Title: Double Bespoke Bike Build
Company: Private Client
Design & Construction: Robert Prentice
Sourcing and researching rare and collectible road bike frames is where any build starts.
It was based around a near mint condition Ammaco badged and decaled Tony Doyle “World Champion” 60cm road frame from 1986. The tubing is steel and hand lugged. Judging by its weight alone it came in lighter than other frames I have built up that used Reynolds 531 tubing. That is not to dismiss the possibility that it is constructed from Reynolds 531 tubing. Tony Doyle’s two World Pursuit Championship wins of 1980 & 86 were won on frames built by Chas Roberts, son of Charlie Roberts of Roberts Cycles in Croydon. Of course this particular frame is not built by them as they don’t mass produce any model. What I suspect is that Ammaco (a company more closely associated with high end bmx manufacture) wanted to break into the road market by entering their own high end product with a signature athlete attached. Thus I’m convinced the frame is constructed from the best materials (Reynolds 531) and craftsmanship which would explain the frames’ very light weight and also the fine lugging. I also would suspect Ammaco would have wanted to give a nod to the quality of Tony Doyle’s World Championship winning frame, exquisitely built by Roberts Cycles.
The rest of the build was constructed within the means of the clients budget thus buying and sourcing the best parts that the budget would allow. The main expense was a new set of Halo Aerotrack wheels with Gatorskin tyres. Other details included a Campagnolo headset and bottom bracket with a Nitto handlebar stem and seatpost and a vintage raleigh repro crankset to the clients one steadfast demand. Ten handle bars were a customised recycled lot that were going spare in the workshop to make sure the build came perfectly to budget.
This build was based around a very good condition 1980’s Alpina frame from South Africa. The frame itself is made from Reynolds 501 tubing and is also nicely hand lugged. Alpina was a bike manufacturer based in Kew Johannesburg which was started in 1970 and now no longer in existence. The frame used in the build is from the time when they imported Merrill frames from Italy that they rebuilt and modified under the Alpina name in South African factories. This explains the Italian wording in their name so specifically alluding to the Italian origins of their frames and tap into the distinguished associations of Italian bike manufacture. As demand grew they later just cut and silver soldered the frames themselves. In it’s heyday it’s stable included successful Raport Tours cyclists Erkies Bezuidenhout and Robbie McIntosh. The end of the factory came when Allen van Heerden was forced to sell the company. Strangely he never raced under the Alpina name due to more lucrative sponsorship deals available to him at the time.
The rest of the build was constructed within the means of the clients budget thus buying and sourcing the best parts that the budget would allow. The main expense was a new set of Quella deemed rimed wheels with Bontrager inner tubers and Gatorskin tyres. Other details included a bespoke altercated Campagnolo Crankset, Shimano headset, Nitto Handle bar stem, handle bars and seatpost. A Selle saddle completed the build.