Classic Lightweights UK

Lytaloy components

Peter Underwood

Before WWII, Hobbs marketed some highly desirable equipment including continental dural brake cantilevers, dural hub spindles, handlebars, cranks and stems, everything to make the clubman’s bike more exclusive.

After WWII  Hobbs of Barbican, resumed marketing components under the marque name of Lytaloy.  These components were bought in from manufacturers which specialised in the specific items.  This was at a time when the use of alloy was to some extent quite experimental and, especially the cranks, were soon known for being rather fragile.

Below is an advert from the programme of the RTTC Champions' Concert at the Royal Albert Hall in November of 1946.  The advertising would have been commissioned several months earlier but it gives some idea of dates for post-war production:

Albert Hall 1945
Below are some of the components marketed by Hobbs:

Lyaloy 1 componenhts pedals
Pedals, the most obvious of the Lytaloy range with "H  B" (Hobbs of Barbican)

lytaloy 5-components
lytaloy 6-components
Above: Component parts of the Lytaloy headset

Left: Lytaloy headset  as assembled for fitting
Lytaloy headset - regarded as a quality component by many builders

Lytaloy 7 components brakes
The very rare Lytaloy brakes with QR and cable adjustors

Lytaloy 2 components chainset
Lytaloy cranks mounted on a classic lightweight.
Sadly these were Hobbs' achilles heel as the cranks were prone to breaking and it is rare
to come across a pair. In this early post-war period there was some suspicion about the use
of alloy for componentry and cranks did seem to be the base of much misgiving.

Below - Lytaloy technical sheets - click on image for specification
(Images Peter Lowry - Marque Enthusiast)

Lytaloy 1 headset Lytaloy 2 brakes

Lytaloy pedal Lytaloy 6 BB

Lytaloy 7

Below are three images of two Lytaloy components owned by Peter Lowry
Lytaloy bottom bracket set with alloy 'Lytaloy' lockring

Lytaloy CO2 pump - see detail below

Lytaloy CO2 pump showing engraved cap

Peter Heinemann from Germany has sent in these two images of Hobbs Lytaloy mudguards

As advertised in The Bicycle, 1947
'H' in triangle front of front mudguard - as on 'shorties' below

Very rare 'shorties', unusual in that they have double mounting brackets on rear guard.
This would help to locate the guard firmly as this genre were prone to twisting.