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Classic Lightweights UK
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Youngs road bike c. 1953/4

Submitted by Bryan Clarke


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Frame
Youngs road bike c.1953/4. frame no. 392; Seat tube 23”CTT, top tube 23” CTC, Wheelbase 41” , 72 degs parallel, 531 butted tubing, Simplex rear drop-outs.  Built by Jim Collier
Wheels
AVA sprint rims on Gnutti QR SF hubs
Chainset Gnutti 3-pin with 50/47 tooth Super Champion rings
Pedals Atom with GB professional toe clips
Gears Cyclo Benelux front and rear, rear Mk 7 and front operated by Cyclo bar end lever. 4-speed block
Brakes GB Sport
Stem/Bars Maes pattern on Pivo stem
Saddle  Brooks B17
Extra details  Vittoria pump pegs with Apex Grand Prix pump

Frame purchased from Ray Young. Although not the earliest frame known, that is 117 it is probably one of the few in original condition and shows the Gothic down tube transfers and seat tube badge with design borrowed from Cinelli but featuring a rider in mountainous landscape. This and a hand holding a touch may represent support for the BLRC and their fight for mass start racing. Similarly the head badge contains a flaming torch in front of a bolt of lightning.  These early head badges are larger than the more familiar ones of similar design used from the late 1950s onwards.

These frames were made to a formula by Jim Collier for a number bike shops. Strangely, they take a 26.8mm seat pin and feature an eccentric arched back brake bridge but are very light for the period and have excellent ride characteristics. The Benelux Mk 7 has the capacity for a wide range of gears and fits as well as a Simplex TDF on the gear hanger. More practical with 50/47 tooth chain rings.

In 1954 Youngs introduced three new models – the Marksman, Special and Supreme I and II, the latter denoting the addition of chrome. These have yet to be identified.


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Cyclo Benelux front and rear, rear Mk 7

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Drive chain with Gnutti 3-pin cranks and 50/47 tooth Super Champion rings


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Left: Head badge with flaming torch in front of a bolt of lightning
Right: Nervex Professional head lugs