Monday, June 1, 2009

Lugs. Chicks Love 'em!

...Well, at least this chick does. I think lugs are absolutely beautiful. Plain or filigree, generic or custom, I love them all. Here are some nice ones I've photographed around town:

... on a powder blue Dusika

...on a sage green Puch

... two-tone red and white lugs, on an unusual Glockner Rad with a cool headbadge depicting a mountain range. Notice the pretty filigree work on that pedal! Where can I get pedals like that?

... on an old KTM in olive drab (I love green bicycles!)

... and some simple, austere lugs on a silver Hercules.

To me, a bicycle frame without lugs just seems to lack soul, and this is probably why I can't feel any attachment to the modern bikes whose manufacturers do not use lugged frames. Seeing those welding marks grates on my nerves like hearing nails on a chalkboard.

Is my love of lugs unreasonable? Not according to Rivendell Bicycle Works. They understand! Have a look at their articles "Why Lugs Are Good" and "A Lug Primer".

See also "Lugs: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" by Bohemian Bicycles. Lots of useful information and photos there!

15 comments:

  1. An Ode to LUGS, so refreshing. Lugs are ususally treated like elbows, yes they are necessary, but not selected for beauty. (How often do you say, "She has beautiful elbows!") I happen to find standard Raleigh lugs a work of art, a thing of beauty and a joy forever (or almost forever).

    Thanks.

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  2. These lugs are gorgeous. Maybe that's why I prefer old to new frames, never really thought about it ;-).

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  3. Tinker, Oh you would be surprised! There are manufacturers out there who specialise in custom lugs, making them in all sorts of beautiful patterns and designs. (Hmm... now every time I look at a bicycle frame, i will be picturing elbows and knees!)

    Anna, Vienna is a paradise for "lug spotting". I think the residents of my neighborhood must think I am insane by now, walking around and taking close-ups of old bicycles!

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  4. I agree with anna - didn't think about it until recently. Love the concept.

    (For an example of handmade lugs, search "custom head badge" on Etsy.)

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  5. I'm sure they consider you a likeable eccentric, or at least are possessive "She's a nut, but she's OUR nut!"

    Um, maybe not... forget I said anything, okay?

    Maybe you can do a piece on some of the more unique chain wheels/drive sprockets you have seen (like the Raleigh herons?). Some people are cannibalizing these parts to make various art objects (clocks, wall art, that kind of thing).

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  6. Lovely lugs!! I do not exaggerate when I say that it was the heart-shaped lugs on the Rivendell Betty Foy that made me finally give in and buy it :) I have three bikes - all steel lugged frames.

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  7. Lugs are a thing of beauty indeed! I still have a couple old mtn bike frames I'll rebuild "someday"...kept them for the luggedness ;),some really nice ole bikes around your town! :)
    Steve

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  8. Tinker -- My favourite is the vintage Gazelle chain ring, with cut-outs of actual leaping Gazelles! And have you seen A.N.T.'s "full suit" chain ring? As for stripping vintage objects (such as fountain pens, typewriters and bicycles) for jewelry and decor, I better not even start on that topic!...

    Dottie -- I believe you about the Betty Foy! Looking at those close-ups has nearly pushed me over the edge as well. "I do not need a road bike, no matter how pretty" -- I will repeat this like a mantra and hope it saves me from temptation. (But the painted apples, oh the apples!...)

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  9. So pretty! I don't see that many old bicycles around here. I'm a half-and-half girl as my Bat does not have lugs, but Le Peug does. One day, when I convince my dad to build a custom bike with me, it will have lugs.

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  10. Oh Lugs, I have a deep heavy love for you!

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  11. Your blog entry confused me as I hadn't even heard of this type of lug until now. Being a farm girl, 'lugs' to me were heavy tires for tractors.
    http://wiki(dot)answers(dot)com/Q/Why_are_the_rear_tires_of_a_tractor_bigger_than_the_front_tires
    These are much more attractive and I will be watching for them now!

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  12. Lugged frames ARE soldered. Mitred tubing is welded. Lugs are an easy solution to circumvent a much more difficult, and skilled, TIG welding process for mitred tubing.

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  13. > Anonymous said...
    >
    > Lugs are an easy solution to circumvent
    > a much more difficult, and skilled,
    > TIG welding process


    I think that many framebuilders would beg to differ : )

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  14. You should look at Hetchins lugs they are by far the most beautiful. My heart drops evert time i see them.
    http://www.hetchins.org/100.htm

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  15. try nervex lugs. plus i bet your heart drops everytime you see welded joints, if for different reasons, like physiology.

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