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!

raleigh-fixed

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. 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)

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

  1. sea_biscuit November 5, 2013 at 10:53 pm #

    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?

    • tejvan November 6, 2013 at 7:55 am #

      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. Chris November 20, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

    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.

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