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!


  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).


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

  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!

  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.)

  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).

  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.

  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! :)

  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!...)

  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.

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

  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.
    These are much more attractive and I will be watching for them now!

  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.

  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 : )

  14. You should look at Hetchins lugs they are by far the most beautiful. My heart drops evert time i see them.

  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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