Classic Lightweights UK

Ekla lugs and fork crowns

Author Bryan Clarke

These Continental cast lugs and fork crowns were apparently available before WWII but seem to have been popular with frame builders in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Macleans even named one of their models ‘The Ekla’ at this time too. 

I suspect the nationwide distribution through Brown Brothers must have helped and they appear in their 1952 catalogue shown here below: 



They were also available though the Continental importers, Fonteyn & Co., who offered a larger range of fork crowns in their 1950 catalogue.



Many of these will be familiar to collectors of Classic bikes. These attractive designs were very popular and used independently of the lug sets and vice versa. Similarly, the short chamfered top-eyes to the seat stays were not always adopted. 



1950s F W Evans with Ekla lugs


Norris Lockley has observed that these were probably the basis for Ephgrave’s early hand cut No1 pattern lug and it made me think there may be parallels with the early ‘Knights of Harrow’ BAR pattern lug. Not all builders went to these lengths to customise their lugs but the photos below show that subtle alterations could be made to great effect. I am grateful to Hilary Stone for allowing me to use photographs from his website.



1950 Hobbs of Barbican


Macleans frame no. KB306



Mercian 1949

Paragon with braze-on Osgear eye beneath bottom bracket