JACK TAYLOR SUPER TOURIST
JACK TAYLOR SUPER TOURIST
“Barry Witcomb is still making frames at the original premises – 25 Tanners Hill, Deptford, London, SE8 4PJ (tel: 44 0208 692 1734). Deptford is a (south east) suburb of London near Greenwich (home of the CuttySark.)”
Frame: Size 22 in., 73 degree head, 71 degree seat angle, Reynolds 531 butted tubing throughout, Nervex Professional lugs, 42 iwheelbase, 10 3/4 in bottom bracket height, oval section forks with 25/8 in. rake. Brazed on brakestops,cable eyes and channels, gear boss, pump pegs, dynamo and gear brackets.
Wheels: Dunlop Stainless Special Lightweight 27 in. by I 1/3 in. rims, Simplex F.B. Brevete small flange hubs, 14-16 gauge stainless double-butted spokes. John Bull Light Speed white-walled tyres.
Chainset: Williams 5-pin 6 1/2in. cranks with T.A. Duralumin triple rings (28, 40 and 50 tooth).
Gear: Simplex: front changer, Cyclo rear; Simplex rear block of 14, 16, 19, 22 and 26 tooth sprockets.
Brakes: Mafac Criterium centre-pull.
Handlebars: G.B. Maes alloy on 2 3.4 in. JackTaylor chrome steel stem.
Saddle: Brooks B.17 Champion Standard.
Pedals: Chater-Lea single sided, Brooks toe clips. Mud guards: Lefol reinforced alloy.
Inflater: Bluemel’s Tour de France 16 in.
Weight: 31 lb. complete.
Fittings: Jos dynamo, Taylor chrome rear pannier and front bag support, Simplex bottle cage.Finish: Red metallic lustre with flamboyant green head and seat panels. White boxing on tubes, lugs gold edged.
Price: 50 Lbs. 3d.
STOCKTON'S SUPER TOURIST
Nimrod road tests the Jack Taylor touring bicycle
March 16, 1960
No bicycle can have a more apt name than this Super Tourist, built I hesitate to use the word manufactured, for that has become associated with mass production and large companies-by Jack Taylor Cycles, of Church Road, Stockton-on-Tees. For my test report could be condensed into just seven words: this really is a super touring bicycle.
Before we look at the model in detail ‘ let me just say that the Taylor slogan ” Produced by road racers for road racers ” may be a trifle misleading when you know that their range of seventeen models includes a woman’s open frame bicycle, the tourist machine I have been testing, and three tandems. Their models for those who prefer the quiet potter to the hectic chase for the finishing line are every bit designed for the job as their racing bicycles. But one can detect the racing man’s love of lightness, fine lug work and first class accessories and finish in the touring bicycles.
Just look at the specification of the Super Tourist and after being wooed- by the first class accessories and fittings you will probably stop short with a mental jar at the price of three pence over 50 Lbs. Furthermore, non cyclists when they bear the price will screech, “50 Lbs for a ‘push bike? You can pay the deposit on a car for that price ! ” That is true, and those who have never sampled the delights of a gently meandering tour, with the hot bright sunlight being cooled by an invigorating breeze blowing in your face, will no doubt do so. They are welcome to their goldfish-like view of the world from a car. No, when you consider the expense of a lightweight bicycle, so willingly paid by the racing man, and then add to that figure a 15-speed gear, sturdy carriers and bag supports, and a dynamo lighting system with the wiring concealed inside the frame tubing, there is the value in the 50 Lbs.
I have had a great deal of pleasure riding the Super Tourist and recently a colleague used the bicycle for a week-end excursion: we agree that for those who wish to join the vast ranks of the touring side of our pastime, without starting with a standard mount and then adding equipment over a long period of time to produce a bicycle that will tour anywhere, this is the answer. It is so completely and competently equipped and assembled that one feels that, straight from the showrooms, it would be equally happy in the Alps or Antarctica.
The gear range is tremendous, and one wonders whether any hill or mountain could beat it I could not find any to tax it severely, although there were times when my lack of fitness suggested it might be easier to get off and walk in preference to twiddling the 29 in.bottom gear. There is an art in riding such low gears; one must sit there and pedal rhythmically and unhurriedly. The Cyclists’ Touring Club recommend a 33 in. bottom gear for Alpine touring, so this ratio leaves some in hand. The range of 15 gears does not clash at all the complete range giving ratios of 29, 34.3, 3’7, 41.5, 47.2, 49.1, 51.9, 54, 56.8, 61.4, 67.5, 71, 77.1, 84.3, and 96.4 inches. I was surprised to find all the gears engaging readily, although not unnaturally with such extremes, there were some protesting rumblings from the mechanisms when riding.
The pump is held on pegs brazed to the off-side seat stay, so that, if you insist, the bicycle can be carried without dislodging the pump, or another bag or pressure stove can be suspended from the top tube. The bag and pannier supports are of sensible proportions and admirable rigidity. The large, strongly constructed mudguards give plenty a wheel clearance yet complete pro-tection from spray.
Above all, the craftsmanship with which the frame is put together is shown in the fine finish and lugwork. I have but one criticism. When carrying, myself, weighing around l2 stone, and some 2 stone of baggage and equipment, the stopping power of the brakes was slow in being effective, even when on merely gentle descents. I feel that here indeed is a touring bicycle whose praises are best sung by the specification. Look at the details again, and you will appreciate why I enjoyed riding the SuperTourist.