Eric Wilson’s hill climb bike from the 1950 / 60s

A reader (Ken Stott) kindly sent in a few photos of Eric Wilson’s hill climb bike from the 1950s and 1960s. Eric Wilson won four national hill climb championships in 1955, 1957, 1960 and 1964. Four titles over a period of 10 years. Ken still looks after Eric’s bike, though he says he doesn’t ride with quite the speed of Eric Wilson in his prime!


Ken says the bike weighs about 18lbs….. (8.1 kg). That’s about 2.1 kg heavier than the average (geared) bike in the national hill climb 2013!

The bike is of course fixed. Nearly all hill climbers will have ridden fixed in those days. Though gears were starting to become more popular. – For example, John Woodburn became the first rider to win the national 25 mile title on fixed in 1961.

The bike looks marvellous. Classic Raleigh red

The front fork has a large rake angle (giving low / zero trail) (good article by David Moulton here on Rake and trail here)

Cycling from the 1960s!

eric wilson-500

31-year old Eric Wilson (Rossendale Road Club took his fourth RTTC hill-climb title in Derbyshire on Sunday, pushing defending champion Granville Sydney, Huddersfield Star Wheelers into third place with up and coming Ernie Lightfoot, Merlin Road club, second.

If it was Eric Wilson’s fourth title, it must be 1964. (updated National champ winners)

9 thoughts on “Eric Wilson’s hill climb bike from the 1950 / 60s”

  1. tyvan,

    Congratulations on your success. Beautiful bike – what do you reckon the weight was?
    If you were to repeat your Stang ride on this, how much difference do you think it would make?

    • The weight of this bike is 2 kilos heavier than mine. That’s quite a few seconds on a climb like the Stang. But, in the days of fixed gears, I don’t think they would have chosen the Stang – gradient is too variable for fixed.

  2. And this weight thing is a bit of a fallacy when comparing bike frames. My entry level first bike, an aluminium Trek cost £400 and weighs 9 kilo approx. My next bike was a Trek 6.5 carbon frame costing £4000 and weighs in at 7 kilo.

    Last year I decided to get a purpose winter/wet weather bike and the entry level Trek carbon range 3.1, allows for full mudguards to be fitted, the bike cost £1400 but later I found, still weighs in at 9 kilo the same as my aluminium one, so apart from ride comfort (carbon, I am led to believe, absorbs road vibration, hence carbon forks with aluminium frames) if you want to save weight, you have to buy top end carbon frames.

    • Hi
      My name is Barrie Clegg, Eric and I were best mates on and off the bike, for many years, until I emigrated to South Africa in 1963. We have been in communication since then on a regular basis and I have visited him in Ramsbottom numerous times, while he was married to Pat and since his widower status. I’m not sure if both of us are seeking the same Eric, I was in contact until recently but now I cannot reach him on his e mail address, he must be 90 years old. If it’s the same Eric. let me know how if you’ve contacted him.
      I’m Baz his old Cycling mucker

      • I think I can help. Eric does not like to use his email – he finds it a struggle, He is 90 next month – I do not know the date. We have to be careful these days with email addresses etc. I will see if I can get Eric’s ok for him to communicate with you via email. I’m going to send him a birthday card Friday, Anyway for starters my email address is [email protected]

    • Hello Jonathon It was 18 months ago you made your request. If you have not found Eric by now I can let you know that he will be 90 Next month. In the first instance please communicate with me: [email protected]. Eric does not like to use his email address,


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