Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Awesome customer endeavors!

This is our friend Steven Rea's bike. he wrote a really awesome book called: Hollywood Rides A Bike Cycling with the stars. It is full of old photos of celebrities with their bikes. Really neat stuff, he did a lot of research and found some really cool images and stories .Here is the link! Check it out and support his efforts!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Awesome customer's bike: 1961ish Frejus

     I really enjoy seeing what our customer's bring in and this one is no different. Actually, it is a bit different because it is a bike I have always wanted for my collection. The bike is a Frejus road model and the owner dates it to about 1961. Frejus bikes were very popular in the USA from about 1945-1965. This one was imported to New York by a neighborhood shop in Stony Point, NY which was owned by the late Thomas Avenia. His shop became well known for importing Frejus and Legnano bikes. The top end models had a grease port on the back of the head tube and many classic Italian features. Some of which are the seat lug that utilizes a seat collar to tighten around the seat post and the simple and elegant head lugs as well as the semi sloping fork crown with slim cut out windows. This bike has all those features with the exception of the seat collar.
      The patina on this bike is perfect in my opinion and shows it is a reliable and well ridden machine. A nice touch is the Frejus stamped alloy fenders, very sturdy and sharp looking. The bike also has a full Campagnolo Nuovo Record group with the exception of the Suntour Bar con shifters, which i like better anyway and the Balilla center pull brakes and levers. It also has the second generation Campagnolo Rally rear derailleur with the reinforcing tab which made it more substantial. Earlier versions were somewhat prone to breaking. The Rally was Campagnolo's attempt at a touring derailleur, but also suffered the poor shifting of the Nuovo Record because it did not have the benefit of a slant parallelogram. Still, it is a classic of the era. Also of note is the Campagnolo triple crank set with half step gearing, somewhat unusual. The owner says it is among his favorite city bikes and enjoys riding it on a daily basis. Perhaps some day I will find one in my size.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Cool Shop Bike: late 1950's Peugeot PX-10

     This is another one that has never been properly profiled. It is a late 1950's Peugeot PX-10 that was purchased many years ago from a bike shop in the immediate suburbs of Philadelphia. It has a lot of components and features that I find pretty interesting. I hope you do too.
     The frame and fork are constructed of Reynolds 531 tubing and the seat tube bears the French Reynolds decal, something I always liked. It utilizes early Nervex lugs which have been somewhat filed and thinned. The original older style decals are all intact and are quite ornate and have great vibrant colors. Especially the seat tube decal. The paint is a nice blue that has aged well and flattened out some over the years. The yellow accents on the head lugs really make it "pop".
     The rear derailleur is a simplex JUY 543 model, which is extremely rare and quite beautiful. It was produced in the early to mid 50's and required a special cable stop on the chain stay because it was a twin cable type. Jaques Anquetil famously  used it in the Tour De France. It can be set for use with either 3, 4, or 5 speed freewheels, hence the name 543. Stylistically, it is one of the most elegant rear derailleurs ever produced in my opinion. There is a Simplex competition rod type front derailleur with upgraded wing nuts to handle the front chain rings. It has a Stronglight 5 pin steel cottered crank set that I have not been able to find much info about. The chain rings are Stronglight model 49 type I think, but they also look the model 57 cut outs which used a more traditional BCD and spider combo as opposed to the 5 pin 49 model alloy cranks. If anyone can enlighten me, please do. The bike has a Stronglight bottom bracket installed. The hubs are low flange Prior laced to unknown steel 700C rims. It has very cool Beborex brakes and levers. The brake calipers have a unique QR system and the vertical mounting style on the rear brake, which was a relatively common French thing. there are early Simplex QR wheel skewers with the "dog bone" skewer nuts, quite rare! Really cool Ideale Type 59 Record alloy railed saddle which is in pretty good shape for its age. The sides of it are drilled for lightness? Aesthetic? Either way, it is super rare and elegant looking. There are nice unknown alloy fenders which have been painted to match the bike, a cool Ventolux frame pump, and an early T.A. handlebar bag (not original to the bike). There are also a pair of Lyotard  no. 460 Duralumin pedals that I forgot to photograph. This bike is a nice example of what was available in the mid 50's if you wanted a top of the line lightweight machine.