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Old 01-09-12, 07:53 AM   #1
olly708
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Help required to identify this mystery frame, please?

I'm new on here, so please be gentle. I'm trying to identify a frame I have recently been given by an old friend who has sadly given up cycling through ill-health. I've stripped the frame of parts and taken off most of the old paint. It's now in primer. The frame had Dave Marsh transfers on when I got it. (Dave Marsh has been building frames for many years, having started as a frame builder for Carlton cycles in Worksop, England). He's still in business, near Rotherham, in South Yorkshire. I sent Dave photos of the frame together with the frame number to see if he could identify the age and frame tubing.

Dave was very helpful - he's a lovely chap - but came back to say that the frame wasn't one he'd built, but had most likely re-painted in the past. He suggested the lugs are cast Italian (the seat lug arrangement is very reminiscent of a Masi) and the forks have the word LUNGI (Italian for "long") stamped onto the steerer tube, but there is no other indication as to what tubing has been used and no frame tubing decal anywhere. The seat tube is 21.5 inches centre to centre. The head tube lugs have 73 and 61 stamped onto them, the seat tube lug has the number 735 (raised, not stamped), as if it was cast into it.

The frame number is stamped under the bottom bracket, but some of the numbers are very faint. As best I can make out, the numbers appear to be T5 06 01 64 (although the numbers could be T5 0? 21 64). Both the fork and the bottom bracket have a stamping that looks a little like the side view of a drop handlebar followed by a 0 that is elongated and slopes forward. They are quite faint, so would not show in a photograph.

The seat stays are pencil thin with a "scalloped" top eye. The frame and forks have mudguard eyes and a lot of clearance for mudguards. The rear dropouts have holes for adjusters, but no adjusters are present. Neither fork ends or dropouts have any markings, but are obviously decent quality cast items.

Some photos are below.













The bike was purchased second hand a good few years ago by my friend from a local bike store in Doncaster, England. The store rebuilt the bike using a used frame they had in stock and built it from used parts (mainly Suntour). The frame is still in remarkably good condition, confirmed when I stripped the paint off.

If anyone has any ideas as to what the frame might be, do please let me know. It has been suggested that it might even be a Masi frame (although it doesn't have the typical Masi cutout under the b/b shell). Here's a long shot. Tom Simpson was originally from north Nottinghamshire/South Yorkshire. When he rode professionally for Peugeot in the 1960s, his racing frames were made by Masi, but painted in Peugeot Team colours. Wouldn't it just be nice to find that this was once a winter training bike ridden by Tom (my boyhood hero)? I know, but stranger things have happened!
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Old 01-09-12, 10:45 AM   #2
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Definitely has an investment cast seatlug, and that helps to date it (so not as old as any Masi/Peugeot that Tom Simpson might ride). I'd like to see a close-up of the open end of the steerer, underside of the forkcrown, and a close-up of that stamp in the side of the lower headlug...that looks suspiciously like the "LS" of the Long Shen lug company, tho you say it has numbers (73 and 61) in the headlugs. The double-taper stays and scalloped caps are "Italian-ish" but featured on so many Italian (and other) makes there's nothing in that alone to ID this.
What's the BB threading and seatpost size?
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Old 01-09-12, 11:09 AM   #3
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I believe 735 means the seat tube is at 73.5 degrees.

Frame reminds me of Gazelles from the 90's. But no gazelle on the fork caps. Race frame, or Formula Race. Reynolds chromoly.
here's a list of old Gazelle catalogs: http://jvs.webklik.nl/page/gazelle Check 1996.
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Old 01-09-12, 12:34 PM   #4
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I believe 735 means the seat tube is at 73.5 degrees.
Yup. And the "73" and "61" on the head lugs represent the top tube/head tube angle and head tube/down tube angle. Most custom builders will file off or fill in these markings before painting, so perhaps this is a production bike of some kind?
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Old 01-09-12, 02:28 PM   #5
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It looks like a production frame to me too. There are no tangs on the fork blades and the there's no finishing to the fork tip and dropout interface. It doesn't look like there are tangs on the seat stay bridge either. +1 to the request for threading and post diameter. Dropouts?
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Old 01-09-12, 02:50 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies so far. I measured the (SR) seat pillar that came with the bike and it's a tad over 25mm diameter (sorry, I don't have a micrometer). Definitely less than 26mm. The bottom bracket is still in situ, it's a sealed bearing Shimano (or similar) splined b/b which I suspect was replaced by the bike store prior to the previous owner purchasing the rebuilt bike. It turns very smoothly but without removing it I can't say whether it's British or Italian thread. I've added a few more photos - bear in mind that the paint in these photos is only a couple of coats of primer, quickly applied to keep any rust at bay before I decide what colour to paint it.







I don't honestly think it's anything wonderfully exotic, but it would be nice to have some pointers from some of the experts on here.
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Old 01-09-12, 02:59 PM   #7
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Well, I don't see any helical ridges inside the steerer and a post between 25 and 26 would be typical of hi-tensile steel. However, it's pretty easy to mismeasure a post without a vernier. The diameter should be stamped on the post, typically on the front or back, just below the insertion mark. The lower, head lug stamp pic is a bit fuzzy but the stamping looks like the logo for Eisho Seisakusho, which was a Japanese lug manufacturer. Did you check the brand of the dropouts?
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Old 01-09-12, 03:20 PM   #8
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Well, I don't see any helical ridges inside the steerer and a post between 25 and 26 would be typical of hi-tensile steel. However, it's pretty easy to mismeasure a post without a vernier. The diameter should be stamped on the post, typically on the front or back, just below the insertion mark. The lower, head lug stamp pic is a bit fuzzy but the stamping looks like the logo for Eisho Seisakusho, which was a Japanese lug manufacturer. Did you check the brand of the dropouts?
Yep, they aren't Long Shen lugs, that's sure...who would use Eisho lugs other than a Japanese or custom builder? I know Lotus was one brand that used them a lot in production frames...really doubt that this is Italian, and if anybody would recognize the serial numbering, it's T-Mar.
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Old 01-09-12, 04:33 PM   #9
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You Identifiers blow my mind.
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Old 01-09-12, 04:52 PM   #10
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Am I missing the point here? Could it not be a Dave Marsh frame? Dave is still very much in business, if memory serves I think he now runs Universal Cycles, so he might know - if not, was it his shop that did the rebuild all those years ago? Maybe he'd remember....
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Old 01-09-12, 05:13 PM   #11
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Am I missing the point here? Could it not be a Dave Marsh frame?
That was the first thing that popped into my mind.
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Old 01-09-12, 05:28 PM   #12
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Sorry about the fuzzy head tube picture. Best I could do with the available light. The two symbols on the lug are a capital "E" followed by what looks like 2 x letter "S" superimposed onto each other. There is definitely no marking on the seat tube to indicate the diameter and the fork ends and dropouts are unmarked too. If this frame originated in the UK in the 1960s (which Dave Marsh thought possible), there were a lot of small frame building companies in Britain at that time. Personally I can't see a mass produced frame having a cast seat lug and Italian forks when tubes were so readily available from Reynolds. Your guess is as good as mine - no it's probably a lot better than mine!

Thanks again. Also apologies if I've posted this in the wrong section of the forum by mistake.
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Old 01-09-12, 05:33 PM   #13
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That was the first thing that popped into my mind.
OP said that Dave himself disclaimed building it, and suggested the repaint/resticker possibility.
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Old 01-09-12, 05:38 PM   #14
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Am I missing the point here? Could it not be a Dave Marsh frame? Dave is still very much in business, if memory serves I think he now runs Universal Cycles, so he might know - if not, was it his shop that did the rebuild all those years ago? Maybe he'd remember....
Well having sent photos of the frame and the serial number to Dave Marsh last week...this was his reply:

"I think the frame you have could possibly be an Italian made frame as the word Lungi is long in Italian.
"The lugs look to be Italian cast with the angles engraved or cast into the head and seat lugs. The other numbers could be the date that the frame was built as the Continental builders do swap the month and day around - as the frame numbers the same as that you have stamped under the bottom bracket".

From the horse's mouth - so to speak!

Ironically, I purchased another frame from eBay UK only two weeks before. It was advertised as a Dave Marsh frame. It had more Dave Marsh decals on it than you could shake a stick at. When I sent photos and the serial number to Dave (just to get an idea of how old the frame is), he replied to say it wasn't a frame he'd built either. I didn't pay a lot for it so I'm not too bothered. The eBay seller phoned me tonight to say that he's spoken to the previous owner who confirmed that it was an "unbranded" frame that he was given by his dad. It was painted and had transfers stuck on by Dave when it was new. They're all from the Doncaster area, Dave supports the local racing teams when and where he can and probably painted the frame as a favour. It turns out the previous owner but one is a 21 year old rookie race mechanic with Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins' Sky team, currently enjoying life at their winter training camp in Majorca. I wonder how much he'll enjoy three weeks of 18-20 hour days as a mechanic during the T de F?

Sorry, I digressed there!

Keep the ideas coming, chaps.

Last edited by olly708; 01-09-12 at 05:58 PM. Reason: additional information
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Old 01-10-12, 04:40 AM   #15
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Hi Olly,

Looks like it was all happening around Doncaster. Sorry, I didn't realise earlier that you had already consulted with Dave Marsh - who still provides a lot of support and events in cycle sport from Universal Cycles http://www.universalcyclecentre.co.uk/ . He was heavily involved with Carlton back in the day, but I'm sure your frame's NOT a Carlton - probably as you suggest, an Italian repainted by Dave? Good luck in finding out - the guys on here are your best bet. The expertise probably also exists over at Classic Rendezvous but I'm sure they'd decide your frame is "Off-topic".
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Old 01-11-12, 11:27 PM   #16
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I was looking through some pictures of a BF member and this reminded me of your bike. It's a Raleigh USA. I don't think it's what you have, but it looks like they used the same investment cast lugs.



https://picasaweb.google.com/caseyre...06385899917810
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Old 01-11-12, 11:33 PM   #17
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Looks like a Nishik.
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Old 01-12-12, 10:39 AM   #18
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probably is the same manufacturer (probably Eisho) as the OP's but his seat lug has a much deeper seat-tube socket.
Still, it points to a probable Asian made frame, as that was what most of the Raleigh USA products were (Huffy used mainly Bridgestone, then Derby Cycles moved to other Asian builders).

Last edited by unworthy1; 01-12-12 at 10:46 AM.
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Old 01-12-12, 03:13 PM   #19
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Thanks for the interest and the replies, which are appreciated. I'm still leaning towards Italian made. It's obviously a good number of years old as the previous owner had it for maybe 15 years. When he bought it, it had already been renovated by Dave Marsh some years before that and was well-used when the PO got it. The Yorkshire bike store that he bought it from sold it to him as a complete bike in used condition using primarily second hand components that they had lying around in the workshop. Assuming it was already 10 years old when he bought it, that makes the frame at least 25 years old. There were very few Asian built frames sold in England in those days (those sold were mainly British or Continental built) and why would an Asian builder use Italian cast jugs and forks bearing the stamp "LUNGI"? On the other hand, if I knew, I wouldn't be asking.

Anyway, the frame is stripped of components, wears two coats of primer, has been de-nibbed with a Scotchbrite pad and will get it's first coats of paint tomorrow. I have a plan for what the frame decals are going to say and all will be revealed in due course.

Last edited by olly708; 01-12-12 at 03:19 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 01-12-12, 04:17 PM   #20
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I fully support this "using Scotchbrite for lazy wetsanding" plan. Worked great for me on my Atala.
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Old 01-16-12, 03:49 AM   #21
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Well, I hold my hand up here. After a huge struggle, the best efforts of my master mechanic friend, his compressed-air driven hacksaw and a 30 ton bearing press, the alloy stem finally broke free from the steerer tube of my ebay purchased "non-Dave Marsh" frame. It was a monster job. Having now got the forks out and stripped the paint from the steerer tube, the following was stamped into the steerer.

HI TEN
LUNGI
MADE IN TAIWAN

The forks in my second "non-Dave Marsh" frame are also stamped LUNGI: so donning my Sherlock Holmes deerstalker, I must conclude
the odds are very high that both sets of forks were made in Taiwan. Now I'll have to do some more research on the qualities of HI TEN steel. Unless of course, someone would like to step forward and add their opinion.

This case is becoming more and more interesting, Watson!

Last edited by olly708; 01-16-12 at 08:31 AM. Reason: grammar error
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Old 01-16-12, 05:27 AM   #22
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What's the OD of the seat tube? Combined with the small seatpost diameter you can calculate the seat tube gauge. I suspect it is not a top-end frame. Among the clues to that are the lack of lug finishing, the fabricated fork crown (not forged or cast, looks hollow inside like the one on a PX-10), low dropout finishing, lack of integrated fork crown tangs. A thick seat tube would nail that story for me, and signifiy either a touring build or a lower-strength alloy.

But that doesn't help with narrowning down the origin, sorry.
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Old 01-16-12, 05:47 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olly708 View Post
Well, I hold my hand up here. After a huge struggle, the best efforts of from my master mechanic friend, his compressed-air driven hacksaw and a 30 ton bearing press, the alloy stem finally broke free from the steerer tube of my ebay purchased "non-Dave Marsh" frame. It was a monster job. Having now got the forks out and stripped the paint from the steerer tube, the following was stamped into the steerer.

HI TEN
LUNGI
MADE IN TAIWAN

The forks in my second "non-Dave Marsh" frame are also stamped LUNGI: so donning my Sherlock Holmes deerstalker, I must conclude
the odds are very high that both sets of forks were made in Taiwan. Now I'll have to do some more research on the qualities of HI TEN steel. Unless of course, someone would like to step forward and add their opinion.

This case is becoming more and more interesting, Watson!
Makes sense. "Lungi" isn't Italian for "long". "LungHi" is
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Old 04-29-12, 10:27 AM   #24
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Now painted, lacquered & decals fitted. Colour is 1960-70's period Mercedes-Benz Aqua Blue. This is how it ended up............



If you look closely, you'll spot where I "borrowed" the idea for the new "Marsh" decals (put your finger over the "h" and you'll see!) These were made for me by a pal who has a sign-making business.

It's not a Marsh frame, and it's not Reynolds 753 tubing either! I just stuck that Reynolds decal on for a private joke. I'd never pass it off as being a 753 frame and would make that clear to anyone should I ever decide to sell it.



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Old 04-29-12, 10:52 AM   #25
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I always loved this paintjob...




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