Saturday, April 30, 2011

Classic English Road Bike Find

Hello and Welcome,
Earlier this week I ran across this "English Parliament Custom Built" road bike at one of my favorite "bike hunting" spots. I have not been able to find-out anything about it on the internet so far. I am hoping one of my readers here or "across the pond" might recognize the badge/builder and offer-up some information.
Left Click on Images to Enlarge, Back(<)Button to Return
Below: The wing-nut front axle nuts were the first thing that caught my eye. I haven`t seen these (except in photos on the internet) since approximately 1966. They were asking $44.95 US. This is about $20.00 more than this shop usually asks for an old ten-speed. So I negotiated them down to $35.00. I was quite pleased with myself as I wheeled it out to my little truck (lorry).
Below: If you click on this photo you can just make out the "Sturmey Archer" name as well as "England" stamped into the pie-plate.
Below: SunTour Spirt derailleur (not a misspelling). Not sure who the three piece cotter crank manufacturer is. I did not get a chance to check it for markings yet. The chrome-plating appears to be good quality. I think it will clean-up nicely. I just hope the cotter pins don`t give me too much trouble. I think I will give them a shot of WD40 a couple days in advance.
Below: The white fenders (mud guards)are BLUE MEL`S Light Weights (Made in England) They are in rough shape and will need to be replaced. I have not located white replacements yet. Maybe I will be doing the "painting plastic post" sooner than I thought.
Below: Here is the Milremo Stem. I have not found any markings on the bars yet. Maybe when I remove the tape I will find something.
Below: The brake-levers and calipers are Weinmann. I think the front wheel is stamped Norma-seal? (not very clear) The hub is stamped BRAM. The saddle is a Serfas "Tail-Bones". There is no way that is the original saddle. I`m guessing it had a Brooks Saddle of some sort.
Below: I wish it had a conventional men`s frame. It would have made a fine "personal ride" or bike for a bike restorer/enthusiast. But I am still very pleased to have run across something special from the land of my forefathers.
If anyone out there knows anything about this builder (Parliament) please leave a comment. I would greatly appreciate it. I also made some changes to the Physio fit/ Schwinn cruiser. I had to remove the detachable mud guard. I just could not get comfortable with the size. I have installed Bell mud-guards (fenders). They are very inexpensive, about $10.00 US. And they actually got pretty good reviews. I will be removing the rear one when the new rear rack and panniers arrives. I removed the Sun-Lite rack and used it on the bike I purchased it for, a 1975 Schwinn Traveler. I will be posting the Traveler real soon. Another road bike to commuter conversion.
Below: The Physiofit/Schwinn with the new mud-guards. For a bike I built just kind of "experimenting" it has worked-out real well. It is very comfortable and super smooth rider. Perfect bike for the short ride into town. And the Ze'Fal lights have worked out real well too. I like them so much I purchased another set for the Raleigh Technium 460.
Above: Since this pic was taken I have re-located the rear mud-guard from the seat-tube to the seat-post. I just wanted to see if it would fit attached to the tube. To get it back a little farther over the rear tire I decided to raise it up to the seat-post. The front guard did not clear the down tube until I trimmed it a little to get it in snug to the fork-brace/crown. I did this by marking it with a sharpie then shaving it down with a utility knife. I found the cutting smoother and easier after heating the blade with a propane torch. I just lit the torch and stood it up near-by on the table. So it was easy to keep the blade heated up for cutting.
Above: Coming soon The Schwinn Traveler conversion.

ALSO Check-Out the 2 New Video(s) Of The Week.
(1) This one`s for the girls (not bike related, but sports related)
(2) Wood Bike Speed Record Project (Sent in by Jay S) Thanks Jay

Until Next Time, Please Ride Safe
And Remember to Always RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE
Cheers, Hugh


  1. The Parliament is a classy bike. I briefly searched the internet and couldn't find any helpful information.

    Do you think the fenders are original? In the mid-60's I wonder if the manufacturer would have used plastic? But like many bikes in England, fenders probably came on the bike.

    Those wingnuts and high flange hubs are cool. You've made a good find!

  2. Hmm. I could find nothing useful about the Parliament brand. How much do you want for the fenders/fender fittings? I have good "Light Weight" plastic parts so don't worry about the cracked bits.

  3. Hey Bill,
    Thanks, I think it`s pretty cool too. I suspect the fenders are original. (to the build) As they are also English. And "the way" they are labeled makes me think they were something cutting edge at the time. "BLUE MEL`S Lightweight Made in England"
    I ordered a set of white "Freddy" fenders that are a suitable replacement. And I just ordered a Brooks woman`s leather saddle for it. I might attempt to repair the rear fender. The front fender would need to be shortened, as it is broke in two pieces. But I think adding a white mud-flap might make it all work.
    I think that the fact that there is really no information about this bike "out there" is a good thing. I am hopeful that it was hand-built in some little shop in England. I would love to know how it found it`s way to Detroit. (it was licensed in Detroit)

  4. Hey Steve,
    I think I`m going to save everything that I take-off the bike. At least until I find-out more about the bike. Also I am considering making some wood fenders. If I find there is no need to save the fenders, I thought I could re-use the hardware for that. I think making wood fenders could be fun.
    Years ago I worked with a tradesman from San Marino who would soak and bend wood to make arch supports (templates). I think it would be interesting to give it a try.

  5. Hello.
    Here is a link to some old discussion regarding a ladies Parliament 3 speed on

    Sounds like it could be a "private label" Nottingham Raleigh/Triumph/Robin Hood/ Philips etc. bike. Looking forward to the end result!

  6. Thanks J.
    That is similar to another post I found on bike forums. It reads to me like a lot of guessing. I have not yet found anyone who can honestly tell me they know who built this bike. A re-badge for a Department Store? I don`t think so. Good food for thought though.

  7. I had that exact same bike when I was a teenager in Detroit in the early 1970's. My dad bought it for me on Gratiot in East Detroit at a bike shop somewhere around 10 Mile Rd. It was identical down to the bike pump and fenders. IIRC, it cost about $100 in 1972. It, too, was licensed in Detroit. I wonder if you somehow found my old bike and have brought it back to its former glory. I hope so.

  8. Hey Jeanie,
    I found the Parliament in the Brighton Mi area. Maybe you can trace it to that part of town? According to the rear derailleur and the serial number, it was manufactured in 1969. If your Dad bought it in 1972 it would have been "marked down" being N.O.S. I`m thinking (hoping) it would have been more expensive than 100.00 Maybe that`s what your Dad told your Mom :) Do you happen to remember if the original saddle was leather? The saddle that was on it when I found it, did not look correct. I have about 100.00 (including shipping) invested in just the New Brooks leather saddle. If you would like to own it again, it`s going to be a little more than it cost originally :) "actually a lot more"
    You must have taken very good care of the bike, as did the more recent owner(s). The paint looked pretty good considering it`s vintage. The bike is now almost finished. I just need to do the paint touch-up. The rear wheel that is on it now is the right brand but not a perfect match. I still have some work to do on the original. It needs a new axle and probably bearings and cones as well. It takes a special socket to remove the free-wheel (rear gears). I need to get that ordered real soon.
    Every once in a while I get to work on something special. This has been that kind of restoration for me. I will make sure that it goes to a good home. Thank You for leaving a comment. I often wondered if someone might one day recognize one of my restorations. But honestly, I doubted it would ever happen. This is the only one of these bikes I have ever seen. And there is no information out there on the internet about the Parliament at all. So they are "very rare". If you recognize the bike I suspect it is the same one. Thanks Again, I`ll contact you when I post the finished pics of the bike. Cheers, Hugh

  9. I have found one picture of my Parliament when it was hanging upside in my garage in about 1980 or so. I have this picture digitized if you would like to see it. Let me know how I can either post this for you or email it to you.
    It had a black saddle, either leather or vinyl.

  10. Hey Jeanne,
    I sent you my e-mail address. Also there is now a link to Hugh`s Bicycle Blog on FaceBook in the link section. It would really be amazing if it turned out to be your bike.

  11. I have a late 60's men's parliament custom built, and I have had no luck in finding any info about it, my search led me to your blog though and it has been very helpful in bringing this bicycle back to life. Thanks for the tips and inspiration.


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