Classic Lightweights UK
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Hetchins 'Nulli Secundus' - 1954

Submitted by Hugo Vanneck


Listed in the catalogue as a ‘Short Distance Time Trial Design, No. 5’ this cycle was delivered to Howes of Oxford on 20th January 1954, at the trade price of £14.13.6d.
When I bought it on eBay almost 60 years later it was practically a basket case, with the paint completely gone on the top tube and only the front hub, the rims and the 49D crank set serviceable.  Argos Cycles in Bristol refinished it in GPO red with gold lining, and I think made a lovely job of it – have you ever tried lug-lining?


 Hetchins Nulli Secundus, 'Short Distance Time Trial Design', No. 5  1954: 23" seat tube, 22¾" top tube, 17¾" chainstays
27" Weinmann Alesa alloy rim / Powell hub with Tecamelit end-oiler front & (temporarily…) Dunlop Lightweight steel / British Hub Airlite rear
Chainset Stronglight 49d cranks, single 48T TA chain wheel, Reynold ‘The Coventry’ chain
Pedals Lyotard Marcel Berthet, Christophe toe clips, Binda straps
Gears  Single-speed fixed gear, 48T chainwheel with 17T cog = 76.2" gear
Brakes A.L.P. 'Competition' front caliper, Bartali 'Roi des Grimpeurs' lever
Stem/Bars Phillipe Cadet stem, Reynolds Bailey drops
Saddle  Brooks B17 Narrow on alloy post & clip
Extra details Unknown headset, Bayliss & Wiley BB, Lucas bell, Apex Superlite pump, GB wingnuts & French reflector. The Powell front hub is as fine a piece of work as you will find. With the wheel off the ground and a gentle pull it takes forever to stop spinning.  Listed in the 1952 Brown Brothers catalogue as next in cost to Chater Lea, it is very rare.  I’m presently trying to restore the heavily pitted races of the rear and will fit that if and when I manage to do so. If anyone has a good rear large flange Powell to spare I would be very interested.

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Two views of Nulli Secundus head lugs - neatly lined in gold

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Bottom bracket and seat cluster Nulli Secundus lugs

Front of head lug, Alp 'Competition' front caliper

Phillipe Cadet stem, ALP brake and 'Bailey' bars