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531 Claud Butler Majestic

simon_mastersonsimon_masterson Posts: 2,740
edited January 2018 in Your road bikes
Picked this up at a local bike jumble today. 531, fantastic condition. In the short term I'm going to build it up with parts I have, but long term I plan to turn it into a classic tourer with some sympathetic concessions to modernity (eg. respacing and cassette gearing), including a replica respray and some braze-ons. Watch this space...


The sad part is that it's a replacement for my faithful old Falcon. I knew it needed a respray, but unfortunately internal rust has been working away in secret, with the end result you see below - this happened on my first attempt at getting to the aforementioned bike jumble. The frame itself is intact, but I can only assume it's just as bad, and therefore with a heavy heart, I'm retiring it to hang on the wall to remind me of all the happy miles.



  • Nice find, Simon! Look forward to seeing you breathe new life into it! What year is it, then? 126mm spacing I presume?
  • Yes! 126. Really happy with that - my Falcon was 120, though until I read your post from the other day, I had assumed that cold setting to 130 wouldn't be feasible anyway, so was going to respray and convert to fixed as supply of 5 speed kit isn't what it once was. Alas, the old girl had other ideas. :lol:

    Not sure on the year yet, but guessing late '70s?
  • team47bteam47b Posts: 6,424
    Are those NISI tubulars rims, they look really light? :D
    my isetta is a 300cc bike
  • woolwichwoolwich Posts: 298
    Sorry to hear about the demise of your Falcon. If you are interested I have these.



    I am not sure they are identical but they are taken from my own mid eighties Falcon. I got hit by a car on it about 15 years ago, the bumper hit the bottom bracket area and totalled the frame, luckily my leg was at the top of the pedal stroke or it would have been a very serious injury. The forks escaped completely untouched and I have had them knocking about ever since waiting for a good home.
    If they can give your trusty old steed a new lease of life your are welcome to them for the cost of the postage.

    Regards, Mark
    Mud to Mudguards. The Art of framebuilding.
  • Hello Mark, thanks for your kind offer. I have decided to retire the frame on safety grounds due to the extent of the rust, but might well be interested nonetheless. The new CB frame takes 27" wheels (as did the Falcon), and I was thinking of swapping in a 700c fork when I have it resprayed next year. I'm guessing that your fork might be 700c? The frame is around 62-63cm ctt.
  • OxoOxo Posts: 144
    [quote="Not sure on the year yet, but guessing late '70s?[/quote]

    My first "proper" bike was a Claud Butler Majestic in metallic gold. I saved every penny of my weekend petrol pump attendant job, Christmas and birthday money for two years to get it - that would have been 1984/85 and looked exactly like this frame.

    Absolutely sublime ride, and I rode it every day for years (until discovering cars, pubs, B&H and girls). No idea what happened to it, but I've been trying to recapture the ride quality of that frame ever since re-discovering cycling a few years back.

    Good find!


    Sunday Best: 2013 Colnago Master 30th Anniversary
    Foul Weather: 2010 Kinesis Racelight T2
    Commuter: 1958 Holdsworth Zephyr Fixed Gear
  • woolwichwoolwich Posts: 298
    You have a pm with some details.

    Mud to Mudguards. The Art of framebuilding.
  • Just replied with address - says the message is in my outbox not sent so don't know if you've got it yet?
  • woolwichwoolwich Posts: 298
    Falcon forks are posted. Pm sent with payment details. Glad they can be of some use :D
    Mud to Mudguards. The Art of framebuilding.
  • secretsamsecretsam Posts: 5,039
    If it's of any use, I have a copy of the second issue of "Bicycle" Magazine from the 80s, where they test that exact bike - in gold, no less (there was also a blue version) - although might have been a slightly later edition as it's not got the pump pegs. Let me know if you're interested, can happily scan and e-mail.

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • Hi Sam, that's really good of you; I'll take you up on that. PMing email address.
  • Finished at the weekend! Pre-commute pic from this morning.


    Those bars are going to go on my commuter just as soon as I can get some new Cinellis to replace the ones I wrote off in my crash; likewise the pedals. That Turbo Lite is on loan from the TT bike, though I intend to get a Turbo reissue for this bike. For now, it's a fantastic bike.
  • Forgot I had a thread for this. I like this frame so much I actually had it resprayed earlier this year by Mercian, along with braze ons and other work. Made no financial sense, but I don’t care. :) It looks stunning - finish is what Mercian call ‘flamboyant’, which has a coat of white pearlescent, so it sparkles in the sun. Mish mash of parts, and it certainly deserves some better wheels, but it goes well.

  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 20,050
    Nice but er upsidedown
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • arlowoodarlowood Posts: 2,561
    itboffin wrote:
    Nice but er upsidedown

    Strangely if you right click the "Australian" image and select to "open image in new tab" it flips the image over so that you can view it correctly. But unfortunately you can't copy this image address and get it to display the right way up as an embedded image
  • itboffin wrote:
    Nice but er upsidedown

    Gah. I hate tinypic...
  • Hi - new to the forum! Was reading this after googling “Claud Butler Majestic” so joined the forum. I have an original mid 80’s CB Majestic in the light metallic blue referred to earlier in the thread - the (better) alternative to the Gold. Funnily enough I too paid for it as a 15 yr old working at a petrol station and have owned it now for 33years! It has hung in my parents garage for the last 18 yrs since I moved to Australia. If anyone may be interested in taking it to its next good home get in touch. I am in the UK this week so will take some photos. Same goes for a 531c Campag Victory groupset Falcon San Remo of the same vintage, although this one has had a dodgy respray
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