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Need help identifying this bike please :)

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Need help identifying this bike please :)

Old 08-28-20, 08:58 AM
  #1  
tonyfourdogs
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Need help identifying this bike please :)

Hi folks

I just picked up this lovely old thing from a local classified advert, and I'm intrigued as to what it might be. It's been repainted I think, so there are no badges on it at all, but it does have a serial number F276 and the bottom bracket is stamped NERVEX - and the lugs being the works of art that they are, I'm assuming they're all Nervex.

Would love to know what it is if anyone recognises it. Cables are routed through braze on cable guides above the bottom bracket in case you can't see from the pictures. The bike is in the UK so I'm working from the assumption that it's made here too, but obviously can't be sure.

Thanks for looking






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Old 08-28-20, 09:49 AM
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The wrap around seat stay bridge ought to be a clue. I don't recall seeing that style before.
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Old 08-28-20, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Insidious C. View Post
The wrap around seat stay bridge ought to be a clue. I don't recall seeing that style before.
Ooh, good spot. Thanks! You know I didn't even notice that until you pointed it out...
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Old 08-28-20, 11:00 AM
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I wonder if removing the front rack, to get a better look at the fork crown, would help with ID. Also wonder if there would be anything informative stamped on the steerer tube.
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Old 08-28-20, 11:01 AM
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I don't recall seeing a chainstay derailleur cable stop angled out like that before, either - that looks like it's the classic Campagnolo diver's helmet. I think this bike had braze-ons added when it was repainted because those top tube cable tunnels look newer than the rest of the bike. I would love to see what the fork crown looks like under the clamped-on Pletscher front rack.
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Old 08-28-20, 11:17 AM
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Obviously British, with the right-side headlamp mount and the wraparound seat stay. BB threading and shell width will quickly rule out French, Swiss, and Italian. Austrian bikes of that vintage used ISO BB threading, but the head lugs rule out Capo, which was very distinctive, and the Austrians had been driving on the right since the 1930s, so no right side headlamp mount.
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Old 08-28-20, 11:19 AM
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looks Britain of the 1950's

"pencil" seat stay treatment

note how small is the seat stay gauge down at the dropout

appears to have been constructed with rapier pattern chainstays

crown is likely one of the Vagner patterns as the "V" is visible on its flat top

these dropouts should twig the memory of a reader; not something oft encountered

suspect that all of the braze-ons, save for the pump pegs & lamp boss, represent post-manufacture additions

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Last edited by juvela; 08-29-20 at 08:09 PM. Reason: addition
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Old 08-28-20, 02:53 PM
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Wow, thanks for your insightful and helpful replies, folks!

I was not expecting it to potentially be a 1950's frame... how cool is that?!

If I have time over the weekend (after taking it for its first proper ride) I'll try and photograph the more unusual bits in detail, and also remove the fork and see if there are any clues on the steerer.

Watch this space.
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Old 08-29-20, 10:04 AM
  #9  
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Haven't got around to taking the front rack or fork off yet, but I did take it for a good ride this afternoon. Fantastic ride feel. Accelerates and climbs with total ease, even with those big-ass tyres!

I also realised I only photographed the drive side, but the NDS has this funky little grease port in the lug above the lower headset bearing - maybe it looks familiar to someone?


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Old 08-29-20, 10:29 AM
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I assume there's a similar oil port on the left side of the bottom bracket as well. Those were common up to a certain time, when they fell out of use. I agree it's from the 50's and very nicely made.

I'd like to see the fork crown and the seat stay bridge, both front and back dropouts, and the seat stay tops. Serial number location may help as well (i expect there's a serial number on the steerer as well as the frame).

i am not convinced all the brazed on bits are later additions. Could be, but i don't know.

Are there holes on the head tube where a metal badge was attached?
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Old 08-29-20, 06:14 PM
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So that's what our asses were called then, "bio holes"?
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Old 08-29-20, 07:41 PM
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I think it's odd to see the top tube cable guides on a bicycle with pump fittings and a light bracket mount. Those rear dropouts are distinctive. Any idea if they're forged or stamped? Know the seatpost diameter?

Wondering if this is perhaps a Viking or a Falcon (2nd grade education level guesses)
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Old 08-30-20, 02:41 AM
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@tonyfourdogs - It would be great to see closeups of the brake bridge, seat stay caps (aka top eyes) and the frame number, if nothing else, for future reference.

From the details I can see in the posted pics, I'd agree with @juvela and @rustystrings61 about the cable stop and top tube guides being later additions.

The brake bridge, dropouts (which I think are Chater-Lea) in combination with the Nervex lugs, serial number format and (possibly) seat stay caps I think are are all consistent with Hill Special.
Since this frame is built with Nervex lugs, it would most likely be their 'Road Path' model from 1953 (according to the frame number list on hill-special.co.uk).

So, as @rhm pointed out, a nicely made (and nice looking) frame. They were advertised as 'the Rolls Royce of Cycles', after all.


Here are some pics:
















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Old 08-30-20, 08:54 AM
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Thanks so much DCI Moss.

Always knocks 'em clean out the ballpark he do!


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Old 08-30-20, 12:29 PM
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MauriceMoss you absolute legend! That's my bike! Thank you so much

Thanks everyone else for your enthusiastic and insightful replies.


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Old 08-30-20, 12:37 PM
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it looks like the lamp bracket is the only possible original fitting being worn by the cycle


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Old 08-31-20, 03:42 AM
  #17  
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Maybe you should ask the Mods to edit the thread title for posterity. Facilitate future searches on Hill Special bikes

Lucky guy!
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Old 08-31-20, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Prowler View Post
Maybe you should ask the Mods to edit the thread title for posterity. Facilitate future searches on Hill Special bikes

Lucky guy!
Good idea. I've had a quick poke around the dashboard etc, but I can't see an obvious way to contact the mods. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Thanks
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