Ellis Briggs 'special build' - 1951
Posted: Thursday 13th August 2020
|Frame||Ellis Briggs 22" special built in 1951 by their frame-building manager Eric Rosbrook with help from Ken who built the forks (having worked as a framebuilder at Whitaker and Mapplebeck) and designed special features such as the bracket/cable eye on the chainstay designed to protect the chainstay from damage by the chain. Also Simplex rear ends modified by a circular depression to stop the wheel pulling over when using wheelnuts. The frame was repainted after the Tour of Britain win to include a special seat tube transfer. Frame also has a Pennine CO2 pump braze-on boss on rear of seat tube|
|Wheels||Fiamme sprints on Airlite SF, QR hubs|
|Chainset||Stronglight 49C steel cotterless with 5-pin TA rings|
|Gears||Rear Benelux with Simplex Competition front with Cyclo 5-speed block and Brampton chain|
|Brakes||Beborex (See advert at bottom of page)|
|Stem/Bars||Phillipe alloy bars and stem|
|Saddle||Brooks B17 Competition Standard|
|Extras Details||Vittoria tub carrier mounted on rear of saddle. Daily Express Tour of Britain number '78'.|
The story of the 1952 Daily Express Tour of Britain is one of the most remarkable in cycle racing history. For 14 days Ken Russell fought a lonely battle against the might of the main British independent teams – B.S.A, Dayton, Gnutti, Sun,Wearwell and Viking plus International teams from France, Belgium, Ireland and other smaller teams.
As a lone rider from the Ellis Briggs team Ken had to go with every dangerous breakaway on every day. His bike never let him down until the final day when first his cotterless chainset became loose and then he punctured, the only neutral rider in the break who was no threat to the yellow jersey was the Belgium rider Marcel Michaux and after a desperate plea from Russell they swapped bikes (see image of the desperate moment of the swap below) and Ken finished the tour on the Belgian’s bike. Marcel is now over 80 years of age and living in Belgium but Ken still keeps in touch with him.