Hetchins resto - the bike that taste forgot

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  • 'The bike that taste forgot' is the GF's nick-name for this one, although since the frame and forks have come back from Argos Cycles after having been repainted and

    rechromed, she's taken to calling it 'your Argos bike'.

    I bought the bike off eBay from someone who turns out to have been Jingle Jangle.

    It was advertised as a Novus Ductor, although I think the lugs look more like Scorpion Bonum lugs. Either way, it's a Hetchins from about the mid-Eighties. The bike was perfectly rideable when I bought it, but it had an odd mixture of Shimano-through-the-ages and a smattering of Suntour. Although the paint looks pretty good in the photo, the bike was, as Jingle Jangle said, ripe for restoration as the paint was actually flaking quite badly along the top tube and the chainstays. So once I'd got it home I stripped it down and sent it off to Argos. I decided against keeping the existing colour scheme, but going for something a bit different.

    Here's what I've got back from Argos:

    I'm really pleased with the quality of the work. The lug-lining in particular is spectacularly good - not only even and consistent, but very, very thin.

    I think I've got most of the bits I need to build it up with, but here's the first instalment of goodies:

    Brooks Swallow titanium saddle, Super Record seat post, Super Record chainset, Phil Wood bottom bracket, and a Super Record headset.

  • oof. The bike Satan would ride. In a good way. How are Argos rates may i ask? I have plans to use them.

  • Fantastic, a real headturner: you can see where Argos earn their money.

  • Wow, very nice.

  • Excellent paint job... Look forward to seeing this built up.
    Prices are on the Argos website, I think; not cheap, but the quality looks excellent from what I see here, so certainly worth it if you've got something special to repaint.

    Not that repainting is a good thing, of course, Ben ; )

  • erm, well i..... er

    no it's a Raleigh that came refurbed wrongly anyway. So no choice.

  • oof. The bike Satan would ride. In a good way. How are Argos rates may i ask? I have plans to use them.

    Er, not cheap! The cost of all that lot, including the chroming and resetting the rear triangle to 126mm spacing, was perilously close to four figures.

  • thank you

    goes to art shop

  • To be fair, a considerable amount of that was the chromework - the cost of that alone came to over 500 quid apparently. If I'd just stuck to having it repainted then the cost would have been significantly lower.

  • Great Hetchins!

  • ^^Yeah but the chrome looks fucking ace.

  • ^^Yeah but the chrome looks fucking ace.

    Yep, money well spent in my book. The GF's coming round to it, and is making fewer derisory 'bling' comments... ;)

  • very pretty. well done.

  • What was the cost of the repaint and rechrome at Argos?

    Looks like great work, have a curly that needs some TLC...


    close to 4 figures... I'm out.

  • Good strong work..... Another hetchins on the forum is a good thing!

  • Nice!

    Are you looking for some more Super Record parts? Think I have derailleurs and hubs somewhere.

  • If Danstuff isn't I could be interest in the derailleurs, if I can afford.

  • Cool. I'll dig them out.

  • Nice!

    Are you looking for some more Super Record parts? Think I have derailleurs and hubs somewhere.

    Thanks, but I think I'm OK for all the Super Record parts. Definitely got hubs and derailleurs, anyway.

  • looks awsome!

    I had my 1966 Experto credo resprayed at Argos.

  • Brilliant work Danstuff.

    For obvious reasons, I will be keeping an eye on this thread. You are doing exactly what I would have done had this been my size.

    You will be pleased to know that the funds I gained from selling you this bike were invested well - and the results of that investment are currently 'at the chromers' somewhere in the frozen north.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Thanks for the comments, chaps. Looking forward to seeing the fruits of the Hetchins' sale, Jingle.

    Happily, I've made some progress on the Hetchins build - just as well, as I'm due to be using it for the Pendle Witches this weekend. First up, wheels. Due to an impulse purchase of a second pair of Campag Record hubs, the Hetchins has two sets of wheels:

    Both use 32 hole Campag Record hubs which are laced to 27" polished Sun M18II rims. I don't know whether the bike originally had 27" rims, although I suspect not. However, I decided that in the spirit of retroness at least one of my bikes should have 27" rims. The 'strada blanca' wheelset has Pasela GT gumwall tyres (32mm) and uses DT Swiss Competition spokes (3 cross and brass nipples). The 'lightweight' wheelset has Gatorskins (not exactly period looking but then 27" tyre choices are rather limited), with Competition spokes on the rear and DT Revolutions on the front, both with silver alloy nipples and both 3 cross.

    I started the build, as usual, by fitting the headset and fork. This took longer than expected as the threads on the fork were rather corroded and the headset top cap wouldn't thread onto it. So an excellent excuse to buy a new tool - a 1" fork-threading die - to chase the threads of the fork. With that done, and a bit of filing on the recess for the headset washer tab, I could fit the fork, rapidly followed by a NOS Cinelli XA stem and some old Cinelli Giro d'Italia bars. The bars when delivered had been covered by a strange red resin-like material, but once I'd scraped that off they polished up pretty well.

    The Phil Woods bottom bracket was a bit of a faff to fit, but I got there eventually with the cranks (also Super Record) equally spaced to within 0.5mm. The chainline seems spot on too, which is nice.

    The saddle and seatpost are fitted, although I'm concerned that the seatpost (a Super Record Gen 2) is too small. It stays in place, but it's necessary to tighten up the seatclamp bolt rather tighter than I'd like, and I suspect that I'll end up having to get a 27mm seatpost - I've tried a spare 27.2mm one and it's too big. I've got a seatpost gauge on order, so I'll use that to check what it really ought to be.

    I've also fitted the shifters, front derailleur and rear derailleur (all Super Record). I've also made a start on the brakes, fitting the front calipers (Record with a Campag drop bolt). The drop bolt didn't have a long enough bolt to go all the way through the fork, so I drilled out the hole in the rear of the fork to 8mm and used a recessed nut instead. Next up I suppose it's finishing off the brakes, fitting the cables, and adding a chain and some bar tape.

    Oh, and an evening with some cone spanners, ball bearings and grease replacing the bearings on both sets of wheels and the pedals.

    Anyway, here's some pics of the current position, with the strada blanca wheels and tyres fitted:

  • red bar tape and cables?

  • Hmmm, I'm all in a quandary now. I had been planning to go for black tape and cables, but now you've mentioned it, I think red might work, particularly on the cables. Not sure about the tape - the brake lever hoods are black, and I've never been convinced by bar tape which doesn't match the hoods, but I having second thoughts about that too.


  • Having been left in a paroxysm of indecision by Hilly Ben's timely post, I've mocked up the bike with both red and black tape.



    Fairly sure I'll go for red cables, but what colour tape? Views welcome.

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Hetchins resto - the bike that taste forgot

Posted by Avatar for Brommers @Brommers