Carpenter – Pre or Post WWII?

The last remarkable thing to be reported of last year´s Tubes & Coffee was this marvellous

xcaradownttransfI´m not sure if it´s pre or post WWII, as the rear hub shell is stamped 1947, but the rest of the bike shows a lot of 1930s features. It´s probably really 1947 firstly because it´s so very orignal that it makes sense to assume that the rear hub shell also is, and secondly because a great many bikes from the immediate post-WWII period look still very much 1930s.

Later addition: Here´s the original 1939 warranty tag – that settles the dating queation:

Photo: Marten Gerritsen

Let´s have a look at a few snaps.

xcarfullHere it is in all its beauty. Great frame, superbly equipped. It must have been someone´s pride and joy, possibly as some sort of splash of luxury afforded in the years of extreme austerity and even danger.

xcarbsapedals xcarchainsA Chater chainset, BSA pedals – wonderful stuff, and among the best you could get.

xcarfthubxcarquadrThe Sturmey quadrant was already outmoded by the late 30s; the handlebar positioned trigger had been around since about 1938. Much as I like quirky and oldfashioned equipment, the idea of having to get off a bike equipped with a quadrant in a hurry doesn´t seem very attractive to me. I think I would have been an early adopter of the trigger.

xcarlauterwbarsThe handebars (they´re Lauterwasser bend, aren´t they?) are great, however, and I wish they were available today. I have a pair on my Evans Super Continental, and I like them a lot.

xcarrearresilion xcarresilionlevers xcarresilionlampbrThese I don´t like a lot – Resilion Cantilever brakes were effective, yes, but beasts to fit and / or set up. Again I have first hand experience, and I´d rather have centrepulls anytime, thanks.

xcarrimThese I think don´t fit into the picture. Could they have been 1947? They must have been later additions, possibly because the old ones (Constrictors perhaps?) were worn out.

xcarheadbBack to the frame. Have a look at this wonderful Art Déco headbadge. I love it. Why don´t they make bikes with so beautiful badges anymore?

Tell you what, I´ve always tried to ride bikes with headbadges, real ones, and I´ve nearly always found that they are superbe: Gazelle, old Raleighs, and so on. There´s one exception, though: My fascinating Ellis Briggs which only has a head transfer. But, me being me, I talked the good people at EB out of an old 1950s badge years and years ago, when they still were at the old premises, and if my frame should ever need a respray, or, god beware, a repair, on would go the headbadge.

headbebBut back to the regularly scheduled programme.

xcarforkcrlowerheadlugxcarheadcliptopThese headclip headbearings ooze 1930s, don´t they? And look at the marvellous lower headlug, how it varies its thickness. Cast, I assume.

xcarreyntransfThe whole thing is of course made from R531, what else.

xcarseatclLastly the seatcluster. Button seat stay tops also are 30s fashion, and again there is a member of the wonderful cast lug set. I wonder if it´s perhaps BSA or Chater. Also the braze ons for the Resilion brake cables are worth mentioning.

But that´s all the photos I could take, and some of them are out of focus because of the light at Marten´s workshop. It´s a bike shop after all, not a photo studio.

BTW, today was the day this blog welcomed its 75.000th reader of a post, and next month I´ll have been on line for five years. Thanks to all of you, and while there have not been many posts recently (I´m suffering from acute work overload), I have not lost the motivation to carry on. I hope to become more active again next (yes, 2018) year.


  1. Andrew Gorman
    Posted February 21, 2017 at 8:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Lauterwasser bars in steel and alloy are available from SOMA in the US.
    I put a pair on a dumpy 1938 Raleigh built Gazelle and completely transformed the bike!

    • Posted March 2, 2017 at 6:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Andrew, thanks for the heads up.
      Sorry I edited your post – I don´t publish URLs in my blog.

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