The husband-and-wife team of Jakarta’s Pancalen Cycles seem to have a constant procession of interesting machines pass through their doors, ranging from sassy mixte restorations to a Corima Cougar to a heavily modified Colnago Pista. This Roberts Strada recently visited the workshop for a tidy-up, which thankfully retained the patina of a well-ridden life.
Charlie Roberts established his own shop in South London in the early 1960s after building frames for his contemporaries. He was joined soon-after by his son Chas, who is now the current proprietor.
This bike, in the signature ‘Hot Pink’ hue, is the collaborative effort of Pancalen Cycles and Cicli Boom and a fine example of Roberts’ ‘eclectic’ approach to frame assembly. A Cinelli logo is visible on the seat tube cluster, which joins Columbus SL tubes to a proprietary Roberts bottom bracket shell. Campagnolo provided the front derailleur braze-on.
Vintage velo luminary, Stefan Schaefter of Speedbicycles contributed a Shimano Ultegra groupset and a magnificent pair of NOS 8-speed Dura-Ace hubs.
Whether this Roberts deserves a sympathetic restoration — or is more beautiful wearing the evidence of its miles and the stories they hold — will always be a matter of opinion.
Regardless, one thing is certain: As it stands, the Roberts name is still riding and providing a testament to the craft of Charles and Chas. And as long as it does, it’ll be a great ride.
Once again, a big thank you to Rangga Panji and Pancalen Cycles for the photography. Keep an eye on their blog for the latest from the shop.