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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:59 pm 
Dirt Disciple
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Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:27 pm
Posts: 14
Location: Bonn (Germany)
Hi there!
As I already stated in the introduction section, I'm new to this forum and joined particularly to maybe get some help in identifying an interesting frame I bought on ebay.co.uk weeks ago.

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Here's a link to the ebay auction:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/VINTAGE-FELL- ... 2270170365

The frame has obviously been badly repainted. :( When I started cleaning it, I discovered the original darkish blue paint underneath. It partly came off, too.
Unfortunately, the selller, though friendly and competent, couldn't tell me anything about its origin except that it was bought because expected to look great once built up. Well, I agree. That's why I took it and that's what's going to happen. :wink:
Before starting, I would, of course, love to know what exactly I have here and maybe find out more about the frame builder. I did a thorough internet research and couldn't find anything about a brand and/or builder by the name of Fell. The name itself clearly doesn't help either.
Frankly, I'm not even sure if it's a cyclocross or touring frame. :oops: I suspect the latter, as the wheelbase is about 105cm. Anyway, judging by the braze-ons, it looks like I will be needing bar end shifters and cantilever brakes all the same.
The most particular features of the frame are its fancy lugs and the large letters which read FELL (twice) and run around the downtube. I've never seen anything like it before.
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There are no additional stickers nor writings or engravings on the frameset. Only the dropouts are clearly identifiable: Suntour (frame) and Suntour GS (fork).
The rear spacing of the frame is 126mm and it requires a 26.8mm or 27.0mm seatpost.

More pictures can be found in the respective set on my Flickr page:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/63973975@N ... 958593232/

I would really be deeply grateful for any kind of help concerning my mystery frame.

That's that.

Thanks! :D


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:08 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:09 am
Posts: 9399
Location: Devon
No help but its a pretty frame


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:31 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:25 pm
Posts: 1262
That is rather special, can't help with any information but I would live to see it built up


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:27 am 
rBoTM Winner
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Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:18 pm
Posts: 2373
Location: California
The lug work is reminiscent of a Gloria Garibaldina but only vaguely as your bike is completely the wrong era since Gloria bikes date mainly from the 30s to the 50s. The Suntour drops point to a 70s or 80s build and it appears to have recessed brake mounts which reaffirms a late 70s build at the very earliest. Looks like a Stonglight bottom bracket so could be French thread? My guess is a custom one off for some guy named Fell?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:24 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:41 pm
Posts: 417
Location: Moneyscalp N.Ireland
for my two pence worth I think it looks to be a more recent frame built in a classic design such as Mark Joynt(Reilly) of Omega Cycles did when he tried to relaunch his Gillott range of frames back in the late 1990's......the Fleur de Lys style of lugs are reminiscent of some of his work, either way a very nice acquisition!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:47 am 
Dirt Disciple
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Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:27 pm
Posts: 14
Location: Bonn (Germany)
Great! Thanks for the answers and all your expertise.
I agree with most things said. It's definitely a rather unique piece of craftsmanship and could even be the only one of its kind. Chances are, we'll never find out who made it. But if anything helps, it's asking experts and leaving traces on the internet.
Considering the particular design and the fact that there are no numbers or specifications on the frame, I think we can exclude any kind of larger serial production.
As for its age, I was thinking of the late seventies or early to mid eighties myself. Why? Mainly for the dropouts, the rear spacing, the original bottom bracket, the absence of a braze-on for the front derailleur etc. But then, with unique frames you never can tell. I'm not an expert on cantis but the braze-ons on this one look definitely different, and younger, than those on my ALAN cyclocross frame from 84 (sadly broken btw). And then there's the bend of the fork which leaves a very (if not too) old-fashioned impression. So, as Excel suggested, it could be a "retro object", too. If it isn't, it will be. My plan is to build it up as a twelve speed touring bike using old as well as new components.
But I will have to get a proper paint job done first.
The colour will be RAL 3007 (black red). The only thing I have yet to decide on is how to proceed with the lugs (lining/no lining?) and, most important, with the letters on the down tube. Any suggestions?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:24 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:09 am
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Location: Devon
Did you ever make any progress on this?


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:23 pm 
Dirt Disciple
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Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:27 pm
Posts: 14
Location: Bonn (Germany)
coomber wrote:
Did you ever make any progress on this?

Thanks for asking, coomber.
Unfortunately, nothing has changed since my last post. The frame has yet to be repainted and I still haven't found out anything more about its origin.
The only information I can add are the weight of frame (bottom bracket included: 2875g) and fork (774g). So it's clearly on the heavy side and, given the wheelbase, it will result in a very long bike. Oh, and, as already stated, it seems to require a 27.0 seatpost. Any ideas about the tubing anyone?
Most of the parts it would need to build it up are already there. The problem is that I can't find anyone for a decent paint job round here. In Germany, there's no traditional frame builders and/or shops offering such a service. At least nothing you could compare to Mercian, Bob Jackson, Ellis Briggs, Argos, et cetera.
Of the four companies I asked, only one (http://www.etoe.de) agreed to do the job after having had a closer look at the pictures of the frame and the fancy lugs. They asked for 250€ (206£) for the respray itself (uni). Definitely not a budget option but everything fine til here, good work is worth good money. But the lining would have cost 70€ (57£) for each(!) lug or braze-on. No kidding. I assume this was just their way of telling me that they didn't want to do anything more than simply strip and respray the frame.
Problem being, I not only want the lugs lined, I'd also prefer to have the letters (F E L L) as well as the head tube and (at least parts of) the seat tube in a different colour.
Currently I am putting some money aside to get it resprayed in GB. Bob Jackson seems to offer a good and complete service. Any other suggestions apart from the obvious ones?


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