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  • Ephgrave Lightweights Ltd
    with the extra windows and the spearpoint embellishment of the headlugs is a later frame whose lugs are not malleable cast but in fact pressed steel plate Unlike the malleable ones these lugs can be reworked into different angles quite readily Having studied the photos of the MkI No I Super frame and enlarged them I am convinced that the frame has not been built by the bilaminated system Instead I think that Ephgrave had decided that this particular frame needed angles that differed from those offered by a standard set of EKLA lugs Because it would have not been feasible to adapt or rework the cast EKLA lugs he decided to alter then by cutting by sawing off the pipes from the lugs ie separating the top tube pipe from the head tube one These pipes would then be brazed to the tubes the ensembles would be mitred to the required angles and then the lugs bronze welded back together One way to alter the angle of a pressed steel lug is to make saw cuts on both upper and lower faces of the lugs and then to insert tubes into the pipes and gently bend and persuade the relatively thin steel sheet to adopt the required angle This would not be possible with a cast lug without the danger of either the casting breaking or the holes distorting If you examine a bronze welded joints on most bilaminated frames when they are in the raw steel state you would note that the beads of sif bronze welding material are more substantial than those on the EKLA lugs You don t have to examine the photos of the three lugs too closely to notice that there is more bronze weld bead on the upper head tube and the seat tube lugs than there is on the lower head tube lug You will also notice that the top tube pipes on both the upper head tube lug and the seat cluster one are longer and more substantial than the down tube pipe on the lower head tube this latter lug having only a very small amount of bronze bead and certainly not a full continuous bead that encircles the whole joint This leads me to conclude that Ephgrave cut both the upper head and the seat lug in half in order to reprofile the angles but was able to alter the less robust down tube lug by just putting a saw nick in the upper angle and very carefully pulling the angle The fact that the chainstay to bottom brackjet pipes are missing leads me to think that the change in angles also dictated a slight change in the bottom bracket height and chainstay angle Because the chainstay pipes were so short and incapable of being reworked Ephgrave decided to dispense with them altogether I think that this theory holds water and is justified by the fact that the frame uses an Osgear fitted to a bracket brazed underneath the

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/ephgrave-builders.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Les Ephgrave - a pictorial history
    this would date the images to 1950 as well however Roger points out that Les had a shop in Tottenham at this time In his later years when James met him Les was also making badge bars for the E type Jaguar I guess the customers were not as demanding Click on images below for larger versions An image of Les Ephgrave s upstairs showroom decked out for an exhibition The corner of an office partition can be seen on the left The table in middle of showroom has two sub frames to show gears one an Osgear the other a double pulley gear the cranks are fitted with pedals to enable the gears to be spun by the prospective customer On the table in the corner there is the mini main triangle of a frame no doubt built to showcase the lugs other builders did this but not on such a small scale this looks as if it would fit into a briefcase but I don t think Les employed reps On the right hand wall are frame tubes sprayed to display colour options There are plenty of Reynolds 531 posters on show no doubt supplied by Reynolds for the event and a selection of frames and built machines to whet the customers appetite Against the rear wall is a display unit with a complete machine displayed on top in front of two frames hanging on the wall it is possible to make out a womens open frame in front of the complete machine on this unit The complete machine and Italia frame to the right have the A headbadge as used on early machines The other end of the showroom shown above with a selection of machines and frames on offer There is a better view of the sub frame built to display a working Osgear On the right hand office partition wall hangs an Ephgrave tandem with straight seat tubes A road frame with gear hanger is on a display stand in front of the window To the left a road frame with Simplex gear boss in foreground behind this a built up road machine with flint catchers and gears including Simplex double chainring and Simplex lever Another frame and built up machine behind that The above two images show either end of one showroom which begs the question as to whether Les had two showrooms in addition to the workshop The two images below don t relate to the ones above although the roofline in the lower one is similar Another display with an Ephgrave in the foreground fitted with a trike conversion with fixed wheel and one brake Possibly the conversion was ordered by a customer unless Ephgrave acted as agents for the conversion Behind there is a road frame set with BB forks headset and seat pin fitted as was the norm Next on display is a complete track iron set up in true 50 s style with low stem and short seat pin

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/ephgrave-story.html (2016-02-09)
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  • James P Grundy - agent for Ephgrave in the U.S.
    of 50 s framebuilding Letterhead used by James An Ephgrave catalogue as used by James in the early 60 s centre column is repeated in larger format below Note change of address Click on images for a larger version which may be restrained by your screen size a second click should produce the full size The reverse side showing details of the various designs Below is the order form mentioned above as used by James in 1961 and the price list on the reverse A receipt dated 14th May 1965 showing frame number and details of four frames supplied This is very useful information to help with the dating of Ephgraves as it provides a reference point for frame numbers In 1964 James ordered an Italia style road bike and he debated with Les what style of fork crown to use Les sent the attached drawings and suggested the E 27R very Cinelli like What appeared to be integral stiffners on the wheel sides of the forks turned out to be brazed on strips The bike was green with silver panels 23 seat tube 73 parallel Campy ends with the front eyes only filed off It was stolen in the

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/ephgrave-james-grundy.html (2016-02-09)
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  • F W Evans 1920s-30s
    was turned around to give two different ratios Of course this was always a slightly fiddly job as the chain tension had to be got just right In 1925 F W Evans patented a rear fork end with screw adjusters and washers on the hub axle Right It allowed the wheel to be turned around and replaced in the frame with a different size rear sprocket maintaining exactly the same chain tension Other fork ends had been designed to do a similar thing but most were more fiddly to use For this he was awarded the CTC Silver Plaque for the greatest improvement in cycle design in 1926 He claimed he could turn a wheel around in an Evans frame blindfolded and with one hand tied behind his back and get perfect chain adjustment in 55 seconds Another early patented feature of his frames was the Evans Direct Lubrication System Oil ports were provided in the bottom bracket head tube and hubs enabling these bearings to be easily oiled with an oil gun They were much copied by other makers but the Evans version actually had little channels to direct the oil onto the bearings A nice touch which made maintenance easier More important was his involvement with several prominent CTC hard riding tourists A W Romney Hodites and M H Clutterbuck were just some in building bikes specifically designed for touring Very early on before derailleur gears were being officially imported from France Evans built bikes incorporating the Cyclo derailleur gear When the Cyclo derailleur became widely available by 1930 he featured special touring models with them in his catalogue During the 1930s he regularly built machines with three four six eight and at least one with 12 triple chainwheel 4 spd freewheel gears for his customers His 30s

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/designs/hsfwevans.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Excel Cycles - Dan Genner Cycles
    He also spent most of his time seemingly coughing his lungs up to no avail his face becoming redder and redder the more he coughed On one wall of the shop customers would pin up photos of themselves on their Dan Genner bikes In the middle was a large framed picture of Dan taken at a cycle race meeting just before the First World War I vaguely remember that it was taken when he had set some record for a race The man in the photo was very handsome very slim upright and athletic with sleeked back hair a far cry from what he was like now Although the shop was known by all and sundry as Dan Genners in fact the name of the business was the XL Cycle Co and the company logo was XLCR a play on the word Excelsior meaning very superior The shop at 90 92 High Street Colliers Wood was in fact two shops with a short passageway between them Above the shop were two flats with their own front doors The cycle side of the business was mainly carried out in the right hand shop viewed from the road and the glass topped counters displayed all sorts of accessories At the back was a workshop where the hand built bikes were assembled A Dan Jenner Bike was a much coveted item in those days What set them apart were the very thin chain and seat stays and also the angle of the end of the seat stay where it met the saddle tube it was very oblique I don t know why they just looked fast even when they were stationary The down tube had a Dan Genner logo in script style i e not block capitals but joined up writing I seem to remember that this was hand painted on The headstock had a metal badge on it with the XL logo They were made with Reynolds 531 tubing and then custom built Gear options were Simplex Cyclo Benelux Huret or Campagnolo Shimano was a word unheard of then Anything could be under construction and seen in the shop track bikes with fixed wheels sports bikes and touring bikes with up to but no more than 10 gears and occasionally a tandem In one corner of the shop window was a vertical tube about 7 foot high with every type of handlebar displayed that the shop sold about 15 different types Some frames would be on display in the window work in progress ones and occasionally a finished bike would be displayed in the window awaiting collection by a customer What you never saw for sale was a complete new bike with a price ticket on it they were all strictly made to measure and made to order I also had to bring in half a pound of Quality Street sweets every Saturday morning from my dad s shop Mrs Genner paid me the two shillings and sixpence twelve and a half

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/excel2collierswood.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Excel Cycles - Woolwich - Fred Genner
    Blackett brothers fell out with each other speculation has it that Jimmy liked a bit of a flutter with the end result being George upping sticks and opening up his own bike shop in a secondary trading position 100 yards further up and around the corner in Anglesea Road Meanwhile Jimmy Blackett s Woolwich New Road shop continued to trade with Harry Perry coming aboard in 1921 as a frame builder and eventual shop manager In 1929 Fred and Alice Genner acquired the ongoing business from Jimmy Blackett retaining Harry Perry to continue building their lightweight frames as Harry had quickly established a good reputation for his quality craftsmanship in the locality We believe the shop was renamed The Excel Cycle Company Some time in the mid 1930 s around this time the prodigal Blackett brother George moved back to Woolwich New Road trading right opposite Excel s Competition between them was healthy but tolerable as Fred Genner concentrated on hand built lightweights for the serious cyclist and George Blackett dealt more with family and utility bicycles The two shops with their respective owners stayed together like this for almost the next fifty years Fred Genner died in August 1939 with the business now being run by his widow Alice It continued with Harry Perry at the helm until Alice chose to retire in 1955 after selling the shop on to Harry whose popularity with the local club cyclists in the Woolwich CC Cambrian Wheelers Eltham Paragon et al ensured the business continued to flourish former Tour de France rider John Clarey rode on Excel frames prior to turning professional In order to keep pace with the demand and so concentrate on his frame building Harry employed up and coming Mephisto CC rider Paul Mepham in 1964 as his full

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/excel1woolwich.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Flying Scot, The Scot (David Rattray & Co. Ltd.) Glasgow
    USA Although most of the frames were built to a racing specification they did cater for the tourer as well It is said that frames built for touring were often badged The Scot whereas the racing ones were Flying Scot One of the giveaway identifications for Rattray built bikes is the strengthening piece on the inside of the fork blades from the crown down for about 5cm Two images of a Flying Scot built in the 70s using the simpler Italia style lugs which became popular at this time Nervex Professional lugs used to build this Flying Scot Rattray 24 Continental Supreme Frame No 538 C 1953 Reynolds 531 tubing Nervex lugs Top tube 23 Chainstays 17 Simplex rear ends with mudguard eyes curved brake bridge cable eye rear chainstay Forks oval to round 2 rake Rattray strengthener inside fork blade at crown 538 C on column and blade Frame and forks Orange with white head and seat tube panel Chrome front and rear ends Flying Scot 1972 frame and fork number 75 P 19 seat tube 21 top tube 17 chainstays Head 72 x seat 72 Forks oval to round with Rattray long ends and 2 rake Prugnat smooth

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/flyingscot.html (2016-02-09)
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  • F W (Freddie) Folds - Imaginative cycle builder
    the screwed races and locknuts at the inner ends The sprocket boss is the right hand end of a roadster hub which just slides on to the centre The two halves of the axle are joined in the centre by a bridge which as it had to be made to take apart for access to the bearings is a little on the hefty side thereby minimising what weight I may have saved on the rest of the job I have given it a fair amount of use and am quite satisfied with its performance the drive is certainly very rigid I think the bearing will wear fairly well after all they are really more suited to rotary action than to the end on bashing that they get in a head Later again John Pinkerton remembered my trike and sent a cutting from Cycling of 1934 in which Folds outlines a suggestion complete with illustration of a novel short wheelbase bicycle whereby the rear wheel has room to protrude between twin down tubes The design was exactly like a Saxon twin tube with which many of us are already familiar and an example of which by coincidence I already had The letter in Cycling included Folds address in Southbourne near Bournemouth so I was able to find his entry in relevant street directories He seems to have been there from 1935 until 1959 when he died Having been born in 1902 he was only 58 years old when he passed away Then Chris Hewitt the TA member and repairer obtained the pictures of Freddie herewith and some memories of him from his former clubmates from the Verulam CC Apparently Freddie lived on The Heath in St Albans and worked as a baker His name is on the Verulam 50 mile trophy More recently my cousin a member of Bournemouth Arrow CC introduced me to W George Bolton I was thrilled to discover that George knew Freddie Folds and also had some of his bikes I heard that Freddie was not only a member of Bournemouth Arrow but at one time was their Club Captain Naturally Arrow members patronised his shop and George has some fascinating reminiscences of Folds such as the distinct impression he got that Fred didn t build bikes for just anyone George felt you practically had to pass muster before he would put you on the list Certainly Folds products that I have inspected were painstakingly made the lug work especially being the smoothest I have even seen Freddie didn t spend time on decorative embellishment he just made the edges invisible see image left Obviously this care was not available to just anyone with mere money George also thought that Freddie s wife had worked for Hercules and had learned to build wheels there This skill she contributed to the business in Parkwood Road Southbourne Shortly George gave me copies of The Reflector the magazine of Bournemouth Arrow CC in which Fred had written articles entitled I

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/folds-builders.html (2016-02-09)
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web-archive-uk.com, 2017-12-17