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