Monday, November 5, 2007

Wester Ross

In the course of nine years, John Connell and Fergus Forsyth built a total of four-hundred seventy-eight bicycle frames (477 traditional, and one tandem). They were steel; mostly Reynolds 531, lugged, silver brazed, and finished with a baked enamel. They were, and are, classic bicycles. I have the honor of owning two of them; #035 JSC, and #321 FGF.
I inherited them from my good friend Ed Campbell on the condition that I get them rolling and love them as they should be loved. Not a difficult condition in my book.
#035 is a touring rig with "Buick" geometry. I haven't gotten the protractor on it yet, but the first word that comes to mind is "relaxed".
#321 is presently a bare frame, and is more of a bomber, what they used to call a "ruff-stuff" bike. Yes, it pre-dates mountain biking by a few years.
Over the next few months I'll be fiddling with these toys, and I'll try to keep you updated as I go.


FGF said...

Well it is good to see that the frames are still going strong I remember frame #321 made to take the new !! off road tyres. At the time the rear dropouts where made wider than normal to get an extra gear in, probably nothing compared to what you get these days.
The other frame you have was before my time, I started at Wester Ross at frame no. 042

the Director said...

THE fgf? I'm honored. Keep in touch, I'd love to hear some "tales". said...

I'm getting bike no 246 into my shop on Friday.

The original owner came into my shop looking to trade it in against an electric bike. He bought the bike in 1981 and has a file of paperwork and correspondence between himself and John Cornell.

I have no idea of the value of this bike and as he's a really nice old bloke I want him to get the best value for the bike and it to go to someone who'll appreciate this bit of cycle history.

If anyone can help I'd really appreciate it.

Gary said...

I once saw someone about 3 years ago riding a duck egg blue enamel Wester Ross in Swithland, Leicestershire. The bike was a tourer and was in mint condition. I hadn't heard of Wester Ross until then but the now the name is with me and after doing some research I can see they are pretty scarce bikes. I would be looking for a 22 1/2 inch frame but have never found one. I am sure a collector would give the chap selling the bike a good price. There is a chap on the CTC selling a resprayed touring frame for £500 comes with all the custom racks. It is 20.5 inches. Hope that helps anybody looking for one. What is the size of the frame your chap is selling?