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Posted by / 28-Feb-2020 03:37

Most builders stamped the number at 6 o’clock when viewed from the N/S axle position but some set them at 9 o’clock (on the down tube side of the BB).

Some builders stamped the numbers parallel to the edge of the BB, yet others are random when compared over the years. Most builders also stamped the frame number on the steerer tube of the front forks – but you may not wish to strip the machine down for this and in any case the forks may have been changed over the years.

Picture frames have traditionally been made of wood, which is still the most common material, although other materials are used including silver, bronze, aluminum, and plastics such as polystyrene.

A picture frame may be of any color or texture, but gilding is common, especially on older wooden frames.

These publications have been invaluable in adding accuracy to the information – but even including their data there are still well over 200 makes of possible lightweights to be confused over!

The author would be grateful to know of any inaccuracies and to receive further information to make the tables more comprehensive.

It can be worthy of note however that as sometimes very thick layers of paint can make the main frame number difficult to read –the steerer tube number is the only reliable evidence!

Depending on the marque the ME may be able to date the machine very accurately from the number.

The picture frame may contain a pane of picture framing glass or an acrylic glass substitute such as acrylite or plexiglas to protect the picture.

In some instances where the art in the frame is dispensable or durable, no protection may be necessary.

Make a note of where on the BB the number is and its orientation – for example, is it upright or inverted for reading when lifting the front wheel up with the rear wheel still on the ground?

Is it central or on the left or right flange of the BB as seen from this upright view?

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1 ), on the near side (N/S) (left when sitting on the bike) rear drop out, or on the seat tube cluster (saddle pin lug where it usually on the N/S but just sometimes on the back or O/S).