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Classic Lightweights UK
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E F Russ - 1930's

Owned by: Michael Townsend

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Frame
E F Russ – Frame number 92600 - 1930s; seat tube 22”, top tube 22½”; 531 tubes with chromed crown, fork ends and double box lining. 
Wheels
26” x 1¼” Constrictor alloy rims on FB small flange front and rear hubs (rear is fixed/free).
Chainset Durax Super Course chromed steel cottered with 46t chainring
Pedals Lyotard quill with Sturmey Archer toe clips
Gears 20T fixed wheel
Brakes Monitor Climax front and rear with BSA levers
Stem/Bars Chromed steel Marsh shallow bars on chromed steel 3” stem with head clip
Saddle Brooks B17 Narrow on alloy Birmalux post

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Left: Durax Super Course chainset
Right: Monitor Climax brake stirrup with restraining 'hook' to prevent brake shudder

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E F Russ downtube transfer and gold double-box lining

I bought the frame in its original state on eBay (as usual) and I attach a photo of it as it was. I went down to Battersea to see Edward Russ who now runs the model shop in his Dad's old cycle shop on Battersea Rise. He and his wife are long time cyclists and members of the Belle Vue and the Fellowship too (in fact they used to pack and despatch the Fellowship News). Long chat with Edward and his wife Beryl about his Dad, Ernie, the shop and especially about Claud Butler with whom they were quite friendly. Mick Butler had told me that Edward has all his Dad's frame building sheets up in the shop attic together with an old trike. I believe that Mick has been up there but I haven't - yet! I have been back once since and am still trying to get Edward to heave out the build sheets but he says they are all in a muddle and that he doesn't have time to sort them until he retires. I have offered to help him sort them out as I really do want to see the history of my frame...

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Russ frame before restoration by Argos

Having measured the frame to help me find the necessary bits I then combined a trip to the Cycle Museum in Llandrindod Wells with taking the frame down to Mark at Argos in Bristol. We looked at it with his paint man and they decided to try and match the original colour as it was not one of their standard ones. I think that they have done a good job. The frame number is 92600 but Edward says his Dad used to change the sequences a lot to confuse people who wanted to fake one!

The wheels were built for me by Mick Madgett (who else?) from some Constrictor rims bought at great expense and FB hubs.  Durax chainset, and Marsh bars were all sourced from the ubiquitous eBay. I did start by putting mudguards and a saddlebag on it but have removed these as it really is a racer not a tourer. I have used some nice French cloth tape on the bars.