New customer Jonathan has owned this highly original Brigg-built beauty from new, and brought it to us for a full rebuild to encourage him to ride it once again after it sat unused for many years. By the mid ’90s these handbuilt lugged steel frames were going out of fashion as aluminium was dominating the peleton, with carbon fibre hot on its heels just a few years later. Fast forward to today and they are the mainstay of our workshop – lucky us – though few are as well preserved as the Criterium.
The butted Reynolds 531 frame cleaned up a treat and features some lovely details such as the elegant fork, integrated seatpost binder, seatstay bridge and adjustable forged dropouts under that metallic lilac paintwork. Adorned with a modest but effective Shimano Exage 300EX groupset and still using downtube shifters and sidepull brakes (albeit Japanese manufactured) the bike is nevertheless well worth enjoying again as it looks great – its size emphasising the slender tubing – and rides beautifully after a very thorough service and fresh Panaracer tyres (up from 23c to 25c), plus new tubes, chain, cables, bar tape and bearings.