Carpenter DP (Dual Purpose: Road/Path) racer from immediate pre-war years.
YouTube clip (Herne Hill March 2017):
Before WW2 there was a great emphasis placed on transverse rigidity of the transmission. Chain stays became shorter; on track frames in particular heavy inch-pitch chains were used to minimise ‘whip’. Oversized bottom brackets were often fitted. Aluminium alloy components were regarded with some suspicion, they had a reputation for failing so steel was favoured. Williams offered a ‘Dureel’ chainring, Carpenter’s Dural hubs were available, Reynolds sold RR56 (Hiduminium) seat pins, that was about it. The only aluminium alloy bits on this bike are the bearing carriers on the otherwise steel BH Airlight hubs. The adjustable steel stem was popularised by the pre-WW1 track star Major Taylor.
The bike came to me as a frame that had been re-enamelled black at some time, with the remnants of post-war Carpenter decals. Careful scraping back revealed traces of bronze paint and some hand painted initials (CW?). The front forks are surprisingly delicate looking.
Frame: 72/72 parallel frame. 11″ b/b clearance with wheels fitted. Oversized b/b, 5/16″ bearings (Chater-Lea). Chater-Lea clip headset.
Wheels: “Continental 27 inch” wheels (i.e. 700c’s).
Constrictor Boa wood rims.
Airlite l/f hubs, pre-war version with steel flanges rivetted onto alloy bearing carriers. Steel barrels. A pig to restore!
Transmission: Chater-Lea inch pitch chainset, 24T. 8T fixed sprocket
Constrictor Boa pedals
Steering: Major Taylor stem, unbranded. Steel bars, unbranded. Dare grips.
Saddle: Brooks B17 Sprinter saddle. Steel seatpin.
Note: Mudguard clearances and mounting points on fork ends; drilled for front brake, bag loops on saddle. Definitely a DP (Dual Purpose: Road/Path).
Rides: Lee Valley Olympic Velodrome, EGCC evening “tens” (brake fitted), Catford CC Hill Climb. (36×26 gearing, half-inch pitch), Cronosquadre della Versillia 4-up TT (50×15, GB postwar bars, stem and front brake)
Frame restoration: Argos, Bristol. (Bronze, gold as per catalogue; Kingston RCC colours).
Wheel building: Mick Madgett, Diss
Decals (from artwork supplied): Nick Tithecott, Lloyds Cycles, Penrith