. It takes its name from the founder of the firm, Hyman Hetchin


Hyman "Harry" Hetchin and his sister fled from Russia when he was 26. Their parents died in the Revolution. Hetchin opened a music shop in Leyton, north London. Part of the shop also sold bicycles.

He made his first bicycle in the 1920s.

Jack Denny was the son of a frame builder who had two shops in London. Denny believed that extending the joining lugs of a frame would make it stronger. The longer lugs also gave him a chance to cut them into decorative shapes. Denny then put curves into the rear forks and stays in the belief that they would reduce vibration from the road. The idea was not new: it had been tried by another dealer, Maurice Selbach with the front forks. Denny curved only the back of the frame. He gave it to a local rider, Harry Rothwell, known for his strength. Rothwell increased his weight and made his training harder by carrying two house bricks in his saddle bag.

Hetchin saw the frame when he visited Denny to ask him to supply frames. The pair agreed that Denny would become a junior partner in the Hetchins business, building fancy-lugged machines with curly stays that could be patented as a Hetchins trademark. The pair opened a larger shop in Seven Sisters Road, Tottenham. They patented the Rear Vibrant Triangle (patent 33317) and the Hetchins Vibrant Triangle (Patent 443454) in 1932.

Hetchin used a Latin dictionary to name his frames Nulli Secundus the Cognoscenti, and Experto Crede.

Toni Merkens rode a Hetchins to become Olympic and world track champion in 1936. Piet van Kempen and Cor Wals of Holland won the Wembley Six-Day on Hetchins. The wins identified the frame and the distinctive design exploited a ban by the Road Time Trials Council on the name of an amateur rider's frame appearing in newspaper photographs.

Hyman Hetchin died at 70 in 1961. His son, Alf, took over the business.

In 1974 the company moved to Southend-on-Sea when the London shop was needed to widen Seven Sisters Road. Jack Denny was still building Hetchins frames at 76. The firm was still in operation in 2008, under the control of the former Southend shop manager David Miller.

External links

* [http://www.hetchins.org Historic Hetchins web site]
* [http://www.mybyk.com/ebykr/blog/hetchins_bicycles_meticulously_lugged Hetchins Bicycles: Meticulously Lugged] on [http://www.mybyk.com/ MyByk]

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