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  • De Rosa Molteni
    Unicanitor Extra details Total bicycle weight 21 Lbs 9 5 Kgs In the mid 1990s I heard a rumour that someone had a 1973 De Rosa in Molteni colours for sale Chance would be a fine thing if true It was true I had to hide my delight when I laid eyes on this beautiful bicycle The person I bought the bicycle from was the second owner I learned that the original owner had idolized Eddy Merckx and contacted Ugo De Rosa personally to see how he could acquire a De Rosa exactly like the bicycle that Eddy rode He wanted the best money could buy History has shown that the original owner could not have chosen a better time to order a De Rosa as 1973 was the year Ugo De Rosa became the official frame builder and mechanic to Eddy Merckx s Moteni team Ugo De Rosa hand made the frame himself which was typical of all De Rosas before Ugo s sons became mentored by their dad to build frames for themselves There is no frame number or tubing sticker on the frame The owner waited about one year to receive his beautiful pantographed 1973 De Rosa

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/bikes/derosa-seaton-rb.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Bertrand Finchley Cycles
    hence the hunting connection I knew that one of London s most respected frame builders HR Morris worked there starting in 1929 before moving to Bates Bros in 1938 According to Morris the framebuilder during this time was George Dean According to a 1929 CTC Gazette advertisement they has been trading since 1900 and at that time had three shops in North Finchley N12 trivia postcode note the London postcodes eg N NW E SE etc are alphabetical in numerical order ie N2 is East Finchley and the highest number N22 is Wood Green The earliest reference to them I can find is a 1912 advertisement saying they had supplied a bike to the Queen of Italy The company was started by Charles Bertrand Barmore who ran it from 1900 until his death in 1937 In 1947 it was bought and run by Eddie Sage later President of Finchley CTC and his wife Winifred who ran it until the mid 50 I am not sure of the exact date but maybe about 56 7 According to a post on the CTC forum by his daughter by the mid 50 s trading in bicycles was becoming uneconomic and they moved into

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/bertrand-builders-griffith.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Rivetts of Leytonstone
    five mile open invitation race but was unplaced I could quote a few more such instances but suffice it to say that though keen and popular locally he was not prominent nationally That may have been due to his burgeoning business commitments However a couple of local wins are worth recording On the 6th of May 1891 a new track was opened at High Beech behind The King s Oak Hotel The Essex Cycling Union held an open race meeting there on the following July 8th One of the events was a one mile handicap for riders on the old high bicycles just then entering into obsolescence First was Alf Rivett from scratch He won by twelve yards in 3 mins 12 and 1 5th seconds Second man was H W Shanty off 80 yards and third Alf s brother J Rivett off 40 yards All three were Shaftesbury C C members A few years later in May 1896 Alf won The Gumprecht cup at High Beech Gumprecht was the proprietor of The King s Oak a large pub set in a remote part of Epping Forest where there was very little habitation so very few customers It was built in the belief that the Central Railway would end at High Beech but in fact it stopped at Loughton leaving the King s Oak stranded So in an endeavour to find custom he built the track and promoted events to bring the crowds The track was also hired out to Cycling and Athletics clubs for training purposes The track would later be augmented by a splendid ballroom containing a huge pipe organ to provide the dance music and a lido He provided the Gumprecht cup for the winner of a ten mile scratch race on the track The heats were held one Saturday and the final the following week so as to maximise the gate money The magazine Cycling reported the final thus The heats had reduced the field to ten riders of whom G Allen of the Paddington C C did not start Gidney the holder soon went to the front with Rivett Saftesbury C C close behind and Bishop in third position At four laps from home a pacing tandem which had been saving itself came out ant took Rivett away with a rush and he thereby gained a 50 yards lead Gidney was unable to respond to any extent and Rivett s superior sprinting powers placed him a winner by thirty yards Time 26 minutes 58seconds Alf s euphoria was short lived He proudly displayed the cup in his shop window from where it promptly disappeared The January 2nd 1897 issue of Cycling reported the cup to have been stolen from the premises of the current holder A Rivett at Leytonstone Road Stratford A reward has been offered for its recovery MARRIAGE and BUSINESS Late in 1892 Alf married Louisa Sharp in West Ham but well before that he had started to manufacture bicycles Sometime in the early 1890s after his return from America he rented and converted a stable attached to the first house in Ranelagh Road a turning off Leytonstone High Road The building can still be seen today car tyres when last I looked There he assembled machines from sets of BSA fittings and called them BLIZZARDS and designed a distinctive and easily recognized head badge This consisted of two silver plated strips of copper suitably engraved These would eventually be useful for a slogan for The Blizzard was advertised as The Cycle with the Two White Bands It was a feature which would make his machines easily recognisable on the road or the track and a boon to future historians when viewing old photographs There is never any doubt about the identity of a Blizzard Right cover of Blizzard 20 page quarto catalogue 1916 Moving on in 1901 we find Alf wife Louisa and seven year old daughter May together with domestic servant Emma living over the shop at no 252 Leytonstone Road Stratford close to Maryland Point the same premises from which the Gumprecht Cup was stolen in 1897 However in 1904 some new shops were built along the Leytonstone High Road and Alf acquired one and moved his retailing there at no 236 Those premises were very convenient at the time for no 236 was a corner shop with frontage to both the High Road and to Steele Road A glance at the map will shew Steele Road to be the next turning to Ranelagh Road where he was building his machines The workshop was promptly moved to the back of the new High street premises and accessed from Steele Road which enable Alf to advertise the workshop with a different address to the shop a bit of kidology which made the business appear larger than it actually was The fact that a Rivett business still occupies the site today suggests that Alf bought the freehold for businesses usually move for one of two reasons rent hikes by landlords or else expansion From the foregoing it can be deduced that any of his machines bearing the Ranelagh Road address on the headbadge will be 1904 or earlier Those carrying The Steele Road address will date thereafter EXPANSION There is evidence of expansion even before the move to Leytonstone High Road The Kelly s Directory for 1902 records him trading from 5 Ilford Market High Road Ilford That branch remained until 1906 before moving to 212 High Road where it would remain until Alf retired in 1922 Other branches to appear in the early part of the new century would be at 668 High Road Leyton in 1908 not to be confused with High Road Leytonstone and at 147 High Street East Ham in 1902 The East Ham branch also survived until Alf retired but the Leyton branch is not seen after 1914 We can conjecture that the great war was the reason for that possibly because the staff volunteered or were

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/rivetts.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Shorter Alf Engers
    and soldered front 32 rear with white Panasonic tubular tyres Chainset SR Royal crank set with factory drilled 53t chain wheel on Campagnolo track bottom bracket unit Pedals Campagnolo Super Record track pedals with Christophe toeclips Gears Huret rear derailleur with drilled cages Apparently these are slightly heavier than the undrilled version because of the strengthening needed on the drilled cages with Suntour Winner six speed free wheel Brakes Weinmann drilled levers with extra drilling and Universal calipers with period drillings NOS 1970s white cables Stem Bars Suntour Superbe factory slotted sides and front with Cinelli Criterium bars and Campagnolo head set Saddle Cinelli Unicanitor on drilled Campagnolo seat pin Extra details Alf was one of the early English riders to start drilling and milling components to reduce weight insist on super short wheelbase frames and man sized big chainrings all of which Alan Shorter was happy to supply The finished bike ready to ride was only 8 6 kg s Alan Shorter would have been proud Two details of frame lightening on this Shorter Brake stirrup and gear lever drillium Ever since I picked up this old set of drilled and chopped universal brake calipers I have wanted to

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/bikes/shorter-adrian-rb.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Stevenson cycles
    other by Roger Stevens that had once belonged to a member of the Catford Cycle Club the latter having C S as raised letters in the head lugs centre image below I agreed to purchase this from Roger and began to do a little research through the Lewisham Local History and Archives Centre Indeed they supplied me with the majority of information about this maker Chas Stevenson first appears as a cycle agent in London Trade Directories in 1940 with an address at 37 Loampit Vale Lewisham although the telephone directory shows him at this address in 1939 but it is clear to me that he was a frame builder before this date There was already a cycle shop at this address under the name of Chas Ryan that had been in existence since 1929 The centre of Lewisham had been severely damaged by a rocket attack in 1944 which prevented the start of Britain s first stage race and it was consequently moved to Farnborough Chas Stevenson is recorded as moving to 233 Lewisham High Street in 1945 some distance away from the devastation where he first describes himself as a cycle maker in trade directories In 1947 he moves to larger premises at 239 241 Lewisham High Street as Chas Stevenson Son Cycle Makers but this is shown as the address as early as 1945 in the BLRC handbook for that year By 1949 there was a further shop selling Sports Goods at 235 Lewisham High Street The additional shop seems have gone by 1955 but they remained at the other address until 1957 A reference to them in the London Gazette on line archive for 1 February 1957 page 761 states that Andrew Charles Stevenson of Stevenson Son had received an order under the bankruptcy Act and

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/stevenson-clarke-builders.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Williamson Brothers - Holloway
    A C Williamson is credited with the first somewhat dubious design and C H Bowles with the last Undoubtedly Williamson s most exciting and interesting idea is the Trigide duplex frame for which an advertising leaflet exists as well as an actual example which is slightly different and could be a prototype see image below courtesy Les Bowerman This had thin Pedersen like frame tubes brazed up into a conventional shaped frame with three down tubes arranged in elongated triangular form The blurb states the design is based on the scientific fact that the triangle is the most rigid structure known and this principle has been exploited to the full in designing this frame This innovation seems to have dated from just before or even during the war which may explain its rarity and short life Williamson Trigide duplex frame Having worked under Bowles by 1955 Wilf Allum was proprietor which is stated on an existing invoice The following year Cycling carried a small display ad for Williamson Bros stating sole proprietor Wilf Allum and Agent for Viking Raleigh Triumph Urago Dilecta and Higgins tricycles Bryan Clarke s 1955 Williamson Speciale built with Reynolds 531 DB tubing and Nervex Professional lugs Frame number 5505 and date from original invoice The question of who built Williamson s machines remains like so many lightweight makers somewhat of a mystery Allum has said that he thought Bowles was himself a competent builder perhaps even from an engineering background and it was he who taught Wilf to build frames This is quite at variance with George Smith s earlier impression which was that in 1932 when he joined the firm no evidence of brazing equipment or a hearth was found Also in spite of Allum s claim one frame at least that covered by the 1955 invoice above seems to have been built by Jim Collier ex Gillott as it has a distinctive rear brake bridge See N V 324 37 April May 2008 As an aside after Collier left Gillott s in the early 50s he did work for both Williamson s and Witcombe as well as Youngs which may explain why two frames purporting to be Williamson s have turned up with Witcomb head badges Front and side view of head lugs on Williamson frame no 9731 believed to be from mid 1930 s Wilf Allum had had a successful racing career with Viking Road Club for whom he was Club Champion and Best All rounder in 1952 He set up under his own name as a Cycle Maker at 114 Pitfield Street N1 evidence for which can be found in the directories from 1960 until 1963 I have not been able to make out a dating sequence from the frame numbers except in the case of the later Allum supplied machines The 1955 invoice refers to frame number 5505 Most Williamson frame numbers can be found on the off side rear end and also on pre war frames at least behind

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/williamson-builders.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Johnny Berry frame builder
    built for side pull brakes Less common were frames built for center pull brakes which featured a brake housing stop usually made out of tubing brazed between the seat stays By the early 1960s certainly and possibly by 1958 top eyes bear the distinctive brush applied decoration of the enameler C G Finishes Liverpool see photo Serial number pattern is distinctive a diagnostic 1 follows a 2 digit date There is a general progression in lug styles used on Berry bicycles through time During any one era there is a fairly consistent use of one lug style However there is style overlap during transitional periods Most frames from the early 1950s through 1957 were built with Oscar Egg Super Champion lugs but the same lug set is sometimes found on Berry frames through the early 1960s including 611722 18 From the late 1950s through the early 1960s most frames were built with Nervex Professional lugs 18 In the early 1960s long point Prugnat Type S lugs began to appear and were used on most frames from the mid 1960s onwards 18 Although a general progression of Berry lug styles is evident from the record it is also true that every frame he built was a custom order so interesting style variations occur Several types of down tube transfers were applied to frames made by Berry see photos Style 1 was used on Berry Bentley frames Four down tube transfers were used commonly on Johnny Berry frames Styles 2 5 a sixth style exists but was rarely if ever used 13 Down tube transfers were produced in various colors and typically were outlined by a single contrasting color only Style 6 was outlined by two colors Overall Style 3 was the most frequently used down tube transfer but Style 5 was also common adorning most but not all frames built after the mid 1960s Style 4 was not used as often as Styles 3 or 5 18 Three seat head tube badge designs were applied to frames built by Berry see photos The Style A badge was used on Berry Bentley frames it was always paired with Style 1 of the down tube transfer Two seat head tube badges were used on Johnny Berry frames Styles B and C The Style B badge had two address variations 149 Wilmslow Rd from 1946 to 1947 48 and 193 Wilmslow Rd from 1947 48 onwards 11 it was normally paired with down tube lettering Styles 2 3 or 4 The Style C badge was introduced in 1961 as an alternative to Style B 11 it was usually paired with Style 5 of the down tube transfer but sometimes with Style 4 Badges were in the form of a transfer no known Berry frame has a metal badge still affixed 11 Berry head badges left to right Style A seat head tube badge Style B seat head tube badge Style C seat head tube badge Nearly all styles of transfers are available today Original varnish transfers can still sometimes be sourced Reproduction down tube transfers can be purchased in five styles along with three styles of seat head tube transfers No Style 6 down tube transfers have been reproduced No reproduction badges bearing 149 Wilmslow Rd have been made that I know of Berry Bentley reproduction graphics are available in cut vinyl from World Cycle Decals in Bury UK Johnny Berry reproduction decals can be sourced in cut vinyl from World Cycle Decals and H Lloyd Cycles in Penrith UK Dry application transfers are available to commercial painters from SSSink in West Jefferson N C USA The vast majority of Berry s frames were purchased by cyclists and club riders from the Manchester area 8 Many customers were fellow members of the Manchester Wheelers According to Ron Kitching Johnny built frames for the national and international track champion Reg Harris who was Berry s friend and clubmate 14 if true these frames could have been rebadged as a Raleigh Reg s sponsor because there are no known photographs of Harris riding a Berry labeled bicycle 8 Johnny Berry gradually developed enough of an international reputation to have foreign customers In the early to mid 1960s export opportunities were strong at a time when British demand was tapering off One part of the United States southern California accounted for slightly more than 2 of Berry s total production after 1960 at least six frames were built for customers in the area 18 Possibly the first Berry frame in southern California was built for Harry Backer 16 he was a member of the 1952 U S Olympic track team in Helsinki 12 Other frames were built for Jerry Rimoldi the co founder of the San Diego Bicycle Club and proprietor of College Cyclery in San Diego Rimoldi was the 1972 U S Olympic Track Cycling Coach in Munich 5 Berry and Jerry Rimoldi knew each other sharing the common experience of being official mechanics at the Olympic Games Johnny in 1948 for the British cycling team in London and Rimoldi in 1968 for the U S team in Mexico City 5 6 8 Rimodi helped introduce competitive cycling and Johnny Berry frames to San Diego area cyclists including his friends Scott and Audrey McElmury 16 Scott McElmury ordered a custom track frame from Berry when he visited Manchester in the summer of 1963 during a cycling tour organized by Dr Clifford Graves founder of the International Bicycle Touring Society in spring 1964 Scott s new frame arrived in San Diego 7 In the mid 1960s Audrey McElmury ordered a Berry road bicycle through College Cyclery 7 15 16 Audrey McElmury was a smooth powerful world class rider Although Audrey was twice the U S National Road Champion and had won several National Track Championships she emphasized international competition over national 17 Audrey McElmury raced at nearly every world championship from 1965 through 1973 17 In 1969 she rode her Johnny Berry bicycle to solo victory in

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/berry-builder.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Bianchi
    Universal Mod 50 Aluminium Steel Stem Bars Ambrosio Bianchi steel Saddle Aquila Leather Steel Extra details Total bicycle weight 24 5 Lbs 11 1 Kgs I acquired this Bianchi from the original owner in Italy in the 1990s he had kept it in his living room It was his baby Incredibly it has survived save the tyres with all its original components It had many layers of blue cotton bar tape which I carefully removed and replaced with the same coloured cotton tape I have ridden it on the road and mastered the Campag Una Leva gear change It changes as fast as any modern derailleur but it is imperative that when the skewer is released DO NOT PEDAL FORWARD The wheel shoots out of the frame in an instant The Bianchi Folgorissima was introduced in mid 1949 as Bianchi s top of the range racing bicycle It was introduced to show case the new Campagnolo Una Leva 4 speed derailleur The Folgorissima model was short lived as in April of 1950 the great Italian racing Campionissimo Fausto Coppi rode a Bianchi Folgorissima to victory in the Paris Roubaix spring classic race As a result Bianchi immediately re named the

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/bikes/bianchi-seaton-rb.html (2016-02-09)
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