[CR]Hetchins or Hobbs? (Was Flash Hetchins History, etc)


From: "brucerobbins" <brucerobbins@supanet.com>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
References: <CATFOOD7PDqqgNjWOiy0000071f@catfood.nt.phred.org>
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2003 00:11:57 -0000
Subject: [CR]Hetchins or Hobbs? (Was Flash Hetchins History, etc)

From: "Thomas Rawson" <twrawson@worldnet.att.net> Quoting Flash (I think)

"Some philosophical musings on the ideas of hand-made and mass-produced bicycle frames.

Let me start by citing three recent contributions to the CR thread:

1. <<...Hetchins was the archetypal 'hand-made' frame company. They, essentially, put ornate lugwork on the map. "

I'm aware that this might rekindle something like the Masi fluted seatstays debate but here goes. I'd question the validity of Tom's/Flash's statement above. The earliest Hetchins on the register last time I looked was a 1936 model. The earliest Hobbs of Barbican recorded is a 1933 bike although the company is believed to have started in 1930. Hobbs were using handcut-that's genuine handcut :-) lugs from early on in their production. Here's a 1936 Hobbs Continental with lugs that can only be described as ornate: http://freespace.virgin.net/hobbs_of.barbican/hobbs_fr_2.html

OK, so they're not over-the-top fancy like some of the later Hetchins excesses. I prefer to think of them as Halle Berry to Hetchins Dolly Parton. The point is, though, that Hobbs started around 1930 and Hetchins in 1932. Both were using ornate lugs from just about the start and the Hobbs lugs, in the early years, were at least as ornate, if not more so, than the Hetchin's Brilliant pattern.

I'd welcome the correction if I'm wrong but there seems a good chance that Hobbs of Barbican was first on the scene with ornate lugs-lugwork that developed over the space of just over a decade into what we see on this 1946 Blue Riband: http://freespace.virgin.net/hobbs_of.barbican/hobbs_fr_4.html

Of course, it's easily possible that another marque altogether was the progenitor of fancy lugs.

Unfortunately, Hobbs flirted with Nervex lugs in the 1950s before disappearing from the scene altogether while Hetchins went for ever increasing vulgarity-a wee bit like Bob Hope wearing the French aristocrat's wig in Casanova's Big Night...

Farfar, farfar piffick!

Bruce
Dundee
Scotland