Ron Cooper on Ron Cooper


Ron Cooper is a legend in frame-building. He started as a fifteen-year-old apprentice with A.S. Gillott, and his frames have come to define the very best of the British lightweight style. He talks about the early days learning from master frame-builders like Jim Collier and Bill Philbrook, his own racing career and his commercial success in the US in the 1970s. Along the way he explains the technique and motivation needed to hand build more than 7,000 racing frames. Having turned 79 in June this year, Ron Cooper is still building three mornings a week.

Look out for the cover story in Rouleur 19 on Ron Cooper, with photos (including the above) by Nadav Kander.

15 thoughts on “Ron Cooper on Ron Cooper

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  2. Raced a Cooper from early seventies until 1999,. Had to repaint three times. Magnificant feel while on my local Vermont hills. It hangs on my wall nag get out from time to time. I owe mr. Cooper a lot for all the joy and pleasure he gave racing across our green hills . Thank you ever so much. Ted Cronin

  3. Fantastic interview Jack, and very nicely handled (the odd prompt to keep things moving, but not obtrusive or in the way of Mr. Cooper telling his story). One of my favourite bike shows for sure.

  4. I think that the track rider Ron is having trouble remembering would be George Senftleben from Luxembourg. He rode a Gillott track bike. I would love to know which other Champions Ron built frames for.

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  6. Ron you built me a road and track bike back in the 70s and I would like you to buildn you to build me another as you are still the best- Suzanne Ahern 34th Normads

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  8. Pingback: Ron Cooper legendary frame builder R.I.P - London Fixed-gear and Single-speed

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  10. Phenomenal individual, first and last via his character and personality……., you’d never meet a nicer individual…………………. His design, workmanship placed him in a near unparalleled league of his own. Really Few to this day have any idea as to how superior his frames are. I thank him for many things always, most of all his eternal kindness and friendship.

  11. my father “jim collier” taught ron everything he knew,i didnt realise how well known my dad was known in the bike fraternity and how sought after his frames were,i am so proud of him !

  12. I have a 1980 Ron Cooper “Sprint” that I had built up here in Dallas, University Cycles. Been repainted once, the red was starting to show some wear so I got BRG sprayed on it several years ago in honor of the Le Mans winning Aston-Martin team. That bike and I have been all over Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas over the years. Still going.

  13. I have a very well worn 1965 Gillott frame, it has a centre-punch mark behind the BB, which I understand is significant…..
    It is in purple flam with a white seat tube panel and chrome ends.
    Just the frame and forks are period, the rest is much more modern as I ride it in the Severn Road Club evening 10 TT’s.
    Would the marque registrar be interested in photos and details. I bought it in Swansea in 1976 or so. One odd fearure is a downtube boss for a rear changer lever but a cable stop and ring the other side for a handlebar end front changer lever. 24.5″ and a long top tube. Wrap-round rear stays with leaf motifs. Wish it were tidier but it won’t be restored until it breaks.

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