Monday, 16 October 2017

My Flying Gate

Its been a while since I posted on here which is a bit remiss of me but I have been patiently waiting for the latest edition to my collection to be ready for sharing with you as it was little overdue. This particular bikes story starts back in the 1930's and was the brainchild of brothers Reg & Wille Baines   Nicknamed the "Flying Gate" it was unusual in its design as it allowed for shorter chainstays and therefore less flex at the bottom bracket. Hilary Stone explains.
My interest in obtaining one of these frames was sparked by an encounter with Rob Seall at an event in Tunbridge Wells where I was carrying out a Dr Bike session at the launch of Cycle Friday. Robs frame was a Silver Jubilee  model with very special hand cut lugs and was a work of art.
A little while later I phoned Trevor to enquire about placing an order and although at that time I never got to speak to the man himself it seemed  unlikely that any further orders were going to be taken for some time to come.
Three years later I was attending Eroica Britannia and whilst walking through the tented village I come across a Flying Gate Frame, standing next to the frame was no other than Trevor Jarvis and Liz Beaumont  I spent some time chatting with both Trevor and Liz and a few weeks later on the 19th July, after various emails and phone calls, I placed an order for my Flying Gate frame and the deposit was duly paid.
At the time of order it was proposed to build my frame in February 2017 and as the time drew near I started to think about how I might use the bike during the summer of that year. After a lot of soul searching  I had decided to go with something different than a Campagnolo build. I still wanted a vintage group set but Campag prices still seemed to be on the up and I felt that something a little different was needed. In the end I went for Suntour Superbe pro. Japanese yes but top end components that had excellent design and engineering principles behind them. Over the winter of 2016 parts were sourced from all corners of the globe and the group set took shape.
February 2017 came and went and in March I contacted Liz to find out what was happening to my frame. As with all things bespoke and when you are working with a small business thats trying to establish itself there can be all manner of reasons for unexpected delays but give Liz her due, she apologised for the delay and ensured me that we would get there in the end.
In June of 2017 Liz let me know that the frame had begun to take shape in the jig and shortly after that these photos arrived of the first stage of the build.
My "Gate" just off the jig

Forks in their raw unfinished state

Once the frame was completed it was off to the platers for chroming and then off to Bob Jacksons for its paint.
On the 22nd September Liz sent me this photo of the frame just out of the box from the finishers.

Now paint choice on a frame is a very personal thing and to me its always been a blank canvas to create a work of art. To say that I'm chuffed to bits on how it turned out is an understatement. I think it looks exactly as it should. A rich cream base, lugs picked out in flam red with a touch of chrome giving it a nice vintage vibe.
Below are a set of photos of the finished build in all its glory almost a full Suntour group set, I'm still waiting for a seat post to find its way to Bobs Bike Shed and a headset but other than that its all there.
Bobs Bike Shed Flying Gate

Flying gate Seat post tube 

Paint detail

A proper head badge 

Chrome detail 

chrome detail

Chrome detail

Front derailleur clip

BB shell paint detail

Paint detail

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