Ron Cooper (bicycle framebuilder)

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Cooper brazing a frame on 27 October 2006. Photo by Flickr user hairyeggg.

Ron Cooper (1932 – 12 December 2012)[1] was a noted[2] British "master" bicycle frame builder.

Cooper began building frames when he was 15,[3] starting in 1947[4] when he began a full apprenticeship at A.S. Gillott Cycles, London, England.[5] He learned his craft from frame builders in England, notably Jim Collier.[5] He was a racing cyclist selected for the national team, the R.A.F., the Brighton-Glasgow and the London Centre in the 1952 Tour of Britain (Milk Race), before an accident forced him to retire from competition.[6]

In 1967, Cooper left A.S. Gillott to build frames under his own name, and by 1970 set up a small shop in Honor Oak Park, South East London.[7] Cooper then worked in Dartford, approx 18 km (11 miles) from his old shop in Honor Oak Park as sole fabricator, making bespoke[7] steel frames using the traditional method of free hand brazing rather than jigs, in order to avoid stresses to be built into the frame,[8] which calls for careful mitering and took about two days to make.[6] Some reviews claim Cooper's frame builds provide more stability, neutrality of handling, and responsiveness.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ron Cooper – RIP
  2. ^ Turner, Lane (10 July 2006). "Frame Jobs". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 28 December 2010.
  3. ^ Thurston, Jack (July 2010). "Ron Cooper". Rouleur. Archived from the original on 23 December 2010. Retrieved 29 December 2010.
  4. ^ "A.S. Gilliot. A Brief History". Veloworks. Retrieved 28 December 2010.
  5. ^ a b "Ron Cooper on Ron Cooper". The Bike Show. 4 August 2010. Retrieved 2 December 2010.
  6. ^ a b St Pierre, Roger (31 October 1964). "Trade with a Future". Cycling Magazine. Retrieved 1 January 2011.
  7. ^ a b "Opening Up on the Cooper Account". Cycling Magazine. 7 November 1970. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  8. ^ McFadden, Jim (November 1979). "From England, with Love". Competitive Cyclist. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  9. ^ Clements, Wallace (February 1976). "Road Tests Two from England. Ron Cooper & Bob Jackson". Bicycling!. Retrieved 10 January 2011.

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