Stan Miles 1950's British track frame
Rusty Cinelli Milano 14 steel track drops, Cinelli Badged Stem
Original Fork, 1970s NOS Campagnolo Record Pista Headset
Campagnolo Record Pista 36H to Gold Anodized Mavic Record Du Monde De L'Heure Tubular rim
Campagnolo Record Pista 36H to Gold Anodized Mavic Record Du Monde De L'Heure Tubular rim
Fluted Campagnolo Record Pista 165mm, Phil Wood BB
Campagnolo Record Fluted Seatpost, Brooks Swift
Campagnolo Record Pista Pedals, Izumi ESH
Phil Wood Cog (19t), 48t Chainring. Head for the hills!
The frame is a bit of a mystery. I got this on eBay about a year ago, with no decals attached, but the seller said it was a Stan Miles frame, so I'll go by that. Ever since my bikes been on fixedgeargallery I've been getting some interesting emails from old british guys. Here are a few of them:
John bell: Hi Adam, just catching up on fixed wheel gallery and noticed your frame. the lugs are certainly NOT nervex, they are Bill Hurlow design. when he built frames
under his own name he incorperated a "BH" in the head tube cutouts but he also worked for CONDOR I assume this is one he built for condor,(without his BH on head tube) or else one which condor built to his lug design after he had left them. I do not know of "stan miles" but perhaps he was one of condor frame builders at the time it was usual for bigger firms to have more than one builder as in the heyday of frames 500
upwards were built each year, and of course builders moved to different companies, and sometimes set up on thier own businesses. just going on holiday will talk to you more when I return. (look at classicrendezvous to see one with BH on head tubes) Regards John Bell
Me: Thanks for the email! The bottom bracket shell is stamped nervex. Did Mr Hurlow modify their lugs? The bikes on clasic rondezvous are very much like mine though! That's pretty cool! This frame has been quite the mistery to me, I assumed Stan Miles was a builder for either condor or bob jackson who set off on his own. It's a great bike. I just finished building up a 3Rensho track bike, and am taking apart the stan miles to have it repainted and to throw on some period parts to do a full restoration. Hope to have it done by the end of the summer. Hit me back when you return from holiday, I'd love to learn more about my frame, I love it dearly and it was my daily rider for quite some time.
John Bell: Hi Adam, thank's for your Email. I have noidea why nervex is stamped on the B/B perhaps a sales scam sometime in the life of the frame. these lugs are "hand cut" from blank lugs probhably from "cast" blanks.(nervex are pressed & welded onstruction) The rear track ends look very much like "CONDOR" track ends to me different to most other track end's of the time/ condor are still in business (see classic rendezvous)perhaps they can help you with stan miles, & also tell you if your frame is a Condor. you should have a frame number on the bottom bracket & also stamped on the steerer column of your forks condor should have records if it is one of theirs (transfers are still available) their fancy lugs are not quite as fancy now but still hand cut by a mate of mine (Len Phipps) the blank lugs available now are not as long as the old cast ones. The sast fork crown is a standard track crown of the 50's you will see it on varios frames in the British section of C/R. Go on to C/R & click on France then in bottom RH corner "classic components" the "classic frame builders components" then "Nervex"this shows almost all nervex lug patterns.I think it also shows British frame components which in turn shows "hayden" thes are the Blank lugs we use for hand cutting now (not the cut out ones) unfotunately hayden went bust last year so they are like gold dust now, fortunately I still have
a couple of sets left still. I am 73 now & have known "Bob Jackson"(now deceased) all my cycling life & stan miles never worked for Bob to my knowledge. Jacksons are still made in Leeds run by Donald Thomas Bobs old partner. quite a few of the "Different" frames are still made. look at www.hetchins.org "Other marques" section for some classic frames, also plenty of Hetchins stuff. Hope this is helpfull to you. regards
Alex Evans: Hello Adam,
I was scouting around the web generally looking for bicycle stuff and just came across your Stan Miles track bike.
I come from a place called St Albans in England and used to frequent Stan's shop in the early seventies when I was serious about racing bicycles. His shop was originally a real old dark and dingy place with wooden floors and nothing like the bike shops one sees these days. When you went in the shop, a bell rang and eventually he would appear from the back room where he was working. I do believe the shop moved at some point to something a bit more modern but whether he had retired by then, I don't know. I clearly remember the days when I was a kid, pressing my nose against the window of his shop, longing after the latest Campag part for my Freddie Grubb, or Carlton track bike. I never had one of his frames, and to be honest, I didn't realise he had made any so seeing yours was of great interest. The bit out the back was a no go area for us so I have no idea what went on there.
I never had much to do with him, or his wife ( who was a keen cyclist herself) outside of the shop, as I belonged to Welwyn Wheelers and he was a Verulam CC member. I know he was a member up until the end, so if you are really keen you might be able to find out more through the Verulam CC web site.
Me: Thanks for this email, it's really crazy for me to find all this information out after riding that bike for so long and knowing nothing. Coincidentally this is the second email in as many days giving me a little history about the frame, after a few months of silence. I love the bike to death, and am actually going to spend today taking it apart, getting it ready to be repainted and restored with period parts. I finally finished a second bike so I have something to ride in the meantime (track bikes are the only thing I ride these days, even for commuting.) I will deffinately be looking into contacting Verulam CC, I'd love to know more!
I then wrote to Verulam asking for information on Stan Miles, they said they'd get back to me but never have.
Me, to John Bell: Thanks for all this information, I'll look into it and let you know what I found out. Coincidentally, the day after I got your email I got another email from a guy who used to go to Stan Miles shop in St Albans in the 70's. He told me that Mr Miles was a member of the cycling club "Verulam," so I emailed them asking a few questions, though I have yet to hear back. Ill check for a number on the original BB tonight after work (I swapped it out as wasn't rolling smoothly anymore, even after being repacked). This is all so interesting. I'm talking to a local frame painter to have it restored now, the timing of these emails could not be better.
I was talking to Ed Litton about a restoration, but still havent had it done. someday. Took me a month to track down the headset, and once I did I finally had an excuse to pop out the fork and see if there were any markings on it.
Me, to John Bell: Hello John
I took the fork off (and replaced the headset) on the Stan Miles last weekend. The only thing stamped on the fork was "46."
I can send you a picture if you like.
John Bell: Hi Adam, Thanks for the latest e,mail quite a strange No 46 on its own usually a letter as well, never mind. yes I would like some pictures, then I will contact Condor on your behalf to see if they can shed any light on the frame or not. they will not print of your website have you a copyright on it?. can you send pic's of 1. the main frame & forks in "white" also 2. the frame & forks in "blue" also 3.
the pic in "blue" which shows all the four lugs, top & bottom head lugs, seat lug, & bottom bracket lugs. This should be enough to identify the frame. it is possible that bill hurlow cut lugs for stan miles, or even built "trade frames" for him, or perhaps condor built trade frames for him. this went on quite a lot for small shops, they were after all "hand built" frames, and in fact a lot of the "Well known" frames
employed more than one builder to build frames for them.
I have just taken these photos and will be sending them to John shortly. Meanwhile, a 3rd person contacted me...
Leigh Marmon: Hi,
saw your blurb about track frame and you said you did not know much about Stan Miles?
Well Stan Miles died only a couple of years back and he was in his 90's.
He lived most of his life in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England, and was closely associated with the Verulam CC in St. Albans for 40 or more years that I know about.
Stan was a top cyclist in his day holding many records TT and track, and I think he still holds a veteran age record he set when he was late 80's or early 90's, so a very fit guy.
I knew Stan from the bike shop he owned in St Albans in Victoria Street for many years and he helped me out as I was the bright new star of the club breaking the Senior 10 TT record held for 10 years, and I was just 16! Stan sold the shop when he retired for a second time! to Professional cyclist Nigel Dean who rode for Falcon. Stan was a great cycle mechanic, and wheel builder to, he did not make his own frames. So that's it really, I had admiration for Stan therefore only pleased to keep his name and legend on-going.
Me: Wow! thanks for the info! He sounds like quite a guy. I knew he had a shop in st albans, and I new he was a part of Verulam CC. I actually wrote them asking for info, but never got a reply. He sounds like quite a guy, though. I didnt know much about his career as a cyclist.
I wonder who built this frame then. When i bough it, it came with a set of decals of his name, though they weren't attached to the frame. Such a mystery. It's been fun tracking down little bits of pieces of info here and there.
The bikes almost all back together now, I hope to be riding it again by the end of the week.
Leigh Marmon: Hi Adam,
I am moving back to St Albans after 18 years away in September, and shall join the VCC again. I have loads of contacts so when I find out who made the frame, will let you know. It is nice to have some history, something lacking in all these imported frames.
That would be amazing. I love the frame and would love to know its history. Thank you!
Leigh Marmon: Adam,
no problem, I have a photo of Stan Miles taken off the VCC web site a year before he died. Will send you a copy by attachment soon.
That be great. I hoped to ride the frame again tonight but unfortunately it seemed the rear hub I had purchased was stripped. My local bike shop is trying to salvage it. They're good people with good knowledge of track so hopefully it'll work out. The bike is looking beautiful again. I am wondering now if it was a framed built for stan, rather that something he built, since you say he never built frames of his own.
Nonetheless, the mystery of the frame intrigues me, and what i've been learning about Stan and the bike has been quite interesting. You are actually the fourth person to email me with history of the frame and of stan, if youre are interested in what else I've discovered I am happy to pass it on, just let me know.
I managed to save the hub, thanks to some help from the great guys at The Freewheel Hayes in San Francisco. Leigh than asked if I was riding this on the track or street, and we talked about riding for a little while.
sounds cool. I rode the velodrome competitively last year, on indoor 250M and 450M outdoors.
The other email are interesting you received, I have a haunch that this will be a frame made by Shorter, Holdsworth, or Frank Lipscombe, but will find out for sure in several months time when I move and join the VCC. I was mad about frame building and that interest got me the highest grade O level at school for my project work, and then I turned down an apprenticeship in London with frame builder Holdsworth in 1977!!
Keep riding the fixed, I would love to get my hands on a frame like yours to.
I forwarded this to John Bell, he replied..
John Bell: Hi adam, none of these built frames like this shorter was much later & used standard lugs or fillet brazing. holdsworth changed lugs on "same model" in different years, but nothing like these, used to have a lipscombe, & it was awful, poor finish lugs straight from the box track ends not blended in, just stuck into the chainstays & brazed. as I said stan probhably bought in trade frames, but obviosly from a "GOOD" builder. John
And this is all i know about the bike as of now! Ill update this page as I find out more.
edit: i have gotten the frame back from repairs. the first picture is a shot of it in its current state. ill post more pictures, but it will be a few months till i can scrape enough money together for decals.