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  • Tandems built by classic builders
    for solo frames The complexity of the joins encouraged some builders to use brazed welded construction as this gave greater flexiblity of design not being constrained by the lug angles available I asked John Spooner who supplied these building images if he used a jig to build tandems as this would be mighty piece of kit used but rarely He explained that he built the front main triangle and checked it for trueness then added the next triangle which was checked and then the rear triangle He built both brazed and lugged frames Some of the lugs used for tandems are shown below The clamps to lock the eccentric bottom bracket can be seen in the first illustration Both bottom bracket shells accommodate the large diameter tube used between them Front eccentric bottom bracket Rear bottom bracket concentric Front seat cluster double gents Front seat cluster lady back Braking these heavier machines was also a problem with various combinations of cantilever hub side pull and centre pull brakes being used Sometimes they were doubled up to give three or four brakes and it was even known for the stoker to have a lever to use when their nerve cracks Mafac made a brake lever which took two cables to different systems on the same lever The person steering the tandem is known as the captain whilst the rider at the rear is known as the stoker I suppose it was Geoff Waters submission on tandem racing racing in South Africa which started me thinking about this subject as it raised a few questions in itself such as the names of the various constructions Mick Butler explained the names of different frame constructions The most basic form was known as the open frame The frame below is almost an open frame but there is an extra tube from near the top of the front seat tube to the rear bottom bracket Gillott track frame with curved rear seat tube Chater Lea in line transmission fixed wheel with a very high gear befitting a track tandem which could reach very high speeds The addition of a tube from the head to the rear ends splitting into two to form additional stays at the rear triangle was known as the Marathon Hobbs Blue Riband track frame Marathon with curved rear seat tube The Double Marathon had such a tube from the rear end to the rear of the front seat tube and another tube from the head to the rear bottom bracket which is shown below on a fairly modern tandem with sophisticated time trial equipment Rondinella Double Marathon with in line transmission and straight rear seat tube Harry Rensch designed and built this twin tube version of the Double Marathon as early as the 1940 s again with in line transmission cantilever brakes and curved rear seat tube The Direct Lateral had a tube from the top of the head tube to the rear bottom bracket To these designs can be added

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/tandems-builders.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Classic women's frames
    that each of these frames I ve come across has a very high quality build I guess only the top builders within the company would be allowed to take on this demanding project so different from the run of the mill jobs In the main the format would be for a second top tube to run parallel or close to parallel with the down tube Sometimes this was supplemented by extra chain stays from the seat tube to the rear ends as on the Claud Butler Avant Coureur Lady Lightweight shown below not always the case though This Claud Butler Avant Coureur Lady Lightweight is a classic example of high quality build found on some of these frames Below is detail of the transition from top tube to extra chainstays The Avant Coureur was the top model in Claud Butler s open frames some cheaper versions being welded It is thought that in the early 50 s Claud Butler was building some 50 open frames per year Jack Taylor builds his frame to a format similar to the Claud Butler but it is beautifully welded This machine has the inverted cabling to the rear brake Here the cabling travels via several cable eyes through a hanger and to a centre pull brake Images of the Jack Taylor and the Schwinn above are from George Allen Lexington USA The open frame construction creates a few problems with the build up of the complete machine one is the cabling to the rear brake which needs a reversed cable ending allowing the cable to approach the stirrup from the bottom rather than the top Other centre pull versions took the cable to the seat cluster where it was reversed to the stirrup via a pulley or seat bolt mounted hanger Examples of all three are shown above Makers of mass produced open framed machines were able to create them in sufficient numbers to be economically viable but the small volume builders wouldn t find it so easy The second problem could be around the positioning of gear levers and cabling for both derailleur and hub gears In the case of the latter this was made slightly easier by the use of handlebar trigger levers In the Claud Butler shown above the rear centre pull brake cable can be seen taken via two eyes and a brazed on pulley to the rear stirrup Paris Cycles on the other hand went for a more curvaceous Dame seen below It is welded lugless with the top tube splitting from single at the head to a curved small diameter double tube right through to the rear ends Note the small bridge between twin tube brace and the down tube to give more rigidity Short stem but the bars have quite a forward throw The rear brake cable takes a simple route along the down tube and chainstay before curving up to a reversed stirrup The rear carrier is a Paris own build and the curves compliment those

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/womens-frames-builders.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Frame building pinning/tacking
    ground down flush with the metal but the inside is left as shown as it would be very tricky to get a grinder inside the bottom bracket Having said this the inside of the head tube and seat cluster has to be ground flush for obvious reasons The two lower images show the pins doing their job prior to brazing Above Bottom bracket brazed with pins in situ Nails on the outside will be cut and ground flush with the lug Two images showing pins in place before brazing Not all lightweight frames were built by pinning the joints some builders held the component parts of the frame in a jig whilst brazing Some of these jigs were very basic probably constructed by the frame builder himself Modern day jigs are engineering works of art complete with micro adjustment at every junction One of the problems with a jig is to get even heat all around the lug when brazing some overcame this by having a jig which could be rotated on at least one axis whilst the brazing took place Modern day jig framebuilding by Richard Sachs Mick Butler points out Typically made to measure or bespoke steel bicycle frames are brazed by hand The frame tubes are held in place with a jig and the builder heats the joints one at a time with a hand held oxy acetylene torch This is the same sort of torch used for welding but it is used somewhat differently in brazing since the base metal is not melted In the old days many bicycles were brazed over an open hearth rather than with a torch This limited the use of frame building jigs so that the frame joints had to be pinned or tack brazed in place before the whole frame

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/frame-pinning-builders.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Guide to lightweights
    and 100 miles Path machines had rear facing track rear ends and were fitted with a single fixed gear and a front brake but could potentially also be used for track racing including on flat grass tracks once stripped of the brake Table 1 summarises these matters Table 1 Types of classic racing bicycle Type Road Track Path Wheel clearances Generous road ends Tight track ends Generous track ends Gearing Multiple freewheel derailleur double chainwheel Single fixed cog Single fixed cog occasionally rear hub gear fixed Brakes Front and rear cable operated None Front cable operated Raced on Open roads Cycling tracks Road and track Who were the main producers of these classic racing machines The 20th century bicycle manufacturers best known to the general public are Raleigh from Britain Bianchi from Italy and Peugeot from France But while all three were historically associated with champion professional cyclists of the day like Reg Harris Fausto Coppi and Eddy Merckx these sponsors were all essentially large scale mass production bicycle companies They did produce racing machines in limited numbers but this was not their stock in trade Rather 20th century racing machines were produced mainly by both medium sized companies and small enterprises the latter often involving only one or two staff Table 2 gives some indication of these three divisions and leading examples of each The small enterprises produced only racing machines made to order for individual customers In contrast the medium sized manufacturers produced off the peg frames in different standard sizes measured from the centre of the bottom bracket to the top of the top tube British or centre of the top tube Continental These were then built up into complete machines and distributed to dealerships for sale to members of the general public Table 2 Selected leading 20th century bicycle manufacturers Mass producers with racing links Medium sized producers off the peg Small exclusive builders made to measure Britain Hercules Raleigh Italy Bianchi France Gitane Motobecane Peugeot Britain Claud Butler Carlton Hobbs of Barbican Holdsworth Rotrax Sun Viking Italy Cinelli Frejus Legnano Belguim Eddy Merckx Flandria Britain Condor Ellis Briggs Ephgrave Hetchins Jack Taylor Mal Rees Italy Colnago Masi Pinarello Pogliaghi It should be noted that some of these companies or marques started out as small builders but subsequently expanded while others were subject to takeovers by larger producers Also some off the peg builders did produce made to measure frames for individuals while some small builders created frames for top sponsored riders which were then painted in their sponsors liveries In short the boundaries between these categories were both porous and often crossed What materials were they made of The steel tubing used for building classic racing machines was most likely to be either British Reynolds 531 or Italian Columbus Less likely are Accles Pollock Vitus or Tange tubing If the frame you encounter has its original finish it will invariably carry small transfers indicating the make of tubing used in its construction Different grades of

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/guide-to-lightweights-waters.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Ken Janes cycle builder
    Cycles He shared accommodation with Spanner and his wife As far as I know Ken never built frames but concentrated on cutting and filing lugs and bi laminates When I first met Ken several years ago he was producing laminated lugs for various contemporary builders to create bi laminated frames in the main He showed me many of his lugs and sheafs of drawings too he was a good draughtsman He named several builders he cut lugs for and told me that it had been denied that he ever did this for a certain builder To disprove the statement he showed me letters ordering lugs and paying for them This was rather typical of Ken as he was always involved in controversy of some sort and like a lot of these builders from the early post war era never had a good word to say about any other builder Ken s other interests were military and he had collections of badges and ephemera as well as many stories of escapades in the Special Operations Executive which became the SAS When Ken died he left several cards with laminates afixed and they are shown below Bi laminates cut for a Ken Janes special to be built up for him Incorporates J in head and seat decoration Cut for a Lewis Hill Special H cut for head and seat tube Design cutting and filing total 36 hours Various Paris bi laminates held by Ken Janes it is not known if these are originals or copies made by Ken Top left bilam 1946 TDF or Galibier bilaminate Top Right 1936 Tour de France Lower left 1946 Road Track Galibier Lower right 1946 model Only used on 7 frames Centre top 1940s Galibier Centre middle Gear lever backing plate Centre lower there is no

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/janes-builders.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Len Phipps lugs
    from one of the few builders still offering a fancy lugged model Hetchins Unfortunately Hetchins failed to build the bike to the specification for audax and tourist trials clearances were far too tight for what Les wanted He asked for and got his money back and went to Ron Cooper ex Gillott builder for a frame Ron encouraged Len to cut his own lugs which he found he had a natural talent for Some years later in the mid 1980 s he was given the opportunity of early retirement from the Gas Board and decided to make of go of cutting lugs commercially For many years he used Haden blank lugs which he could pretty much cut into any style Much of his work was done with Tom Board often making replica lugs for Ephgraves Hetchins etc which were in need of restoration Alf Hetchins gave permission for this providing it was only a restoration Lugs cut for 1995 Bates Volante Jubilee Len recalls producing a number of Magnum Opus and Bonum lugs He also recalls being asked by someone in Yorkshire to produce 50 Magnum Opus lugs a job he unhesitatingly refused Some of the work for Tom Board

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/phipps-builders.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Classic lightweights template
    cycle exhibitions across the city The consortium took out adverts and had editorial in Cycling of 9 November 1950 The At Homes ran from 8 18 November excluding Sundays and they were open from 10am 8pm each day The two page article had details from each of the participants and this gives a good insight into what manufacturers would be building for the new 1951 season It also gives their

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/builders-at-home.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Bayliss Wiley Hubs
    sites Bayliss Wiley Hubs Bayliss Wiley produced a range of hubs which were slightly cheaper than the Airlite Continental The alloy flanges were of a slightly smaller diameter and were pressed onto a chromed barrel in the same way as

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/bayliswiley.html (2016-02-09)
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