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Classic Lightweights UK
        Devoted to classic UK and Italian lightweights
 



Nervex Professional head
Through our site Patricia and I would like to share our enthusiasm for, and knowledge of, classic lightweight cycles, particularly those built in Britain and Italy. Contributions from other lightweight enthusiasts are welcome, including images of machines or components of particular interest.

We are interested in collecting information on UK builders of classic frames, loosely described as frames which could be built to a customer's own specification. We don't have the capacity to include the larger mass-production builders of lightweights, although in a few cases we have included special examples of a builder's production as an example. Our cut-off date is around mid-1970 although we have included a few which have a direct historical link back to the period we cover.

The Readers' Bikes section is there as a guide to owners wishing for advice on components for a period-correct restoration. 

Peter Underwood, email: peter.underwood(at)tesco.net

Please note that I am not able to give advice on restoring bikes, provide any form of valuation, or to identity 'finds'. If you are unable to find the information you need on this site please try some of the other sites listed under Links.  

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While doing research for the Horn brothers entries on this website I became aware that Dennis Horn had been a hero for the generation I was riding with in the early 1950s. Most were older than me as they had been riding pre-war and I think some had bikes that Dennis had ridden in his heyday.  As I did more and more research I began to visualise a book describing Dennis's feats in the decade or so before WWII and I am taking the liberty of promoting the resulting book which is being published by Adrian Bell of Mousehold Press.

Dennis Horn – racing for an English Rose by Peter Underwood is available from: www.mousehold-press.co.uk :


 
READERS' BIKES

Cinelli CW Studio RB 1

After long consideration we have decided to close the Readers' Bikes section to any further submissions.

When we created the Classic Lightweights website some 9 years ago we expected the site to be shared among about 60 to 80 fellow enthusiasts.  We knew and rode with many of them regularly and decided to create this section as a guide to period restoration of classic racing bikes of the era to help others.  At the time a number of these collectors were racers in the 50s and any bikes they had were all restored to the specification in which they were raced.   In retrospect we made an error in calling this section Readers' Bikes which was an attempt at dry humour. We expected to list about fifty or so racing machines, hopefully built as they would  be seen in the catalogues of small specialist builders of the time.

Over the years the section has become increasingly difficult to manage and now has well over 300 machines listed.  Many more have been declined as not period correct as clearly defined on our Home Page. The Readers' Bikes section was really meant to be a guide to building up classic racing bikes with appropriate components but because of the name we chose many feel  it is open to any restored bike.  As a result we have more tension over this section than over the rest of the website.
 

We hope that readers will continue to enjoy the existing entries and find them useful, especially when used in conjunction with Hugo Vanneck's Component Database.  They represent a very wide range of machines and components.   Thanks to everyone who has contributed details of their bikes over the past nine years.  We look forward to receiving submissions to other sections of the site. 


RECENT ADDITIONS


2015
31 August

11 August

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30 March
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2014

28 December

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28 November

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28 August

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Cambridge Lightweight News, Edition 59. September/October 2015 has been published on the web site
Italian Classics: A link to Mark Campbell's comprehensive website for his collection of Legnano bicycles
Classic Components: Some extra information on the Brooks/Campagnolo saddle/seatpost combination.
Classic Builders:
Allin Cycles, we have added text and images from Michael Oliver relating to his time riding for Allin.
Readers' Bikes
- see notice above relating to this section
Classic Builders:
Sadly Leo Parsons passed away in June of this year - we have added two images of his shop taken in Altricham during the late 1950s
Classic Builders: Details of previously unseen 1950s Gameson decals
Cambridge Lightweight News, Edition 58. July/August 2015 has been published on the web site
Cambridge Lightweight News, Edition 57. May/June 2015 has been published on the web site
Classic Riders and Lightweight Extras: A piece on the Ohrt brothers - track riders from San Francisco who competed in the States, Australia and Europe in early 1900s.
Readers' Bikes: A 1940s The David track iron owned by Mike Stitson
Reminiscences: An appreciation of Bill Harvell by Roger Watts
Classic Builders: Vic Edwards and some examples of work done for other suppliers in the cycle business of the time.
Classic Builders: A feeder piece on T J Quick from Bryan Clarke with a request for more information
Cambridge Lightweight News, Edition 56. March/April 2015 has been published on the web site
Lightweight Extras: Faded Glory: the demise of leading types of competitive cycle sport by Geoff Waters
Readers' Bikes: My own restoration, a 1957 Gillott 'Fleur de Lis'  Now with added information on stem and hubs.
Classic Builders:
A piece by Bryan Clarke on Jack Baguley
Classic Riders: An interesting addition is Edith Palmer, women's national track champion in 1930
Catalogues: A very informative 1938 Claud Butler catalogue with masses of information and clear illustrations. An invaluable reference for this period.  From David Twitchett
Classic Builders: Lug details from Bryan Clarke added to the WW 'Bill' Philbrook page
Classic Builders: Some collected frame details added to the Bill Hurlow page
Readers' Bikes: Our first Pat Skeates, 1952 and owned by Alexander von Tutschek
Cambridge Lightweight News, Edition 55. January/February 2015 has been published on the web site

Readers' Bikes:
An unusual 1965 Fred Dean Time Trial machine in that is equipped with Campagnolo Paris-Roubaix gears.  Owned by Alexander von Tutschek
Readers' Bikes: A 1980s Colnago Super 'Giro d'Italia' owned by David Leech, also listed in Italian Classics
Classic Builders: We have added more information and images to the page for Hawkes of Stratford, supplied by Leigh Johnson (grandson of A A Hawkes)
Readers' Bikes: A Rudge Aero Special track machine built for Sid Patterson
Readers' Bikes: A 1973 De Rosa 'Molteni' owned by Neil Seaton, also added to Italian Classics
Classic Builders: A starter piece on C Bertrand & Co by Steve Griffith
Classic Builders: Rivetts - David Twitchett has added to this page by filling in the early years from Alf Rivett's birth to the demise of the business
Readers' Bikes: An Alf Engers replica Shorter TT bike, built by Adrian Thornton in New Zealand
Classic Builders:
A piece on Charles Stevenson by Bryan Clarke
Classic Buiders: Some more interesting information and catalogue details added to the bottom of the Williamson Bothers page
Classic Builders:
 Alan Woods has revised and updated the entry for Johnny Berry
Italian Classics: We have revised the Italian Classics page as there was a problem with the images and a link to the museum which we were not aware of.
Readers' Bikes: A rare 1950 Bianchi Folgorissima in original condition
Cambridge Lightweight News, Edition 54. November/December 2014 has been published on the web site
Readers' Bikes: Youngs Marksman Mk. 1 c. 1959 owned by Bryan Clarke
Readers' Bikes: A beautifully restored 1954 Ephgrave No. 1 owned by Alan Woods
Italian Classics: After a recent visit  to the Italian Legend Bicycle Museum in Pesaro, Italy, we realised that our Italian content was spread around the site.  We have drawn it together now under Italian Classics although the originals remain where they were
Lightweight Extras: Racing under the radar: South Africa’s apartheid era ‘ghost riders’ in the pelotons of European road cycling by Geoff Waters
Readers' Bikes: 1956 H R Morris 'Special Model' owned by Hugo Vanneck
We have returned from a two-week cycling holiday in Italy and our first offering is:
Readers' Bikes: A 1956 George Brooks owned by Bryan Clarke. Also some additional information on Wilsons of Birmimgham from Paul Wilson
Cambridge Lightweight News, Edition 53. September/October 2014 has been published on the web site
Catalogues:  An informative catalogue for Stuart Lightweight Cycles (Stuart Purves)
Classic Components: We have created a link to the comprehensive Trivelox site from our Components page
Readers' Bikes: Thanet Silverlight c.1947 owned by Mario Romeo
Readers' Bikes: A c.1953 Youngs road bike owned by Bryan Clarke
Readers' Bikes: David Craig's second Pennine Italia - 1971
Classic Builders: Another piece by Bryan Clarke, this time on Harry Daycock
Cambridge Lightweight News, Edition 52. July/August 2014 has been published on the web site
Readers' Bikes: Bob Johnson has installed a Campagnolo Paris/Roubaix gear on his Bianchi
Nelson Cycle Co. by Bryan Clarke
We have returned from a two-week cycling holiday in Bavaria on  Bodensee and the hills of the Allgau, our first offering is:
Lightweight Extras: Eastern bloc international competitive cycling in the Cold War by Geoff Waters
Readers' Bikes: A 1963 Condor 'Superbe' built by Bill Hurlow and now owned by Paul Page
Classic Components and Restoration : A history of Reynols steel tubing through the companies transfers by Nick Tithecott
Cambridge Lightweight News, Edition 51. May/June 2014 has been published on the website
Classic Builders:
Several images of Keith Butler added to the Allins page
Classic Builders:
Details of John Foster's 'Belgique' added to the Allins page.
Classic Builders: We have added details of another frame to Duke 20th Century builders.
Readers' Bikes: A 1965 Hilton Wrigley 'Connoisseur' owned by Derek Browne
Classic Builders:
Bondun's Innanzi Tutto by Bryan Clarke
Readers' Bikes: 1958 Fred Dean owned by Bob Johnson
Classic Builders: Mark Freeman adds an interesting insight into working with Les Rigden
Readers' Bikes: Another of the Raleigh works bikes, this time built for Richard Blundell
Cambridge Lightweight News, Edition 50. March/April 2014 has been published on the website
Lightweight Extras: Cycling at the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in the Classic Era 1934-70 by Geoff Waters
Photo Gallery: Five new images from Mick Butler added to Page 6
Classic Riders: Peter Bedingfield's piece on the Gambrill Brothers, Mike and Robin
Classic Components:  Stronglight steel headsets by Steve Griffith
Readers' Bikes: Another classic Italian - 1962 Bianchi Competizione from Bob Jiohnson
Cambridge Lightweight News, Edition 49. January/February 2014 has been published on the website