Saturday, October 31, 2009

Mercian Vincitore

This is a beautiful bicycle owned by a friend of mine and a customer of the shop. It is a mid 1970s Mercian Vincitore. The bicycle is outfitted with a variety of period parts, from Campagnolo Nuovo Record drivetrain, Dia compe brakes, newer Mavic rims. I love the paint applied to the cutouts in the Nuovo Record high flange hubs, it is a very nice subtle touch. I may 'borrow' this for one of my bicycles, I forgot how well that accents a bike.

The chrome headlugs are beautiful, they were not listed in the catalog I was able to find online at the Mercian website(I wonder if this bicycle had that specially ordered).I really love the chrome Cinelli fully sloping fork crown as well. It does have vertical Campagnolo rear dropouts that were not that well received, as they were thinner than typical high quality dropouts and would either require a shorter axle or the frame builder to braze a slotted washer on it to give it more material. I am not sure how I feel about the seatstay treatment, it looks a little crowded. The wraparound seatstays over the lug is a bit 'meaty,' maybe if the wraparound was more profiled, or filed down, it would look a little more tied together.

Friday, October 30, 2009

cool items at the shop and 2 Frames for sale

Finally sorting out a lot of stuff we have here! Well sorting might not be the word, moving stuff around. In doing so, I am finding some items for sale for the world.

First, a Cilo Racer Swiss road frameset. 60cm. Campagnolo dropouts, Bottom bracket. Reynolds 531 double butted. Weinmann brakes. just needs wheels and a drivetrain and you are ready to go. $225

Second, a 52cm Peugeot PX10 frameset. Stronglight BB and headset. Simplex dropouts. Reynolds 531 double butted. Mafac brakes with little TA rack. $225

A cool picture with a Weco hub laced to an Ambrosio rim, set in contrast with 2 variations of Prior hubs. A nice NOS set of Prior hubs recently went for a chunk of change on Ebay.

The final picture is of a bunch of steel chainrings for cool old racing bicycles.

British Cycle catalogs scanned online

1939 Phillips catalog

I love reading other blogs, as well as my one;) and I found this over at Old Bike Blog.

Seems the British are scanning are in vintage catalogs of parts and bicycle catalogs. All are in Adobe Acrobat PDF format, that if you don't have, it is free and you can download here. most new PCs come with it.
Constrictor logo from catalog
The catalogs are here, at the National Cycle Library, they have many early catalogs and I guess are in the process of scanning much more. There is Jack Taylor, Elswick ,Rudge, and BSA and Constrictor

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloween in philadelphia

Well not bicycle related, but I'm in the video and involved with the party. a fun take on Thriller, and other jokes. I got to learn the Thriller Dance.

Making Time's Thriller 3000 from klipcollective on Vimeo.

The Making Time/R5 Halloween Freakout
.....The Sequel
Halloween Night!!!

Saturday October 31st. 2009

@ 2424 Studios
2424 East York St. (at York & Gaul Sts.)
Philadelphia, PA

8pm (for the start of the 1st Home Game of the World Series) til ??????

with Very Special Live Guests:

SIMIAN MOBILE DISCO (LIVE!!!) (London, UK/Wichita Records)


Advance tickets available online at:

And at:

Aka Music
27 N 2nd St.
Philadelphia, PA


The Last Drop Coffeehouse
1300 Pine St.
Philadelphia, PA


Tequila Sunrise Records
525 W Girard Ave
philadelphia, PA 19122

For a map and directions to 2424 Studios go to:,+Philadelphia,+Pennsylvania+19125&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=44.388698,69.082031&ie=UTF8&cd=1&geocode=FWACYgId7rGF-w&split=0&hq=&hnear=2424+E+York+St,+Philadelphia,+Pennsylvania+19125&z=16

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Porteur chainguard

I decided after work to finally install the chainguard I got from Velo Orange a year or so ago. It was as difficult as I imagined. I was kind of limited to TA cranks with the small diameter of cutout(they have since made one that accepts more variety or cranks- with a larger hole). The original Porteur bicycles with steel cottered cranks were offset to allow for clearance so neither the crank arm or the chainring would rub against the guard. I created a "spacer" to move the position of the chainring over a little, away from the chainguard, out of a Lambert outer chainring. The mounting brackets were fabricated at Via Bicycle(I bought the chainguard without any hardware). After about 2 hours of work, I had it mounted and it did not rub, but it was a lot of measuring and was a bit of work to put it into the proper position so it would not rub. I noticed, after the final tightening, that the chainring is not center into the cutout hole. That sucks. But that is the position where it does not rub, so. . . where it will stay.

More info on Porteur bicycles here on Joel Metz's website

a chainguard mounted on a Bilenky Porteur owned by my friend Pat built by Bilenky Cycles. It is 9th Bilenky he has had built. the Pinstriping was done by Simon Firth at Bilenky Cycles, he is really coming into his own with it. (as you can see, some rubbing. I assume my might end up like this too. well I hope not).

Monday, October 26, 2009

A very nice Rene Herse Randoneur bicycle

I am not really want to write about other people's auctions on ebay but this Rene Herse is something special. Not only is it a beautiful bicycle, compete with all the Rene Herse propritary components(stem, cranks,bottom bracket, brakes, front derailleur, rack, and other bits) but the bicycle fetched over a whooping $8600! That's a lot of sheckel bucks!

The bicycle was complete with Cyclo 4 speed alloy rear derailleur, Maxi-Car hubs, Lyotard Berthet pedals, Mafac Professional brake levers, Philippe Randoneur handlebars, and Ideale 40 saddle.

More info on Rene Herse bicycles here by the March family and the Classic Rendezvous webpage, and the tradition has been carried on by Michael Kone, and this is the new incarnation of Rene Herse.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Early 1950s Claud Butler Jubilee Model

Claud Butler was a very popular bicycle manufacturer for many decades. Best known for filet brazed (lugless) frame construction and paradoxically at the same time beautifully ornate 'lugs' on other models using the 'Bilaminate' technique. Bilaminate lugs were basically thin cut sheets of metal that were brazed over a filet brazed frame. One might consider them more as a decoration than an actual structural part of the frame, but of course it is argued that there is a little more stiffing around the joint, but that was not the intial intended purpose. Lugless bicycles at the time were generally regarded as cheap compared to lugged frames, which required more attention and skill.

This bicycle is the Jubilee model and is in mostly original stock condition, minus a few small details. Well one possible major incorrect part is the fork. The fork crown did not look right with the bike when I looked at it in person. The fork crown looks crude, compared to the rest of the bicycle, but the rake looks period for an early 1950s British bicycle and it also has the brazeon for a lamp to be mounted. The seat clamp collar is Italian and of that time period, but not a Claud Butler one. The seatpost and Brooks saddle are also incorrect, both later. One piece I was unsure of was the pedals, they look like 1960s Phillips pedals, but maybe they were also available back in the early 1950s.

It is a very nice example of a period bicycle with original finish that would not take much to turn this bicycle into a Concourse bike.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Some people may scoff at this destruction

We have tons of tubular tire(glue-on tire) wheels, jokingly I would say we have a 'wheely' lot of them. Most of the are mediocre rims, basic Mavic or Fiamme or Super Champion, and have not much resale value as a complete wheel, the hubs are worth more than what we could sell the wheel for. With space at a premium in this over packed place, I have decided to 'compress' some of the piles and the tubular wheels were the first to get the ol' heave-ho. So expect some hubs and hubsets for sale in the near future. and if you were looking for any tubular rims, let me know. . .we have them.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

old French cycling newpapers

I have always liked to collect paper goods- catalogs, books, magazines and even newspapers on bicycling. They are an invaluable source of information on history and contain facts and clues to properly restore an old bicycle. I have many issues of French newspapers from the late 1940s-late 1950s chronicling the cycling greats at the time. Along with their stories of crashes and punctures, there are awesome pictures showing the equipment at the time.

One can see the evolution of bicycle parts through this decade of cycling. The late 1940s has steel cottered cranks, Campagnolo Cambio Corsa and cantankerous Simplex and Huret derailleurs and by the late 1950s, you see the popularity of alloy cotterless cranks(mainly Stronglight) and parallelogram derailleurs from the big three derailleur manufacturers.

Notice the Stronglight 49d cranks used in 1949, this was an anomaly on race bicycles.
Most racers were outfitted with steel cottered cranks(by choice or through sponsorship)

This photo shows the ultra rare first version Campagnolo Gran Sport front and rear derailleur.

I remembered this stack of newspapers because my recent interest in framing art for my house-see previous post about framing Rene Herse Catalog, Daniel Rebour drawings, and Schwinn Paramount illustration. I am considering framing a couple, not cutting out images, but framing the whole paper, not to ruin it. I love the sepia and cyan inks, they are very beautiful.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Shimano/Panasonic team track bicycle

I don't know much about this bike other than it is very nicely built. From the Panasonic history website, Panasonic organized a Panasonic/Shimano team in the US in 1979. I really like the fastback seatlug treatment, but I could see problems with over tightening of the seatbolt with it threading into the other seatstay. The fork has beefy round fork blades and even the seatstays are rather large.

This bike was at the Trexlertown swap meet. i assume it was for sale, but never asked a price.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Rene Herse Catalog

On my day off I framed a couple pages from the Rene Herse catalog. They were 5 1/2" x 7 1/2" loose pages that were put into an envelope with Lyli Herse's picture on it. The art work is Daniel Rebour technical drawings. (sorry for the inferior picture, it was taken with my phone).

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I even have piles of parts around my house

Well I have bike parts here and there around the house. Most of them are tucked away in various drawers and shelves. The other day I attempted to open a drawer, and loe and behold, the bottom gave out and the parts were everywhere.

I only really ever have super cool stuff laying around the house, various apartments over the years have led me to become less of a pack rat, but I still have some tendencies. This incident proved it.

You can see a couple alloy rail Ideales, an alloy rail Mansfield, couple pairs of Campagnolo brakes, prewar Chater Lea pedals, 1960s Campagnolo cranks, Chater Lea cranks, Philips pedals, Torrington pedal, and an Ad-Hoc pump.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Finally installed a new bell

It is a vintage Ad-Hoc bell from France. Ad-hoc is best known for their bicycle frame pumps, some models selling for 100s of dollars. I have owned it for a couple years, but I had another cool French bell on my bike before. The bell could really use a proper polishing but I am rather busy lately, well always. I still have to put the chainguard on my bicycle too, maybe next month?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Unidentifed Chrome bicycle

Pretty sure it is French construction. It has incorrect British wheels, but they are of the period. Simplex rear derailleur, Weinmann engraved brakes. I originally thought of buying it, but it is just a tad too big for me to ride as a city bicycle. It would have been nice because of the chainguard tabs already on it, and the allowance for fenders and a larger tire, and it is CHROME. But it was not to be. The stem is super awesome too.