Classic Lightweights UK
Readers' Bikes

Hobbs 'Continental' - 1936 

Images and text by Alexander Von Tutschek

Profile of a fine cycle no. 2
Hobbs Continental 600

Machine:- Hobbs “Continental”. 21” Frame No 1390 from circa late 1936

Owned by:- Alexander von Tutschek

How it was acquired:- Bought from the Hobbs Marque Enthusiast when he was reducing his collection

Hobbs Continental 2 250

The Features that make it special:-

This machine is special because of two things: one, it is a mile-stone machine, one of the very first of the new style British sporting cycles with fancy lugs (thus heralding in the new fashion for fancy lugs that would last for twenty years) and two, that is has survived with most of its very attractive original finish intact.

Hobbs introduced this new Continental model in 1936. It was the beginning of a trend taking advantage of frame style and angle practices seen on the Continent - Hobbs made quite dramatic claims for it at the time - the period catalogue makes interesting reading. The seat and head-tubes are at the then new 70 and 72 degrees respectively. A 23” top tube and 41” wheelbase “ensure steady running at high speed and effortless steering, while the rigid chain stays and balanced bracket suspension give and ease of propulsion that is particularly noticeable under adverse conditions”. A major improvement was the new Hobbs T.T front fork that “ when introduced in August 1936 was the only oval section front fork available on a cycle of British manufacture”

The original finish is not perfect but the wonderfully attractive colour speaks for itself. The Hobbs downtube transfer is the only know survivor of this type and has been the basis of the reproductions now offered.

Note also the period equipment, the barrel shaped Sturmey Archer KS three speed hub gear with period chrome plated trigger with the early type long spur and the rare pre-war cable Q/R that has been machined from the solid. Also the alloy Bowden calliper brakes with matching levers, the BSA double-fluted cranks with a matching Williams chainring. Finished off with a Hobbs stem and Lauterwasser handlebars.

Hobbs Continental 3 -220
Rear-end of this Hobbs Continental
Hobbs Continental 4 220
Hobbs stem with pre-war Lauterwasser bars and Bowden brakes
Hobbs Continental 5 220
Original 'Hobbs' transfer

Hobbs Continental 6 220
Pre-war BSA double-fluted cranks with BSA pedals and Williams 5-pin chainwheel
Hobbs Continental 7 220
Sturmey Archer KS 3-speed hub gear.
Note tapered barrel......
Hobbs Continental 8 222
....changed by pre-war Sturmey trigger with long lever