Classic Lightweights UK
Fred Dean Time Trial - 1965
Submitted by Alexander von Tutschek - Profile of a fine cycle No 19
How it was acquired:- I tripped over this machine quite by accident in Bristol. The seller had not recorded anything of its past history and this despite the previous owner knowing a lot about it, thus is history lost. Maybe one of this web-site’s viewers remembers this unique cycle and can add more.
The Features that make it special:-
When I bought this machine I knew nothing at all about Fred Dean. What I saw was an exceptionally finely finished frame, whoever had ordered it new knew exactly what he wanted and didn’t just follow fashion. This frame was built for time trialing and was built from new to take the Campag Paris-Roubaix gear that was already a decade into the past. This gear, totally unique among derailleur gears, has no roller resistance and thus is felt to be faster. It is more than possible that the original owner was a disciple of Dave Keeler who also saw and used this advantage as in a time trial the slower gear change is not a problem as very few changes would be made during the event.
Left: Twin-plate fork crown with reinforcing 'tang'
Right: Seat stay brake bridge
Since owning this machine I too have read-up on Fred Dean and now know that he was a highly rated frame builder who also raced using this gear.
In Great Britain all-chrome frames were rare, particularly road frames, our climate is not kind to them and they are prone to rusting. This machine must have been kept indoors as the chrome is as good as you can expect from a machine 50 years old.
When I first saw this machine it was the fine lug-work detailing that registered, the way the chainstays were fitted into the BB shell and the reinforcing sleeves behind the front fork blades, all trade marks of a conscience builder. Beyond the gear the other equipment is as you would expect from the early 1960s, Stronglight 49D chainset, Campag Record hubs & pedals ,Mavic sprint rims etc, all is in good condition. Of particular note is the orange Nitor saddle and matching seat-post in almost new condition. The shape of the bars are very pretty but I can’t bring myself to take off the old bar tape to see if they can be identified. The exceptionally attractive handlebar stem baffles me. Is it customized period stem, one that has been machined ..or is it a more modern stem. As yet I don’t know.
The gears work very smoothly in the frame. These gears work well when the hub ALN dimension is slightly less than the rear drop-out width, so the wheel can move freely along the drop-out rack.
Left: Bottom bracket shell with extended tangs
Right: Unknown make of custom stem
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