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Orbit Gold Medal frame, cantilever, help!

bigflangesmallsprocketbigflangesmallsprocket Posts: 2,443
edited May 2012 in Workshop
I've just picked up an old touring frame off Ebay, and not being overly familiar with canti frames I could do with some advice...please :) .

No pics yet, I only picked it up from the Post Office tonight. This is an Orbit Gold Medal. These have apparantly been around for some time in different guises. This one is 531c; cantilevered, bottle cages on the down-tube and on the underside of downtube, but NOT on the seat tube (!); old style lamp bracket boss on forks.

I've a couple of possible problems with this (and a bit miffed with seller) but I'd like to find out whether the wheels are 700c, 27inch, or even 26inch? I imagine measure from centre of the drop-out to the centre of the canti fixing and that should give me an answer, but can anyone tell me which measurement for which wheel size please?

I'd originally assumed that just shoving a 700c in there would give me an answer, but there's loads of clearance in there, and I'd guess there'd still be plenty with a 27inch, so no answer at all there! From googling it seems there has been various versions of these, so though I'm leaning toward 700c, I'm still not certain and just like more info before I go splashing out cash on a restoration.

Probably more stupid/intelligent questions tomorrow when I'm properly awake!

Jam butties, officially endorsed by the Diddymen Olympic Squad

Posts

  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    What does it say on the side of the tyres?
  • No tyres, no wheels. just the frame! iF I had the wheels then I'd have the answer straight away. I did push a 700c wheel in there, but it didn't really tell me anything as the clearance was so large. I reckon I could easily get a 27 in there and still have air for big tyres and guards and mud clearance, as it seems to me that's the point of this frame.

    I'm also looking to suss out costs before I start spending. A respray I expected, but it seems a little metalwork is also in order...an extra expense I hadn't bargained on..and if a 'new' set of wheels too, then thats more money again!


    Edited!

    What I should have done in the first place: measured from centre of drop-out to front of boss (fork): approx 290mm

    Jam butties, officially endorsed by the Diddymen Olympic Squad
  • Tom753Tom753 Posts: 737
    I would guess it's 700, as I don't think canti brakes were common on off the peg frames/bikes with 27in wheels.
  • I recall in the 80's a lot of less sporty road bikes having weinman (or possibly mafac if you were posh :lol: ) centre-pulls. I do recall seeing some canti braked bikes but not many, and at that time there were still a fair few bikes round with 27inch wheels....though as you said tom I'm not sure either whether these were actually still in common production, then there was the 26incher which was still about but I THINK at that time they were mostly on low-end bikes (I don't think we had the mtb till later..I'm dating the bike by the old fashioned fork leg lights boss as well as the 126 rear spacing) and some smaller tourers...and mines a smaller tourer!

    I've been looking at piccies of canti-brakes and they do seem to match up with the spacing on mine but confirmation would be nice.

    Jam butties, officially endorsed by the Diddymen Olympic Squad
  • NervexProfNervexProf Posts: 4,202
    A quick trawl of the web shows that 'Orbit' were founded in 1984 - from the mid 80's onward most bikes moved over to 700c size wheels. See Sheldon Brown.

    As a side note, a tourer is offered on Gumtree - see here:
    http://bristol.gumtree.com/bristol/48/43086948.html

    Visually the wheels look to be 700C

    Given that the frame tubing is Reynolds 531C I would opine that the wheel size is in fact 700C
    Common sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom
  • NervexProfNervexProf Posts: 4,202
    I recall in the 80's a lot of less sporty road bikes having weinman (or possibly mafac if you were posh :lol: ) centre-pulls. I do recall seeing some canti braked bikes but not many, and at that time there were still a fair few bikes round with 27inch wheels....though as you said tom I'm not sure either whether these were actually still in common production, then there was the 26incher which was still about but I THINK at that time they were mostly on low-end bikes (I don't think we had the mtb till later..I'm dating the bike by the old fashioned fork leg lights boss as well as the 126 rear spacing) and some smaller tourers...and mines a smaller tourer!

    I've been looking at piccies of canti-brakes and they do seem to match up with the spacing on mine but confirmation would be nice.

    Since my initial reply I recall that I ran 27 x 1 1/4" wheels on my Roberts Audax machine. On restoring the frame and building new wheels earlier this year I switched to 700c wheels, Rigida Sputnik on Specialised hubs, retaining the original Mafac canti brakes. Runs sweetly - and brakes are effective on the new wheels.

    Image here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3824529198/
    Common sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom
  • I popped down to the lbs looking for a lockring spanner after breaking mine, and saw a couple cyclo-cross bikes there, the spacing does look the same, and as you pointed out prof, that orbit has 700c too, so I reckon that's the jobbie.

    I did spot the advertised Orbit earlier, and it looks the same but for a couple of little things, being: different lettering on the frame, and lack of bottle cage bosses on the seat tube on mine, pointing to a different edition/year. Why you'd miss out seat tube cage bosses, but fit them under the down tube is beyond me!

    I also read of variable build quality on these and the wheel does not align up straight in my fork. The frame needs some work done to it anyway so I'll get that looked at when/if I get it resprayed after letting a professional look at it. It might be simpler, and even cheaper in the long run, to go for a Pompino, but I do prefer the more classic look of canti brakes as opposed to v's.

    PS: that Roberts looks luverrrly!

    Jam butties, officially endorsed by the Diddymen Olympic Squad
  • My original intention was for a cheap singlespeed winterbike that I could take off-road for a little extra fun. However upon receiving the bike, found out it's going to need some frame repairs, and on top of that I can't even slap a pair of my current wheels on! It seems this particular frame has an offset rear end to enable dishless wheels for more strength.

    So, can you redish wheels without having to replace all the spokes?

    Jam butties, officially endorsed by the Diddymen Olympic Squad
  • NervexProfNervexProf Posts: 4,202
    My original intention was for a cheap singlespeed winterbike that I could take off-road for a little extra fun. However upon receiving the bike, found out it's going to need some frame repairs, and on top of that I can't even slap a pair of my current wheels on! It seems this particular frame has an offset rear end to enable dishless wheels for more strength.

    So, can you redish wheels without having to replace all the spokes?

    Yes,simply.
    Common sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom
  • NervexProfNervexProf Posts: 4,202
    My original intention was for a cheap singlespeed winterbike that I could take off-road for a little extra fun. However upon receiving the bike, found out it's going to need some frame repairs, and on top of that I can't even slap a pair of my current wheels on! It seems this particular frame has an offset rear end to enable dishless wheels for more strength.

    So, can you redish wheels without having to replace all the spokes?

    Yes,simply.
    Common sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom
  • Nice, so if I decide to build after all, that's a cheap ebay wheelset, and then a little job for the lbs!

    Jam butties, officially endorsed by the Diddymen Olympic Squad
  • stevie180stevie180 Posts: 1
    I have just rebuilt an original Orbital Gold medal with the original wheels intact apart from one spoke which proved hard to get. My one sounds exactly the same and has the original 27" Pelissier hubs and rims on it. Hence finding a spoke was hard. I just have one gear changer lever missing on it, otherwise in great condition, Rides very well
  • ynyswen24ynyswen24 Posts: 703
    The Gold Medal would date from the period after Simon Gershon bought Orbit and moved the company to City Road in Sheffield, early '90's. So the wheel size will be 700c. You're correct that some models of the Gold Medal had asymmetric rear wheel stays to allow the use of an undished (and, hence, stronger) rear wheel for laden touring, so the apparent wonkyness of the frame is - hopefully - due this rather than damage or shoddy workmanship (it has to be said that when Orbit were being made in Dudley before Gershon took over, some of the frames were pretty poorly aligned).
  • I have a Gold Medal in my garage at the moment (belongs to a neighbour - the Veloce ergopower is knackered and I'm repairing it for him).
    Definitely 700c

    I knew Simon Gershon well when he bought Orbit in early '90s (he was also co-owner of Sheffield Freewheel where I worked for a while). I looked at some of the original test bikes and he was pretty hot on quality control and improving the design.

    Dishless rear wheels: not a prob with existing spokes.

    Running SS: not so easy (off the peg SS rears are 120 mm whereas the GM will be 130 OLND). You can get converter kits (See One One or Charlie bikemonger sites) to go SS on road wheels.
    Commute: Langster -Singlecross - Brompton S2-LX

    Road: 95 Trek 5500 -Look 695 Aerolight eTap - Boardman TTe eTap

    Offroad: Pace RC200 - Dawes Kickback 2 tandem - Tricross - Boardman CXR9.8 - Ridley x-fire
  • ClarionClarion Posts: 223
    I know I'm a bit late on this thread, but Ynyswen24 is not quite correct. The Gold Medal goes right back with Orbit. I had a Gold Medal Extra I bought new in 1987. That was made in Peartree, and did not have a dishless rear wheel. Nor did my later Silver Medal, 90s, but also handbuilt in Peartree (one of the last). That's still my main ride, following a restoration a few years ago.

    I'm not aware of any alignment issues with Peartree frames.

    After the move to Sheffield, Orbit began to outsource framebuilding.

    Anyway, wheel size: My GME was 700c. I previously ran cantis on a 27" Carlton, but I'd had them fitted myself by Bob Jacksons.

    Both my Orbits (and hte spare Gold Medal frame in my cellar) are 531ST, and I'm surprised that a tourer would be made in 531c, which is a much lighter (thinner) tubing. My Woodrup Giro is a pure-bred fast machine, and that's 531c.
    Riding on 531
  • Clarion I'm restoring a Gold Medal. Got any pics of yours please? :)
  • Hi HebdenBiker!

    I noticed that you have an Orbit Gold Medal. I also am a happy owner of a Gold Medal, probably the only one in Sweden.
    I bought it in 1997 from Simon Gershon. According to the specs the frame was built from a mix of 731 and 653 Reynolds tubing. The fork is marked with 531 labels.

    I have tried to get 731 and 653 decals for the frame, but the company Bicycle Decals are in serious doubt that this tubing in fact was used.

    Can you clearify?

    Many thanks,
    Christian
  • ynyswen24ynyswen24 Posts: 703
    Christian,

    I just went and had a look in the cupboard and I still have an Orbit catalogue from 1996, the Gold Medal in it ('kingfisher' blue with gold decals) is listed as being built of Reynolds 731st tubing throughout. If you send me a direct message with your e-mail I can take a picture of the catalogue and send it to you if that helps to source replacement decals for it. The 26" wheel Expidition and the Silver Medal are listed as being built of 531st

    Mike
  • turbo_hamsterturbo_hamster Posts: 116
    My Orbit Gold Medal is a "ladies" open frame. The frame and forks are 531C (I have just checked!) and the wheels are 27". I bought it in 1984. I still use it as my shopping bike.

    The original brakes were single-pivot Weinmanns. I replaced the brakes and levers after many years, as my small hands could not operate the originals from the hoods.
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