Classic Lightweights UK
Readers' Bikes  

Hetchins 'Magnum Opus' - 1952

Owned by: Bob Johnson

I, like many cycling enthusiasts in their youth hankered after an exclusive and expensive Hetchins bike but could not afford one. When some 20 odd years ago I heard about this bike through a friend and was told it was a top-of-the-range Magnum Opus with the most expensive all-chrome finish to boot I drove down to Brighton determined to buy it. On seeing the bike I was immediately disappointed, firstly that it had also been converted into a track bike by the owner and secondly and more importantly, it did not have the famous 'curly stays'. I even managed to get some money off the asking price for this perceived flaw. It was fun finding the correct period components to convert it back into the fast tourer it had been originally. Since that time I have been lucky enough to own a few classic lightweight cycles but I have become more fond of this particular bike precisely because of the scarcity of Hetchins 'Magnum Opus' with straight stays. It also helps that it rides beautifully.

Hetchins Magnum Opus 1

Frame 1952 Hetchins ‘MAGNUM OPUS’ 23 ½” Orthodox Frame No. H24700. Unrestored all chrome frame
Wheels Dunlop 27" stainless steel rims on Sturmey Archer AM rear hub with Blumfield SF front
Chainset Chater Lea on Chater Lea BB
Pedals Chater Lea
Gears Sturmey Archer AM
Brakes GB Hiduminium stirrups with early GB hooded levers
Stem/Bars Titan chrome stem with alloy Maes Kint bars
Saddle Brooks B15 on Reynolds alloy seatpin
Extra details

Hetchins Magnum Opus 2
Classic Magnum Opus headlugs
Hetchins Magnum Opus 3
BB also showing Chater chainset
Hetchins Magnum Opus 4
Blumfield - the Rolls Royce of hubs

Hetchins Magnum Opus 5
Front view showing ideal components for this period, early GB Hiduminium stirrups and early GB levers with brass adjusters
Hetchins Magnum Opus 7
Side view of classic Hetchins Magnum Bonum fork crown and head lug