Blue Riband (Hobbs) Road/path - 1946
Posted: Thursday 13th August 2020
Profile of a fine cycle No 11
A complete machine with exotic period components to complement this exceptionally well crafted frame, built at a time when Hobbs were at their peak. It should be noted that because of the political situation in 1946 there were great shortages, most of these components must have been added during the late 1940’s
How long owned: Seven months
How was it acquired:-
It was bought from Mervyn Cook of Hayling Island. I was fortunate in being able to acquire it when he reduced his collection of Hobbs machines this after a couple of years of my lusting after it!
The Features that make it special: .
This machine is a treasure-trove of rare components. Note the early type un-drilled Harden “bacon slicer” hubs matched with 15/17 gauges spokes to Constrictor Conloy sprint rims.
The BSA double-fluted chainset is one of my favourites, light and very delicate.
Hobbs Lytalloy pedals, these are quite a rarity and are fitted with adjustable British alloy Catos toe-clips. The first “girder-pattern” version of the alloy GB stem is matched with a (possibly unique) pair of Hobbs “Pelissier” alloy handlebars, certainly they are the only ones we have seen.
Also note that both the Hobbs Lytaloy head-set (above left), bottom bracket bearing, brakes and lamp bracket are of Hobbs own manufacture. Sometimes spelt “Lytaloy” and sometimes “Lytalloy” Alloy dome-top seat-post and Brooks saddle.
Charles Woodward was a coachbuilder/ painter by trade and it was he who re-finished this frame with a superb period finish many years ago. Note that the transfers are original varnish- fix and that this 1946 Hobbs pre-dates the Hobbs Blue Ribband head-badge that was introduced later on
Anything else: This frame is one of three custom frames bought by the late Mr Charles Woodward over a number of years; the others were H 92007 & A09193, all three had Hobbs “Continental Superbe” lugwork. Woodward was a keen time triallist who contracted serious illness after ordering the second frame. He recovered and used the last machine for serious long distance touring for many years.