NOS Bill Davidson rs - Columbus SL/SP - Dual Taper Stays - 72D / 72.5D - 1970's Decals
This highly custom frame was among the last lugged frames Bill Davidson ever built. It's a gorgeous and unique frame, and it strays far from what was a "standard" frame for Bill. The original owner asked it to be designed as a path racer / 6 day race bike, with more modern road geometry to be built up into a classy commuter that will handle dirt paths well. It is stacked full of fender mounting points, and was designed around mid reach brakes. Its designed to fit 28mm tires with fenders and probably 32's or even 35's without. It has rear facing track dropouts, a chain rest, top tube cable guides. Geometry is on the slack side, with a 72 degree seat and 72.5 degree head angle.
Aesthetics wise, this bike looks much older than its 2014 build date would suggest. The glossy jet black paint is offset with "vintage" cream white panels. The decals are Davidson's first ever graphics from the 1970's. It would look killer with Lauterwasser handlebars, randonneur bars, Nitto Moustache, or even upside down North Roads for a more upright feel. Build choices are infinite. It's not purely an American built classic road bike. You could go the classic route with Campagnolo Nuovo Record throughout, or the 70's American builder "frankenstein" feel with Phil Wood Hubs, Avocet cranks, and a Weyless seatpost. You could even go more modern and fill it with Rene Herse or Velo Orange components. As long as it's shiny and polished/chrome, it'll look fabulous. Build it singlespeed, built it fixed, build it flip flop.
Here is what the original owner tells me about the frame: "It was custom built for me using my tubeset, Columbus SL with SP downtube and chainstays. The seatstays are somewhat rare Columbus SL dual taper (as used in Colnago Super and Mexico frames). Fork rake is 45mm and chain stays are 450mm. Takahashi crown that Bill helped design. The lugs are a Toshiba Eoshi casting that was designed by Bill. I supplied the (Zeus) dropouts and asked Bill to file the rear track dropouts to fit the MKS chain adjusters. There are fender eyelets brazed into the fork crown, chain stay bridge and rear brake bridge. The frame was designed by Bill Davidson using his proprietary geometry algorithm and it was brazed by Martin Tweedy (and likely painted by Martin Tweedy). Decals are early Davidson graphics. I flu ever rode it once-twice in my driveway as I never glued the tires to the rims!
This frame was built up but never had tires glued, as it's owner had health issues come up after it arrived. It was ridden in the driveway once or twice then hung on the wall. This frame is quite close to pristine. There are just two minor imperfections worth noting: 1) Back of crown has a vertical scratch 2) Top of top tube by headtube has small section of microscuffs. Aside from these, there may be a few pinpoint size marks somewhere but nothing catches my eye to be considered a "blemish".
- Top tube: 60cm
- Seat tube: 62cm c-c
- Headtube: 200mm
- Chainstays: 450mm
- Seat angle: 72 degree
- Head angle: 72.5 degree
- Fork rake: 45mm
- Rear spacing: 120mm
- Tire clearance: 28mm w/ fenders, ~32mm-35mm without fenders
- Brake reach: mid reach with 700c wheels, standard reach w/ 27" wheels
- Frame number: Nope, Davidson didn't use frame numbers
- Tubing Columbus SL with SP downtube and chainstays
- Seatstays: Columbus SL Dual Taper
- Crown: Takahashi
- Dropouts: Zeus
- Lugs: Toshiba Eoshi