Dave Greenwood’s retro mile eater, Harry Hall with a modern twist. For his Tour of Yorkshire.

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Like myself Dave Greenwood has a liking for Classic Cycles, unlike me his ideal number is not “N+1”.

Dave had bought himself a Classic 1980/90’s British Steel Touring/Audax bike and knowing I liked tinkering with old bikes (to put it mildly) he asked if I could have a go with it and make it a bit more modern and easier to ride on for a Tour he was contemplating (riding around the Border of Holland, why not!!). The bike was perfect for the job, a little heavier than Carbon but a lot more comfortable and stronger to take the luggage he was going to carry. Everyone should have a nice light steel bike in their collection.

Dave wanted me to update the components to modern but classic looking Campagnolo Record in polished aluminium finish so I set about stripping the bike down and preparing the frame and forks for a change of colour. To accomodate the 10-speed hub we decided to “Cold Set” the rear drop outs rather than get somone to reconfigure the rear triangle (a decision I regretted later).

The Harry Hall in its original set up

I took the prepared fram to Vaz Cycle Finishes in London who would get the frame sandblasted, primed and painted in a lovely rich red metallic and source new Decals before finishing with a clear lacquer. I always use Mario for my my refurbishments and he does a good sound job for a reasonable price, he also can advise on what colours would look good having worked for some of the great bike builders like Holdsworth. Whilst we waited for the frame to be painted Dave and myself did a big shop on ebay.

Some fitting detail

The revised Harry Hall, mark 1. 2019.

The bike looked fantastic and Dave loved the look and feel of the bike, the only downside being we left the cantilevered brakes on it and couldn’t find any Campagnolo ones to replace the old ones that were on it. Where I had cold set the frame to take the wider cassette it was slightly out of centre (3-5mm), it wasn’t a lot but enough to make the cantilevered brakes even more fiddly to set up than they are anyway. We found some Dia-compe ones that didn’t look too bad but I was never happy with them and secretly I don’t think Dave was.

Dave never did the Tour around Holland (Ithink the C word got in the way) but he did put in some epic rides on Harry and found the bike a delight too, except for the brakes.

Last year Dave approached me again and asked if there was anything I could do about the brakes and get some modern side pull callipers on, great a chance to redeem myself. I took the frame back to Vaz and they reconfigured the rear triangle and replaced the rear tubes taking the chance to remove the brazed on cantilever mounts. I had some Chrome Forks for the front as it had a hole for the mounting of the front calliper which was in a better position than on the old forks.

The new brake callipers fitted well and only the back one needed a small adaptor to get the brake blocks lined up with the rims.

Adaptor for mounting rear Calliper.
Front Calliper and Chrome Forks.

Detail of new Callipers

The new Callipers have made the bike much easier to ride and given Dave more confidence it’s going to stop in all weathers.

Harry Hall, mk2, 2024.

Paul Simpson.

Bike tinkerer.

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