Part One. The Llewellyn Casting design story.

Part One.

The Llewellyn Casting design story.

I stated working at age 16 Hoffy Cycles October 1979 for the owner Eric Hendren, I went there because I wanted to be a frame builder of custom bicycles.  (the “why” is another story) At that age my 16 yo rose tinted glasses were very bright. Eric was using mostly pressed lugs and BB shells from his stock of Tange parts he had stashed in large tins in any corner that was convenient on the floor. This stash was a result of a trip to Japan he won via the bicycle trade. Around this time investment cast BB shells and lugs were starting to make their presence, mostly Cinelli if I recall. I was infatuated with all things concerning frame building and hand-made steel frames was ubiquitous in the quality cycle world. It was long before the corporations would arrive, we had no idea of what was to come, we lived for the time, rode bikes, trained and went racing and spent our scarce wages on bikes, travel, hotels and racing.

The picture is of me holding a Tange BB shell, that if you look closely you can see it is Blued for marking out and I had cut a playing card in the DT socket and most likely it had a H on the bottom of the shell. I would take the lugs home in my back pockets and would drill and file in a corner of bedroom. Why in my bedroom, because mother was very ill and it was the only safe space to do this and I was not allowed to set up a table with my little vice in the garage. I would get $15.00 for a set (enough to buy a training tyre) and Eric would use them on the Hoffy frames when the customer requested this detail. In the pic below Eric is actually repairing a striped thread in the BB shell of a 3 speed roadster. We fixed normal stuff and got it out the door and back on the road. Can you imagine shops doing that now? Unless they can throw it away and order the new part on line and then bolt it on with a “torque wrench” and so claim they are clever bicycle technicians while you wave your CC card over their machine, they are effing stumped !  You can also see some Reynolds tubing boxes on the shelf. On the other side of corridor beside the shop was the hairdressers and a couple of very nice young lasses worked there. It was absolute torture/frustration for me as they walked past the big sliding doors next the work benches to the lunch bar.