You know Richard Branson’s Virgin empire started off in a record shop, didn’t you? Did you also know that the man behind the Hetchins marque, Hyman ‘Harry’ Hetchins originally sold his bikes from a music shop as well? While not sharing the same resulting fortune, it’s doubtful Virgin products inspire the same admiration and respect as the bikes with those curly rear ends and elaborate lugs.
This isn’t actually a true Hetchins. However, Alan from the Cycling Weapon of Mass Destruction blog managed to procure himself a NOS set of Hetchins lugs, and contracted the infinitely capable crew at Bilenky Cycle Works in Philadelphia to fill in the spaces between the intricately involved lugs.
As was expected from Stephen Bilenky, the results are spectacular, and the parts list Alan has compiled is nothing short of impressive. Vintage Major Taylor bars, Brooks 1st reproduction saddle, Campagnolo Record pista cranks, Phil Wood bottom bracket, Zipp track hubs laced to matching Veocity Deep Vs and it’s all topped off with a Velo Orange brass bell.
The quality of the final product has not gone unnoticed, it won two first places at the 2007 Le Cirque du Cyclisme: one for ‘Best Fancy Lugs’ and a ‘People’s Choice’. I agree with the judges, Alan is the proud owner of one of the finest bicycles rolling around Philadelphia. You can read more of Alan’s colourful dissertation on his blog, and if you have a project that only Bilenky Cycle Works is capable of bringing to fruition, you can contact them through their website.