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Classic Lightweights UK
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Ferris Super Champion - c1950

Submitted by Bryan Clarke

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Frame
Ferris Super Champion c.1950; Seat tube 23" CTT; Top tube 22" CTC; Wheelbase 41"; Angles 73/71 degs, Reynolds 531 double-butted tubing, customised Oscar Egg lugs, Simplex rear ends (hanger cut off) silver brazed, Frame No 5320
Wheels
Harden 'Bacon Slicer' hubs on 27" Dunlop lightweight steel rims, 32/40 spoking
Chainset Stronglight 3pin Type 55, Durax 46 tooth 1/8” ring
Pedals Allez
Gears 3-speed early Simplex Tour de France gears, 16-19-22 block
Brakes GB Hiduminium
Stem/Bars Reynolds Girder stem with 7/8" Hiduminium Bailey pattern bars, Lytalloy headset
Saddle Brooks B37 on Titan seat pin
Extra details The original owner could not be absolutely sure when this frame was purchased but thought 1951, but the 'D' shape forks belong more to the 1930s and 40s and was not an option in the 1951 catalogue. It was also made for a cylinder bottom bracket which was more a fashion in the 1940s. I believe that Simplex ends first appeared on British bikes in 1948. This Simplex gear made its first appearance in the UK in 1947 as the twin roller Champion du Monde but the name changed after Jean Robic won the Tour de France that year. The gear went through many changes in a very short space of time. Whilst this version has many alloy parts, by the 1950s they were made entirely of steel components. Ferris were one of a number of builders who believed that the use of low temperature silver brazing made for a livelier frame. The Super Champion was very much a Continental style frame for massed start racing.

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Detail shots of head lugs, Harden 'Bacon Slicer' hub with 3 x 1/8" freewheel, Reynolds alloy wingnuts
and early Simplex 'Tour de France' gear

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Stronglight type 55 chainset, Durax ring and Allez pedals