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Smallest rideable bicycle?


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#1 davidthebike

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 05:56 PM

I have taken over the former Central Cycle and Auto Stores in Central Hill (now Blue Door Bicycles) and have tried to pull together things about the history of the shop on a website: www.centralcycle.co.uk . A few weeks ago, I was told that Mr Talbot (who previously ran the shop with his father and sister) had produced the world's smallest rideable bicycle back in the 1970s.

I can quite believe that Mr Talbot (senior or junior) was up to the job of doing this - but I can find no written or photographic evidence. Does anyone else remember this or have they seen any press cuttings? I was told that the bike was exhibited at the Queens Hotel but have no more to go on at present.

#2 Joe

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 09:47 PM

There are references on this site to the cycle shop.
I for one remeber it from my youth

http://www.centralcycle.co.uk/

What a fantastic job you have done with your website and the dedication to the history of the business.

#3 davidthebike

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 11:00 AM

Thank you for this. One of the nice things about taking on this shop is that anyone who grew up in Crystal Palace in the last 90 years remembers the bike shop from when they were a child - usually with fond memories!

#4 RetiredMember1

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 11:03 AM

I hope you have robust shutters, David - we want to see you here for many years to come, but bike shops are among shops being targeted at present :(

#5 davidthebike

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 07:00 AM

Sadly we felt we had to close yesterday afternoon for security reasons - we are now reopened and have suffered no damage.

I wonder whether Upper Norwood has experienced this sort of a threat of disorder in the past. We are on the history forum and I seem to recall reading that back in the 19th Century the juxtaposition of rich and poor led to some interesting stresses in our part of London - but don't recall mention of mobs!

#6 Rikaitch

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 12:17 AM

Ah, such fond memories of this shop. When I was 13, I built up my first bike from parts, most of which came from this shop. I remember getting inner tubes (26 x 1 3/8ths) here for 3.75 and pedals for 5.50. Later on, I had a spell of snobbishness and shopped at Ken Birds in Anerley instead, but soon returned when I realised the quality, price and service were so much better. I might be able to find a pic or two in Audrey Hammond's book.
Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Fart, and you're on your own.

#7 a1topdog

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 03:20 PM

I was a regular visitor to this shop as a child in the late 70's getting all of the parts to keep my mates Raleigh Choppers fixed , and buying the parts like cow horn handle bars and knobbly tyres to upgrade our basic race bike frames to resemble speedway bikes. Looking at the photo's on your website brings back great memories. The shop was pretty run down even back then , but they always had the bit you needed, somewhere. Please tell me you didn't skip all of that lovely old equipement like the fly press , bead roller and lathes!

#8 davidthebike

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 12:42 PM

Some machinery has gone to the Hoxton Hub, some is still on site - but it has been difficult to find a home for much of it. If you would like and can move a heavy fly press, let me know!

Interesting that you had an old style Raleight Chopper - we now have the new one in stock.

#9 davidthebike

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 10:42 AM

No additional info re the smallest bike, but the story of the shop has been picked up in the latest edition of the Norwood Socity Magazine - the Norwood Review (http://www.norwoodso...iew/index.shtml). It has also been covered by The Bike Show on Resonance FM Radio (http://thebikeshow.n...ime-travelling/ - we feature in the second half of the show, but the first part is well worth listening to as well)