Toc Lenox with large tubed frame

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locomotion

Cruisin' on my 1897 Comet
Tubing size, tyre clearance to stay bridges and fork crowns.
Even then this was a consideration I believe on true race models.
Then, as now, at the end of the day ultimately it was down to training, rider strength, nous, and (unfortunately) the ever present doping.
interesting thanks for the input
what would be the ideal fork crown for racers?
what would be ideal tubing size for tubing size?
and what do you mean by "tyre clearance to stay bridges"? what is the stay bridge?
 
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dnc1

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
True race bikes, even back in the TOC era were different in construction to the road bikes.
I was trying to say that the differences are marginal, but visible.

I think you didn't read my previous statement correctly. I mentioned nothing about fork crown design, merely that on a true race bike their would be minimal clearance between the outside circumferential edge of the tyre and the underside of the fork crown. In other words no clearance for a mudguard (fender), they are not simply road bikes with the fenders removed.
No drilling for a fender is present. It rarely is on American made bikes of the era, due to the thin profile of most manufacturers designs.
(On pacing machines of the era, forks would be shorter in length also and frequently only allow for a 26 inch front wheel to be fitted, often with reversed forks. But that is a whole 'nother subject).

This question of clearance also aplies to the "stay bridges", the small pieces of (typically) tubing brazed between the frame stays (either seat or chain stays) used to stiffen the rear triangle of the frame.
Any flexing in this section of the frame is not good under the extreme stresses during a race sprint, not good at all.
These "stay bridges " are two of the points used to typically mount a rear mudguard (fender) on a standard diamond frame of the TOC era.If you have enough clearance at either of these two points between the tyre tread and the bridge to fit a fender then you could argue it is probably a roadster, and not a racer.
On a racer these "bridges" are undrilled for fender mounting and, in the case of the chain stay bridge, typically situated closer to the rear of the Bottom Bracket; this allows for a more compact and more rigid rear triangle, with the rear wheel as close as possible to the rear face of the seat tube, precisely what is required during a sprint finish in order to minimise frame flex.

Tubing size is relative to each manufacturer
This topic has often been raised on the Cabe in the past and has been used to determine whether a bike is a racer and roadster. For example many manufacturers would typically use 1 inch diameter tubing on the main triangle of their roadster models and 7/8 inch tubing on their race models.
It is interesting that the "Lenox" made a point of saying that they are using larger tubes than the standard of the era. Personally I think that they are trying to emphasize the strength of the tubing, and hence their bicycles, rather than any thin-walled superlight intentions.
In addition the photos above certainly show a lot of air between the fork crown, stay bridges and the tyres, even if they were inflated!

I think this image of Marshall Taylor on a postcard sold by @66TigerCat shows the point I was trying to make re. frame clearances......
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Although it's obviously an Iver Johnson, the principle remains the same.

Hopefully @locomotion this is now understandable. I was merely using terms used by frame builders for well over 120 years to describe parts of a bicycle frame.
No intention to confuse anyone; although I know that my British "English" can often differ from the Canadian and American versions.


That "Lenox" is lovely by the way @cr250mark!!!!!
 
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dnc1

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
I see quite a few of these early Toc bicycles with these dropped bars , sleek saddles and brakeless rear hubs like this Lenox and always think Racer !
What categorizes a true racer from a standard Toc roadster so to say.
Assumed a lot was chaining , bar design , wheel size possibly and frame profile .
I’m sure it was challenging to stop these guys
And also, don't forget that a brakeless rear hub was pretty much still the norm in 1897, I think that this is around the time when coaster rear brake hubs started to appear.
 

Blue Streak

Wore out three sets of tires already!
To add to the discussion above about difference between road and racing bicycles, in 1898 Tribune offered five men's bicycles:

Model 33 - First class bicycle at a moderate price ($50.00)
Model 35 - Standard Tribune - A road wheel for the average rider for business and pleasure ($75.00)
Model 37 - Blue Streak - Highest quality road wheel ($100.00)
Model 350 - To meet requirements of racing men and fast riders but sufficient for ordinary road work ($75.00)
Track Racer - Specifically designed for speed ($115.00)

Per the catalog specifications below there are differences between all of them including frame geometry, tubing, pedals, handlebars, saddles, tires, weight, etc. Visually they all look similar so the details are necessary to differentiate one from the other. I have a Model 350 and a Track Racer and the frames are definitely lighter than the standard road wheel.

Since road bicycles and racing bicycles of this era look a lot a like, it is important to know what the specific manufacturer offered each model year and verify details of the actual bicycle compared against catalog specs to determine what it may be. Since catalogs were most likely printed at the beginning of each model year there may be discrepancies between what was actually sold but they are a great starting point.

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For 1899, Tribune only offered three grades (five models) of men's models:

Model 40 - First class bicycle at moderate price.
Model 42 (44 has 30" wheels) - Blue Streak - Highest quality
Model 450 (460 has 30" wheels) Track Racer - Racing wheel
 

cr250mark

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
To add to the discussion above about difference between road and racing bicycles, in 1898 Tribune offered five men's bicycles:

Model 33 - First class bicycle at a moderate price ($50.00)
Model 35 - Standard Tribune - A road wheel for the average rider for business and pleasure ($75.00)
Model 37 - Blue Streak - Highest quality road wheel ($100.00)
Model 350 - To meet requirements of racing men and fast riders but sufficient for ordinary road work ($75.00)
Track Racer - Specifically designed for speed ($115.00)

Per the catalog specifications below there are differences between all of them including frame geometry, tubing, pedals, handlebars, saddles, tires, weight, etc. Visually they all look similar so the details are necessary to differentiate one from the other. I have a Model 350 and a Track Racer and the frames are definitely lighter than the standard road wheel.

Since road bicycles and racing bicycles of this era look a lot a like, it is important to know what the specific manufacturer offered each model year and verify details of the actual bicycle compared against catalog specs to determine what it may be. Since catalogs were most likely printed at the beginning of each model year there may be discrepancies between what was actually sold but they are a great starting point.

View attachment 1358265


View attachment 1358259


View attachment 1358260



View attachment 1358261



View attachment 1358262

For 1899, Tribune only offered three grades (five models) of men's models:

Model 40 - First class bicycle at moderate price.
Model 42 (44 has 30" wheels) - Blue Streak - Highest quality
Model 450 (460 has 30" wheels) Track Racer - Racing wheel

Definetly more description and detail defining the Racer than I have seen in any other descriptive sales adds.
Frame size being 23 , spoke count ,sprocket , weight differences
Extc. All the way down to pedal performance !
Cool stuff !
This was a Great example for use , by eye all examples look similar or the same ( everything I originally questioned For example saddle ,
Frame and drop bars ) but not after reading the fine print.

Thank you for this post
Mark
 
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cr250mark

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
True race bikes, even back in the TOC era were different in construction to the road bikes.
I was trying to say that the differences are marginal, but visible.

I think you didn't read my previous statement correctly. I mentioned nothing about fork crown design, merely that on a true race bike their would be minimal clearance between the outside circumferential edge of the tyre and the underside of the fork crown. In other words no clearance for a mudguard (fender), they are not simply road bikes with the fenders removed.
No drilling for a fender is present. It rarely is on American made bikes of the era, due to the thin profile of most manufacturers designs.
(On pacing machines of the era, forks would be shorter in length also and frequently only allow for a 26 inch front wheel to be fitted, often with reversed forks. But that is a whole 'nother subject).

This question of clearance also aplies to the "stay bridges", the small pieces of (typically) tubing brazed between the frame stays (either seat or chain stays) used to stiffen the rear triangle of the frame.
Any flexing in this section of the frame is not good under the extreme stresses during a race sprint, not good at all.
These "stay bridges " are two of the points used to typically mount a rear mudguard (fender) on a standard diamond frame of the TOC era.If you have enough clearance at either of these two points between the tyre tread and the bridge to fit a fender then you could argue it is probably a roadster, and not a racer.
On a racer these "bridges" are undrilled for fender mounting and, in the case of the chain stay bridge, typically situated closer to the rear of the Bottom Bracket; this allows for a more compact and more rigid rear triangle, with the rear wheel as close as possible to the rear face of the seat tube, precisely what is required during a sprint finish in order to minimise frame flex.

Tubing size is relative to each manufacturer
This topic has often been raised on the Cabe in the past and has been used to determine whether a bike is a racer and roadster. For example many manufacturers would typically use 1 inch diameter tubing on the main triangle of their roadster models and 7/8 inch tubing on their race models.
It is interesting that the "Lenox" made a point of saying that they are using larger tubes than the standard of the era. Personally I think that they are trying to emphasize the strength of the tubing, and hence their bicycles, rather than any thin-walled superlight intentions.
In addition the photos above certainly show a lot of air between the fork crown, stay bridges and the tyres, even if they were inflated!

I think this image of Marshall Taylor on a postcard sold by @66TigerCat shows the point I was trying to make re. frame clearances......
View attachment 1358208

Although it's obviously an Iver Johnson, the principle remains the same.

Hopefully @locomotion this is now understandable. I was merely using terms used by frame builders for well over 120 years to describe parts of a bicycle frame.
No intention to confuse anyone; although I know that my British "English" can often differ from the Canadian and American versions.


That "Lenox" is lovely by the way @cr250mark!!!!!

Man lots of good stuff , arbitration of opinion and ideas is Great !
Brings some good stuff to the table.
Definetly will give me a whole different way to look at a bicycle in question or not in question.
Honestly never looked or thought about several things mentioned
When trying to decifer model !

thanks again
Mark
 

FreedomMachinist

Finally riding a big boys bike
I was lucky enough tobe the new owner of this bicycle - thanks again Mark for letting me have it.
And luckily the original Lenox sales catalog (with that modell) was available on Ebay at the same time (mentioned by Blue Streak above) - being able to secure that one as well makes me even more happy.

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I especially like the crank mechanism- an ingenious arrangment, where the cranks are held together by a long screw and, due the slanted contact area, are pushed outside, "expanding in diameter " so to say, and hence: clamp the surrounding, hardened bushing which bears the tapered surface, for the ball bearing. The cups containing the balls are screwed into the bottom bracket.



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Once the play of the crank bearing is set, the cups are clamped tight by two set screws compressing the bottom bracket.

1695895


All bearings of the machine are in decent condition and run really smooth.



I'm always stunned how many US bikes have surived over time, even with their original (or period correct) tires still mounted - this is rellay amazing to see (and amazing to imagine how long these machines have stayed unused, stahsed away in qa hidden corner.
In Germany you rarely find such old bikes with their "factory pneumatics" still mounted.


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Despite being complete, the original wheel set and saddle are far beyond ridebale condition , and I would not even attemp to "fix" them, but rather keep these itmes as they are for display.
Since I also want to ride the bike ( for a certain time), I opted for setting up a repro wheel set:
The rims are from Ghisallo (Italy) wood rims with a carbon fibre support ring , hidden on the rim bed.
I stained them to "Hickory Yellow" and laced it with nickeled, double swaged spokes NOS and soldered the crossings.
The rear received a ND Model A, for the front I copied the original Lenox hub on my lathe and did "chemical nickeling", which can slo be done at home, without galvanic gadgets.


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I can absolutley recommend these rims, I have two clincher sets of them, on the Lenox is a large 28" set (635mm) my Pierce has a small 28" set (622mm).
You can order your custom hole-count, bed profiles for tubular or clinchers and several inner rim shapes (rectangular, beveled balooners etc.) in different widths...
They even carry the long nipples+washers, nickeled or plain brass surface.

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The saddle mounted on the picture is also old, but not as valueable.

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The chain which came with the bike looked great, but was lenghtend too much for riding 😥 😆So thanks again to the Cabe I found a chain here on DOND.
It was a bit short so I manufactured the missing blocks+ links (four black ones on the bottom in picture)

1695909


The rear sprocket is self made as well.
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All bearings were inspected, cleaned, oiled/greased. The entire machine was gently cleaned and waxed, that was it - no chemicals, boiled line seed or similar.

At the moment I'm riding this bike quite often, but in a few weeks/months it will go back on display, receiving its original tires and saddle back.

I think this is a nice method of enjoing your machine while actually riding it, without taking a risk to destroy brittle, original items.
I can enjoy an old machine by looking at it, enjyoing the details etc. , but for me it is even more rewarding to also ride and feel the bike.

68C72BA4-EE3C-4B1F-8E23-978512BFBB62.jpeg
 
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