Mid-Week C&V: A Jack Taylor Tandem


The first Jack Taylor frame was constructed in 1936. Between 1945 and the early 1990s, the Jack Taylor produced bicycles in collaboration with two brothers - Ken and Norman - out of Stockton-on-Tees, England. The bicycles produced by the three spanned a range between production molds, modified production, and fully custom.

During World War II the scarcity of raw materials for anything beyond the war effort forced the brothers to build using the fillet brazing technique, rather than the more common use of lugs to connect the frame tubes. This became one of the more distinguishing features of Jack Taylor bikes. Most of their earliest bikes were built for racing though, later, they became just as well known, if not more so, for their touring bikes and tandems, today regarded as being in the French 'Constructeur' style, distinguished in part by its geometry, the use of built-in racks, and integrated lighting. There is much written around the internet about Jack Taylor, his brothers, and their bicycles. That information is easy enough to find, and does not really need to be duplicated here.

This bike is a beauty, from the green paint and pin striping, to the vintage mish-mash of components - Campagnolo rear derailleur, Suntour Superbe at the front, Mafac brakes, the Brooks saddles, working dynamo for the front and rear lights, and maybe most notable, the prototype Phil Wood disc brakes for both wheels. Every look reveals something new and worthy of attention. It is a true classic and, like many of the C&V bikes i post up here, i saw it at the Velo here in Claremont. There are more photos in the Flickr album.





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