Lennie Rogers

I’m not usually one to get excited about a bike….

This early 70’s Lennie Rogers is 27″ of bad-ass old school and part of Australian cycling history.
Wait! (I hear you exclaim) surely that’s not a 54 tooth Sugino big ring? – YES! It’s a 54/44 – even the small ring is a big ring!

Lennie Rogers was a Sydney-based track star:
He’s on the left in this Malvern Star promotion. From the NSW state library here.
There is little info around, I’d love to know more. He was famous in 6 day racing. Australia has had some 87 Six Day Races in total between 1881 and the last one in 1987. Lennie Rogers came 1st or 2nd in six races between 1938 – 44.

He was a member of the Penrith Cycle Club and opened a bike shop in Auburn in the early 1960’s
This he ran with his son Laurie. There were two frame builders, Fred Cobcroft and Jim (Jack?) Bundy. The later’s son went on to build “Peter Bundy” bikes.

Back to the Lennie: Check out the lugs:

Nervex “professional”:

The Lennie Rogers brand seems to be out of a spray can in those days.

Any decals have almost vanished. The seat tube has an “84” painted on:

From reading the forums, every Lennie Rogers bike seems to be a unique combination of components.

This one:
Weinmann 610 vainqueur 999 centre-pull brakes.
Suntour V derailleurs (F&R).
Gearing 54/44 and 5 speed 14/17/19/21/24
Normandy Hubs, Araya rims.

The stem has an industrial looking bolt through the top:

Back in the day they used to make bare-boned frames, none of this brazed-on fancy stuff. No chain hanger, no back derailleur stop, no brake stops, no bidon cage bolt holes, no brazed on clamp for front derailleur, or even for the down-tube shifters. If you want something on the frame you have to clamp it on. It’s just the way they used to do things. The tubes are straight (straight from the plumber?).

The wheels were terrible, rusted spokes & rusted steel rims. I put on some factory 700C wheels which required a bit of a cludge with the brakes. I took a hammering on the forums over that…

I’ve had it for a while (ebay 2010), Leah calls it my vanity bike. But I recently looked at the original wheels again and realised the high flange Normandy hubs are pretty nice. I invested in the ~$40 for the 40 + 36 required DT Swiss stainless spokes:

Look at them now! Front: bespoked (Oh yes: chrome forks!). It took a LOT of time to get the wheels round again. Fish oiled everywhere. Gum walled tyres (exploded when first pumped up). Retro, retro and retro.

The rear rim shot:

Beautiful. That rear wheel is a flip-flop. One side for fixed gear, one for free wheel. The smaller diameter thread on the fixed side has reverse/left hand threads for a lock-ring, to prevent the cog from coming loose when braking.
(And yes, there is a pie plate, but its small, chrome and is stamped “Made in Italy”.)

Sun Tour gears:

SunTour V: almost as famous as the Saturn V booster:

Ebay: $154. + Brooks saddle, bar tape, spokes. In fact so many spokes I think the wheels are now indestructible. 27″ x 1 1/4″ of awesomeness. 12.7 kg light. Best on the flat with wind at your back, but once it gets going, momentum is a marvelous thing.

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7 Responses to Lennie Rogers

  1. ozzic says:

    Is this still active & you have it? The secret to these is the serial numbers under the thing. After many hour$ of gardening & chemi$t runs i got mine built in 1974. I wanted to be seated but in a more upright position. Proudly caught the train out to Auburn & Lennie was humming & head tilting at my measurements & young Laurie was telling (yelling) at me “no way for a road bike”… after a while & another man looking at the drawings it got the go ahead! I still have her but not game to use those rusty double butted spokes! Last ridden in 1998 sadly. For almost a 15 years my pushy cost more than my cars!!

  2. Stephen says:

    Having spent the last hour or so playing with Google, I thought it worth a comment here. Lennie (or perhaps Laurie) rebuilt a bike for my Dad, which was to be a birthday present for me in 1970. The frame at that time was 50 or so years old. As a 15yo, it was the ants pants of a bike. No bells and whistles (like brakes). It is extremely light weight. I never raced it, except against the cars on the way down Clyde St to Granville shops, where I had been cautioned by those blokes in the blue F100’s for travelling at 80km/hr in a 60 zone. Dad raced the frame against the likes of Sid Patterson, Hubert Opperman and Russell Mockridge. I still have the bike sitting in the shed. Maybe time for another refurb, but I am suspecting the Lennie Rogers decals might be worth more left alone? Maybe it is time for another trip to Strathpine Bicycles for yet another service/refurb and leave the frame alone?

  3. Roger says:

    the “84” is actually “by” the entire bit reads “ren by Lennie Rogers”, meaning “renovated by Lennie Rogers” the mark its written over would be Alcon cycle works who did a lot of painting for Sydney bike shops. Alcon sprayed makers names instead of using decals.

    • Mark says:

      Thanks Roger, Good call, I found this same badge on a 50s Alcone bike on the DHBC forum. The Lennie has the same pinstripe paint-work. Says: “Built by Alcon Cycle Works, Marrickville”

  4. Laurie rogers says:

    hi everyone.i am laurie rogers son.and partner in the shop at 123 auburn,road,auburn.dad passed away 8-8-1082.a champion cyclist the best in fact.the greast man I ever met.and the best dad anyone could have.aanyone you wants to contact me can on laurierogers500@gmail.com.kind regards Laurie Rogers

  5. Chris Wright says:

    Nice story, I have a Lennie too, late-70’s/early-80’s vintage, I’m the second owner and bought it from the orig owner in about 1983. I have the luxury of living about 5mins from Pete Bundy’s shop so I took it to him to identify (hopefully as a Bundy) but it’s a Cobcroft build – there’s a trick to identifying them. Mine has Gipiemme cranks with the large chainrings too but a 14-20 7sp cluster; Campag/Mavic wheels, Campag pedals, Campag tips (drop-outs), BCM lugs, Suntour Superbe group set, Cinelli bars and outrigger, 3T saddle pillar… It’s light metallic green but more tired looking than yours so I’ll likely restore it in the next 12-18mths in white with red bands.

    I also have an original Ron Bates Royal Star track bike which I raced back in the day (I’m the 3rd owner – it was built for Wayne Middlemiss NSW State team member in ’73, I know the full ownership history) and I might have this restored too as a matched pair with the Lennie.

    Be safe,
    Chris Wright

    • Mark says:

      Hi Chris, Great to hear from another Lennie owner. I hope to keep mine as long as you have! And as for a 14-20 7-speed cluster: wow, they sure didn’t believe in spreading the ratios back in the day. I’ll keep my eye out for a white & red Lennie when in Sydney..

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