[CR] Fork Ends Track Bikes & Drop Out Clarification


From: "Joe King" <joeking@fastmail.fm>
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Subject: [CR] Fork Ends Track Bikes & Drop Out Clarification
Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2006 20:32:25 +0100


First of all sorry for being so abrupt to what I conceived to be a very silly billy question. Lets start at the beginning and clarify some of the points. A track bike has no mudguards or fenders as you call them. A fender is a guitar that a rock star plays or something you place in front of a real fire. Track bikes are built for sprints with no clearances (fag end) and would be devoid of any braze-ons, the front and rear fork crowns would not be drilled for brakes. From a British riders perspective I might just concede a front fork drilling. Always round front fork blades. The rear fork end correct British name or now more commonly referred to as a drop out is as follows: Until the mid nineteen twenties the standard end was the rear opening type, which we now call track ends and which are still universally used on track bikes. Charley Davey of the Vegetarian & Athletic Cycling Club invented the forward-opening drop out in 1919. Fred Grubb was in the same club and Charley was his financial backer. Now this is where it gets all a bit messy. Fred Grubb was now a bicycle maker and a professional rider in his own right. Charley Davey was an amateur rider who was a great friend of Ching Allin (Allin & Grubb Cycles). It was this last maker who was making a fitting the Davey forward opening rear fork end to the Allin & Grubb cycles. Fred was still using track ends on his F.H.Grubb machines, which were not that popular. Allin & Grubb far out selling Grubbs own name machines, by Spring of the 1920’s Allin & Grubb were the must have make amongst racing men. Later in the same year Fred Grubb fell out with Charley Davey. You can see this animosity on the pages of Cycling ‘s in the late 1920’s. Ching persisted with the name of Allin & Grubb for sometime after the break-up but when Charley Davey withdrew his money from Grubbs the firm changed its name to A.H.Allin and advertised its machine with the Davey dropout. Fred Grubb started fitting a modified version of the Davey end in early 1922 to his frames. There was also a forward dropout called a Hoeness at the same time. Grass track bikes normally have a bracket height of 11”. A road-track or road-path would not be a very suitable choice in good call grass racing. BB is not high enough. Our track ends of the 40’s through to the mid 60’s were normally 2” l ong which gave you huge variations in gearing especially on 1” pitch set ups. Finally Fred Grubb got a CTC Plaque for his copied forward dropout some say, which gained universal acceptance and usage. Charley Davey is only remembered with affection as a kindly gentleman and a great rider whereas Fred for being a famous builder. You could never find anyone of my Grandfathers or Fathers generation who had a good word to say for Fred and he scarcely gets a mention in the Veggies CC history Croeso Cymru Joe King Nr. Maenaddwyn Ynys Mon Wales

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