CYCLING, July 24, 1963
Road Test of ULTRA LIGHTROAD MACHINE built by HARRY QUINN
“When the Harry Quinn cycle arrived wreathed, in a cardboard shroud the delivery man was amazed, for he had never encountered one as light as this, and I too was duly impressed, for it was reminiscent of the ultra light bicycles we used before the derailleur gear dethroned the fixed wheel and racing men became less weight conscious. In those days we were exhorted to use “as little bicycle as possible,” and this was sound advice, even though we were prone to carry this injunction to extremes. The arguments against carrying excess weight are just as valid today, but the tendency has been to build frames to serve dual purposes, equipped for normal use daily and stripped for racing at the week-end.”
“The Quinn proved a real featherweight, complete with five-speed gear, a neat alloy bell, clips and straps, and was just the sort of job one would expect to see used to clip a few seconds off the ’25’ record.”
“Just how does this quintessence of the cycle maker’s art achieve its remarkable 18 1/4 lb. overall weight? It had been done by paring away every ounce that could be dispensed with, by drilling holes, by judicious pruning and the use of the lightest components available. The eight-ounce tubulars may be regarded as a gambler’s throw of looking for the right morning, and the 28 holed, wood insert, seven-ounce rims resulted in wheels that need handling with metaphoric kid gloves.”
“The alloy framed pedals had been subjected to treatment with hack-saw, leaving but the barest essential, which yet proved surprisingly adequate, and the single alloy chainring had been drilled with 18 holes. The drills had whittled away grammes from the G.B. brake levers, the brake shoes had been drilled, domed nuts had been replaced by flat ones, and the G.B. Maes bends had lost an inch off each grip, but in use the latter hurt my palms.
“Already a great weight-saver, the Nitor 6 saddle-pin had been sawn off to made-to-measure fineness, and the rear fork end was a neat Harry Quinn adaption for gear use only, although the weight reducing had not impaired the efficiency in the least.”
“Up-ending the machine was an easy one-handed job and revealed a startling bit of weight reducing. A window of one-and-a-half square inches had been cut from the bracket shell, exposing axle and bearings not only to view but to the elements. I would prefer to see this hole covered with adhesive tape (or other device), for the prospect of dismantling a cotterless bracket after every ride appals me. Experience proves that this type should be fitted correctly and left alone for as long as possible.”
“The gears provided indicate the sort of customer for whom this model was designed , a category to which I obviously do not belong, for I found a bottom gear of 78, even with a super lightweight, too much for me!”
“On the test model the rear brake bridge was rather low; rims vary in diameter and some brake tolerance is desirable. Not to my liking either was the fact that the steel pedal spindle utilized but half of the available thread in the alloy crank, but that is no reflection on the frame builder of course.”
“A short wheel base seems to be in demand by the modern speedman, and though excessive length is weighty and may not be as rigid, I am unconvinced that a road bicycle designed for use with board hard tubulars, needs to be as short as the 39 1/4 in. of the test machine. The 16 1/2 in. chain stays allowed me to wedge my pump behind the seat tube, but the front dimension (22 3/4 in. from spindle to bracket axle) permitted the medium toe clip on a 6′ 1/2 in. crank to over lap the front tyre. For me the front wheel should be able to turn unencumbered at all times.”
“Excellent was the clearance provided by the combination of Nervex bracket shell and the pencil type, rapid taper chain stays even with so short a drive.”
“Full marks must be awarded for the precision with which the builder had set the fork widths; the quick-release hubbed wheels could be removed and replaced in a trice, no fumbling, no need for spraying the forks with the thumbs, they were spot on, as they should be. It was pleasing to note that the correct length nipples had been used on the wheels, leaving adequate square for the use of the nipple key.”
“A couple of evening 10s with the club were all the racing I could get in, but the training miles I did manage were enough to convince me that the Harry Quinn has all the zip and speed that the most fastidious could demand. The response was there, though my form could not do it justice, for this is a steed for those whose need is speed.”
Frame: 22 in. 21 1/2 in. top tube, rapid taper pencil chainstays 16 1/2 in. Front dimension, bracket to hub, 22 3/4 in. Seat stays welded to ,seat cluster. Wheelbase 39 1/4in. Harry Quinn rear drop-out. Nervex lugs. Reynolds 531 double butted tubing. Cutaway bracket shell.
Forks: Solid tapering fork crown; round, oval, round blades, 2 in. rake.
Wheels- 27in. Milremo Scheeren 7 oz. wood insert sprint rims -on 28-hole Campagnolo Record, large flange, quick release hubs. Radium 8 oz. tubulars.
Handlebars: G.B. Maes alloy, lapped grips, 3 1/2 in. G.B. alloy stem. Cinelli end stops with black cloth tape.
Brakes: Weinmann 500 mechanisms with G.B. levers.
Chainset: Stronglight alloy cotterless, 52 T single chainring, five-pin, drilled. 6 1/2 in. cranks. 3/32 in. chain.
Gear: Simplex Prestige. 14-15-16-17-18 Regina block (78-83-88-94-100 gears).
Pedals: Harry Quinn adopted light alloy, Brooks toeclips, Milremo straps.
Saddle: Nitor plastic on Nitor 63 alloy seat pin.
Finish: Blue flamboyant with ivory head andseat panels. Hand pointed ” Harry Quinn “on down tube. Chromium plated head lugs and seat cluster. Chromium fork crown and 10 in. of forks. 11 in. chromed rear triangle.
Weight: 18-1/4 lb.
Price: 67L 17s. 6d. Frame only, with standard T.D.C. head and bracket fittings, 20L 1Os.