Re: [CR]Re: British Frame Design

(Example: Framebuilders:Norman Taylor)

Date: Sun, 19 May 2002 19:30:34 -0700
From: "Chuck Schmidt" <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Re: British Frame Design
References: <> <> <a05100301b90dd6f8dc17@[]> <v04210116b90e050030b6@[]>

Sheldon Brown wrote:
> Another reason for some of the quirkier British designs is related to
> the cult of amateurism.
> If you've seen _Chariots of Fire_ you have a bit of a feel for the
> amateur ethos that existed for much of the last century in That
> Sceptred Isle. While the defenders of amateurism had all manner of
> high-minded justification, the bottom line was the class system, and
> keeping sporting success the province of the leisure classes.
> The governing body of cycling was very worried about sponsorship of
> riders by bicycle manufacturers, and enforced rules about how
> prominently the manufacturer's name could be painted on the bike.
> The idea was to make it impossible for spectators or viewers of
> newspaper photos to tell what kind of bike was in use. This was
> supposed to destroy the incentive for manufacturers to subsizze star
> riders.
> Many of the manufacturers counterattacked by designing their frames
> to be distinctive. Hetchin's curly stays, Bates bulbous tubes,
> Helenic stays and other gimcrackery originated from this.

The following is quoted from a Hilary Stone post to the CR list November 2000:

"I don't really know how many times it has to be said that Britain's RTTC ban in 1938 (which lasted effectively just two years) on maker's names being clearly shown in photographs had no effect on frame design in the UK. Most of the funnies (Hetchins, Bates, Baines, Sun Manx, Saxon SWB, Moorson etc etc) had already been designed and built prior to this and the ones that came after were not aimed at time triallists (Paris Galibier, Sun Manxman TT – road racers, Thanet Silverlight – tourists). It is a myth that needs to be killed once and for all." --Hilary Stone

Chuck Schmidt
SoPas, SoCal