[CR]Paris and Cottingham Bilaminate frames -- fancy "lugs", forfun--and p lainest of plain

From: "tom.ward@juno.com" <tom.ward@juno.com>
Date: Fri, 21 May 2004 15:35:15 GMT
To: kohl57@starpower.net
cc: richardsachs@juno.com
Subject: [CR]Paris and Cottingham Bilaminate frames -- fancy "lugs", forfun--and p lainest of plain

What fun! I can't resist. Peter wrote, starting us on a tangent:

snip<My god... they really do look like French frilly knickers!>snip

Those "French" frilly knickers may not improve the ride, but they do have a novel way of "framing" things! ;-) Victoriana? Yes, perhaps--occasionally--I'm so pleased with the Gothic lettering on my recently acquired Ephgrave. In general, I agree the bespoke British bikes are more "gingerbread" than "greyhound"--and that the bilam "lugs" are a bit extraneous...but so are those buttons on the sleeve of one's blazer (and the engraving on one's shotgun)--wait, am I defending old-time British tastes to Peter Kohler? This IS fun and novel! ;-)

Peter, I do know exactly what you mean, but what about the fender skirts on an XK120, speaking of Jaguar? Form should follow function--except when it needn't! There's always a small area to be filled in with color or surface detail (though I know e-RICHIE had a substantive objection based possible compromising of structural strength...).A lot of fun can come from testing the limits of taste (a highly inexact frontier), but not quite going beyond; or perhaps momentarily going beyond, but being able to return.

Wait--MG TC, TD etc.--Morgan Plus Four--vs. Bristol, Aston-Martin...Ghia-bodied Facel Vega?? The bicycle world has equivalents of these dichotomies, it's all part of the fun. I'll take one of each!! I guess that's what we're all slowly doing.

I really enjoyed the recent posts about stamping, machining. This thread has produced some fruitful posts. I love it when our framebuilders weigh in. The mild abrasions that sometimes occur seem to produce insights for the rest of us. I hope not to collect any road rash myself! :-)

Here's another teasing idea. This would be a fun project, purely for kicks, and not at all serious here: for the ultimate in smooth, clean joinery and "sleeper" surprises, build a replica Chevrolet oops I mean Schwinn Varsity (okay, '61 Continental in black, say) out of 531 or similar, badge it as Schwinn of course, but upgrade a few of the component appointments--stronglight 49 or TA 5 vis cranks for example. This would be the plainest of the plain--and then one could really be an object of wonder on the cycle paths. Imagine a 21 or 22 lb. non-Paramount "clunker"....

Well, fancy lugs are fun--even when they are bilaminate "lugs"--but so are the fleetest greyhound-ian plain lugs--and the exponential gradient or whatever you might call it--that smooth arc--of the old Schwinn frames has visual appeal, too. Vive la difference!

Thank you, Mike Short, for posting/ hosting Mick's pics of the Paris and Cottinghams. Fascinating stuff that you don't see every day! I wonder if the frame angles of these frames are unusual ones for which lugs were unavailable? Sometimes things that start out as engineering solutions take on a life of their own--as fashion--with the initial design problem no longer evident in subsequent examples of the answer. I love details like that--especially fifty years later...almost like vestigial appendages, appendixes...we're like students of zoology here!

e-RICHIE and Peter are both right, though. These bikes are a bit like baited hooks...it's just that it's fun to fall for a line sometimes.


Thomas "plumping for a gothic revival" Ward New York City

Posted on behalf of Michael Butler Huntingdon UK. Look at these (Paris and Cottingham) bilaminate frames at:


Best wishes and be lucky (always wanted to say that), Mike Short, Austin TX

Date: Thu, 20 May 2004 21:41:27 -0400 From: "P.C. Kohler" <kohl57@starpower.net>

My god... they really do look like French frilly knickers!

I know they are hallmark of bespoke British framemaking, etc. etc. and I have followed this fascinating thread with great interest, but I must confess the aesthetic appeal of these ornate lugs simply escapes me. I regard these frames as wonders of 1950s-60s craftsmanship and technology. Yet they resemble early Victorian industrial revolution technology which sought to camouflage their very modernity with ornate, fussy artiface. They look like early Singer sewing machines to me. Can you imagine a 1950s or 1960s sportscar with such retrograde aesthetics? Like an E-Type with faux wood side panels. Or a VC-10 with faux canvas wing covering.

Peter Kohler Washington DC USA

Date: Thu, 20 May 2004 22:13:08 -0400 From: Richard M Sachs <richardsachs@juno.com> To: kohl57@starpower.net Cc: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org Subject: Re: [CR]Epitome Of Bilaminated Frames JPEGS Message-ID: <20040520.221308.3748.144.richardsachs@juno.com> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Precedence: list Message: 13

p. h.a. p.*

who are we kidding here. what is the rationale in adding these ornaments? the manly thing would have been to own up to the fact that lugs(s) didn't exist to make the particular frame geometry so builder used a bronze welded joint. imo, the amount of extra heat needed to add the details would detract from the integrity of the joint - unless really REALLY heavy guage pipes were used. could this explain why this type of joint is uncommon?
chester, ct
*peter has a point