[CR]Info & Advice Sought on Selbach & Grandex please... (Ian Briggs)

(Example: Framebuilding:Brazing Technique)

Date: Wed, 29 Dec 2004 12:47:44 -0500
From: <LeMansGTMAN@aol.com>
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Subject: [CR]Info & Advice Sought on Selbach & Grandex please... (Ian Briggs)

Dear CRers,

I have in my possession a couple frames one of which is claimed to be an original Maurice Selbach - the other unknown - but has a curved seat-tube rather like the pix on the CR website listing for Grandex in St Albans, but co-incidentally also used by M G Selbach too.

#1 - Complete bike 24" seat tube CtT. Standard 'straight tube' config' fitted with a selection of 30s to 60's equipment - some of it clearly 'modern' upgrades (inc. a v.nasty Huret rear changer and Brooks B17), but some probably as-fitted when sold - Brampton hubs, Constrictor rims, no-name pressed (not forged or cast) dural alloy side-pull stirrups etc.,

What is particularly interesting about this bike is that I first thought that the head and seat lugs were badly corroded and had been overpainted - but actually have a 'stippled' finish and are not corroded at all. Rear drop outs are the 'continental' style usually associated with Claud Butlers of the pre-war era.

#2 - Frame only and as noted above with a curved seat tube. 24" CtT. Lug work is 'fancy' and some work has gone into filing work but it's fairly crudely realised and finished.

Simple pressed steel plate rear drop outs with mudguard lugs - but additionally on the base of the seat stays someone has filed off most of what were clearly the mudguard mountings so commonly seen on pre-war lightweights (the Selbach above retains these quite unmolested).

It's light racing frame but the seatpin size seems to be 25.8mm ( -ish, the steel pin with the frame is pretty distorted - but I got it out!). So maybe Accles & Pollock tubing?

Overall the build impression is artisan / mass-produced rather than 'specialist handbuilt'- which leads me to err towards Grandex as I believe they made most of their money fabricating delivery & traders bikes?

However I understad Selbach actually pioneered the USWB curved seat tube concept before CB got there? So maybe I have another Selbach - maybe an apprentice / Friday afternoon frame...

Incidentally, with a suitable pair of (Mercian) forks inserted the overall wheelbase is about 38.5 inches.

I'm looking to rejuvenate both cycles - so any further info / help / advice on these two makers would be much appreciated (over and above that shown on the CR web pages that is!)

Ian Briggs - LUTON UK.