About the Bonavia track bike ...

By the owner, David Jacobs, Brisbane, Australia

I have been racing on and off since 1974, I started track racing in 1977. I was living in West London untill 1994 when I moved out to Brisbane QLD Australia.

And so to the specs. The frame is a mixture of Reynolds below and Columbus PS above. The downtube and seatstays and head tube are Reynolds 531 , the rest of the tubing is from Columbus PS, The fork crown and most of the lugs are Cinelli, the drop outs are Campag. 

As it it quite large for a track frame (Seat tube 57cm CC Top tube 57.5 CC), we made some innovative decisions on the design. The main one was to make the bottom bracket height lower in order to reduce the length of the chainstays. Nowadays a similar effect is created using curved a curved seat tube. The rear chainstay bridge is ovalised for minimum clearance- we almost did not fit one but after running some calculations decided the stress without it on the bottom bracket would be too great. The angles are pretty steep by today's standards around 74  for both head and seat.

The orginal 1982 specs are as follows:

Chainset Campagnolo Pista with 167.5mm Cranks (this was with a lower BB height, they were cheap!)
Bottom Bracket Royce Titanium, with sealed bearings (one of the first to be delivered, still being made)
Headset Campagnolo Pista Steel (lower profile than the strada, did not want to risk alloy)
Pedals Campagnolo Pista (Chrome Steel) with Christophe steel toeclips and Binda toestraps (Used Alloy pedals for a while- but went back to the larger bearing steel ones) 
Seatpin Campag Record (First one with single bolt- think may have had a two bolt to start with changed to the single bolt around 1986)
Campag Chrome Seat Binder bolt 
Saddle Cinelli/Unica with Y Alloy rails (straight from a bike show, first one in the UK)
Stem Cinelli Pista Steel  120mm ,Later 3TTT Alloy Pista 130mm .
Bars Cinelli 67 "Pista" 38 mm wide (centre to centre)
Wheels Campagnolo Large Flange Pista 36 with Mavic GP4 rims. "Racing" wheels (bought around 1984) Mavic Pista small flange hubs 32H (first ever seen in the UK. There was problem the first time I went to use them as there were no nuts on them- so they were not deemed "track legal"!) with Mavic CX 19 rims (Tubular) I am using these on the 2005 racing photo.

Last year (2004) I started track racing after an 8 year abscence. After much discussion with various peers, I decided to "modify" my position, this meant changing the saddle to allow me sit further back and the bars and stem to give me a more upright position. The first to go was the narrow 38cm CC Cinelli 67 bars in favour of wider more stable 40cm 65's and a straighter Cinelli 1A stem to replace the "track drop"

I also decided to change the pedal setup after hitting my pedals on the banking during a very slow moment in a match sprint, at the QLD State Masters in 2004.

The last change was to mount an ahead adaptor and ahead stem to
replace the Cinelli 1A. 

So the changes and current spec to the bike are ;
Pedals Keywin Cromo with track pins!
Stem Ahead adaptor and 10 degree rise stem with Cinelli 65 40cm CC bars
Saddle Serfas SLR, it goes back so far I have effectivley reduced the seat angle by 1 degree putting me further over the rear wheel.

About eight years ago I put clincher rims onto my Campag Pista hubs, I am currently running 165gm Veloflex blacks on them, and on the Mavic wheels running Continental Podium 19mm Tubs, they are exactly the same diameter. The tubs do roll a bit better.

I had the oppuunity to try out a brand new, very expensive state of the art carbon track bike, the verdict? The only real advantage was that I was sitting more over the back wheel, it was a fair bit lighter too, but it was no stiffer-and weight on a track bike does not mean much- I did decide then to put the Ahead adaptor on - but I will be sticking with my Bonavia for a while yet!

 A note about Clive the frame builder, he was/is actually a wood joiner, and made frames as a hobby. Back in the Early 80's Reynolds bought out 753 tubing, if you wanted any to make a frame you first had to get a couple of tubes and a lug "kit" silver solder or braze it together, then send it back for testing. Clive got the kit put the bits together- few days later got a letter asking if he wanted a job making frames for the Raliegh Special Projects unit. Clive was also an inovator for the original Triathlon bikes, a guy came to him wanting a frame with a very steep  80 degree seat tube! he built it and got other orders for several more from the new sport of ironmen and trialthletes.

All of Clive's frames were silver soldered and not brazed, this meant far less heat needed to be applied to the tubes, but it could only be done if the mistres between the tubes were perfect I will need to check but I am pretty sure this was the only track frame he ever built- like I mentioned earlier I spend a whole winter designing it on a drawing board- the one small thing a regret is maybe having not quite enough fork rake. I have lost touch with Clive, but I know he carried on making frames as a hobby while running a very successful joinery business.

Regards
David Jacobs
Brisbane Australia

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