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Hetchins - Gaudy or Gorgeous?(34 posts)

Hetchins - Gaudy or Gorgeous?Dog
Dec 7, 2001 7:19 AM
Check out the Hetchins bikes










I like it, but then again......koala
Dec 7, 2001 7:36 AM
I am the type that has drooled over a Columbine for years. The Columbine seems to be more straight forward in its elegance. How did you find this site?
Dec 7, 2001 7:39 AM
through World Class Cycles
Nice Butt(s). Gorgeous like a flashy hooker, though. nmBrooks
Dec 7, 2001 7:36 AM
old school or not?Jack S
Dec 7, 2001 7:47 AM
The worked stays kill it... at least they didn't use a threadless fork. Another neo-classic:
Definitely old school!dzrider
Dec 7, 2001 8:22 AM
The stays were a trademark so people could identify his bikes regardless of decals. This frame is a gilded lily to my eyes. Anybody else read "Tales from the Bike Shop"? There's a cool story about a Hetchins in it.
Dec 7, 2001 9:23 AM
I'd heard that they started doing the curved stays because it used to be that bikes weren't allowed to have decals in certain races. This allowed them to be identified without the decals.
like the Bianchi Celeste paint? nmDog
Dec 7, 2001 9:26 AM
is that true? never heard thatgtx
Dec 7, 2001 10:22 AM
also, did Bianchi ever experiment with switching to more of a "normal" light blue in the 60s or early 70s? I seem to recall seeing pics in a mag when I was a kid, but maybe the colors were off or my memory is off.

-Hank (first "real" road bike was a Bianchi, bought new in 1983)
MoonJack S
Dec 7, 2001 8:42 AM
are the sh!t
Dec 7, 2001 9:38 AM
That was my first reaction when I saw it, looks like a Richard Moon. Probably has the same price tag...
Its so gaudy, it's almost gorgeous. nmLen J
Dec 7, 2001 8:01 AM
re: Hetchins - classicSteveS
Dec 7, 2001 8:32 AM
Hetchins are classics, thats why you have collectors even after the frames are decades old. Don't really care for the curly stays, but I did like some of the Hetchins' paint jobs so well that I had my new Bob Jackson painted in a Hetchins' pattern. Should be arriving any day now. Merry Christmas to me.
Amazing work!nigel
Dec 7, 2001 8:34 AM
They're beautiful pieces of art. A tad gaudy? Maybe, but it took a lot of craftsmanship and love to make those bikes, for sure. Big ups to Hetchins. I, personally, think the chainstays are bad-ass; don't know if they do anything to stiffen the ride or whatnot, but this may not have been a consideration. What a stand-out feature, though!

Cheers, Dog.
re: Hetchins - Gaudy or Gorgeous?peloton
Dec 7, 2001 8:35 AM
Pretty nice looking in an over the top kind of way. I would picture mine with a threadless stem and STI though. I don't romantisize the idea of not being able to adjust a headset on the road without a 30mm spanner. Go ahead and flame away! Still a nice looking bike though.
No flame but ...scottfree
Dec 7, 2001 8:51 AM
... I'd LMAO if I saw a Hetchins on the road threadless/STI!!
I'm second to no one in my love forscottfree
Dec 7, 2001 8:44 AM
lugged steel, but I've always found Hetchins to be WAY over the top. Lugs are aethestically pleasing when they balance form/function with elegant but steely good looks. Hetchins abandons even the pretence of function and veers way off into fussy Victorian froo-frooery. Be like riding a damn lace doily down the road.
I agree.MikeC
Dec 7, 2001 8:54 AM
I wouldn't decorate my house like that, I wouldn't do that to my car, and the only woman it reminds me of is Tammy Faye Bakker.
I'm second to no one in my love fortarwheel
Dec 7, 2001 12:39 PM
My sentiments exactly. I'm of the form follows function school, although I don't mind a certain amount of ornamentation. To me, a Sachs frame strikes the right balance between design and functional use.

Funny, no one has mentioned Landsharks in this thread. Although they lack the fancy lugwork, some of their paint jobs make Peter Maxx paintings look mild. I've grown to really like Landsharks, though, and would be seriously tempted to buy one if I were in the market for a custom frame. If you haven't been to the Landshark web site in a while, check it out. They've added a lot of new bikes to their gallery. I think the address is or something similar.
Carnival bike...Ahimsa
Dec 7, 2001 5:20 PM
Looks ridiculous.

"Balance of form and function"


Silly ornament for ornaments sake?

Good lord no.

All it needs now is airbrushed pics of amazonian tarts with giant milk bags and a gold low rider handle bar.


Over the top for even an old dinosaur...DINOSAUR
Dec 7, 2001 9:33 AM
Definitely looks like something that should be hanging in an art gallery somewhere. In years past I'd jump on it. Perhaps if I won the lottery I'd add it to my collection. This makes a Colnago ML look like an old maid. What's the story on those chain stays? Just cosmetic or does it actually accomplish anything? I like the color but it's a bit over the top even for an old dinosaur...
Gorgeous, but I'd be afraid to ride itDave Hickey
Dec 7, 2001 9:34 AM
It's like a show car. I looks great but I be afraid to ride it for fear of scratching or wrecking it.
Hideous frippery (nm)Galibier
Dec 7, 2001 10:24 AM
It is a diversionKrill
Dec 7, 2001 10:39 AM
Hetchins use those huge flowery lugs to divert your eyes from their historically poor build qualities and even worse alignment. They are merely decorated, not finely crafted. I liked someone elses comment that they were like an old hooker. All that flash is cover for what is hidden underneath it. On the plus side, Hetchins are very affordable so if your tastes lean towards old hookers you can easily afford a threesome.

Columbines and Moons both combine decoration with craftsmanship, though are significantly more costly. In my opinion, true Craftsmanship and therefore Art, especially in a bicycle, does does not need to slap you in the face. It should reveal itself to you slowly as you study it and begin to understand what has drawn and captivated your eye. This is where a Richard Sachs frame is second to none. There are other craftsmen who fit this category, the Goodrich built Rivendells I have seen come to mind, but I am biased towards Sachs.
Too much for me dad.Sintesi
Dec 7, 2001 10:45 AM
Those lugs are way over done! Almost roccoco with all those little curly-ques. It goes too far past the function of the frame for me, after a while it's like too much whipped cream and not enough cake. Kind of makes me nauseous. I do love the craftsmanship and attention to detail though. It is definitely art and I would screeeech to a halt if I actually saw one on the road. nice post. : )
re: Hetchins - Gaudy or Gorgeous?davidl
Dec 7, 2001 2:26 PM
Gaudy...Old hooker's bike - low mileage - "she just rode it to the liquor store". Too 'frilly' for me, thanks. Did someone run over the seat stays and chain stays?
Ack!!!Tony Edwards
Dec 8, 2001 12:19 AM
Boy is that fugly! I actually think the simpler Moon frames are gorgeous, but these Hetchins frames are so far over the top it is indefensible, at least to me. The lower-end Hetchins frames are even worse IMO, because at least on the high-end ones the elaborate lugwork draws the eye away from those ridiculous stays.
re: Gorgeous, in a Gaudy sort of waymackgoo
Dec 8, 2001 5:30 AM
re: Gorgeous, in a Gaudy sort of waywalter
Dec 8, 2001 2:45 PM
There's Hetchins and then there are Hetchins. The newer ones (since the 80s which may not be that new to many of you) have only name and aesthetic similarities to the classics from the 60s and 50s and earlier.

To find one of those 40-50 year old beauties would be a treat indeed. They were as good a racer as was built anywhere in the world. The curly ("vibrant" I believe was the trade name)stays were supposed to increase stiffness. It has been a long debate if they actually do or not.

Someone above mentioned Hetchins as affordable. A curly-stayed Hetchins from the '50s probably wouldn't be described that way. That might tell you something about the current models right there.

As for this frame: IMO it's over the top. I like the stays b/c I like quirkiness. I also like chrome lugs like on my Colnago Master but those are overdone. I'd ride it though.
Definitely gorgeousTrent in WA
Dec 8, 2001 11:00 PM
I really like Hetchins (or, for that matter, Bohemians--see, not to mention the fine offerings of Mercian) in part because their aesthetic is so foreign to the contemporary, purely functional, "we-must-squeeze-the-last-bit-of-speed-out-of-the-last-watt" approach to bike design. Not only does that aesthetic make contemporary road bikes indistinguishable one from another, it doesn't really jibe with how most people ride their bikes the great majority of the time. The Hetchins that I've seen look like they're really cool, sporty, but utterly distinctive bikes to cruise around on--you could ride them far, and you could ride them fast, and you'd definitely get asked about them out on a tour or randonee, but they aren't really designed to feed into anybody's racer-boy or racer-girl fantasies. I wish there were more bikes out there like them; somehow, I feel like there'd be more bikers riding them.

Interesting post, Doug. I'm just curious: why?

Hetchins: The Liberace of bicyclesNancyboy
Dec 8, 2001 11:58 PM
Except Liberace was good at what he did. Hetchins are drag queens.
Hetchins: The Liberace of bicyclesSteveS
Dec 9, 2001 9:17 AM
I stayed at a B&B this Sept. in Wales whose owner was the national road or time trial champion for Britain in the late 1950s or early '60s who rode a Hetchins. He didn't make one unfavorable comment on the bike and after his riding career, went to work for Raleigh. (the original British version, not the American company of that name) Seems to me that he had some pretty good qualifications to pan the frame and didn't.

Where is your source of information?
Well put . . .Tony Edwards
Dec 9, 2001 12:16 AM
though I still think the Hetchins stays are hideous and the lugwork on these particular bikes is badly overdone.

I agree that the current trend toward function with no regard to form is unfortunate as a general matter. The prevalence of ti bikes is certainly part of the trend (since they have no need for paint and are by necessity virtually always welded), but for the most part I attribute the aesthetic downturn in bikes generally to the turn toward aluminum as the de facto frame material for garden-variety bikes. I think a well-made, lugged steel frame has aesthetic merit that nothing else in bikedom can touch.
pure love of bikes, that's all nmDog
Dec 9, 2001 9:07 AM