Posts Tagged hetchins

Vintage Bicycle Websites

HeadbadgeWe’ve mentioned before how we’ve drawn inspiration for the Speedhound Only One from vintage lightweight bicycles.  Our choice of high performance steel and the classic diamond frame configuration are obvious connections to cycling’s enduring heritage.

We also love the understated aesthetics of bikes from 40 or more years ago, before the fluorescent color schemes of the 1980s, the billboard graphics of the 1990s and the sterile swooshes of the 21st century.  Our stamped brass headbadge, double plate fork crown and understated graphics are homages to the hand-crafted frames of an earlier time, when bicycles possessed a very soul.

 

 

 

Wall of ConfusionWe love to hunt for vintage bikes and rare old components on e-Bay and at swap meets.   But the addiction can get a bit out of control, so mostly we just look now – it’s free!  To do some of your own gazing, start with the treasure of photos and information on the following sites.

Caution:  you might get the habit!

 

 

Our Favorite Links

Where Speedhound’s rediscovery of vintage bicycles in the Internet era began: www.classicrendezvous.com

A very impressive UK resource with a true sense of history: www.classiclightweights.co.uk

Mind-blowing Swiss photo collection:  www.speedbicycles.ch

Repository for all things Hetchins:  www.hetchins.org

User submitted photo galleries of vintage lightweights:  www.wooljersey.com/gallery/main.php

Huge database of old bikes and components, including headbadges:  www.velobase.com

UK site dedicated to derailleurs (discover a connection to the 1960s supergroup, Cream):  www.disraeligears.co.uk

Excellent photography (and how to do it) featuring mostly Italian iron and mostly Colnagos:  www.raydobbins.com

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Speedhound’s Graphic Inspiration

At Speedhound, we’ve long had a passion for lightweight British bicycles from the early post-WWII era, when cars were scarce, gas supplies short, and the club riding scene flourished.  There were mass-produced brands, of course:  Armstrong, BSA, Dunelt, Hercules, Humber, Norman, Phillips, Raleigh, Rudge, and Sun, but the really special machines were from the boutique hand builders, particularly in the London area.  Some of the notables included Bates, Gillott, Ephgrave, Hetchins, Hobbs, Maclean, H.R. Morris, and Paris.  You can see some stunning examples from these and many other artisanal makers on www.classicrendezvous.com.

We have to admit that we’ve borrowed a bit of the graphical style from the bikes of  this era.  The headbadge and seat tube graphic of the ONLY ONE draw inspiration from coats of arms, which were a common theme in British commercial design.  Although the font for our downtube decal is more 1950’s Frigidaire than English script, it’s understated and elegant.  Perhaps our best muse is Hetchins, with its heroic cast metal headbadge and seat tube shield wreathed in laurel.  The photos show details of a bike in Speedhound’s collection, a 1956 Hetchins Experto Crede Vibrant in original, unrestored condition.  This old steed still rides wonderfully, a testament to the enduring quality of steel.  For more vintage eye candy, go to www.hetchins.org.

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