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Classic Lightweights UK
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Duke's 20th Century Frames c1949/50 SWB

Owned by: Bob Drake

Duke RB 1 Bob Drake


Frame
Duke SWB frame, No. P631; Seat Tube 21", top tube 22"; believed original finish blue/red with double-box lining in red.
Wheels
Scheeren sprint rims on small-flange FB hubs
Chainset Williams C34
Pedals Campag lookalike
Gears Single fixed
Brakes Weinmann sidepull
Stem/Bars Maes bars with unknown stem with 'Merkens' droop. Ephgrave style spearpoint lug
Saddle Selle Daytona
Extra details Rear opening track ends with braze-on gear hanger

"Duke's 20th Century Frames" were advertised in Cycling Weekly in 1948/49. They said that Duke's had been "Cycle Builders Since 1910". They also advertised the "Duke Atomic Age of Cycle Constuction" stating that there frames were hand-built and no jigs were used.  Their premised were at 6 Boot Street, London N1. Most advertisments and references to the firm were 1948/9.

Duke RB 2 Bob Drake Duke RB 3 Bob Drake
Detail shots of the Duke with its USWB construction

This frame seems puzzling in that it has rear-opening (track) ends with a gear hanger.  The reason for this is that with forward-facing ends the wheel would have to move forward to be removed from the frame.  The detail shot of the rear half shows just how close to the bottom bracket area the wheel is although positioned well back in the ends.  Were the ends to be forward opening it would be just about impossible to remove the wheel even with the tyre deflated - Peter Underwood