Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking
14 posts • Page 1 of 1
I have a question about lugs on early 50s track bikes and thought someone might be able to shed some light...
I recently bought a 54 Healing track bike and am in the process of bringing it back to life.
Its a lovely frame, very ligth and with very nice lugs. I know of only one or two other Healing with similar lugs so imagine my surprise when I saw on ebay a Deane Toseland special that had the same lugs.
This sparked my interest so I started to notice other bikes from the era with the same lugs (5/3 star malvern star, Toselands etc)...
So my question is who made these lugs, were they the product of a local manufacturer, are they brittish made, were they made by Healing and sold to others or are they Malvern star produced lugs...
no takers huh? MS like any big maker wouldn't have made lugs (excepting war time) as its cheaper to buy from a supplier, Id guess british, thats where everything else came from then. Stock lugs could be modified to look different for different frame makers, larger companies could order diifferent ones to suit themselves. High end frames could have any sort of lug (Nervex for example) so you could end up with several different makes with the same lug, although sometimes these were fiddled with by the maker to make them different. In this case Id guess the MS frame was made by a contractor (contracted to MS) who also made the other frames.
As far as i know, these lugs were made by Haden. I dont know for sure, I was probably told 30 years ago, and have just assumed thats what they were.
They came in two versions, for English and Continental type head fittings.
Malvern Star 5 stars (production semi racers) had the English version from mid to late 1950's.
Some of the factory built 'custom' 5 stars had the 'Continental' version.
In my mind, for reference purposes, I call them Haden 'torch' or 'trophy' lugs, due to the shape of the cutout in the side. I dont know what they were called officially. Someone must have a 1950's Haden Catalogue?
They have the 1952 Haden Brothers accessories catalogue at the National Cycle Museum, it will cost £7.00 for non-members to download. Might be in there.
I agree that they are most likely Haden lugs but I did see a reference to nervex lugs in an article I saw on Deane Toseland where it said that he used the Nervex lugs on all his builds.
Anyway its obvious these are beautiful lugs used on top end builds and custom bikes
I will have the Healing ready soon so will post some photos and will also put it in the show and shine at Pushies Galore in July...
I think so as well.
Nervex made a couple of dozen variations, apart from their ubiquitous 'pro' sets, but these 'trophy' or 'torch' lugs are not amongst them. Lots of info on the net about nervex, and catalogues around as well, so I think we can rule out Nervex. If they are not Haden, I think they will be from another British firm. Anyone have a 1950's Brampton catalogue?
Pretty sure they are Haden, I'll try and find the catalogue later. A lot of UK medium size builders 'refreshed' their ranges with trendy 'Italian style cut' lugs around the end of the 50's/early 60's and the lugs used are identical to those in the pictures above but without the 'trophy' cut out. My 1960 Elswick Lincoln Imp is an example of this, earlier model had Haden 'Firefly' lugs.
Lots of other builders used them as well but the side 'trophy' cutouts seem unusual in UK frames, they tend to be solid-sided.
Bravo Richard ... I think you've hit the nail exactly on the head. The lugs we refer to were British made but to a style or a copy of certain lugs on Italian frames at the time.
Haden and others were looking to the Continent for inspiration and their lugs were pretty commonly available here in Oz for this period which is why we have a fair few Aussie frames featuring them.
so the trophy's do appear in Brit bikes? if its been added post manufacturer I would have thought it was frame builder specific or is this a standard sort of option from the factory ?
I originally thought that style of cut out never appeared in Brit bikes but I have recently seen some frames from smaller builders that have those shaped cutouts. 'Never' is a big word in British bicycle manufacture, there were so many medium/small builders! Maybe some 'export' stock got 'diverted' ?
The 'trophy' shape seems pretty popular in many different models of lugs used on different Oz manufacturer's bikes so I would suggest it was a factory option ('Colonial Special' maybe ). I can't see Malvern Star having a guy with a drill and file working on every lug that went through the factory and the importer would buy enough to enable a special run viable.
I'll have a look in my stash for examples of bikes with the 'trophy' lugs. They were common enough to be a catalogue item I think, too many of them around, and on different brands, to be a special thing. Warren
Wow, a Lincoln Imp in Australia! Since getting the bike bug I've hankered after an Imp. I was born in Lincolnshire in 1955 and moved to Australia as an 8 year old. I can still remember our house in Grantham having a brass Lincoln Imp door knocker. Is there a story behind this bike? Would you have more pics? Thanks, Steve.
Yes these lugs are Haden,
I remember a while back i saw these lugs in a catalogue (I'll see if i can find it) and alongside it mentioned Haden.
I have seen them used on many makes but mainly on the top grade framesets.
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