Classic Lightweights UK
        Devoted to classic UK and Italian lightweights

Nervex Professional head
Through our site Patricia and I would like to share our enthusiasm for, and knowledge of, classic lightweight cycles, particularly those built in Britain and Italy. Contributions from other lightweight enthusiasts are welcome, including images of machines or components of particular interest.

We are interested in collecting information on UK builders of classic frames, loosely described as frames which could be built to a customer's own specification. We don't have the capacity to include the larger mass-production builders of lightweights, although in a few cases we have included special examples of a builder's production as an example. Our cut-off date is around mid-1970 although we have included a few which have a direct historical link back to the period we cover.

The Readers' Bikes section is there as a guide to owners wishing for advice on components for a period-correct restoration. 

Peter Underwood, email: peter.underwood(at)tesco.net

Please note that I am not able to give advice on restoring bikes, provide any form of valuation, or to identity 'finds'. If you are unable to find the information you need on this site please try some of the other sites listed under Links.  

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While doing research for the Horn brothers entries on this website I became aware that Dennis Horn had been a hero for the generation I was riding with in the early 1950s. Most were older than me as they had been riding pre-war and I think some had bikes that Dennis had ridden in his heyday.  As I did more and more research I began to visualise a book describing Dennis's feats in the decade or so before WWII and I am taking the liberty of promoting the resulting book which is being published by Adrian Bell of Mousehold Press.

Dennis Horn – racing for an English Rose by Peter Underwood is available from: www.mousehold-press.co.uk :

faded glory 3
A typical motor-paced 'stayer' track racing scene (note rider’s huge chainwheel,
 small front wheel, reverse fork rake and roller on the rear of motor cycle).
This type of racing still goes on today. We saw it a couple of years ago at a Berlin 6-day Cycle Race providing
 entertaining racing by specialist riders.
Most modern motor-paced racing is done behind lightweight Derny pacers with
the latest incarnation being electric pacers, as used at the 2016 Olympics.
Image supplied by Geoff Waters)


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Cambridge Lightweight News
, Edition 68. March/April has been published on the web site
Cambridge Lightweight News, Edition 67. January/February has been published on the web site
Italian Classics: We have added two of Chuck Schmidt's well-researched Cinelli and Colnago timelines to the Italian Classics page.
Lightweight Extras:
South Africa's Missing Gold by Geoff Waters
Classic Builders:
A revised and updated page on Johnny Berry by Alan Woods and Rick Hart
Classic Builders: C W (Charlie) Alexander, Cardiff,  by Roger Pratt
Lightweight Extras: A piece on 20th Century track racing in 'Diamond City' by Geoff Waters
Ride Calendar :
We have opened the calendar for 2017
Cambridge Lightweight News, Edition 66. November/December has been published on the web site
Classic Builders: A piece on Jim Collier by Bryan Clarke
Cambridge Lightweight News
, Edition 65. September/October has been published on the web site
Classic Components: Information on Empress lugs from Bryan Clarke
Cambridge Lightweight News, Edition 64. July/August has been published on the web site
Classic Components:  More information on Fiamme sprint rims.
Cambridge Lightweight News, Edition 63. May/June has been published on the web site
Cambridge Lightweight News, Edition 62. March/April has been published on the web site
Lightweight Extras: Some extra material by Geoff Waters added to this page
Lightweight Extras: Some cycling images from the 1938 British Empire Games, Sidney
Italian Classics: Andrea Lazzizzera's c.1960 Cinelli model B added to the Italian Classics virtual museum page.
Italian Classics: Club Cicli  Artigianali - A new London area classic bike club based in the Surrey area and with a special interest in Italian bikes
Classic Components: More information on 'The Flywate', from Alexander von Tutschek, added to the Harden page
Cambridge Lightweight News, Edition 61. January/February 2016 has been published on the web site
Classic Riders: an entry for Des Robinson (brother of Brian) who sadly passed away on 10 December
Classic Builders: Information on Buckley Bros with a request for more information
Classic Components: An updated version of Hugo Vanneck's Component database is available
Lightweight Extras:
Racing in the shadows of gold dumps: Black African cycle sport on South Africa's gold mines in the apartheid era by Geoff Waters
Restoration: More on restoration of Harden hubs.
Cambridge Lightweight News, Edition 60. November/December 2015 has been published on the web site
Classic Builders: A piece on F J Sanders by P Underwood
Classic Builders: Details and image of a James Fothergill tandem added to the Fothergill page
Classic Builders:
additional details relating to a later machine built by Dave Russell
also a follow-up by Steve Gledhill on John Monger who worked for Don Louis
Cambridge Lightweight News,
Edition 59. September/October 2015 has been published on the web site
Italian Classics: A link to Mark Campbell's comprehensive website for his collection of Legnano bicycles
Classic Components
: Some extra information on the Brooks/Campagnolo saddle/seatpost combination.
Classic Builders:
Allin Cycles, we have added text and images from Michael Oliver relating to his time riding for Allin.
Readers' Bikes
- see notice above relating to this section
Classic Builders:
Sadly Leo Parsons passed away in June of this year - we have added two images of his shop taken in Altricham during the late 1950s
Classic Builders: Details of previously unseen 1950s Gameson decals
Cambridge Lightweight News, Edition 58. July/August 2015 has been published on the web site
Cambridge Lightweight News, Edition 57. May/June 2015 has been published on the web site
Classic Riders and Lightweight Extras: A piece on the Ohrt brothers - track riders from San Francisco who competed in the States, Australia and Europe in early 1900s.
Readers' Bikes: A 1940s The David track iron owned by Mike Stitson
Reminiscences: An appreciation of Bill Harvell by Roger Watts
Classic Builders: Vic Edwards and some examples of work done for other suppliers in the cycle business of the time.
Classic Builders: A feeder piece on T J Quick from Bryan Clarke with a request for more information
Cambridge Lightweight News, Edition 56. March/April 2015 has been published on the web site
Lightweight Extras: Faded Glory: the demise of leading types of competitive cycle sport by Geoff Waters
Readers' Bikes: My own restoration, a 1957 Gillott 'Fleur de Lis'  Now with added information on stem and hubs.
Classic Builders:
A piece by Bryan Clarke on Jack Baguley
Classic Riders: An interesting addition is Edith Palmer, women's national track champion in 1930
Catalogues: A very informative 1938 Claud Butler catalogue with masses of information and clear illustrations. An invaluable reference for this period.  From David Twitchett
Classic Builders: Lug details from Bryan Clarke added to the WW 'Bill' Philbrook page
Classic Builders: Some collected frame details added to the Bill Hurlow page
Readers' Bikes: Our first Pat Skeates, 1952 and owned by Alexander von Tutschek
Cambridge Lightweight News, Edition 55. January/February 2015 has been published on the web site

Readers' Bikes:
An unusual 1965 Fred Dean Time Trial machine in that is equipped with Campagnolo Paris-Roubaix gears.  Owned by Alexander von Tutschek
Readers' Bikes: A 1980s Colnago Super 'Giro d'Italia' owned by David Leech, also listed in Italian Classics
Classic Builders: We have added more information and images to the page for Hawkes of Stratford, supplied by Leigh Johnson (grandson of A A Hawkes)
Readers' Bikes: A Rudge Aero Special track machine built for Sid Patterson
Readers' Bikes: A 1973 De Rosa 'Molteni' owned by Neil Seaton, also added to Italian Classics
Classic Builders: A starter piece on C Bertrand & Co by Steve Griffith
Classic Builders: Rivetts - David Twitchett has added to this page by filling in the early years from Alf Rivett's birth to the demise of the business
Readers' Bikes: An Alf Engers replica Shorter TT bike, built by Adrian Thornton in New Zealand
Classic Builders:
A piece on Charles Stevenson by Bryan Clarke
Classic Buiders: Some more interesting information and catalogue details added to the bottom of the Williamson Bothers page
Classic Builders:
 Alan Woods has revised and updated the entry for Johnny Berry
Italian Classics: We have revised the Italian Classics page as there was a problem with the images and a link to the museum which we were not aware of.
Readers' Bikes: A rare 1950 Bianchi Folgorissima in original condition
Cambridge Lightweight News, Edition 54. November/December 2014 has been published on the web site
Readers' Bikes: Youngs Marksman Mk. 1 c. 1959 owned by Bryan Clarke
Readers' Bikes: A beautifully restored 1954 Ephgrave No. 1 owned by Alan Woods
Italian Classics: After a recent visit  to the Italian Legend Bicycle Museum in Pesaro, Italy, we realised that our Italian content was spread around the site.  We have drawn it together now under Italian Classics although the originals remain where they were
Lightweight Extras: Racing under the radar: South Africa’s apartheid era ‘ghost riders’ in the pelotons of European road cycling by Geoff Waters
Readers' Bikes: 1956 H R Morris 'Special Model' owned by Hugo Vanneck
We have returned from a two-week cycling holiday in Italy and our first offering is:
Readers' Bikes: A 1956 George Brooks owned by Bryan Clarke. Also some additional information on Wilsons of Birmimgham from Paul Wilson
Cambridge Lightweight News, Edition 53. September/October 2014 has been published on the web site
Catalogues:  An informative catalogue for Stuart Lightweight Cycles (Stuart Purves)
Classic Components: We have created a link to the comprehensive Trivelox site from our Components page
Readers' Bikes: Thanet Silverlight c.1947 owned by Mario Romeo
Readers' Bikes: A c.1953 Youngs road bike owned by Bryan Clarke
Readers' Bikes: David Craig's second Pennine Italia - 1971
Classic Builders: Another piece by Bryan Clarke, this time on Harry Daycock
Cambridge Lightweight News, Edition 52. July/August 2014 has been published on the web site
Readers' Bikes: Bob Johnson has installed a Campagnolo Paris/Roubaix gear on his Bianchi
Nelson Cycle Co. by Bryan Clarke
We have returned from a two-week cycling holiday in Bavaria on  Bodensee and the hills of the Allgau, our first offering is:
Lightweight Extras: Eastern bloc international competitive cycling in the Cold War by Geoff Waters
Readers' Bikes: A 1963 Condor 'Superbe' built by Bill Hurlow and now owned by Paul Page
Classic Components and Restoration : A history of Reynols steel tubing through the companies transfers by Nick Tithecott
Cambridge Lightweight News, Edition 51. May/June 2014 has been published on the website
Classic Builders:
Several images of Keith Butler added to the Allins page
Classic Builders:
Details of John Foster's 'Belgique' added to the Allins page.
Classic Builders: We have added details of another frame to Duke 20th Century builders.
Readers' Bikes: A 1965 Hilton Wrigley 'Connoisseur' owned by Derek Browne
Classic Builders:
Bondun's Innanzi Tutto by Bryan Clarke
Readers' Bikes: 1958 Fred Dean owned by Bob Johnson
Classic Builders: Mark Freeman adds an interesting insight into working with Les Rigden
Readers' Bikes: Another of the Raleigh works bikes, this time built for Richard Blundell
Cambridge Lightweight News, Edition 50. March/April 2014 has been published on the website
Lightweight Extras: Cycling at the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in the Classic Era 1934-70 by Geoff Waters
Photo Gallery: Five new images from Mick Butler added to Page 6
Classic Riders: Peter Bedingfield's piece on the Gambrill Brothers, Mike and Robin
Classic Components:  Stronglight steel headsets by Steve Griffith
Readers' Bikes: Another classic Italian - 1962 Bianchi Competizione from Bob Jiohnson
Cambridge Lightweight News, Edition 49. January/February 2014 has been published on the website