Re: [CR]40s & 50s British club bikes - fixed or single-speed?

Example: History:Ted Ernst

From: "kevin sayles" <>
To: "cr list" <>
References: <016501c86b90$766d5b00$0300a8c0@ourlaptop>
In-Reply-To: <016501c86b90$766d5b00$0300a8c0@ourlaptop>
Subject: Re: [CR]40s & 50s British club bikes - fixed or single-speed?
Date: Sun, 10 Feb 2008 10:47:02 -0000

Hi Paul,

When I first started riding with a club way back in 69 just about everybodys 'best bike' was what we called a 'track Iron' And my very first 'proper' race bike was a 531 Woodrup track bike, which influenced me so much I eventually became Maurice and Steve Woodrups framebuilder!

Anyhow, we all used to ride fixed, typically something like 66" or maybe 69" on clubruns, which sometimes was interesting depending on the route. [quite hilly in Yorkshire] My first 100 mile realibilty ride was done on 69" fixed on a ride from Pontefract to Lincoln and back, I was just 14.

Chater Lea was a favorite chainset, but Williams was the next best I guess, I had a Gnutti 3 arm cottered set on my Woodrup, funny thing was on my Upperdine bike I had a Williams cottered crankset and it wasn't until stripping the bike down for a respray that I noticed I had been using a 6 1/2" on one side and a 6 3/4 on the other!! probably accounts for why I sit to one side now?

In those days we all used to ride out to races with our race sprints [you would say sew ups] on wheel carriers, and if it was a grass track race we would take the front brake off and away we go.

Riding fixed was still popular during the 70s but I guess nowadays most riders favour gears, but you still get a few turn up with a fixed bike at Time trials, myself included [most of PB times are on fixed]

I'm sure Norris can add to this topic?

Kevin Sayles
Bridgwater UK

--- Original Message -----
From: "Dr. Paul Williams"
To: "Classic Rendezvous"
Sent: Sunday, February 10, 2008 2:55 AM
Subject: [CR]40s & 50s British club bikes - fixed or single-speed?

>A question or two for the older, British 1940s and 50s club riders and
> racers. With all the emphasis on "fixies" at the moment (and my plans
> for the Carpenter still unfolding) I began to wonder how many were
> riding fixed gears in the day? Did many ride fixed gears on club runs?
> How many used single-speed freewheels instead? hubgears? derailleurs?
> What sorts of set ups were favoured most often?
> Paul Williams,
> Ottawa, ON, Canada