Hetchins Experto Crede c.1956 with custom-engineered parts
I didn’t have any great desire to acquire a Hetchins but this particular machine interested me. First of all it has, in my opinion, the nicest Hetchins lug design – Experto Crede… very elegant, not too showy, and with the lovely plain double plate fork crown, and ridged top-eyes. The previous owner of the bike was a very fine engineer and what really interested me was that he made several parts for the bike, most notably the hubs! They were turned from a solid alloy billet to a similar pattern to Harden hubs, but with thicker flanges. They run like silk. He also made the beautifully knurled end caps for the Campagnolo pedals, attractive tapered end ferrules for the mudguard stays, and rear dropout spacers. For me this set the bike apart from the norm as he had very much personalised it. This Hetchins was his ‘Sunday best’ bike and has had very little use. It has been ‘modernised’ by him a little, with a 1980’s Campagnolo chainset and rear derailleur. The bike was apparently re-finished by Bob Jackson in the late 80’s in Bianchi green colour, although the chrome is original. Other nice parts include AVA stem and bars, Mafac Dural Forge brakes with drilled levers, Campagnolo bar-end changers and beautiful as new polished Constrictor Conloy rims. Unusually it also has Lefol Le Paon mudguards. Unfortunately the forward extension of the front mudguard was broken off at some stage, and an mis-matched replacement piece attached. If anyone out there has a spare front Le Paon mudguard for 700c/27inch wheels, I would be very pleased to buy it.
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