Classic Lightweights UK
Hobbs 'Continental' - 1936
Images and text by Alexander Von Tutschek
Profile of a fine cycle no. 2
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
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.
© 2006 Classic Lightweights