Ephgrave No 1Road/Path - 1954
by Alan Woods
| Les Ephgrave road/path #2557 LE (1954)
Black/dark green seat tube panel. No. 1 lugs lined in gold. Mudguard
eyes. A simple post decorates each top eye and the adjacent part of
each seat stay. Reinforced, rear facing, track ends. Round fork
— 73º (parallel) head and seat angles.
— Seat tube: 23 1/2" (c to top). Top tube: 23"
(c to c). Chain stay length: 17 5/16"± 5/8" (c to c). Wheel
base: 41 13/16"± 5/8". Front center distance: 24
Bottom bracket height: 10 3/4" (with 27 mm tubular tyres). Rear drop
out spacing: 110 mm. Bottom bracket shell width: 66 mm. Fork offset: 1
7/8". Trail: 2 1/8". Fork blade diameter: 7/8" (at crown).
drop front: 2 1/8" (with sprint rims). Brake drop rear: 2 7/16" (with
|Fiamme Red Label sprint rims (ferrule at valve
Brevetto Longhi) and 27 mm wide tubular tires on 36/40 hole T.F.
Blumfield Duralite large flange hubs with oiler nipples. Blumfield blue
anodized alloy wheel nuts. Fixed, 19T cog. Lock ring. Double butted
||Chater-Lea 6 1/2" steel, cottered crank arms with
Chater Lea 48T chainring. Bayliss Wiley bottom bracket with Bayliss
Wiley No. 15 hollow axle. Chain 1/8" wide x 1/2" pitch
||Chater-Lea Sprint with Christophe toe-clips.
||67" single-speed fixed
||GB Coureur front brake caliper. GB Superhood
||GB Spearpoint 3 3/4" alloy stem;
Maes-bend 16 1/4" wide alloy handlebar.
|| Brooks B17 Champion Sprinter saddle on
27.2 mm Reynolds alloy seat post.
|| Road/path bicycles appeal to me because
combine the performance, reliability, and durability advantages of a
fixed gear with the practicality of mudguard clearances, eyelets and brakes. It
is a class of bicycle that has largely disappeared from the
I have long admired Peter Underwood’s 1959 Ephgrave No. 1
road/path bicycle (pictured elsewhere in the CL Readers’
section). Unfortunately, large Ephgrave frames rarely are
for sale, so my wait to own one was long. I bought Ephgrave
LE from a dealer, Hilary Stone. Bill Stevenson, frame builder from
Olympia, Washington, inspected, repaired, and aligned the frame; as
part of the process, he replaced the steerer tube that had been damaged
by an over-tightened stem. Jeff Pinard, of Olympia, refinished the bike
to a high standard and did the brush striping and lining. Corey
Thompson, of Olympia, built the wheelset. The crankset, hubs, headset,
and saddle are new old stock items purchased from Ray Etherton. No.
2557 LE is a good bicycle to ride, with excellent performance and
handling. As pictured, the bicycle weighs less than 21 3/4 pounds. Its
long wheel base (relative to modern standards) makes it steady on the
road, but does not dull the handling too much.
seat cluster, head and fork crown emphasised with very good
gold lining on black
Drive chain with Chater-Lea chainset and pedals
seat-stay bridge which will help to identify an Ephgrave frame
Right: Classic Blumfield hub with barrel 'collar' and grease
Above: Flat-lying Ephgrave seat tube badge transfer showing
'EPHGRAVE' is diagonal. Restorers have been known to position this
in the horizontal plane
Below: Classic period down-tube transfer