Frame Identification.....Mercian, Claud Butler, Jack Hearne....?


rBotM Winner
Hi all,

I've just picked up a cheap do-er upp-er and I'm trying to identify the frame builder......if that's even possible. (appreciate I may never get a definitive answer on this).

It's certainly a well specc'd lightweight....

What I know:

25" Frame
27.2 seatpost (531DB?)
Nervex Pro lugs
Wrap over seat stays
Campag 1010 early dropouts (with derailleur hanger and hole for spring)
72deg frame angles
Frame number 4998 (repeated on fork steerer tube)
Braze ons for gears (front and rear) - no braze ons for brakes or pump pugs.
Bare frame weight - 2.1kg
No holes for metal head badge
Milremo fork crown (possibly)
Horrible thick powdercoat job covering a lot of detail.

Frame came with: (may be original to the frame?)
Early steel Cinelli stem (with a screwed on milano badge - 50's?)
27.2dia Early Campag seatpost
Campag headset
Campag downtube shifter.
GB Maes Bars









I've already touted this on Facebook for opinion and the common suggestions are Claud Butler/Holdsworth or Mercian

A 1960 Claud Butler Cordon Bleu fits the bill.......almost - rear brake bridge doesn't quite fit in, and not sure fork crown is right either (cheers for the help so far Peachy!)
Fork crown and brake bridge look very Mercian to me - but frame numbers apparently had 2 digits which represent the year. So this is either '49 or '98.....neither of which make sense.

The only other frame I've found so far which has the right fork crown/lugs is this '64 Jack Hearne.......can't quite tell from the pics if it has wrap over stays.

Anyone have any thoughts - your input will be very welcome!

Cheers! :)


Retrobike Rider
BoTM Winner
Gold Trader
rBoTM Triple Crown
rBotM Winner
98+ BoTM Winner
Claud Butler Fan
VCC Claud Butler ME
Yeah after my initial insistence that it was an early Claud Cordon Bleu, I’m less convinced now although the frame number would conveniently sit in 1960.
The Mercian shout seems strong but I’ve no idea about their frame numbering system.

That Jack Hearne looks on the money. But how does the frame number sit with them?


rBotM Winner
PoTM Winner
I don’t think Jack Hearnes did fully wrapped over seat stays…


Senior Retro Guru
Having the paint stripped would help with the I.D but I've not doubt you're not that keen as it may oxidise again !

Old Ned

Old School Grand Master
The fork crown is a fairly common one used by many builders. The wrap-over seat stays do look like they could be from the Holdsworthy stable (Claud Butler, Holdsworth, Freddie Grubb) and remember that Holdsworth built for the trade so many shops (including possibly Jack Hearne) would have supplied Holdsworth frames with the shop's name on. I reckon with the style of frame fittings and cable stops etc. it might well be a mid-60's frame. Looks like it would build up into a nice bike. Are the forks etc. built for 27" or 700c wheels?