The bicycling world should note the recent passing of a great man, a treasure, and a legend, Jack Taylor, who died on Nov. 2nd. Jack was one of the three "bicycle brothers" behind Jack Taylor Cycles of Stockton-on-Tees, England.
Jack Taylor was a true life-long bicycle enthusiast. After discovering the joy of cycling as a youngster, he rode his bike everywhere, eventually getting involved in the British club-racing scene in his teens. Though he deeply admired some of the high-end bicycles he saw at the time (the bicycles of Claud Butler were a favorite), the story goes that Jack could not afford to buy the lightweight bikes he dreamed of, so he set about learning to build his own.
|The Taylor brothers: Ken, Jack, and Norman.|
In those years during and right after the war, apparently there were shortages that made it difficult at times to get the needed supplies for building frames, such as lugs. Out of necessity, the Taylors started building lugless frames with the fillet brazing method, or as it was sometimes known, "bronze-welding." These smooth-finished frames had a lovely "carved of one piece" look to them, but the lugless building method also lent itself to a variety of different or even non-traditional frame designs, including tandems, trikes, and more.
|A beautiful touring bike belonging to Troy Warnick, courtesy|
of the Classic Rendezvous. Note the elegant front and rear
racks and internal wiring for the generator lights.
|I always liked the Jack Taylor|
head tube logo. It has a Mondrian-
inspired look to it. It was
designed by one of their first
|Here you can see the flawless fillet-brazing, the gorgeous|
flamboyant paint, exquisite box-lining, and the unique
Reynolds decals -- all in one great shot.
The company was famous for its racing bikes with the curved seat tubes -- originally designed for hill climbs and time trials, according to the catalogs.
|A curved seat tube model belonging to Dave Martinez.|
(Photos used with permission from Classic Rendezvous)
In this scene from the film, Jack pinstripes a frame while some visitors watch:
At the end of the film, The Bike Brothers, one can hear the voice of Jack saying, "I don't like progress. I think as you get older, you find that it isn't progress, it's only change. And it isn't change always for the better." I couldn't agree more.
Farewell, Jack. Have a Nice Ride.