Frederick Hamlin started racing as a teenager for Reigate & Redhill in 1900, before moving to the famous Putney AC. After winning many handicap races, he became a leading scratch racer, and in 1907 had a memorable season. Hamlin finished second in the 10-mile Rawson Cup at the annual three-club meeting at Herne Hill between Putney, Paddington and Polytechnic. He also won the 25-mile Lightning Cup at Crystal Palace, beating Arthur Rushen and the holder Jack Bishop into second and third place. Also in 1907, Hamlin formed a tandem partnership with his brother-in-law Thomas Johnson and, after several successes, the pair went on to win the NCU tandem title, followed soon afterwards with the NCU London Centre title. Despite losing their NCU title to Leon Meredith and Johnnie Matthews in 1908, they won the silver medal at the Olympics.