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Help ID this frame

Old 08-04-20, 04:15 PM
  #1  
jrstewart3
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Help ID this frame

This frame came in to our coop, fork probably not original.

Notes:
1. Campagnolo dropouts
2. "C" cast in to lug that connects head tube and down tube
3. Some type of badge on head tube
4. Only one cable guide on bottom bracket
5 68 mm, BSC BB
6. Looks like two cable guides on each of seat stays near drop ouits






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Old 08-04-20, 04:47 PM
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Not ringing a bell for me, but I'll just say, that's a nice looking frame. The detail on the lugs is nice. Ron Cooper?
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Old 08-04-20, 04:56 PM
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Is that first picture the emblem on the head tube? It looks like a bird with open wingspan, and it looks like the letters J and C on either wing. Not ringing a bell for me either, but my internal database doesn't run too deep.
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Old 08-04-20, 05:18 PM
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lug pattern Prugnat 62/d

NERVEX, BOCAMA & others offered crowns of this shape, would need better image(s) for ID

chainstays certainly suggest Britain

the canti bosses on the seat stays appear to have been mounted asymmetrically

very nice job preparing the shell

thinking about 1975

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Edit:

after posting recalled that the forum has had one or more bicycles with this head emblem in the past

alas, can no longer recall the maker

it is sure to twig the memory of other readers...


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Last edited by juvela; 08-04-20 at 06:21 PM. Reason: addition
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Old 08-04-20, 08:15 PM
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Braze-on on the head tube looks like an Eagle. No clue about the "J" and "C" there.
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Old 08-04-20, 08:27 PM
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subscribing! no ID for me, never saw that "JC" eagle before but like the effect with flat stock and a few handtools,This seems like it was a CX or touring frame, but the canti bosses are 2 different makes (?)...weird.
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Old 08-05-20, 06:07 AM
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also the drive side canti boss appears to have been mooshed...


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Old 08-05-20, 06:14 AM
  #8  
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VIntage steel cross bikes are not easy to find.
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Old 08-05-20, 10:02 AM
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One thing rings a faint bell with this, but very faint: there was a make of frame that we usually saw coming from Benelux and some were CX frames but marked with a single "D" engraved in the lugs and maybe also forkcrown. And IIRC the font was very similar to this "C" but I don't think there was ever any brazed-on head ornament. IIRC (again) there finally was an ID made for this mystery make and IIRC (3rd time) it was some connection to Martens/Martelly. Maybe there's some "Benelux trail" to follow with this one...just a thought.
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Old 08-05-20, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
One thing rings a faint bell with this, but very faint: there was a make of frame that we usually saw coming from Benelux and some were CX frames but marked with a single "D" engraved in the lugs and maybe also forkcrown. And IIRC the font was very similar to this "C" but I don't think there was ever any brazed-on head ornament. IIRC (again) there finally was an ID made for this mystery make and IIRC (3rd time) it was some connection to Martens/Martelly. Maybe there's some "Benelux trail" to follow with this one...just a thought.
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interesting suggestion

although chainstays tend to say "Britain" rather than "payes bas"...


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Last edited by juvela; 08-05-20 at 10:11 AM. Reason: spellin'
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Old 08-05-20, 10:44 AM
  #11  
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That looks like a Henry James bottom bracket shell. That means it has to be an American made frame. Unless it is a Italian Roto shell. They are obvious because on the underside they had indented panels. Maybe the OP could take a look at the bottom of the shell and tell us if is plain like a HJ or indented (but not cut out all the way through) like a Roto? While Hank probably exported some of his investment cast frame parts overseas, I haven't ever seen them on anything but American frames. The retail cost of a European frame at that time was not enough to justify the expense of an costly American BB shell. Hank came out with shells before his lugs and fork crowns. I would estimate the age of this frame more towards the end of the 70's (unless that is a Roto shell).

I'm also betting that the C in the down tube lug was cut with a jeweler's saw and files. When I taught my framebuilding classes in the 70's I showed my students how to do that. In the 80's when Henry James lugs were a more popular choice then carving an initial wasn't as common because there wasn't as much real estate on the lugs for it to look right. I often cut the initial of the customer out of the lug so the "C" is not necessarily the builder's.

I'll also add that touring frames in the middle 70's were popular because of Bikecentennial.
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Old 08-05-20, 11:23 AM
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-----



Thanks so much for this always excellent information!

Am sure you will be able to contribute more as well when we get additional pictures...


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Old 08-05-20, 11:51 AM
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Yep, as always very pertinent points provided by Doug F.! But I'd say if this frame was for touring and not CX there would typically be at least a single (if not double) eyelet on the DOs, plus it's TBC but that blurry braze-on on the lower DS seatstay would make sense if the RD cable was routed from above, like along the TT, more typically for CX routing than for a touring frame. But all this could be clarified with MORE photos, please jrstewart3 !
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Old 08-05-20, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by francophile View Post
Not ringing a bell for me, but I'll just say, that's a nice looking frame. The detail on the lugs is nice. Ron Cooper?
I was just thinking that he used those lugs for decades and did cut a "C" that size into some but the unfamiliar typeface, and lack of cleanliness male me question it...
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Old 08-05-20, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Last ride 76 View Post
I was just thinking that he used those lugs for decades and did cut a "C" that size into some but the unfamiliar typeface, and lack of cleanliness male me question it...
The frame reminds me of early-mid 80s US smaller-builder construction, he's the only US builder I could think in that arena with that surname initial, but that C looks so simply done and it leaves me with reservations. I suspect the canti bosses were added after-the-fact, they don't seem to fit the general vibe I get from the frame.

I still suspect it's a small-volume builder, OR maybe it's not, someone had this frame, stripped it to add cantis on and maybe do another repair (?), file the lugs while they're in there, and they could've very well the C lug addition in the process, along with the braze-on J/C eagle on the head tube. Those bits, the C, the J/C-eagle could simply be the second person who came along to add extra bits.

But I'm probably wrong
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Old 08-05-20, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
Yep, as always very pertinent points provided by Doug F.! But I'd say if this frame was for touring and not CX there would typically be at least a single (if not double) eyelet on the DOs, plus it's TBC but that blurry braze-on on the lower DS seatstay would make sense if the RD cable was routed from above, like along the TT, more typically for CX routing than for a touring frame. But all this could be clarified with MORE photos, please jrstewart3 !
Solid points and the fact that there is that braze on (probably for gear housing) coming down the drive side chain stay and no eyelets sways me towards your suggestion that it was used for cycle cross. Of course it is also possible those were added on when the frame was repainted and that wasn't the original intent of the frame. Back in the 70's/80's it was common to get a frame repainted every 2 to 5 years.

I would love to see the underside of the bottom bracket shell or if taking a photo is inconvenient than just tell us what it looks like under there. A plain shell indicates an investment cast Henry James BB shell and if there are indents than it is probably an Italian Roto shell. This will help us know if it was built in the States or Europe.
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Old 08-05-20, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
One thing rings a faint bell with this, but very faint: there was a make of frame that we usually saw coming from Benelux and some were CX frames but marked with a single "D" engraved in the lugs and maybe also forkcrown. And IIRC the font was very similar to this "C" but I don't think there was ever any brazed-on head ornament. IIRC (again) there finally was an ID made for this mystery make and IIRC (3rd time) it was some connection to Martens/Martelly. Maybe there's some "Benelux trail" to follow with this one...just a thought.
You're probably thinking of Diamant's D. And (at least some of) those were built by Martens. And cyclocross has always been big in Belgium.

But I don't think it's Belgian. My first thought when seeing the pics were "American" and "CX". For what that's worth.
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Old 08-05-20, 02:23 PM
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Here is an image of the underside of BB shell. I will re read thread and get some more pictures.
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Old 08-05-20, 02:53 PM
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That cutout will ring some bells I bet.
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Old 08-05-20, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
That cutout will ring some bells I bet.
Not my bells, I'm afraid, but looks like it's NOT a Roto BB shell and the cutout in the socket is a bit too blurry to make it out but is it another sort of "winged creature", not a match to the "eagle" head badge but out of that aviary? I'm clueless as before but coming around to agree with this being "custom American" and still a mystery.
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Old 08-05-20, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
Not my bells, I'm afraid, but looks like it's NOT a Roto BB shell and the cutout in the socket is a bit too blurry to make it out but is it another sort of "winged creature", not a match to the "eagle" head badge but out of that aviary? I'm clueless as before but coming around to agree with this being "custom American" and still a mystery.
Yeah, mine neither but I know I have seen it before and seems production, still no idea and no surprise with my limited depth.
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Old 08-05-20, 06:58 PM
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The other thing that is not real clear are the two cable guides, one on each side of the seat stays near the drop out.

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Old 08-05-20, 07:11 PM
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I mean, "C" + "Eagle" immediately makes me think Coventry Eagle, which lends credence to juvela 's comments but then what's up with the J/C in the eagle on the head tube?
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Old 08-05-20, 10:05 PM
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Doug's suggestion of a Yank origin due to the presence of the Hank shell would also explain the chainstays.

Gladly deferrin' to them whot knowz mo'.


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Old 08-05-20, 10:43 PM
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Now I'm REALLY confused, the sharper pic of that same braze-on but on the NDS chainstay, as well as the DS, does not compute as a cable guide: why would you need a cable there? Although it DOES appear to be close to the single "guide" on the DS of the BB shell...I'm just not getting a clear picture of what this bike was intended for!
What does the top tube look like?
Are there shifter bosses?
How about water bottle cage bosses, one set, two, or nuthin'?
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