[CR] Bi-Lames & all That

Example: Framebuilding:Tubing
Date: 21 Jul 2004 18:08:04 +0000
From: "Michael Butler" <allondon@rock.com>
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Subject: [CR] Bi-Lames & all That

. Many thanks Norman. Your work and expert knowledge is greatly appreciated as is the wonderful web site entirely devoted to the worship of Grubbs, Holdsworths etc.

I am not a grouse in fact the only grouse I have is a bottle of the famous sort from your side of the border and a brace of "Reds" in the chest freezer.

I came in for a lot of stick on this posting most of it very abusive and off list so I am touchy on this subject. Took a lot of time and trouble getting the references out of old period publications.

One of my original Paris frames was even ridiculed. The quote used was this is a very crude modern copy just look at the heavy bi-laminates just like French knickers. Well the frame is an original rebuilt and modernized by the holiest of the holy Alf Hetchins in Southend. The so called crude modern sleeves (hate this term) are the originals and are just a wee bit heavy on the lug lining paint!

When I was talking of welded and bi-laminated frames I was referring to the conventional idea of a traditional diamond bike frame.

My apologies for forgetting the 1934 welded Grubb recumbent. My Father and his old cycling comrades have given me a right coating over this and reminded me that you could not visit any cycling "Kaf" in the mid thirties without falling over these machines! The Marshmoor, Apple-Pie, Fuller's, Nell Gwyne were all full to breaking with these Grubb recumbent's parked up. No room to stack your bog standard bicycle.

How the hell a virtually one off like the welded Grubb recumbent got into the debate beggars belief. To me its like bringing the Hen & Chickens, Facile, Kangaroos and Crypto Bantams in. All of which went up a blind alley and have nothing to do with conventional frame evolution and development. The one thing that these have in their favour was that they were manufactured in huge numbers compared to the Grubb recumbent.

My point was that the welded traditional style lugless frames was in common usage on the continent in 1935 especially in France. And that Harry Rensch pioneered but maybe not introduced this type of frame to the UK. He certainly was the first to make and sell these welded frames in large numbers closely followed by Claud Butler. I am sure this goes for Bi-laminated frames as well. Everyone I know in cycledom thinks and says the same

Have said this over and over again I am no expert just an ordinary cyclists with 46 years riding experience who has a collection of tired, torn and tatty books and magazines from these periods which I use as a reference. The frames I rode in the 60's to deliver newspapers on, my everyday transport, to tour, camp, train and race on were 1930/40's yesteryear cast-offs. These were the lugless Clauds, Hobbs and Rensch's.

I ask is this just another case of blind devotion and obessiveness to one make at the expense of all others. We have seen it all before on the pages of CR: Raleigh are best, Sturmeys are better than derailleurs, Masi and Hetchins the list goes on and on like this debate.

Mick Butler Huntingdon Great Britain