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Blue Riband (Hobbs) Road/path - 1946

Profile of a fine cycle No 11 by Alexander Von Tutschek  


AVT Blue Riband 1

A complete machine with exotic period components to complement this exceptionally well crafted frame, built at a time when Hobbs were at their peak. It should be noted that because of the political situation in 1946 there were great shortages, most of these components must have been added during the late 1940’s

How long owned: Seven months

How was it acquired:-

It was bought from Mervyn Cook of Hayling Island. I was fortunate in being able to acquire it when he reduced his collection of Hobbs machines… this after a couple of years of my lusting after it!

The Features that make it special: .

This machine is a treasure-trove of rare components. Note the early type un-drilled Harden "bacon slicer" hubs matched with 15/17 gauges spokes to Constrictor Conloy sprint rims. 

The BSA double-fluted chainset is one of my favourites, light and very delicate.

AVT Blue Riband 3 AVT Blue Riband 4

Hobbs Lytalloy pedals (above), these are quite a rarity and are fitted with adjustable British alloy Catos toe-clips. The first "girder-pattern" version of the alloy GB stem is matched with a (possibly unique) pair of Hobbs "Pelissier" alloy handlebars (above right), certainly they are the only ones we have seen. 

AVT Blue Riband 5 AVT Blue Riband 2 AVT Blue Riband 7

Also note that both the Hobbs Lytaloy head-set (above left), bottom bracket bearing (above right), brakes and lamp bracket are of Hobbs own manufacture. Sometimes spelt "Lytaloy" and sometimes "Lytalloy" Alloy dome-top seat-post and Brooks saddle.

Charles Woodward was a coachbuilder/ painter by trade and it was he who re-finished this frame with a superb period finish many years ago. Note that the transfers are original varnish- fix and that this 1946 Hobbs pre-dates the Hobbs Blue Ribband head-badge that was introduced later on

Anything else: This frame is one of three custom frames bought by the late Mr Charles Woodward over a number of years; the others were H 92007 & A09193, all three had Hobbs “Continental Superbe” lugwork. Woodward was a keen time triallist who contracted serious illness after ordering the second frame. He recovered and used the last machine for serious long distance touring for many years.

AVT Blue Riband 6
Another view of the 'Hobbs of Barbican' pedals showing the 'H B' on plates
AVT Blue Riband 8
Harden 'Bacon Slicer' hub mounted in track rear ends with adjuster to prevent wheel pulling over