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Can the frame be indentified by measurements only...?

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Can the frame be indentified by measurements only...?

Old 04-19-19, 08:37 AM
  #1  
maiello
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Can the frame be indentified by measurements only...?

Hi all,

I previously posted this under 'Mercian or Carlton; this time I have added more detail in terms of measurements.

I've had the frame pictured below for a number of years, given to me by my brother-in-law. There is no marking or serial number upon the frame or forks, and when it was given to me the only clue to its original colour was a hint of metallic red on the steerer. I did contact Mercian as their lugs look very similar to the ones on my frame. Mercian thought it was a Campionissimo from between 69-74. I did ask them whether they would ever let a frame leave the factory with no serial numbers, but the thread went dead. I'm not convinced it is a Campionissimo. I live in Bedfordshire and there was a frame builder in the next county (TEW Reynolds) who also used similar lugs in the 60's-70's so I thought it could be one of theirs...but they just don't quite match. In a last attempt to get some form of identification I have taken extensive measurements in the hope that someone will take a guess at the quality of the steel, which may then point me in a direction....


Top tube ext. diameter 25.93mm
Down Tube " 28.77mm
Seat tube " 28.90mm
Head tube " 31.97mm; wall thickness 2.77mm; inside diameter 29.99mm
Chainstay " 22.32mm (at BB); 13.00mm at drop out
Seat stay " 13mm (seat post end); 10.55mm at drop out
Bottom Bracket " 39.94mm; wall thickness 3.22mm; inside diameter 33.12mm
Seat tube lug thickness: 3.40mm; inside diameter 26.27mm


Frame weight: 2.41kg (5.32lbs)
Fork weight: 920g (32.5oz)

Any help in anyway to get a handle on this frame would be really welcome. It rides beautifully and as a winter frame with Suntour and ofmega group set it's a joy; just wish I could badge it up as well.

Many thanks







Gerald

Last edited by maiello; 04-19-19 at 08:45 AM. Reason: Clarification
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Old 04-19-19, 09:41 AM
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The best way way to "indentify" a frame, is to strike it with a heavy object.
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Old 04-19-19, 10:44 AM
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No serial on the steerer either?

What diameter seat post?
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Old 04-19-19, 11:02 AM
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looks like he measured 26.27mm seatpost.
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Old 04-19-19, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
looks like he measured 26.27mm seatpost.
I see it now. That's some heavy gauge tubing.
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Old 04-19-19, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
The best way way to "indentify" a frame, is to strike it with a heavy object.
I see what u did there
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Old 04-19-19, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
I see it now. That's some heavy gauge tubing.
Wouldn't that be in the right range for high-quality plain gauge tubing? (531pg, durifort, etc)

SP
Nwpt, OR
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Old 04-19-19, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
No serial on the steerer either?

What diameter seat post?
Unfortunately no numbers anywhere, complete blank canvas... Maybe a local frame builder got hold of the tubes...
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Old 04-19-19, 03:01 PM
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maiello
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Originally Posted by rando_couche View Post
Wouldn't that be in the right range for high-quality plain gauge tubing? (531pg, durifort, etc)

SP
Nwpt, OR
If it were a Mercian then posibly could be 531. I did check Reynolds dimensions, and they weren't quite a match: sometimes outside diameter was lower than Reynolds, some time higher only by a decimal point, so possibly given human involvement could be 531. Not heard of Durifort....
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Old 04-19-19, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by malcala622 View Post
I see what u did there
Just got it 😊
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Old 04-19-19, 03:23 PM
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There are some measurements such as headbadge holes that are apparently very representative of brands. But, lacking those features, one goes by overall features of the bike.

Also, identifying threads, post sizes, & etc, could help identify the tubing and country of origin.

Identifying the dropouts may also help narrow down both the age of the frame, as well as potentially builders or country of origin.
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Old 04-19-19, 03:59 PM
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Nice frame.
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Old 04-19-19, 06:37 PM
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rear dropouts appear closer to stamped than forged, but does have a derailleur tab, machined cable stops for shift cables adjacent to the bottom bracket.
LONG top eyes, "production" effort to the lugs... My conjecture straight gauge tubing... But, double check the seat lug ears are not distorted inward.

shine a bright light down the head tube looking for headbadge fastener holes. My feeling is this is older than younger.
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Old 04-20-19, 02:21 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
There are some measurements such as headbadge holes that are apparently very representative of brands. But, lacking those features, one goes by overall features of the bike.

Also, identifying threads, post sizes, & etc, could help identify the tubing and country of origin.

Identifying the dropouts may also help narrow down both the age of the frame, as well as potentially builders or country of origin.
That's the shame of it: no identifying marks, holes, numbers or names... Just quite distinctive lugs. The dropouts look to be pressed steel, no branding. That's why I wonder whether a local frame builder got hold of the tubes. Don't know if this helps in anyway, but I've attached a pic of the inside of the bottom bracket.

Last edited by maiello; 04-20-19 at 02:57 AM.
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Old 04-20-19, 02:22 AM
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Originally Posted by VcruzX View Post
Nice frame.
Thank you. A bit heavy, but smooth and comfortable on wintry rds.
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Old 04-20-19, 02:26 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
rear dropouts appear closer to stamped than forged, but does have a derailleur tab, machined cable stops for shift cables adjacent to the bottom bracket.
LONG top eyes, "production" effort to the lugs... My conjecture straight gauge tubing... But, double check the seat lug ears are not distorted inward.

shine a bright light down the head tube looking for headbadge fastener holes. My feeling is this is older than younger.
I think so. Dropouts definitely plain pressed steel, no branding at all. Just the lugs make it a bit different. Completely subjective, with no real evidence, it feels 1960ish.

Last edited by maiello; 04-20-19 at 02:54 AM.
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Old 04-20-19, 05:29 AM
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Nice frame! Any idea where it might have come from?

Unmarked frames from the seventies and eighties are quite common in my area. Most came from Belgium, where a number of shops and factories produced frames for others to brand and sell. They were made at various quality levels, from very mundane Flandrias to pro spec Martens one-offs.
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Old 04-20-19, 05:39 AM
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maiello -




It looks like one of the better mid-range Carltons from the very late 60s or 70s. The tells are the Crespera lugs, the Vagner DP+ style crown, the post style cable stops and the use of the Zeus stamped dropouts which are all characteristic of that period of Carlton construction. The tubing is likely to have been TI TruWell 205 plain gauge hi-tensile which seems consistent with the weights you provided. Try the Veteran Cycle Club's on line catalogues here: Veteran-Cycle Club Online Library
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Old 04-20-19, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
Nice frame! Any idea where it might have come from?

Unmarked frames from the seventies and eighties are quite common in my area. Most came from Belgium, where a number of shops and factories produced frames for others to brand and sell. They were made at various quality levels, from very mundane Flandrias to pro spec Martens one-offs.
Sorry, no idea. My brother in law often picks up old frames from skips and tips, could have come from anywhere. I live in England, and it's nice to imagine that some point it might have ridden across Belgium cobbles.
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Old 04-20-19, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by bertinjim View Post
maiello -




It looks like one of the better mid-range Carltons from the very late 60s or 70s. The tells are the Crespera lugs, the Vagner DP+ style crown, the post style cable stops and the use of the Zeus stamped dropouts which are all characteristic of that period of Carlton construction. The tubing is likely to have been TI TruWell 205 plain gauge hi-tensile which seems consistent with the weights you provided. Try the Veteran Cycle Club's on line catalogues here: Veteran-Cycle Club Online Library
Thank you for that. I was edging towards Carlton Clubman from the sixties. I'll check out the lead... Checking on other forums I came across this: 1969 carlton longfellow. Identical lugs, carlton brochure states it is made out of heavier 531 tubing for the taller rider. Sadly no other pictures on the thread I took this from.

https://images.app.goo.gl/Q52yJenbPwADqDrA8

Last edited by maiello; 04-20-19 at 08:49 AM.
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Old 04-20-19, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by maiello View Post
That's the shame of it: no identifying marks, holes, numbers or names... Just quite distinctive lugs. The dropouts look to be pressed steel, no branding. That's why I wonder whether a local frame builder got hold of the tubes. Don't know if this helps in anyway, but I've attached a pic of the inside of the bottom bracket.
I always think of small backyard frame building when something obscure shows up. However, few small builders are working with pressed steel dropouts, at least today.

One might note that my Colnago Super has all the proper clover cutouts, but no serial numbers or other markings.

I read some speculation once that Colnago may have deliberately not serialized the early frames to fudge taxes.
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Old 04-20-19, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I always think of small backyard frame building when something obscure shows up. However, few small builders are working with pressed steel dropouts, at least today.

One might note that my Colnago Super has all the proper clover cutouts, but no serial numbers or other markings.

I read some speculation once that Colnago may have deliberately not serialized the early frames to fudge taxes.
Nice bike, one day....

I think I'm the closest I will ever get: 60's - 70's Carlton; either a long fellow with heavy 531 as it says in the catalogue, or maybe a Clubman with straightforward plain gauge. If not more specific decals, I'd be happy to badge it as a Carlton, particularly as I am a fan of the Raleigh brand as well.
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Old 05-02-19, 11:58 AM
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Well... Committed to the Carlton badge. All set to be kitted out for winter.
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Old 05-02-19, 12:08 PM
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The lugs look like Bocama products to me, like some variant of the model 80 - perhaps a variant dropped by the time they printed this catalog, which shows similar lugs -
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Old 05-02-19, 01:01 PM
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Excellent! Looking forward to the rest of the build.
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