagnolo was able to recover and catch up – some still debate whether they ever actually did. It'd make a great story for GCN.

  5. It’s a beautiful bike, but I always thought Bruce Bursford’s record was done on rollers? So neither he nor the bike were moving through the air, making aerodynamics a bit moot. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

  6. Batwing shaped handlebars on a black, high-tech, one-off bike made for a man named Bruce. Coincidence? I think not 😀

  7. What is GCN's opinion of a famous big cycle brand's carbon fork recall of 2018 and 2019 forks, for inspection and possible replacement and the serious problem there seems to be with a lot of companies supplying none, none destructive tested, some sub standard and therefore dangerous carbon steerer tubes in forks.
    Is this cycling's Russian Roulette with cycle purchase choice dictating whether you could be seriously injured or not and this putting serious doubt in consumer's minds over whether carbon fibre is a suitable material for steerer tubes at all ? This is not a new problem and has been going on for decades now, the cycling community expects much better than this on this serious safety issue.

  8. GP4's as training rims? Nope. That's what amateurs raced on as SSC rims weren't made available to mere mortals. As for Wolber Invunerable tubs, they should have been renamed Wolber Suicidal as they punctured themselves from the inside!

  9. I am always amazed by how slender and bent old forks are. They must have been comfortable but don't look terribly stiff! Interesting how different they are from modern bicycles!

  10. Great seeing the Huret Jubilee on the TT bike, a super nice lightweight groupset. I was surprised it wasn't on the Raleigh anniversary bike. Thanks Jon!

  11. I still have my old White Turbo, from back in the 80's. I also still have some Mavic GL330's and Wolber Aubisque's that I never built up. I used the Wolber's for road races and the Mavic's for criteriums.

  12. Pretty sure the Goodies used the triandum, but if Jon was too young for the chopper then he would also be too young to remember them either.🤣

  13. I'll go for the Raleigh chopper, cause I rode it back in the 80's with 3 or 5 gears, if I remember correctly. So shiner that I can not forget the looks of other guys…. was like my childhood's Ferrari on two wheels.

  14. Well worth another vid Jon and you didn't disappoint . I find the triple an interesting bike to ride I suppose . Ok for the front rider but riding the drops for the last two more interesting , no one is eating burritos and beer before this ride ..

  15. The cycling club I sometimes ride with on Sunday rides. Had a couple of members who had the Flying Gates. Just looked online. T J Cycles still make them to order. Could Jon do a video about them?

  16. The triplet would depend on if GCN had Dan and Si riding it. Not sure if Chris could compensate for all on Dan and Si's outstanding power numbers.

  17. The rear wheel on the “ultimate” reminds me of a company in the late 90s called “J-Disk” and they would take your wheel (usually a deeper profile rim, so not a GP4) and would put on a “skin” making it a disk. Don’t know what happened to the company, I think they went out of business.

  18. Pretty sure the huret came in drillium from the factory. I believe it was heavier than the standard version so it wouldn't break.

  19. Great video Jon. Lots of memories of the sort of bikes and equipment we rode, or dreamed of riding back in the late 70's. The stopper on the toestrap of the first Colnago was there to stop the rider from accidentally pulling the end of the strap out of the cinch clamp. Quite a common problem when coming to an unexpected stop.

  20. Colnagos were a Mexico ESA with the mix of round and fluted tubes, with Campag Victory, and the orange / Yellow one I think is a Gen 1 Master.

  21. Brilliant second instalment Jon, but nothing beats a trip to Llandrindod Wells to see them up close and personal. I was lucky enough to get a mk II Chopper for my 7th birthday – probably the best present I've ever received in my whole life. Always love to hear how people now still rave about them. Now have a restored mk i (the illegal one), but strictly for show only. You can still get Flying Gates btw. They are made to order by the wonderful Liz Colebrook – see . I bought one 2 years ago and it's a joy to ride. There's a whole section on trophies and medals etc from memory that you may like to cover in a follow up

  22. I got fotos of me with all these bikes, even sitting in the office. In Wales in it. Lovely folks that work there.

  23. Chalk this one as another JC classic. I thoroughly enjoyed this. Thank you for bringing such great content to a channel that is already fantastic Jon.

  24. I can't agree you more..reynolds 531 is such a good steel to make a frame. I have a 89' peugeot galibier with 531, tricolor shimano 600 groupset and wolber rims and i love it. The perfect balance between responsiveness and ride quality. This raleigh would be my choice.
    Cheers from France.

  25. I don't understand this drilling out components business. Surely the damage to aerodynamics hurts more than the weight savings, right?

  26. The Raleigh Chopper and the Schwinn Stingray chopper. I wanted the ‘lemon peeler’ so badly in 1971, but my folks could only find me a yellow 20” Stingray. OH how I wish I still had that bike. Circa 1978 I stripped it down painted it black and converted it to a motocross bike.

  27. 13:33 I never knew about the legendary Raleigh Chopper until Sam Pilgrim got his hands on one: Now I want one!

  28. Jon, what are your thoughts on Zeus components? They were the masters of drilling out their components as I remember.

  29. Jon, the later Huret Jubilee RD's came with drilled cages from the factory. Interestingly enough though, it added 15g to the total weight (due to the extra material needed for cage stiffness).

  30. Makes wish I hadn't sold my 1982 Pinarello Treviso with the beautiful metal emblem on the headtube and the GP logo embossed on the top of the forks

  31. Speaking of triplets… I'm still waiting for that fabled 1. April GCN Triplet World Hour Record attempt. Please make it happen!

  32. No (British) 80's TT bike was complete without a set of Modolo Kronos brakes – levers at the very least. Calipers as well if you had the cash. Single Kronos gear lever as well, mounted on a boss the top of the (oval) downtube.. If you were top 80's TT'er Ian Cammish, you were also rockin' a set of those weird 'L'-shaped cranks – Ahhh, those were the days. Put's away rose-tinted Oakleys 🙂

  33. How many times do you think during the course of his tour he was told, " Sorry Jon can't touch that. Sorry Jon can't sit on that. Wait Jon no don't touch that!" Keep doing you Jon! Don't let them stop you!!

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