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1976 Track Frame


When I was building frames in England back in the mid-1970s I recorded frame numbers in a little hardcover note book. I still have that book.

It contains little information, just a customer name and a number. It is a miracle the book has survived to this day. The only reason for keeping it in the first place was to keep track of how many frames I built, and to make sure the serial numbers stayed in sequence and I didn’t miss any.

At the time as I stamped a number on a newly built frame and wrote it down in my little book, probably the last thought in my mind was that I would be corresponding with people about these very same frames 43 years later. I don’t think anyone living at that time could have envisioned the Internet and email.


A couple of weeks ago I got an email from Rob Rix who lives in Lancashire, England. He wrote about a frame I built for him back in 1976. He gave me the frame number M6110, I opened up my numbers book and sure enough there is Rob’s last name, Rix.

In his email Rob wrote:

“Many years ago you built a frame for me and I still have it in my possession. The serial number is M6110. Back then we had to rely on letters and telephone calls to place the order. This bike has been all I ever wanted from a track iron - stiff and ultra-responsive.

The best place I had on it during my racing career was Nation Silver medal for the 1000m sprint. Well done Dave you did a great job for me and the proof is in the length of time I have had the bike, I really would not part with it.  

The front forks were bare tub clearance and originally undrilled however the fork crown was drilled some years later when I used the bike in Hill Climb events.

The only slight damage on the frame is from the inevitable track crash where the handlebars hit the top tube and put a fair dent in it. The frame was originally finished in bright yellow with red head and seat tube contrast panels.

After a couple of seasons racing I had it chromed for durability and it has remained chrome ever since. I have always been satisfied with the bike and you did a first class job for me.  Many thanks for such a good product.”

Rob Rix.

The frames I built in the UK were racing bikes that were used for racing. They did not have the finish and aesthetics of those I would later build in the USA. It is nice to hear a story of a frame that was used for the purpose it was built, and has served its owner well.


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Reader Comments (8)

nice & cool & long live the good work ;-)
best regards (from bucharest, romania),

March 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMircea Andrei Ghinea

Hi Dave, Congrats on being on being able to track all your great frame building work! I would be interested in your thoughts after seeing this dent, if the function of the frame would be adversely affected? Thanks, Mike

March 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMike Squillace

A top tube is not a highly stressed tube so a dent like this should not affect the frame's integrity. Plus a steel frame is unlikely to fail suddenly, a small crack will appear long before the tube breaks completely.

March 12, 2019 | Registered CommenterDave Moulton

HI Dave,
Is it my aging vision or does the top tube appear to have a slight upward arch from the handlebar denting the tube ? Maybe an illusion ?

March 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

I love this post.

My first custom frame (made by Russ Denny and also a track bike) is a treasure to me as well. I have had it for 19 years and still ride it both as a road fixed (with a different fork with a brake) and at the Rock Hill Velodrome in SC.

The sentimental part of me has hope it will become a family heirloom. But since my son is 3 years old it is a bit early to tell if it will fit him, or if he is as much of a softy as his old man.

Thank you for your blog Dave, posts like this one are what keep me reading.

March 13, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGreg

Thanks Dave, I have a similar dent in a 70's 531 frame and it had not changed over the years. Mike

March 14, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMike Squillace

Top tube dents are love taps, it would have to be pretty substantial to cause any structural anxiety.

March 15, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterNeal A Conijn

Love to ses a photo of himself riding that bike. Must be a BIG bloke, deep bars saddle way forward a sprinters bike

March 17, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAnthony Crump

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