Info on Hillman Touring Bike



jimmay2000

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Mar 30, 2006
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Hi

I recently got my hands on an old Hillman Touring bicycle, circa 1981. Can anyone give me any information on the bike, such as quality of the frame?

Thanks

jimmay2000
 

slaw

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Dec 19, 2004
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Do you have a pic? Are there any stickers on the frame which say what material the frame is built with? I might be able to tell by the type of the Hillman stickers.

If it was custom made, it is probably Reynolds 531 or 501. ie. top quality. Otherwise, they imported bikes/frames at that time made with Tange tubing of reasonable quality. It is unlikely to be a frame of below average quality.

I did summer work for Hillman around that time and I own a 531 custom built tourer from there. My GF of the time had a 501 mixte touring frame built by them. You couldn't get much better than that in those days.
 

jimmay2000

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Mar 30, 2006
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Thanks for your help. Here are a couple of photos of the bike. As you can see, the decals are getting rather old.
 

slaw

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Dec 19, 2004
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jimmay2000 said:
Thanks for your help. Here are a couple of photos of the bike. As you can see, the decals are getting rather old.
Yup, those stickers were used about the time I was there. From the drop outs used, the quality of the components and the seat stay top tube junction, it doesn't look like a custom made frame. I don't remember any off the shelf bikes coming with chromed forks at that time, so it has possibly been repainted, hence the lack of frame material stickers. But don't quote me on that.

So it looks like one of their run of the mill type bikes of the time, still better than most of the Repcos, Malvern Stars etc of that era. Who knows, I might have even assembled it.
 

jimmay2000

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Mar 30, 2006
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slaw said:
Yup, those stickers were used about the time I was there. From the drop outs used, the quality of the components and the seat stay top tube junction, it doesn't look like a custom made frame. I don't remember any off the shelf bikes coming with chromed forks at that time, so it has possibly been repainted, hence the lack of frame material stickers. But don't quote me on that.

So it looks like one of their run of the mill type bikes of the time, still better than most of the Repcos, Malvern Stars etc of that era. Who knows, I might have even assembled it.
Thanks, I was hoping for better-than-average. The guy who sold it to me also gave me some of the paint that he has been using to keep it rust-free. The Hillman stickers are just holding on, so I suspect the frame material ones got painted on and discarded.

I'll look for your signature to see if you assembled it ;)
 

jimmay2000

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Mar 30, 2006
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Slaw, Just out of curiosity, how popular were touring bikes back in the day? These days they seem to be pretty rare, or else they are being called something else.
 

slaw

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Dec 19, 2004
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jimmay2000 said:
Slaw, Just out of curiosity, how popular were touring bikes back in the day? These days they seem to be pretty rare, or else they are being called something else.
There wasn't the variety of bikes that are available today. You could get a road racing bike, a touring bike or a cheap shopper or ladies' style bike.

Of the touring bikes, there were your common 10 speeds which, at the lower end of the market, often had steel rims and crappy brakes. Then the better bikes had alloy rims, a better frame and components. These were popular with the commuters and students. But if you wanted a decent bike, you had to get it custom made from Hillman, Cecil Walkers or a couple of other places.

With the advent of the mountain bike around the early 80s, the scene has changed considerably. For road riding/touring there is the choice of any mountain bike, hybrid, flat bar road bike, cyclocross style bike, racing, triathlon style as well as the traditional style of touring bike. So there's still a few around, just that there are lots of other bikes on the streets these days. That's not even mentioning the plethora of mountain bike types.

I remember the time when if I saw someone else on the road with a helmet or panniers, I probably knew them or I'd often see them on Saturday mornings in at Hillman's.

BTW, I haven't ridden my Hillman since we moved house at least 5 years ago. Must see if the tyres still hold air and take it out for old time's sake.
 

jimmay2000

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Mar 30, 2006
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slaw said:
There wasn't the variety of bikes that are available today. You could get a road racing bike, a touring bike or a cheap shopper or ladies' style bike.



I remember the time when if I saw someone else on the road with a helmet or panniers, I probably knew them or I'd often see them on Saturday mornings in at Hillman's.

QUOTE]

Thanks; you probably even know who I got this bike from :)