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  • Sturmey Archer ASC 3-speed fixed-wheel hub gear
    norm amongst club riders and for competitive sport in Britain Commonly riders had two fixed sprockets one on either side of the rear hub the gear ratios being changed by turning the wheel around Sturmey Archer responded to the demand by introducing in the Summer of 1933 what I regard as one of their nicest gears ever made the TF 2 speed see image left It offered a simple drop of 25 from top gear which was direct drive and was beautifully simple inside with the change of gear being made by a sliding sun pinion If the rider decided that they wanted a freewheel perhaps for touring a special freewheel could simply be slid on the splines of the driver in place of the fixed sprocket It weighed just 250g more than most rear hubs This gear was really quite popular and they were used until they wore out The drop of 25 made it an ideal gear for use in hilly areas enabling hills to be climbed much more easily And most TFs have almost no backlash retaining that feeling of being at one with the bike It offered the advantages of a fixed wheel with two sprockets but removed the need for the wheel to be turned around These hubs also saw the the first use of sprockets which drove the hub driver through 12 splines and held in place with a simple lockring Quick release cable connections and wingnuts meant wheel removal could be very fast The 25 drop in ratio was however less than ideal for racing time trialling the drop was too large So in August 1936 Sturmey brought out the TC medium ratio 2 speed gear with a 13 46 reduction for low gear The innards were a lot more complex than the TF with compound planet pinions like the KS KSW and AM 3 speed geards this resulted in more backlash These did not prove to be very popular Fast forward to 1945 and Sturmey Archer announce the ASC gear with three fixed wheel ratios in 15th August s edition of Cycling Top gear was direct drive with reductions of 10 and 25 for the other two gears Apparently early production was reserved for export I do wonder whether any were actually made as I have never heard of any steel shelled ASC gears and the aluminium shells were not introduced until 1948 Finally in November 1948 the ASC was launched in the UK It was fitted as standard with wingnuts the ones shown in the picture are GB aftermarket wingnuts not the Sturmey ones and quick release cable fittings and used a special 3 speed trigger But backlash in the hub was much more than with the TF and a little of the oneness with bike gained with a fixed wheel was lost Although the ASC should have sold in large numbers to club riders I think sales were disappointing for Sturmey Archer In the 1980s quite reasonable numbers of new

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/designs/hsasc.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Super Champion Osgear
    pedalling when changing from one sprocket to the next The gears from Oscar Egg s factory were a big success in 1934 they sold 45 000 1935 138 863 1936 343 209 and over a million striking fork derailleurs had been produced by 1939 only Simplex were a serious rival in this period In England the Super Champion gear was still very popular in the middle 1940s amongst road racers The Super Champion s design was very simple to manufacture and it was light and simple to fit The shift lever had stops for each gear though the lever had to be overshifted before being dropped back into the stop The tension arm was initially mounted on the forward end of the chainstay but in 1936 was transferred to lower end of the down tube or if mounted on a braze on the underside of the bottom bracket shell Utility versions of the Super Champion gear retained the chainstay mounting for the tension arm The braze on version of the gear used a shorter tension arm though some riders preferred using the longer arms even when fitted to a bottom bracket braze on Mounted on a clip or occasionally a braze on at the rear of the chainstay was a simple fork operated by the control cable to move the chain from one sprocket to another Most gears were also supplied with a chain guide to ensure that the chain stayed on the chainwheel And all gears were supplied with a spoke protector to prevent the gear fork from being put into the wheel spokes there were no adjustable stops to control the swing of the fork Initially it was designed simply as a 3 speed gear but later versions for 4 speed and 5 speed freewheels were made available Super Champion designed and manufactured special rear dropouts for use with the gear these were not essential but made wheel changes easier To many riders the Osgear was magic and to quote a Constrictor catalogue In the opinion of many it has the fastest change and is the lightest gear obtainable After WWII the Super Champion gear fell out of favour on the continent very quickly especially after the introduction of the Simplex Tour de France in 1948 But it continued to be available for many years Constrictor were still offering old stock in 1965 This article draws heavily on a full detailed history of the Super Champion Osgear by Gordon Selby that was published in issue 152 of The Boneshaker the journal of the Veteran Cycle Club Super Champion timeline 1932 Introduction of Champion gear 1933 First version of Super Champion gear but still with changing fork in the upper run of the chain 1934 First Super Champion gear with fork in lower chain run 1936 Tension arm moved to lower end of down tube Pro version with additional cable control to tension arm to lower chain tension when chnging gear 1937 4 speed 3 32in versions available in

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/designs/osgear-hs.html (2016-02-09)
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  • W F Holdsworth - featuring the Whirlwind
    Roberts Cycles now continued by his son Chas It was in 1948 that the first truly fancy lugged Holdsworth was produced Cyclone de Luxe with cast and long spearpoints added This model continued until the end of 1951 1951 however saw the introduction of the model that was to become the Whirlwind the Sirocco This featured quite original fancy cut cast lugs including a cutaway seat lug and some beautifully chamfered seatstay eyes It was built from Reynolds 531 double butted tubing and was the top model in Holdsworth s range For 1952 it was renamed the Whirlwind with the same beautiful lugs and available in a choice of Reynolds 531 or Accles and Pollocks Kromo tubing At 17 Gns it was not a cheap frameset rivalling a Thanet Silverlight pricewise andescribed as The Best As a complete bike with quite a basic specification Williams C34 chainset Dunlop HP rims on Bayliss Wiley small flange steel hubs GB brakes etc it cost 35 2s 3d Sandy Holdsworth s ideal spec with Chater Lea chainset FB large flange hubs Scherens rims Brooks Swallow saddle and Holdsworth Allez steel stem with fancy lugs GB Coureur brakes and Mafac brake levers would probably have been close to twice that Bill Hurlow left Holdsworths in 1952 he went to build frames for Condors and later the fancy lug Mal Rees as well as under his own name For 1953 the Whirlwind received a completely new design of lug the same as that on the featured bike With large fancy windows it was almost the rival of anything from Hetchins The small details wre not missed out either the rear brake bridge was gracefully curved and featured some lovely scrolly pieces where it was attached to the seatstays Many at this time began to be

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/designs/hsholdsworth.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Ray Booty
    hour barrier for a 100 mile time trial with a time of 3 hours 58 minutes 28 seconds and a month later attacked the straight out 100 mile record which he smashed with a ride of 3 hours 28 minutes 40 seconds a time which held for 34 years As was the way in the 50s most of Ray s riding was done on fixed wheel but as he was riding for Raleigh he was compelled to try out the Sturmey Archer hub gears as the Raleigh Sturmey organisation wanted to be able to use the fact that he had done so in their advertising He did use the AC for two races a test in a 50 mile time trial and then the RRA 100 mile event but he found that the ASC fixed wheel gear ratio was too wide and considered it to be more of a touring gear For the RRA event the machine was kitted out to the following specification Stronglight 49A steel cotterless chainset with 54 t Williams 5 pin ring SA AC hub gear and Airlite SF QR release front hub on sprint rims GB Coureur brakes Brooks B17 Champion Narrow saddle Long GB

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/raybooty.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Ken Russell - the Whitaker and Mapplebeck years
    went feeling quite elated and won my very first road race Early in 1948 we discovered a hairline crack in the welded frame and by this time they were building lugged frames so one was built for me In terms of numbers of wins and places this was to be the most successful frame I ever had including three RAF championships 50 100 and massed start road races plus three of the BLRC s toughest road races the CJ Fox Memorial RR the Severn Valley GP the GW BELL Memorial RR three times round the Nidderdale course and in 1949 the top BLRC Road Race The Tour of The Peak Unfortunately the whole bike was stolen Dec 1949 I had just arrived home on leave and I parked my bike in the yard at the side of the W M shop 3 mins later it was gone and I never saw it again Right Ken winning the C J Fox Memorial RR on a lugged W M in 1948 The next frame was another lugged frame built with the latest Nervex lugs and was one of the first to be named Scelta dei Campioni choice of the champions Perhaps my best performance on this was 2nd place in the 1950 Brighton to Glasgow beaten by the late great George Lander I used this bike until late 1951 when I joined the Ellis Briggs company Ken taking first place by a whisker to win the Baslow Road Race in 1949 Ken looking very stylish climbing Hollings Hill in the 1949 Brighton Glasgow Race where he finished 5th overall In 1952 Ken went on to win the Tour of Britain as lone rider of the Ellis Briggs team He had many other successes as you can see from his CV below 1947

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/riders/kenrussell.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Classic Lightweights UK
    revenge pursuit race at an international event held at Herne Hill Also in 1951 he lowered the 25 mile trial record twice as well as taking the 30 mile record He was the first rider to beat the hour in Wales and was Scottish 25 mile champion breaking the competition record at the same time Another Celtic foray resulted in him breaking the Welsh 50 mile competition record On the track he took the National NCU 4000 metres Pursuit Title at the Butts Stadium Coventry In the early 50s Dave like most of us had read all he could about Fausto Coppi a rider he admired greatly Coppi won the Tour de France using a Paris Roubaix gear and Dave felt that this set up would be ideal for a time triallist because on the fast courses one would probably only use the one gear out and perhaps a different gear back to take account of the wind conditions He was impressed by the fact that one could set a cam on the gear which would dictate the tension on the chain when the wheel was locked after a change and that this would give him the easy running drive which he favoured along with no drive sapping pulley wheels Dave was cycle touring in Italy in 1954 when he managed to buy a Paris Roubaix gear and what was more amazing managed to get it back into the country anyone who travelled through customs controls in those days would know that this was quite an achievement in itself He was to get Mercian to build him a frame with the P R ends and they also decided to build a second frame to the same specification as Tommy Crowther the proprietor managed to acquire a second Paris Roubaix gear set to match the first Dave also says that even when using fixed wheel in competitions he always had a slightly slack chain so as to reduce friction Such is the detail of a champion When he wanted to use fixed wheel on the P R Mercian he merely removed the geared wheel with its teeth on the axle and replaced it with a double fixed wheel with flats filed on the axle and so was able to leave the gear in situ As was the fashion in those days Dave trained by doing very high mileages which included several very long tours around the UK and on the Continent Having got such distances under his belt by the mid 50s he moved up to compete at 100 miles and 12 hours culminating in his first of five 24 hour events the 1956 Wessex 24 when he was in the winning V C AC team In 1957 he would win the first of his two consecutive victories in the North Road 24 hour event Dave Keeler in the1958 North Road 24 hour event riding his Mercian equipped with Paris Roubaix gear This was obviously boy s stuff for Dave as

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/DaveKeeler.html (2016-02-09)
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  • The Horn Brothers - Cyril and Dennis
    speed and yet remain in control on the grass In skating Cyril tended to be the better of the two brothers but in cycling they were much more evenly matched and I think that Dennis held the upper hand here The Horns soon became as adept on the track as they were on the ice and were regularly winning championships at both It was widely expected that they could both represent their country as cyclists at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin In the end neither were picked it was surmised that their bluff Fen ways didn t fit in too well with the sports establishment although they both had the potential to be medal winners In a taped talk Cyril says that he didn t go to the Olympics as he wanted to stay here in the UK to win several cups outright It was traditional to become the outright holder of a trophy if it was won three times in consecutive years and many of these trophies were solid silver or even occasionally gold It does beg the question was this eagerness to win for the prestige of owning the cup or would it be to use the cups as some form of insurance or pension In track cycling events held soon after the Olympics the Horns comfortably beat the riders who had been sent to represent the UK By now the brothers were racing all over the country local tracks Herne Hill Portsmouth Fallowfield in Manchester even travelling as far as Glasgow to compete in the Ibrox Park meeting in front of some 100 000 people The Horns were very astute at handling money and had their own transport which was quite rare at this time In his transcript Cyril explains how they shared the driving travelling around the country Good Friday Track Meeting Herne Hill 1930 has both of the Horn Brothers as entrants Going on to describe racing at Herne Hill in the early 30s it says Two riders pre eminent throughout this period were the Horn Brothers Dennis and Cyril who became well known to the Herne Hill crowd In 1933 Dennis raced against the German Champion Toni Merkens who won the sprint However Dennis came back to win the final of the 550 yards Scratch Race Dennis at full power on his Claud Butler track machine Cycling December 1936 contains a report on preparations for the Olympics and included in the team are the names of D S Horn or C W Horn It goes on D S Horn of course holds the 1000 metres Trials Vest with the fastest time ever put up by an Englishman for this distance of 1min 13 secs Claud Butler always a man with an eye on what was happening in the world of track cycling took the Horns under his wing and supplied his state of the art track machines for the brothers to compete on Close examination of images of the Horns show Dennis on a

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/riders/horn-bros.html (2016-02-09)
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  • J E Sibbit
    National titles including Tandem sprints along with Dennis Horn In 1931 32 he uniquely as an amateur won the 1000 yards Sprint Championships Jack Sibbit was a regular favourite at the Fallowfield track in Manchester Mick Butler adds John Ephraim Sibbit 1895 1950 John Sibbit was born in Ancoats Manchester in 1895 and was one of Britain s most distinguished track racing cyclists His cycling career started in 1919 and his first major win was in 1922 when he won the National 5 mile track championship He excelled at both short distance sprint and long distance events in 1925 and 1927 he was National Quarter Mile Champion and in 1929 he was the National 25 mile Champion His greatest achievement was possibly the National Tandem Championships which he won eight times Jack Sibbit was the tandem captain and others stoked for him at different times He won the Nationals five times with his partner E H Chambers With this partnership Sibbit won the Olympic event in 1928 His other National tandem partners were A White Scunthorpe Dennis Horn Norwich and E W Higgins Manchester He also participated in the 1936 Berlin Olympics He was a member of the Manchester Wheelers

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/riders/sibbit.html (2016-02-09)
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web-archive-uk.com, 2016-10-27