Classic Lightweights UK
Frank Lipscombe - 1960Owned by: Alexander von Tutschek
Profile of a fine cycle No. 7
How long owned: About eleven years
How was it acquired: At a Herne Hill cycle jumble on Sunday morning in about 1996 Neil Palmer approached me holding this 25” frame. “You must buy this Alexander, I’ve brought it for you” he told me.
I didn’t need another bicycle.
Who was this Lipsombe chappie anyway? He insisted….. and I reluctantly gave in and bought it from him. Neil Palmer did me a great favour that day and I’m now forever in his debt.
This fancy lugged Lipscombe frame has all its original finish in remarkably good condition. The lugs remind many who see it of an Ephgrave No 1. What is in no doubt is the quality of the workmanship, it's my opinion that these lugs are prettier than the fore-mentioned. It has period Campag drop-outs and a brazed-on built bridge for a rear centre-pull brake.
When you able to find a frame in this condition it is a pleasure to match it with period components. The end result is a machine that all looks as if it's always been together (not a new bicycle with an old frame).
Campag Record pedals, seat post, gear & hubs; Weinmann alloy rims; Stronglight 49d chainset; Brooks B17 Champion Narrow saddle; Mafac brakes; Bluemels mudguards. Stem is a chrome-plated steel GB “Kromo” matched to GB alloy Ventoux fitted with a VIT handle-bar bottle-cage. These I rate highly as the bottle is out of the way and doesn’t clutter the bars. Note also the Strata alloy saddle-bag support, this is a component from an earlier era but they are very light, strong, and can be mounted high enough to support a saddlebag when the frame is big.
Anything else?: Shortly after buying the frame I started researching through pre-war copies of “Cycling” magazines and from these learnt just how great a rider Frank Lipscombe had been. For years he was highly placed in the Best All Rounder (BAR) contest although he never quite won it. Frank was always instantly recognisable in the period photos, short in height, with neat hair and spectacles. I went on a journey to locate his old shop, 185/7 Markhouse Road, Walthamstow E17 in East London but sadly it had been demolished some years back. When I ride this machine I’m aware that I’m riding a tangible link to one of the pre-war “greats”…. Frank Lipcombe.
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© 2006 Classic Lightweights