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First ride impressions from riding a 78 year old Hobbs

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First ride impressions from riding a 78 year old Hobbs

Old 11-15-15, 09:04 PM
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First ride impressions from riding a 78 year old Hobbs

I picked this up in Vancouver, BC last Saturday. A very nice Hobbs bicycle thought to date back to 1937 - a pre-Barbican era. I have been reading up on the Marque since then.

Hobbs of Barbican


and I wonder if it (serial 1559) is earlier than originally thought. There is an example with a higher serial number dated to 1936

Bad weather and a busy schedule put off getting out on this thing until today. I finally rode it for about 20 flat miles today.

Here are my first ride impressions.

The frame measures c-c 60cm x 59.5cm but on the bike it feels ‘smaller” than it measures.
My weight is centered over the bike just as it would on a modern machine with hands on the brake hoods.
The drops are huge and not all that comfortable. I am used to much shallower drops,
The bike handles very nicely - reminiscent of my Merckx it is a true race bike. It carries speed on the flat very well. Standing up and sprinting is not it’s strong suite. The drivetrain makes noise as the frame flexes. This bike is suited for smooth spinning, not sprinting. the bike weighs 23.4 LBs - surprisingly light. The rear dropouts are very thin by modern standards.



Indexed shifting like this takes a bit to get used to. You have to throw the lever a slight bit then back it off and into the indents. If you forget, there’s a nice metallic ring singing to you to remind you to throw it next time.



I was thinking, this bike is best ridden in cleated shoes in order to keep my heel away from the Bowden cable and rear Derailluer.

I like this bike. It is different than anything else I own. The gearing will work for Eroica type rides.
This just may come with me to Cino #10 next September in Montana. :-)


Driveside profile


The hand painted font is on non-driveside only.
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Old 11-15-15, 09:14 PM
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Spectacular. Thanks for the ride report. Huge drop on those bars.

Brad
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Old 11-15-15, 09:20 PM
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Very nice. Look forward to seeing it.
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Old 11-15-15, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Stevensb
Spectacular.
+1
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Old 11-15-15, 09:31 PM
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Lovely, uncommon bike.

Picked up in my neck of the woods. I don't see anything like that around too often, though.

Curious whether you connected with a local collector, chanced upon a CL listing, or...?

If you're comfortable sharing what you can about the acquisition, that is.

Very cool to see this out on the road. I imagine the PNW in November evokes something of its English origins.

Thanks for posting this Brit gem. All the more lovely to my eye, I'm sure...as that's about my size (which always adds lust-factor).
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Old 11-15-15, 09:34 PM
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That is a spectacularly cool bike; I especially like the paint work on the lugs and head tube.
I'm curious about the placement of the rear wheel in the dropouts -- it's waaay forward, which I've not seen before. Is that a track thing? A 30's thing?

Thanks for sharing. Epic!
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Old 11-15-15, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by J.Oxley
That is a spectacularly cool bike; I especially like the paint work on the lugs and head tube.
I'm curious about the placement of the rear wheel in the dropouts -- it's waaay forward, which I've not seen before. Is that a track thing? A 30's thing?

Thanks for sharing. Epic!
It's an Osgear dropout. Vertical dropout location when running gears. See that loong vertical tang in front of the axle? Thats a guide to prevent you from tangling with the detailluer when removing the wheel. Those Horizontal dropouts are for riding fixed gears.

Last edited by northbend; 11-15-15 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 11-15-15, 09:50 PM
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It is amazing, northbend! Congratulations on the find.
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Old 11-15-15, 09:50 PM
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Yup, that's pretty cool. Original paint? What are the wheels?

Originally Posted by J.Oxley
...
I'm curious about the placement of the rear wheel in the dropouts -- it's waaay forward, which I've not seen before. Is that a track thing? A 30's thing?
...
It's specific to that type of dropout. Look again; it's really a double dropout, with a horizontal bit st the back (for fixed gear use) and a vertical bit at the front (for use with a derailleur gear and/or chain tensioner).
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Old 11-15-15, 10:01 PM
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Original paint, airlite hubs laced to new Ghisallo rims. Challenge 25mm tubies
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Old 11-15-15, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by inkandsilver
It is amazing, northbend! Congratulations on the find.
+1
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Old 11-15-15, 10:08 PM
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That is so cool. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 11-15-15, 10:40 PM
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Very nice
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Old 11-15-15, 10:52 PM
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Looks like it came out of a time capsule. Beautiful cool bike!
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Old 11-15-15, 11:08 PM
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Amazing. covered in awesomesauce.
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Old 11-15-15, 11:38 PM
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Fantastic. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 11-15-15, 11:53 PM
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Oh my! What a nice old road bicycle. Good for you.
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Old 11-16-15, 06:00 AM
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absolutely love that osgear. Thanks for sharing, beautiful bike.
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Old 11-16-15, 07:59 AM
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Now that is an impressive bike!
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Old 11-16-15, 08:36 AM
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Very Cool bike, Matt. What are the tabs on the fork for?
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Old 11-16-15, 08:46 AM
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Neat bike. Couple of questions. How certain are you about the originality of the bars? I don't know much about English bikes but that profile was very popular post war until the early 50s, not prewar.

Also, handles like a Merckx? With that wheelbase and the noodly wheels?
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Old 11-16-15, 12:50 PM
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Nice! And in a very useful size too. Thanks for sharing it.
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Old 11-16-15, 12:53 PM
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So cool and weirdly modern, too!
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Old 11-16-15, 12:57 PM
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WOW ! I would certainly like to take that for a steady 20 miler. Better get used to being stared at !
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Old 11-16-15, 01:09 PM
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those bar look like torture to me, Anything less than 44cm kills me and the slope down to the hoods = only the drops and at that height.. boy howdy! I'd put some of those lauterwasser bars on. But man oh man that is a beautiful bike and you found it in Vancouver!?
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