Does anybody know a frame builder who does repairs in the London area? I need the top tube and down tube replaced and how much this is likely to cost.
I've heard Vaz resprays can also do repairs and has a reputation of being cheap -googling brings up a lot of info from the single speed brigade.
Otherwise Mercian do a collect and deliver service though the bike would have to be special to justify their prices. They have a price list on this site: http://www.merciancycles.co.uk/renovation.asp
My track bike was restored by Argos in Bristol, they did a great job, I can definitely recommend them.
Witcomb Cycles in Deptford used to be the only remaining frame repairers in central-ish London, however they've closed for a while.
Geoffrey Butler in Croydon still advertise frame repairs, they used to send them to Witcomb, but I don't know who they use now. give them a call.
I've had work completed in the past by Mario Vaz including frame alterations and re-enamelling. New braze-ons, blasting and single colour enamel to my 1978 Geoff Roberts (cyclo crosser) cost me £55.
I've heard mixed reports about Mario Vaz. He is cheap was the most consistent comment. Mercian can do the work for about 150 including a pick up and return but not inc paint.
I personally haven't had any issues with the standards of workmanship but some have suggested his finishes chip a little easier than others. You could have the repairs undertaken and have the frame powder coated. Powder coating has come along leaps and bounds since the days of muddy industrial/primary colours and so long as you find a sprayers specialising in project works and one-offs your frame should be in good hands. I've heard good things about Armourtex in Hackney (0208 986 2028).
A lot of this depends on the value of your frame of course... While a very subjective term (afterall the cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing)there comes a point where frames are beyond economic repair. In your situation, I would be inclined to have a framebuilder braze new tubes in and take the frame to a project (rather than industrial job-lot) powder coater used to delicate works/blast cleaning.
Blast and Powder finish with lacquer top-coat would be around the £60 mark. Powder is a single colour application but you can spray wet paint (two-pac)atop if required but obviously this bumps up the price.
There used to be a list of framebuilders on the Ceeway frame building supplies website (www.framebuilding.com)who might be another good reference point, although word of mouth and gut feeling are very good indicators in my experience.
Here you go....http://www.framebuilding.com/custom_uk_bicycle_framebuilders.htm