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  1. #1
    十人十色 Dawes-man's Avatar
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    Did FB make frames?

    I came across this in a shop in Tokyo yesterday but I can't find any info. Is anyone familiar with a maker with the initials FB? I've spent half an hour searching the net but all I can find are FB hubs and such.

    Sorry about the angles of the pics but the bike was hung front down on a wall. The mechanic in the shop didn't know what it was. He did have a lovely 1939 Hetchins path outside, his personal ride.

    When I took the photos I thought the floral motif that covers the frame was hand painted but looking at the photos on my computer, blown up, they look like transfers.

    Anyway, the machine:








  2. #2
    hi YoKev's Avatar
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    Interesting! The decals and details look unique, but it looks like the frame was dipped in a vat of red paint.

  3. #3
    Primate Metzinger's Avatar
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    Is that Edoardo Bianchi's brother, Fredoardo?

  4. #4
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Painted with a four inch brush. Frankenbike.

  5. #5
    Steel is real, baby! frpax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    Painted with a BROOM.
    Corrected

    FB... Ugliest logo I've seen in a while. Not so nice looking lugs... and what is that on the BB? A grease zerk??? Looks like a high school shop project.

  6. #6
    Primate Metzinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frpax View Post
    ... and what is that on the BB? A grease zerk?...
    Actually, I thought that part was pretty cool.

  7. #7
    Senior Member 5cagm's Avatar
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    +1 I thought that was pretty cool as well. Sure as hell beats removing the bottom bracket to service it. Someone in these forums mentioned a builder who used had these grease holes for the BB. That being said, I think this may be someone's attempt at frame building based on the less than conventional paint job. That's got to add a lot of weight hahah.

  8. #8
    Stop reading my posts! unworthy1's Avatar
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    that's an oil cup, not a Zerk (grease) fitting on the BB.
    Those transfers (decals) look like something used on china tea cups, I have a strong suspicion that they, and the head tube decal, were added after the crude re-paint, and these offer no clue to the real ID of this frame.
    The lugs and forkcrown are probably the only way to ID this, and I don't recognize them...yet.

  9. #9
    十人十色 Dawes-man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5cagm View Post
    Someone in these forums mentioned a builder who used had these grease holes for the BB.
    It was very common in English bikes from the 30s right through to the beginning of the 60s. I have 4 machines with them, 2 from 1950, 2 from 1955 and 1 from 1959. I haven't heard anyone who thought they were any use. You'd have to pump in an awful lot of oil in order for it to reach the bearings.

  10. #10
    rhm
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    Right, the paint (and decals) are pretty new and the frame is quite old. I've never seen those lugs before, but that doesn't mean much. Still, I'm sure this frame is at least 50 years old.

    And yes, the paint is terribly crude. But the brazing looks pretty crude too; look at the second photo, you could get your finger nail under the top downtube lug.

    Is that an aluminum cottered crank?

  11. #11
    十人十色 Dawes-man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
    The lugs and forkcrown are probably the only way to ID this, and I don't recognize them...yet.
    That's the spirit!

    I've never seen cut lines around the head lugs like that before but the FB/bicycle wheel logo looks really familiar but I can't for the life of me remember where I've seen it... yet.

    The 'tulip cut' lug work isn't that unusual, I think.

  12. #12
    十人十色 Dawes-man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhm View Post
    Right, the paint (and decals) are pretty new and the frame is quite old. I've never seen those lugs before, but that doesn't mean much. Still, I'm sure this frame is at least 50 years old.

    And yes, the paint is terribly crude. But the brazing looks pretty crude too; look at the second photo, you could get your finger nail under the top downtube lug.

    Is that an aluminum cottered crank?
    I think more than 60 and the fact it survived means someone thought it worth keeping. But you're right, the workmanship is sloppy. In this photo you can see where the crossbar ends:



    The crank does look like alloy but I'm not sure what it is.

  13. #13
    rhm
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    Do you have any photos of the whole bike?

    I saw a no-name cottered aluminum crank like that on ebay a while back; but didn't save a photo.

    Knowing it's in Japan and seeing it covered with Oriental style graphics I can't help but think it's locally made. I know this is irrational, of course, but there it is. I suspect you'll see another one like this before anyone in the US does.

  14. #14
    Stop reading my posts! unworthy1's Avatar
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    here's some more on FB, from Chuck (read the archives!) Schmidt of the CR list:
    "The company name is F.B. and stands for Fratelli Brivio (Brivio Brothers
    in Italian).

    The hubs are stamped "Made in Italy" (even the Simplex-branded hubs are
    stamped that way; there was Simplex Italy in the early 1950s making
    Simplex derailleurs in Italy, and Fausto Coppi won the '49 TdF on a
    Bianchi with Simplex derailleurs).

    Tullio Campagnolo bought the rods for his Cambio Corsa from F.B. in the 1930s.

    F.B. supplied branded hubs to many Italian bike and parts manufacturers
    (Bianchi, Legnano, Maino, Campagnolo, Simplex Italy, etc.)

    F.B. was still in business in the 1960s and selling hubs under their own
    name after Campagnolo came out with their one piece aluminum alloy hub
    in 1958."
    Steve Maasland states that FB also made cranks, but nobody there says they made frames...
    check out the threading on the BB and report back, when you get a chance

  15. #15
    十人十色 Dawes-man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
    but nobody there says they made frames...
    I should have mentioned that I'd searched under both FB and Fratelli Brivio but as I said, and you've found out for yourself, no mention of frames.

  16. #16
    iab
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    Although i am not certain FB never made a frame, i do know the logos are nothing alike.

    My FB cranks.



  17. #17
    十人十色 Dawes-man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhm View Post
    Do you have any photos of the whole bike?

    Knowing it's in Japan and seeing it covered with Oriental style graphics I can't help but think it's locally made.
    I'll be passing the shop today and get a pic of the whole bike. The shop owner might be there and able to cast more light on the frame.

    I'd be very surprised if it was Japanese. The seat stay eyes look English to me. I've seen the tulip shaped lugs somewhere else but can't remember where.

    It's a track frame, by the way.

  18. #18
    Stop reading my posts! unworthy1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dawes-man View Post
    I'll be passing the shop today and get a pic of the whole bike. The shop owner might be there and able to cast more light on the frame.

    I'd be very surprised if it was Japanese. The seat stay eyes look English to me. I've seen the tulip shaped lugs somewhere else but can't remember where.

    It's a track frame, by the way.
    there was a great blog site (all in Japanese IIRC) of a collector of vintage British Lightweights...he must be famous since his collection was extensive and the examples were amazing...but I can't find the link.
    It would be an ideal site to scan for some similar lugwork, and you could probably even READ the text, which I couldn't do.
    Hope somebody here has the link...

  19. #19
    十人十色 Dawes-man's Avatar
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    The whole bike and some detail shots which I hope will help jog someone's memory. The paintwork isn't as bad as the close up photos make you think and some efforts have been made to thin the lugs and they feel nice. The machine weighs around 10.5 kgs/23 lbs, which I think is quite light considering all the parts are chromed steel.

    The roses are transfers but the cream-coloured line motif is done by hand. The rear dropouts are channeled rather than solid and I've never seen that before (not that I've seen hundreds of old track frames).

    The owner thinks it's Dutch while the mechanic says he remembers the guy they bought it from saying it was English - the lines in the head lugs don't look English to me.

    The front raised by the stand and the rear tyre flat make it look like it has a sloping crossbar whereas it's horizontal.

    The saddle is a modified Professional. The crankset is steel cottered Williams, the headset unknown and the non-original hubs are Japanese.








  20. #20
    十人十色 Dawes-man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
    there was a great blog site (all in Japanese IIRC) of a collector of vintage British Lightweights...he must be famous since his collection was extensive and the examples were amazing...but I can't find the link.
    It would be an ideal site to scan for some similar lugwork, and you could probably even READ the text, which I couldn't do.
    Hope somebody here has the link...
    http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/lloyd356/fo....html?m=lc&p=1

    He has somewhere in the region of 200 vintage English lightweights and a huge collection of parts for them.

  21. #21
    十人十色 Dawes-man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
    It would be an ideal site to scan for some similar lugwork, and you could probably even READ the text, which I couldn't do.
    Just looked at every photo, not for the 1st time, and there's nothing.

  22. #22
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    Hello, I have been told that FB [Fratelli Brothers] from Berscia were precision engineers and they manufactured hubs, cranksets and headsets for bicycles. During the period 1930-1940 they also manufactured a few frames. These have open rear track ends with axle adjusters and rod brakes. The "old fashioned" decals depict an eagle and the initiials FB. These frames, if no decals are now visible, can be identified if the original hubs are present by a letter R on the hub. These type R hubs were only used on bicycles sold with their own frames and are apparently very rare.

  23. #23
    Senior Member ftwelder's Avatar
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    Very cool bike.
    1886 Surrey machinists Invincible, 1900 Nashua, 1937 Raleigh Golden Arrow, 1938 Raleigh Silver Record, 1951 Armstrong tourmalet, 1970 Motobecane Grand Record, 1971 Raleigh Professional, 1971 Gitane TDF, 1972 Legnano Gran Primio, 1973, Peugeot PX-10, 1975 Roberts, 1984 Battaglin Giro, 1985 Grandis Speciale, 2012 FTW

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  24. #24
    pneu a' plat rootboy's Avatar
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    Those decals and detail brush bits are just plain weird. Thanks for bringing us this Dawesman. Strange. And I like strange.

  25. #25
    iab
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    As it turns out, FB also made motorcycles. No reason to believe they wouldn't make a bicycle too.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mondial...e_manufacturer)

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