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Details about  Flying Scot vintage bicycle (handmade by Rattray of Glasgow)

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Flying Scot vintage bicycle (handmade by Rattray of Glasgow)
Item Ended
Item condition:
29 Jul, 2012 17:35:03 BST
Winning bid:
26 bids ]
Doesn't post to United States | See details
Item location:
Dunblane, United Kingdom


eBay item number:
Seller assumes all responsibility for this listing.
Last updated on  25 Jul, 2012 08:30:36 BST  View all revisions

Item specifics

Condition: Used Brand: Flying Scot (David Rattray)
Brake Type: caliper Type: road bike (lightweight)
Wheel Size: 32-630 (27 inch) Frame Size: 22 inches
Frame Material: brazed steel Gender/ Age: male
Frame Colour: metallic royal blue

Designed and built to a racing specification by David Rattray of Glasgow in the 1960s, this extremely rare bike is in ride-away condition. Its frame is wonderfully light and strong, with the elegant lines of a touring bike built on a racing frame. I've owned and loved it since 1970, but sadly it's time to let go. For more about these classic handmade bikes, see and

This is "The Scot" Continental model, according to its rear decal (all decals are original). Paintwork is metallic royal blue, condition not perfect (see photos), but good for its age.

Its frame size (as measured from pedal crank to tube junction under saddle) is a nominal 22 inches. The wheel size is 32-630 (27 inch). I believe the tubing is Reynolds 531 butted with the simple "Italia" style of lugs. The mudguards are probably Bluemel (celluloid) and drop handlebars Maes alloy but am no expert: happy to check if you tell me what to look for. Apart from the gears and tyres, everything else is original as far as I know. 

The front wheel has quick-release hubs, and the saddle is leather, slightly scuffed at rear left, see main photo, but very comfortable.  (I am female and only 5 foot 6, so I set the saddle to its lowest position, but of course the post extends for taller riders.)

The derailleur gear set is 5-speed Shimano, well-spaced with a lovely low first ratio, but of course gears could easily be changed. 

The tyres have plenty of tread but currently do not match: at the front is a Schwalbe Marathon, the rear is a Michelin, both with the sports valve, and a neat lightweight aluminium pump is included with the sale. (Pump pegs are brazed onto the down tube so you could carry the pump at all times.) The bike has a rear lamp and the front wheel has a post to support a front lamp, so it is viable for night-time riding. There's a lightweight luggage rack, but no other clutter: I've always tried to keep it light and simple.

Sadly I'm no longer agile enough to manage the crossbar, and live atop a big hill that isn't bike-friendly, so with huge regret I am selling. I can supply more photos if you contact me to say what you want to see/know, and I am happy to receive questions. Personal callers (Dunblane) also welcome. 

Carriage (if needed) would be at cost via Paisley Freight which has a specialist bike service and who quote £21.50 to UK mainland. If you live elsewhere, this could differ but would be at cost, regardless. Because of the trouble and expense of carriage, it doesn't make sense to encourage returns, but the bike carriers insure the goods and the above description is honest and can be amplified on request. 

Very few of these bikes survive, and this one is a great example of the craftsmanship of an almost-forgotten era: bid now to own an individual classic at less cost than a modern, mass-produced bike!

On 23-Jul-12 at 18:43:29 BST, seller added the following information:

Update 23 July: several people have asked for a frame number/exact age, and all I can say for sure is that the bike was NOT new when I got it in the 1970s but I don't know how old it was then, so sorry. The frame number is ONLY on the underside of the bottom bracket shell and it is simply "83" which suggests it may be much older than I had thought. I've spent a long time comparing details with the gallery on the excellent website and I just can't make sense of it, so have emailed Bob Reid to ask for help. If any of you experts can tell me what else to look for I will follow up and try to nail it down better, and if Bob Reid replies I will update this again.

Meantime, all I can add is that the brakes are Weinmann Type 730 and probably original, as are the mudguards which are definitely Bluemell, whereas the gears and pedals were replaced in the late 1970s and the gears replaced again (to give me a lower bottom gear) in 2004.

On 24-Jul-12 at 18:24:32 BST, seller added the following information:

Update 24 July: the frame number on the bottom bracket shell is deffo 83 without any letters (a macro photo of this can now be sent on request to anybody who asks for it) but on looking carefully again behind the forks, at the brake bolt (which I had to slacken a bit to make sure) there IS a letter R. According to this probably means the bike was made in 1975/76 (because if it had been the earlier R (1950) then the main frame number would have been elsewhere. However, the website also points out that there can be discrepancies in frame numbering so all I can do is state the facts as I know them.

On 25-Jul-12 at 08:30:36 BST, seller added the following information:

Update 25 July: the frame number IS stamped on the left rear dropout and it's 496R (please see the photo just uploaded with number clearly legible) and the frame was manufactured in 1950. This information is definite at last, thanks to Bob Reid's help. He now features the bike in his 1950 gallery at - the position of the frame number is diagnostic, and the 83 mentioned above is just a shell part number. 

Apologies for any confusion, but I hadn't spotted the frame number (let alone understood its significance) when I embarked on this listing, nor did I realise that the bike is nearly as old as me! It must have been 20+ years old when I bought it, but didn't look it, perhaps because the guy who sold it me was a real enthusiast who had looked after it extremely well.

So this bike turns out to be a rare example of British post-war bicycle manufacturing history: many thanks to eBayers and to Bob Reid for telling me where to find the clues.

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