Track to Street. My Nervex Lugged mystery project.

Hi All.

After a road conversion build up which I have sold on, and now riding a Fuji Feather (Love the bike, will be used as my “exercise” fixed gear bike), I have finally found a worthwhile project I want to focus on.

I have bought a frame second hand, but much of it is a mystery. I hope with the expertise and help of other enthusiasts I may be able to identify the frame, and in the process do the frame justice during the rebuild.

Features which may aid in identification:
[ul]Real track frame (not just rear drop outs, or a new street fixed bike), based upon sizes and no front, or rear brake holes[/ul]
[ul]“standard” sizes, ie English tread bottom bracket, head set, 100mm fork spacing, 120mm rear dropout spacing, 1" threaded forks, steel tubing with lugs, 560mm top tube, 550mm seat tube[/ul]
[ul]Nervex lugs[/ul]
[ul]Elongated, and wrap around seat stays[/ul]
[ul]Thin seat stays[/ul]
[ul]No crimped chain stays[/ul]
[ul]Odd shaped fork ends[/ul]
[ul]Odd shaped rear dropouts[/ul]
[ul]Flanges on head lugs[/ul]
[ul]Non- Nervex lugged fork[/ul]
[ul]Built for 700C wheels (Yet to be confirmed)[/ul]
[ul]Round fork blades[/ul]
[ul]26.8mm seat post[/ul]
[ul]“Ross Cycles, red and white” written by hand on fork steerer, appears original colour may have been red and white[/ul]

The whole frame and fork. Paint is clearly not original. You can see that someone has sprayed black over a chipped layer of paint.

I was told it had Nervex lugs, but had to be sure myself. I removed several layers of paint to reveal this. It says NERVEX up top and serial number c95306400222F38 (from what I can see). It uses a combination of super script and sub script letters and numbers.

The top of the bottom bracket, showing lugs, chain stay brace, and non crimped chain stays (ovalised where tyre passes through)

Track ends, showing odd shape. Also note how small the diameter of the seat stays are in comparison to the chain stays.

Fork steerer. Who are Ross Cycles? Could this indicate the original colour when built? Flat fork crown, doesn’t appear to be Nervex. No brake hole.

Fork ends. Steep curve at end, with odd shaped ends, round blades.

Head tube lugs. Note flanges on ends of head tube.

Seat lug. Note elongated, and wrap around seat stays. Accommodates 26.8mm seat post.

I appreciate any info people can add.

The BB shell is cast with those numbers from Nervex. The numbers relate to tube angles and chainstay socket diameters etc … it’s for builders so they can quickly see all the info and can decide whether the shell will work for their planned build. All Neverx BB shells have similar stampings as per factory.

Ross Cycles is likely a reference for when it was repainted at some stage (it’s probably had 3 or 4 paint jobs). The original paint wouldn’t have had Ross cycles or the “red/white” reference … this was more than likely in between (not original).

Nervex Pro head lugs usually have lips on them (such as yours). It adds a bit of reinforcing and all but the earliest Nervex Pro lugs had this feature.

Chainstays are common for the period round-oval-round.

It’s not a Nervex Crown (I think they only had road crowns) and that’s a good thing as they weren’t nearly as nice as their lugs.

Seat stay caps are lovely, it’s a nice frame.

Hey just had a quick google and found this,
Ross Cycles - Bicycle Shop, Parts Components and Accesories
My guess is English made
I never took the fork out but like I said I think it’s a real nice frame and would look great with a new paint and some pin lined lugs,

Too wild a guess. Nothing to suggest such except coincidence.

Common dropouts for the era. I have no idea who built this frame either.

Vintage Australian Track Frame

Vintage Australian Track Frame

Vintage Australian Track Frame

Vintage Australian Track Frame

Would you mind explaining where/how you got the frame? I can’t say I remember all the info you told me when I bought it.

I did some more googling on Ross Cycles. (When I was googling earlier I stupidly wrote Ryans in stead of Ross) It seems “Ross” was a manufacturer of bike in America. Whether this is the same company who made/painted/sold my frame is questionable. Anybody know the history of Ross bikes?

One of the reasons I am so keen on identifying the bike is that I want to make decals for it, as I want it to look OEM, and semi period correct/inspired. I think repainted frames without logos and branding can sometimes look a bit too modified and/or “here’s a tip find I just resprayed”.

Cheers for the photos. What sort of era are we talking about? 70’s? early/mid/late?

Definitely mid seventies, note the flares on dropouts. Before the 80s when the crowns had shoulder pads.

touche, good sir.

So barking up the wrong tree with this ^^

I’d look locally, try to find as much history about the frame by figuring out where it came from pre-Dayne. You’ll need to talk to people as I think googling your answer is unlikely to yield much info.

Some frames are easy to ID, some frames you may never know.

The guy i got it off told me he had it for about 15 years.
He told me it was a hoffy and had painted it a couple of times black.
But if so it is the only Hoffy i have sen with no serial number or stamping.

Would these “Australian track frame” (Like Blakey’s) be off the shelf (imported) frame sold in stores? Or were the build locally?

I’ve seen a few. Maybe they were refurbed whilst at Hoffy (trade-in’s). And then there was this Hendren road frame that I sold a while back with no serial numbers but it had both Hoffy and Hendren decals. Beautiful frameset, I still scratch my head why Mrs. Spirito didn’t like it. Can’t say for sure if it was original finish or if it had been refurbed/painted and the decals got added to a no name frame.

I seem to recall Eric Hendren mentioning something about serial or stam pings in the Vimeo shot last year.

?? …

Nice bike! I have an old steel roadie, which has all Eric Hendren and Hoffy cycles decals, but Darrell confirmed it was not a Hoffy. My roadie is just a mid level asian manufactured bike. So yes, it seems like they did repaint bikes for whatever reason.

Some may know I have been searching furiously for an appropriate fork for this build. I need a front brake! After realising that the fork that came with the frame is probably not original (the steerer looks cut, not a nervex fork crown) I finally decided to go down the route of drilling the fork. Only problem is that I don’t know anyone with a drill press… yet

Just today I came across a guy in WA who has two forks that would work.
Both are drilled, both have enough thread (the hardest combo to get) and are cromo steel, for 700c etc.
Option 1. Buy the second hand lugless fork. They look better quality and they look nicer by themselves but aren’t lugged so could look weird on a nervex/ornate lugged frame! (~$50)
Option 2. Buy the second hand lugged fork. They will need mudguard eyelets filed off (not that big of a deal, but extra work). As they are lugged they will probably match the frame better style wise. (~$50)

OR do i put the money elsewhere in the build and try and drill original forks? (Free!)

I’m really not sure what to do. Can lugless forks look decent on a lugged frame? (ornate/nervex frames?) Or should I just try hunt down someone who I can borrow a drill press and drill the forks that came with it?


Just drill it,
I have never used a drill press just a cordless drill.
Start with a punch and mark the centre for the drill bit to sit in,
Then start with a small hole may be 3mm then slowly work up in sizes
If the bit is getting to hot dip it in some water every now and then.

this guy! if he blunders it with a cordless drill then the brake will not be aligned (ever) and won’t function well, i’d be finding someone with a drill press, or pay someone, an engineering company/panelbeater/furniture builder/handyman that you can talk to in person, and you’ll be better off in the longrun, frames of this era were drilled on many occasions because many people had one bike for racing track and general commuting with a brake

Yeah scott but this guy and his bro have skills unlike you.
I think i met your bro in gear he had that nice red and gold pinlined ss frame.
If all else fails marty has a press and may drill it for beer.

haha really? I thought by hand would turn out a bit rough but your confidence has persuaded me.

I’m still looking for a brake caliper to use, and I want to get that before I drill it to use as a guide (size/position). I’m thinking Tektro caliper and lever combo at the moment. I will hunt around a bit on the forums to see if I can get something decent condition second hand. Once I have some of these basics worked out I can promise more interesting posts with photos and paint etc.