I could use some help identifying this road find. It's a Champion Track bike. I'd love to know any history on this at all, just starting the cleanup now, it's filthy.
Badge Decal - Champion High Grade Cycle
Champion Du Monde on the top tube
Hande Made on chain stay,
Mad. i. West Germ. on seat stay
Seat tube - North West Cycles - KI5-8703 5839 Irving Park Rd, Chicago 34, Illinois
NEVEREX decal on Down tube
Magistron Strong Light Crank made in Italy
Weinnann Tubular wheels.
Pedals stamped Bertret Lyotard / clip is stamped Christophe
Last edited by kfons; 12-25-11 at 10:57 AM.
Reason: Bad spelling
That's a very nice looking frame. Are you sure the down tube decal says NEVEREX and not NERVEX? The head lugs are Nervex Professional lugs made in France in the fifties, sixties, and seventies and used on lots of high end bikes like the Puegeot PX-10 and the Schwinn Paramount. Are there any tubing decals on the bike? The stem is an adjustable reach stayer stem, and similar stems were made by Cinelli, Schwinn (for the early Paramounts), and Ambrosio.
The seat lug and bottom bracket shell are also Nervex, and the world championship stripes on the seat tube are supposed to mean the builder had one of his frames win a world championship. Are the top tube and seat tube chrome plated? It sure looks like it.
The rear cog is a freewheel, not a fixie by the way, so technically it's not a Track bike?
Correct, although it's probable the frame was built as a track bike and the rear hub was changed at some point in its history so the bike was more suited for street use. The rear brake was probably added as well. The fork isn't drilled for a brake, so that would further indicate it was a track bike. The geometry will be a little different if it is really a track frame. For example, the BB shell would typically be a little higher than if it were built for street riding.
EDIT - I looked again at the fork photo, and it is drilled.
Can't offer much in the way of information, except to agree with everything Stan says above. Beautiful custom frame is what it looks like, probably from a small "boutique" builder.
Please don't be tempted into a repaint. It looks wonderful as-is. I love the patina and you can do a little for the chrome, but I'd leave the paint alone. I especially love the hand-painted mad. i. west germ., very cool. I also love the gold hand-made decal on the chainstay. To me those little details are priceless.
The cranks look very nice as well. Good luck with your project and enjoy her.
It apears there is / was clear coat over the chrome. The rust came off nice and it's polishing up when wet it looks good but when dry you can see areas and actually scrape off some of the clear coat with a finger nail revealing clean chrome underneath. My guess is they chromed the bike or parts of it, then painted and clear coated the whole bike at the end.
Any good ways to just remove the old clear coat on the chrome?
Some of the clear coat is yellowed in other areas of the bike too (especially visible in the white areas wher it is yellow or varnish colored).
You can remove the clear coat with Jasco Paint & Epoxy Remover. Just make sure you read the MSDS and follow the instructions; the stuff can be nasty if you're not careful. Mask off the painted areas before brushing on the Jasco stuff.