Watershed

Sometimes it takes me years to find out something that really should have been evident from the start.

When I got this ca. 1941 FW Evans Super Continental in 1997, I was smitten at once. It didn´t have the Osgear but an FW, and it was sold to me as being 1939. I rode it a lot with the FW and just loved it: Responsive, not too harsh angles.

The former owner had fitted the FW, destroying the original tied and soldered spokes, because he wanted a gear hub instead of the double fixed that he had found on the bike. The front wheel has the original spokes to this day.

What I noted even on unpacking the bike was that there was a braze on for an Osgear Pro version under the b/b.

I didn´t have an Osgear then, let alone the short arm version, so I went about looking for one. A friend called a short time later to tell me that he had been sold a rather strange Osgear, one without a clip on the tension arm, when he had expected to get the standard version. I asked him not to return it and so I got the arm and the striking fork, albeit no gear lever. I had found a copycat Osgear in a French scrapyard some time before, and until I got hold of an original lever used that.

After some years I got hold of another scrapped Osgear which rendered the alloy spring cover and a roller, and after I had installed that I had a complete pro version pre-WWII Osgear, one of the first gear change mechs to be allowed i.e. in the Tour de France.

The frame as such also is a beauty. It still has a great deal of original surface with the Evans Super Continental transfer still recognizable. Look out for the French “Londres”.

There are some nice parts on the bike besides the Osgear, like the Brooks Flyweight saddle

or the surprisingly comfortable Lauterwasser bars.

The owner before me had also chucked the original LAM brakes, and it took me the best part of one and a half decades to get another ridable pair – not because they are so super rare, but because I wanted the right ones.
As soon as I´ll find the time I´ll edit this post to enlarge on what made this bike so special (British and still fitted with a derailleur), and what a CTC Silver Plaque is. I´m horribly behind with what I could publish here (rides, special bikes, book reviews) in relation to the time I have available. Also there´s a  restoration of a ca. 1930 Miele going on, so I hope you bear with me.

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