1980s Clamont time trial 'funny bike'
A serious bit of kit
You're looking at an example of a time trial 'funny bike', a wind-cheating style inspired by the radical designs that debuted at the 1984 Olympics. It was made by renowned builder Geoff Scott for Clarence St Cyclery (Sydney, Australia) to sell under its 'Clamont' brand.
This Scott/Clamont is a beautifully made, light machine that instantly impresses with its pure, unadulterated purposefulness. It's not your typical 'BootieBike' bike; in fact, about as far from it as is possible.
There's no woosey internal hub gear, mudguards, chainguard or other practicalities. Not even a rack with shopper bag – or balloon tyres. But it does have a beautifully made, Reynolds 531 frame (with fancy lugs), bullhorn bars, racing-grade bits and pieces and some very serious geometry. It was, of course, originally fitted with tubulars (racing tyres), but for a bit of practicality on our glass-riddled streets (broken glass is a real problem in Sydney, Australia, where water is sold in plastic bottles but alcohol in glass) I fitted the Mavic clinchers shown here.
No doubt about it, the Scott/Clamont is made for go, and go it does. This real-life piece of race kit is great for a blast when you're in the mood, but it is uncompromising; the features that make it such a great racing bike are the very ones that limit its day-to-day appeal. For example, one little quirk that you might not expect is the propensity for the rider's foot to strike the front wheel during low speed manouevring. Fancy an instant, 90° left turn? Then this is the bike for you. It never quite caught me, but trust me, there were a few anxious moments. Oh, and if you need to stop suddenly from slow speed, and you happen to be heading downhill, it might lift the back wheel and threaten to flip over. All part of the fun…
I do wonder, though, how the person who raced this managed to change gears. The arms-forward, bent over riding position is great for going fast, but it is essentially a 'two hands' only riding position. The time the rider wants to change gear will often be when he/she is least inclined to take a hand off the bars to reach down to the downtube-mounted gear levers.
Despite all the above, Bootiebike had some great times riding the Clamont, but I'm sure you will forgive me for passing this wonderful, crazy bike onto a new home. I wasn't the one to give this tatty bike the attention it deserves, and I'm happy to know it's being looked after. So should you ever see a yellow blur flash past and wonder what happened, spare a thought for the Scott/Clamont funny bike.