A young mechanic puts the finishing touches on a Claud Butler bicycle at the company’s works in Clapham Manor Street.
The 1950s is in full swing, as you can tell by his voluminous quiff, but this was a period when Claud Butler was still a brand for the serious cyclist: shots of Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali instead of Elvis Presley and Gene Vincent grace the factory. walls
The ‘lightweight’ itself is the kind of machine the post-war cyclist would have used for all disciplines, from club racing to time trials to touring and commuting.
With its elegant lugs, it will have been one of the higher-end CB models. Although fillet brazing required more skill, it was still cheaper than the cost of a set of lugs.
Behind the scenes, however, Claud Butler was already in financial difficulty and the name was sold in 1957, marking the end of the brand’s three decades at the top of the bicycle industry.