Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Framebuilders
Reload this Page >

Do you have any ideas about the builder of this frame?

Notices
Framebuilders Thinking about a custom frame? Lugged vs Fillet Brazed. Different Frame materials? Newvex or Pacenti Lugs? why get a custom Road, Mountain, or Track Frame? Got a question about framebuilding? Lets discuss framebuilding at it's finest.

Do you have any ideas about the builder of this frame?

Old 07-05-22, 05:42 PM
  #1  
smontanaro 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Evanston, IL
Posts: 4,978

Bikes: many

Mentioned: 56 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1080 Post(s)
Liked 712 Times in 410 Posts
Do you have any ideas about the builder of this frame?

At my recent backyard bike shindig, one of the attendees brought a mystery frame. I was intrigued. Tom said it came to him with grey paint and no decals. (He built it up, so no parts you see should be assumed to be original. I doubt any are.) It has a British threaded bottom bracket and 27.2mm seatpost (so probably Reynolds 531, Columbus SL, or similar high quality tubing). Tom stripped it and clearcoated it. As he understood, it was built in California and raced in Michigan in the 70s.

It shows excellent workmanship to my only semi-trained eye, and two interesting details. The first is an assymetric fishtail treatment at the top of the seat stays:


The second is the serial number, "TR24005."


I measured the frame at 24 inches ctt, which plausibly explains the "24." Serial numbers need sequence numbers which would seem to be "005." That leaves "TR," which I suspect might be connected to the builder. Given its apparent age and suspected region of manufacture, I'm tempted to guess "Tom Ritchey," but that would be an exceedingly serendipitous outcome.

I have so far queried the Classic Rendezvous folks and asked both Doug Fattic and Matt Assenmacher (as Michigan framebuilders). Nobody has so far recognized the work. Does anyone here have any ideas?
__________________
Contact me to help Doug Fattic's colleagues in Ukraine

smontanaro is offline  
Old 07-05-22, 06:00 PM
  #2  
unterhausen
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Posts: 22,661
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 2,212 Times in 1,567 Posts
somebody's 5th frame?

I haven't really looked much at Tom Ritchey's work. The mitering on the seat stays looks good, but I would say the end treatment could have used a little more filing. Which would argue against it being built by Tom Ritchey, because he filed everything down to the minimum. OTOH, if you sent him a picture, I bet he would tell you if he built it or not. Hard to forget making stay ends like that.
unterhausen is offline  
Old 07-06-22, 02:33 PM
  #3  
smontanaro 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Evanston, IL
Posts: 4,978

Bikes: many

Mentioned: 56 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1080 Post(s)
Liked 712 Times in 410 Posts
Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
somebody's 5th frame?

I haven't really looked much at Tom Ritchey's work. The mitering on the seat stays looks good, but I would say the end treatment could have used a little more filing. Which would argue against it being built by Tom Ritchey, because he filed everything down to the minimum. OTOH, if you sent him a picture, I bet he would tell you if he built it or not. Hard to forget making stay ends like that.
Yes, someone's fifth frame, but whose? Not Ritchey's (long shot, but I asked anyway, they said "nope"),

Tom was also told Proteus, maybe by the person from whom he bought it, but he thinks not, as he owned a Proteus in the late 70s which was much different than this frame.

Can y'all suggest other American or British builders with the initials "TR" who were building in the 70s?
__________________
Contact me to help Doug Fattic's colleagues in Ukraine

smontanaro is offline  
Old 07-06-22, 05:12 PM
  #4  
unterhausen
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Posts: 22,661
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 2,212 Times in 1,567 Posts
It might have come from a Proteus kit, that's where a lot of us got our start in framebuilding. But there is nothing about it that looks like a Proteus other than it has the same parts that they sold.
unterhausen is offline  
Old 07-06-22, 05:13 PM
  #5  
Andrew R Stewart 
Senior Member
 
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 16,416

Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Mongoose Tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder, Srewart 650B ATB

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3495 Post(s)
Liked 2,262 Times in 1,455 Posts
Some builders use their client's initials in the serial number. Andy
__________________
AndrewRStewart
Andrew R Stewart is offline  
Old 07-07-22, 03:50 AM
  #6  
smontanaro 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Evanston, IL
Posts: 4,978

Bikes: many

Mentioned: 56 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1080 Post(s)
Liked 712 Times in 410 Posts
Thanks. We will keep looking.
__________________
Contact me to help Doug Fattic's colleagues in Ukraine

smontanaro is offline  
Old 07-07-22, 08:33 AM
  #7  
Doug Fattic 
framebuilder
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Niles, Michigan
Posts: 1,210
Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 483 Post(s)
Liked 1,237 Times in 465 Posts
I looked in the appendix section of my Talbot's frame making book printed in the late 70's or early 80's and their list of frame builders at that time did not include anyone with the initials TR besides Tom Ritchey. By the way I don't recommend that book as a guide on how to build frames. It was the author's documentation of figuring out how to build his first frame with the advice of several full timers. Back then all American builders were fairly new and didn't have that much experience yet to refine their skills. Not everything in the book is terrible but his method to put on a rear triangle is deeply flawed. That colored my opinion of the entire book.
Doug Fattic is offline  
Old 07-07-22, 09:51 AM
  #8  
unterhausen
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Posts: 22,661
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 2,212 Times in 1,567 Posts
That person may have only built 5 frames.

I'm not sure Talbot really got everybody that was building back then. Can't check, because someone stole my copy. Okay, you can D/L the book.
unterhausen is offline  
Old 07-07-22, 12:51 PM
  #9  
Doug Fattic 
framebuilder
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Niles, Michigan
Posts: 1,210
Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 483 Post(s)
Liked 1,237 Times in 465 Posts
Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
That person may have only built 5 frames.

I'm not sure Talbot really got everybody that was building back then. Can't check, because someone stole my copy. Okay, you can D/L the book.
I'm sure they didn't get nearly everybody. It would be difficult to get all professionals that didn't build full time. Also builders came and went in and out of the trade/craft all the time. And some were pretty small fry being more amateur than professional. I've been on other framebuilder lists in Bicycling magazine 40 or so years ago too. I think they did they lists ever so often back then. SpeedofLight who posts old bicycling magazine articles on a regular basis might remember what issues those lists were printed.

I'm betting this is a really hard one to find. It is likely this is his #5 and probably not many more. I've taught hundreds of students to build frames in my classes since I started teaching them in 1976. Many of them built a few later but never in any numbers. Think of all the students UBI has taught and some would have built in small numbers too after they took the class.
Doug Fattic is offline  
Old 07-08-22, 10:19 AM
  #10  
unterhausen
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Posts: 22,661
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 2,212 Times in 1,567 Posts
Originally Posted by Doug Fattic View Post
I'm sure they didn't get nearly everybody.
The copy that you can download is a more recent version of the book. At least it had Henry James lugs. OTOH, he still talks about 531 like it's the only tubing worth talking about.

At least you're listed 3 times in the back.

What didn't you like about his seatstay method? I have to admit I didn't read it closely. He shows how to build a seatstay mitered to a seat post binder, so not exactly a beginner-friendly method
unterhausen is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.