Identify vintage frame possibly Australian Nervex lugs

swin1
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Identify vintage frame possibly Australian Nervex lugs

Postby swin1 » Sun Apr 10, 2016 8:43 pm

Hi there retro buffs. I recently picked up this very nice frame in Melbourne. It has what I'm certain are Nervex Professional Lugs and Campagnolo 1010 rear dropouts. There is a small hole just above the derailleur mount so I assume this could be a late 1950s or early 1960s frame. The rear spacing is about 114mm (or 4 1/2 inch). Also, the bottom bracket shell has some serial numbers stamped. Looks like a 6 digit number 915766 on the left side and 111 near the downtube lug. The rear brake and chainstay bridge are curved.

The bottom bracket threading is English. The steel seatpost is very stuck so I have to figure out some more advanced procedures to remove it.

I went to a local swap meet yesterday and a few of the older guys there who have more experience with local vintage bikes suggest it could be an Australian frame by Bates, Henry Hill or Valencia. I've seen a couple Australian examples on BNA that do look similar.

I would be very keen to restore this thing and any help identifying who made it would be appreciated.

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Clydesdale Scot
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Re: Identify vintage frame possibly Australian Nervex lugs

Postby Clydesdale Scot » Sun Apr 10, 2016 10:17 pm

are you planning on a repaint?
if you are you could gently sand through the yellow to see what may lie underneath. Then do the same around the braze-ons and rear dropouts to see if the original paint was there or was removed, possibly indicating any additions.
If there is original paint, it may also reveal the name on the downtube, and any evidence of lining.
I commented on your enquiry at Bike Forums but the likely frame build period is not that forums strength.
The frame number is a lengthy one, and may incorporate a month and year.
Have you narrowed down the date when those lugs first became available?

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WyvernRH
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Re: Identify vintage frame possibly Australian Nervex lugs

Postby WyvernRH » Mon Apr 11, 2016 2:18 pm

This sort of thing is really difficult with re-paints if there are no distinctive frame features. All I can offer is that it probably came from a small builder as each of the numbers in the frame number are an individual strike whereas big manufacturers tend to use a frame that holds all the numbers neatly. Also are all the braze-ons original? Did the owner add some when the bike was re-painted? Add the stop to make it a ten speed etc.
Out of interest does anyone know when did Campag forged dropouts become available? Early-Mid 60's?

Richard
Last edited by WyvernRH on Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

tedsbikes
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Re: Identify vintage frame possibly Australian Nervex lugs

Postby tedsbikes » Mon Apr 11, 2016 4:56 pm

Campagnolo 1010 gran sport dropouts, front and rear, were mentioned in Campagnolo Catalog N.12, issued c.1953.

Re Nervex lugs, Jim Taylor, a former racing professional, brought a set of professional lugs back after racing in Europe in 1955. His old Hartley bike, featuring these lugs, is featured in Racing Bicycles 100 Years of Steel by David Rapley.

So, your bike could be as early as mid 50s.
Ted

Torana68
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Re: Identify vintage frame possibly Australian Nervex lugs

Postby Torana68 » Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:14 pm

What do the forks look like?
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WyvernRH
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Re: Identify vintage frame possibly Australian Nervex lugs

Postby WyvernRH » Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:28 pm

tedsbikes wrote:Campagnolo 1010 gran sport dropouts, front and rear, were mentioned in Campagnolo Catalog N.12, issued c.1953.


Wow, they were that early! After this tip I went and looked up the1953 Campag catalog mentioned above and there they were, adjustment springs and all. They must have stood out unicorns in a donkey sanctuary compared to all the plate dropouts that were otherwise available at the time.

Richard

Torana68
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Re: Identify vintage frame possibly Australian Nervex lugs

Postby Torana68 » Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:51 pm

WyvernRH wrote:Wow, they were that early! After this tip I went and looked up the1953 Campag catalog mentioned above and there they were, adjustment springs and all. They must have stood out unicorns in a donkey sanctuary compared to all the plate dropouts that were otherwise available at the time. Richard


not common down here, were they used more often in the UK? forks seen, cheapo replacements so that didn't help. Date wise and maker, no idea......
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Imwit
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Re: Identify vintage frame possibly Australian Nervex lugs

Postby Imwit » Mon Apr 11, 2016 11:06 pm

G'day. Met you at the swap meet. I'm Tim.
My similar period bike is here.

I reckon that yellow looks like a repaint (but the lug lining is very nice).
Is that a bit of blue paint under the yellow on the bottom bracket?

swin1
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Re: Identify vintage frame possibly Australian Nervex lugs

Postby swin1 » Tue Apr 12, 2016 5:25 am

Hi Tim nice to meet you. I've read up on your project, we should keep in touch about parts we can use. It looks like both frames are from a similar period. I'll post some more questions about your project on your thread.

It sounds like the next step is to take off some paint and see what's underneath. I'll also take some measurements around head tube for head badge dimensions.

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WyvernRH
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Re: Identify vintage frame possibly Australian Nervex lugs

Postby WyvernRH » Tue Apr 12, 2016 8:33 am

Torana68 wrote:
WyvernRH wrote:Wow, they were that early! After this tip I went and looked up the1953 Campag catalog mentioned above and there they were, adjustment springs and all. They must have stood out unicorns in a donkey sanctuary compared to all the plate dropouts that were otherwise available at the time. Richard


not common down here, were they used more often in the UK?


No, not common at all until the 60's (thus my guess) I own a fair few high quality UK 50's bikes and frames, all of which have plate dropouts or stamped Simplex gear hangers or stamped Benelux gear hangers. The Campag gears and levers were certainly around in the 50's but maybe not the framebuilding parts?

Just to muddy the waters a bit, I have several times in the past replaced plate dropouts with Campag (or Suntour) forged items when the owner was upgrading (also adding lever bosses etc etc) Old frames from the 50's/60's were more often rebuilt to modern standards than preserved original in the 70's and 80's.


Richard

Torana68
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Re: Identify vintage frame possibly Australian Nervex lugs

Postby Torana68 » Wed Apr 13, 2016 2:45 pm

Richard,
I have one 1959 (confirmed) Aust. Bates frame with Campag ends (and full group set) its the oldest Australian Bike I've seen that had them from new , Im sure there are others but its uncommon. I doubt the owner was racing people with lower quality kit so the bikes are out there but he was in the pro ranks, how far pre '59 Campag ends go on Oz bikes I dunno.
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Johnj
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Re: Identify vintage frame possibly Australian Nervex lugs

Postby Johnj » Thu Apr 14, 2016 12:22 am

Torana68 wrote:Richard,
I have one 1959 (confirmed) Aust. Bates frame with Campag ends (and full group set) its the oldest Australian Bike I've seen that had them from new , Im sure there are others but its uncommon. I doubt the owner was racing people with lower quality kit so the bikes are out there but he was in the pro ranks, how far pre '59 Campag ends go on Oz bikes I dunno.


My Bol D'or is 1958 with Campag 1010 dropouts, though not built with Nervex lugs. John Kitchen has a 1957 Speedwell Superlite with Nervex lugs and 1010 dropouts. My Blackbird (1960-ish) has Nervex lugs and 1010 dropouts as does my 1963 DMI. I also have a Speedwell Olympic track bike (1960-ish) with Nervex lugs and Campag 1053 track ends. These bikes were all built in Sydney, all have original paint and no sign that the frames have been altered.

None of these were used by professionals and the Bol D'or was raced by a junior. I guess if you were having a frame built for you and wanted to use a Campag derailleur, then the cost of Campag dropouts wouldn't have added a huge amount to the bill. I'm sure that a lot of amateurs had inferior equipment, but there were obviously a fair number of high-spec bikes around in the late 1950s.

Torana68
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Re: Identify vintage frame possibly Australian Nervex lugs

Postby Torana68 » Thu Apr 14, 2016 7:13 am

so from that you could say the frame in question is most probably no earlier than '57/58 ish
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tedsbikes
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Re: Identify vintage frame possibly Australian Nervex lugs

Postby tedsbikes » Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:26 am

Campagnolo dropouts (presumably 1010) were being sold by at least 2 Australian bike shops in mid 1956.

The Australian Cyclist magazine of May 1956 includes an ad by H D Stallard from Shenton Park WA listing Campagnolo fork ends, and the June 1956 edition also has an ad from Lawrence of Glenferrie Vic " CAMPAGNOLA (sic) GEARS Just arrived Campagnola gears in 5-8-10 speed with spare parts, also front and rear fork ends". The gears weren't cheap - £13 ($26) for the 8-10 speed version plus extra for a cluster. No price given for the forkends but these were probably only sold to frame builders.

If you were a top rider the LBS may have provided you with a frame, like the 1957 Rob Special built by George Robinson, founder and patron of Blackburn ACC, for Blackburn rider Malcolm Powell, who was a top cyclist at state and national level in the late 50s and early 60s . Powell's bike featured both Nervex lugs and Campagnolo forkends and is also shown in David Rapley's book 100 Years of Steel.

When I started racing in Melbourne in 1957 Campagnolo gears, or anything Campagnolo, was The Thing to have but the cost precluded it from most riders. At that time many club riders were still using steel cranks, Simplex or Benelux gears, and wing nuts . But the 1956 Olympics had shown Australians what the Europeans had.

bicyclepassion
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Re: Identify vintage frame possibly Australian Nervex lugs

Postby bicyclepassion » Thu Apr 14, 2016 5:05 pm

Jim Taylor's Hartley, mentioned above, had Campag ends, built in 1955 in Melbourne.

The 1010 dropouts preceded the 1953 catalogue.

The first version came out in 1951, with the 4mm screws, and different derailleur stop position. I think the 1010 with small hole for Sport derailleur gear Spring, and 'normal' stop position, came out late 1951, or 1952. By normal, I mean the position that most other makers adopted as the industry standard. (Shimano, Zeus, Agrati, Suntour, etc)

Not sure when they first appeared in Australian built frames, but early 50's Bianchis and Legnano's were sold here, by people like Borsari in Carlton, with 1010 ends.'

They were common in high end Aussie built road frames by the late 1950's. Actual hand built road frames, not semi racers.

You could buy a braze on campag hanger, a catalogue item. they turn up on plenty of bikes, added to whatever dropout was there on an earlier bike.

wqlava1
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Re: Identify vintage frame possibly Australian Nervex lugs

Postby wqlava1 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:45 pm

As I'd like to engage the same people in answering approximately the same question, I'm adding another bike onto the end of the thread!

Here's my Nervex-lugged frame, that I bought about 8 years ago.
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I'm going to use it for L'Eroica in October. I've got most of the parts that I need, but still have a few questions. I'd like to date the frame. It came as a 10 speed, with corroded hubs and corroded seatpin and clamp with torn vinyl seat, all of which I ditched. There are no bidon mounts. What year approximately did bidon mounts start being brazed on? Temporarily, I'm thinking of using a reasonably old mount and shaping something that can both take a couple of small bolts and be held on with a couple of radiator clamps or cable ties. Is there something that would be better? When I get around to getting it rechromed and painted, I'll chase up getting a brazed mount for one bidon at least.

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Notably, it's got Nervex Pro lugs (which I have been told are Japanese copies), a reasonable tubeset because it takes a 26.8 seatpost, long Campagnolo 1010 rear dropouts spaced 123mm or so (and Campagnolo fork ends that are currently 100mm but may have been pushed out from 95mm), a hex head bolt rather than an Allen key bolt for the seatpost clamp and rear brake hanger, and interesting two part braze-ons for the cables, where a ring first holds the outer straight, and about 5/8" further on is the fitting to hold the end of the outer. The cable to the RD goes along the top of the chainstay. The centrepull brakes that came with it are Weinmann 999 610. The crankset on it is a 105 Golden Arrow from mid-1984 but the rest of the bike seems older to me. The 38cm c-c bars (very narrow for a 61x59cm frame) and stem are both 3ttt. It came also with a clamp down low on the DT for the gear cables, a good replacement of which is coming. The seatstays taper down to about 9mm at the bottom, the chainstays and forks not quite so much. There is a stamped number 290 below the letter S on the DT part of the BB, and it came from South Australia. The photos show some 27" wheels in it - I had thought originally it was 630 as I'd not got the rims with it, but they didn't fit. Definitely 622. Is that enough for someone to have a stab at dating it or even better identifying it?

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