This week I had the pleasure of working on Tom’s new find, this quite rare and beautiful lightweight vintage Dave Yates sports touring bike. The frame was hand built by the legendary British framebuilder in c.1980; it’s made of lugged Reynolds 531 Super Tourist tubing and features Campagnolo adjustable drop-outs, lovely lined Spearpoint type lugs and excellent original paintwork & decals. It was originally built up into a full bike by M Steel Cycles in the early 1980s, featuring a mish-mash host of quality components from the likes of Mafac, Lyotard and Cinelli which remain in pretty good condition. Nice period details also include the original cloth bar wrap and the Shimano Dura-Ace downtube sticker. The rear derailleur obviously dates from the early 1990s though and while the wheels are slightly later than the frame they retain the classic look – and spin beautifully.

The bike’s had a clean and tune-up in the workshop, including new brake cables and new rubber hoods for the Zeus levers. I also tried out a NOS Shimano derailleur to improve front shifting over the small 30/38 tooth Cyclotourist chainrings – the previous owner was very old and the low gearing suited him – as it was previously spec’d with a Suntour Cyclone item more suited to a much larger outer chainring. This ‘Alpine’ gearing’ route (eg 30/50) and the addition of a 6 speed freewheel – with the same range slightly closer spaced than the current 5 – is the direction I recommended to the new owner when more budget permits, but the eye-catching full length mudguards and cushy 32mm World Tours still mark the Yates as ideal for a gentle attempt at Eroica Britannia.

All in all, a distinctive and high quality old school machine in good working order!

Frame: Dave Yates, Reynolds 531ST tubing, lined Spearpoint lugs, Campagnolo adjustable drop-outs
Size: 57cm square
Fork: Dave Yates, Reynolds 531 tubing, investment cast crown
Headset: Tange Allez
Stem: Cinelli 1A 80mm
Handlebar: Cinelli Campione Del Mondo 66-42
Bar Tape: original cloth, Milremo end plugs
Brake Levers: Zeus drilled (with new Dia-Compe hoods, new cables & housings)
Brake Calipers: Mafac 2000
Brake Pads: Aztec
Shifters: Shimano Dura-Ace friction downtube levers
Front Derailleur: Shimano 400 CX (NOS)
Rear Derailleur: Shimano 6400 Tricolour
Freewheel: Everest 5 speed 14-24t
Chain: unknown (Sedis?)
Cranks: TA Specialities
Chainrings: TA Specialities Cyclotourist 38/30t
Bottom Bracket: TA Specialities
Pedals: Lyotard Berthet (with chromed toe-clips & leather straps)
Rims: Alesa Endeavour 700c (622-17)
Hubs: Sachs New Success 36 hole
QR Skewers: Shimano
Spokes: DT Swiss Champion
Tyres: Michelin World Tour 700x32c
Tubes: Presta
Saddle: Selle Royal Contour Royal
Seatpost: Zeus fluted micro-adjustable
Seatpost Binder: integrated bolt
Mudguards: SKS Bluemels