Ephgrave No 1 Road/Path - 1954
Posted: Thursday 13th August 2020
|Frame||Les Ephgrave road/path #2557 LE (1954) – Black/dark green seat tube panel. No. 1 lugs lined in gold. Mudguard eyes. A simple post decorates each top eye and the adjacent part of each seat stay. Reinforced, rear facing, track ends. Round fork blades.
Geometry — 73º (parallel) head and seat angles.
Measurements — Seat tube: 23 1/2" (c to top). Top tube: 23" (c to c). Chain stay length: 17 5/16"± 5/8" (c to c). Wheel base: 41 13/16"± 5/8". Front center distance: 24 15/16". Bottom bracket height: 10 3/4" (with 27 mm tubular tyres). Rear drop out spacing: 110 mm. Bottom bracket shell width: 66 mm. Fork offset: 1 7/8". Trail: 2 1/8". Fork blade diameter: 7/8" (at crown). Brake drop front: 2 1/8" (with sprint rims). Brake drop rear: 2 7/16" (with sprint rims).
|Wheels||Fiamme Red Label sprint rims (ferrule at valve hole, Brevetto Longhi) and 27 mm wide tubular tires on 36/40 hole T.F. Blumfield Duralite large flange hubs with oiler nipples. Blumfield blue anodized alloy wheel nuts. Fixed, 19T cog. Lock ring. Double butted spokes, tied-and-soldered.|
|Chainset||Chater-Lea 6 1/2" steel, cottered crank arms with Chater Lea 48T chainring. Bayliss Wiley bottom bracket with Bayliss Wiley No. 15 hollow axle. Chain 1/8" wide x 1/2" pitch|
|Pedals||Chater-Lea Sprint with Christophe toe-clips.|
|Gears||67" single-speed fixed|
|Brakes||GB Coureur front brake caliper. GB Superhood brake lever.|
|Stem/Bars||GB Spearpoint 3 3/4" alloy stem; Maes-bend 16 1/4" wide alloy handlebar.|
|Saddle||Brooks B17 Champion Sprinter saddle on 27.2 mm Reynolds alloy seat post.|
|Extras Details||Road/path bicycles appeal to me because they combine the performance, reliability, and durability advantages of a fixed gear with the practicality of mudguard clearances, eyelets and brakes. It is a class of bicycle that has largely disappeared from the marketplace.
I have long admired Peter Underwood’s 1959 Ephgrave No. 1 road/path bicycle (pictured elsewhere in the CL Readers’ Bikes section). Unfortunately, large Ephgrave frames rarely are offered for sale, so my wait to own one was long. I bought Ephgrave #2577 LE from a dealer, Hilary Stone. Bill Stevenson, frame builder from Olympia, Washington, inspected, repaired, and aligned the frame; as part of the process, he replaced the steerer tube that had been damaged by an over-tightened stem. Jeff Pinard, of Olympia, refinished the bike to a high standard and did the brush striping and lining. Corey Thompson, of Olympia, built the wheelset. The crankset, hubs, headset, and saddle are new old stock items purchased from Ray Etherton. No. 2557 LE is a good bicycle to ride, with excellent performance and handling. As pictured, the bicycle weighs less than 21 3/4 pounds. Its long wheel base (relative to modern standards) makes it steady on the road, but does not dull the handling too much.