Steel is real part 2 – the queen of Italy’s eyes.

So off went the frame to Vernon Barker. In fact to Dave Baille, who is now the owner and builder, restorer at Vernon Barker cycles in Dronfield.

Gave me a good opportunity to catch up with an old mate who lives in Dronfield, a nice old mining village on the edge of the Peak District half way between Chesterfield and Sheffield. A nice place to visit with a decent  very cheap cafe; only a few miles from Stanage Edge, where you can do more grit routes in a day than anywhere in the world. Also loads of quality cycling roads with great and very steep hills.

But I digress.

The frame was grit blasted and cleaned. The dent repaired and filled. All the brazing were removed and new brake stops on the top tube put on (the old style ones just don’t fit modern cable housings). I left the gear hanger on just in case I ever need to run a tensioner.

The frame was then stove enamelled Celeste (Bianchi Blue, the colour of the Queen of Italy’s eye’s or the sky over the Dolomites, take your choice) and new MB Dronfield decals applied.

It looked wonderful.


A new and very shiny headset from Velo Orange (a company specialising in reproducing classic bits and bobs) was used.


A very nice Andel track crank.


Thanks to  Alan Weaver, some very shiny Ultegra 6600 brakes.

This build still using a front wheel from my Audax bike. I am going to get a nice track wheel built up using  a Miche large flange hub. Going to try the H plus Son TB14 rim, which has received excellent reviews. A traditional looking rim, built to contemporary specifications (23 mm wide) for less than the price of Open Pros. Also available in a very shiny finish!.

Took the bike for its first ride and I love it.



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