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  1. #1
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    What do you think about this Herse

    This is my second thread about a René Herse bike. The first one was for sale for less than 100e and sold in a matter of minutes (to someone else). This one is even more interesting but I fear that to get this one I’m going to have to put in REAL money. So, I have been offered to make an offer on this bike from a seller in another country and wanted to know what the experts think about it. Is it a real Herse (I’m 99% positive that it is but you never know)? Have I identified the parts correctly, especially the crank set (since it’s probably the most valuable part)? Will the repaint affect the value considerably?

    Those pictures are all I have to go with right now. I am afraid to ask for more pictures since it has probably been offered to other buyers already and I want to make an offer before a Herse appears on Ebay (there is nothing right now).

    Finally how would you go about that; He asks me to make him an offer. Obviously, I am trying to get a decent deal on this bike especially if I to go to France to get it (I have family there though). I fear that if I offer too little he is not going to answer and if I offer a lot more than he expects he is going to find it suspicious and get appraisals elsewhere. If he can’t give me a price range I was thinking of offering 500e-1000e.

    Here’s what I think I have identified so far;

    Age; Looks like a 50’s bike ?
    Stem; Herse’s own stem
    Front rack; herse?
    Brakes; 2nd type cantilever brakes
    Rear light; modified JOS type FU taillight for seat tube mounting
    Herse front derailleur
    Shift lever; eccentric lever for cyclo rear deralleur
    Chrankset; Arms look like a René Herse and the outer chain rings “Spider’’ looks rounded . I would have expected triple chain rings on this bike
    Rear derailleur; appears to be herse modified derailleur
    Hubs; Appear to be Herse modified hubs

    THANKS A LOT !



    Last edited by mainducoyote; 10-09-08 at 12:06 PM.

  2. #2
    working on progress treebound's Avatar
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    I don't know the brand at all, but what I have learned is that if you try to second guess a seller then you only short change yourself. So, set your emotions aside and set aside your obviously extremely strong desire to own one of these. Once you've done that I would simply recommend that you make an offer that is reasonable and acceptable to you on terms that are reasonable and acceptable to you, flat out straight up and honest with no games and no second guessing.

    Then since you have family there you could see if it would be reasonable for your family to go and see the bike in person and if acceptable for you as seen through their eyes then they can pay the owner and have the bike waiting for you. If the seller doesn't like this option then the scam flags start to wave before my eyes.

    Just my 2 cents worth of opinion about a bike transaction that sounds like it will exceed 2 cents by a great margin.

    You posted the pics after or while I was posting, looks like a very neat and very interesting bike.

  3. #3
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    I don't know alot about them other than they're highly sought after and usually bring a good price. That one looks pretty sweet, though maybe repainted? I understand the lettering on the frames was handpainted by his daughter, so there are no decals. Some of the folks at the CR site know quite a bit about them.

    http://www.classicrendezvous.com/main.htm

    Join the email list to post a question...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbakl View Post
    I don't know alot about them other than they're highly sought after and usually bring a good price. That one looks pretty sweet, though maybe repainted? I understand the lettering on the frames was handpainted by his daughter, so there are no decals. Some of the folks at the CR site know quite a bit about them.

    http://www.classicrendezvous.com/main.htm

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    Thanks, the owner himself told me it has been repainted so you are 100% right in thinking it has been repainted.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by treebound View Post
    I don't know the brand at all, but what I have learned is that if you try to second guess a seller then you only short change yourself. So, set your emotions aside and set aside your obviously extremely strong desire to own one of these. Once you've done that I would simply recommend that you make an offer that is reasonable and acceptable to you on terms that are reasonable and acceptable to you, flat out straight up and honest with no games and no second guessing.

    Then since you have family there you could see if it would be reasonable for your family to go and see the bike in person and if acceptable for you as seen through their eyes then they can pay the owner and have the bike waiting for you. If the seller doesn't like this option then the scam flags start to wave before my eyes.

    Just my 2 cents worth of opinion about a bike transaction that sounds like it will exceed 2 cents by a great margin.

    You posted the pics after or while I was posting, looks like a very neat and very interesting bike.
    Hello thanks for your opinion, this is the kind of response I hoped for and was expecting from this forum. As much as I'd like to own a Herse I have to look at it like the business transaction it is . Honestly, It would be a great opportunity to visit my family,own a René Herse for a few weeks and maybe make a profit out of it (probably not, considering all the costs involved).
    Last edited by mainducoyote; 10-09-08 at 12:27 PM.

  6. #6
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    At least ask for a picture of the drive side. The stem looks to be the real deal... the cranks are hard to tell but will have "Herse" cast into the arms. Internal wiring, cable operated generator, perfect fender lines, wrap around chain stays... all Herse (or French Ccntructeur) style to the T. Has it been repainted? Sometimes the "Herse" logos on the stem and downtube wore off... as I think they were hand painted on the frame. Contact Jan Heine at Bicycle Quarterly for some good advice...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mainducoyote View Post
    Hello thanks for your opinion, this is the kind of response I hoped for and was expecting from this forum. As much as I'd like to own a Herse I have to look at it like the business transaction it is . Honestly, It would be a great opportunity to visit my family,own a René Herse for a few weeks and maybe make a profit out of it (probably not, considering all the costs involved).
    I'm not entirely sure I agree with this. A business transaction this is not. What you are looking at is the equivalent of purchasing a classic Ferrari in the car world, hardly a market driven by business and logic! This type purchase is 100% driven by your own desire to own this classic bike, keep it, and ride it!

    If it were looked at as an investment I'd steer clear of something like this. you "might" make some money from it, then again you might not. You would have to travel look at the bike in person and make a decision, ship it back etc. And incur all these costs on top of the cost of the bike... then proper restoration (it is a classic) and any old hub or deraileur wont work, will add additional costs. On top of the cost for the bike it could add several thousand dollars... now you have found yourself right in the market price for a Herse with papers! For me... buy it because you want to enjoy it for a long time.

  8. #8
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    You have some good points . Shipping would not be an issue since with some air travel companies you are allowed to bring a bicycle with you for free. I don't NEED to make money on this one , braking even would be good enough.

  9. #9
    working on progress treebound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbarnblatt@usa. View Post
    I'm not entirely sure I agree with this. A business transaction this is not. What you are looking at is the equivalent of purchasing a classic Ferrari in the car world, hardly a market driven by business and logic! This type purchase is 100% driven by your own desire to own this classic bike, keep it, and ride it!

    If it were looked at as an investment I'd steer clear of something like this. you "might" make some money from it, then again you might not. You would have to travel look at the bike in person and make a decision, ship it back etc. And incur all these costs on top of the cost of the bike... then proper restoration (it is a classic) and any old hub or deraileur wont work, will add additional costs. On top of the cost for the bike it could add several thousand dollars... now you have found yourself right in the market price for a Herse with papers! For me... buy it because you want to enjoy it for a long time.
    I'm not in disagreement with this line of thought. My reality check was mainly to avoid getting scammed, and secondarily to avoid getting in too deep. I've bought plenty of things I wanted based on emotion and a general belief that quality stuff costs more than less quality stuff even though the less quality stuff will more or less work just as well (if that made any sense at all). But with the added comment of the consideration of riding the bike for a few weeks then flipping it for a profit then that thought puts this transaction squarely back into the business transaction realm.

    It will be interesting to see where this one goes. I can easily see this start out as a "ride it for a couple of weeks and then sell it" deal, and then turn into a "keeping it forever" conclusion. And there's nothing wrong with that.

  10. #10
    peaced out deez's Avatar
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    I'm not studied on Herse bikes but is that stem threadless? Is it a threaded fork with a threadless stem conversion?

    I did not know that they had threadless stems back then.

  11. #11
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    "It will be interesting to see where this one goes. I can easily see this start out as a "ride it for a couple of weeks and then sell it" deal, and then turn into a "keeping it forever" conclusion. And there's nothing wrong with that".

    -Been there, done that, got the garage full of 23 bikes!
    Oldpeddaller - The older I get, the better I used to be !!!" ***** If at first you don't succeed - hit it with a hammer.

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbarnblatt@usa. View Post
    At least ask for a picture of the drive side. The stem looks to be the real deal... the cranks are hard to tell but will have "Herse" cast into the arms. Internal wiring, cable operated generator, perfect fender lines, wrap around chain stays... all Herse (or French Ccntructeur) style to the T. Has it been repainted? Sometimes the "Herse" logos on the stem and downtube wore off... as I think they were hand painted on the frame. Contact Jan Heine at Bicycle Quarterly for some good advice...
    Crank looks like a Stronglight 49... not sure that would be out of line on a Herse if the original buyer didn't spring for the full on Herse parts...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbarnblatt@usa. View Post
    If it were looked at as an investment I'd steer clear of something like this.
    I agree, unless you know just about everything there is to know about Herses.

  14. #14
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Inspect that left seatstay - looks as if it might be bent in a bit.

    -Kurt

    P.S.: I refuse to play the "make-an-offer" game. If a seller refuses to state a price, I ask him to do so, or I walk away. Simple as that.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
    Inspect that left seatstay - looks as if it might be bent in a bit.

    -Kurt

    P.S.: I refuse to play the "make-an-offer" game. If a seller refuses to state a price, I ask him to do so, or I walk away. Simple as that.
    Not sure where it looks bent but some of you have X-Ray eyes so I'm not saying it is not bent.I asked the seller to send me a drive side picture, the lack of a Herse crankset would probably be a deal breaker.

    Concerning the make an offer game , I have to agree although I have asked people to make me an offer on a few occasion when THEY approched me ,because I wasn't sure of the fair price on a certain bike or part. The ads I placed clearly indicate that the seller has to state a price , but I keep getting ''I have this, make me an offer'' emails and I HATE it. 90% of the time it does not end with a transaction because the seller is trying to get his bike appraised or wants a ridiculous price but still thinks it might be worth more. Anyways, I have already asked the seller to give me a price range, if he doesn't I'll offer 400e-500e and go from there.
    Last edited by mainducoyote; 10-09-08 at 04:19 PM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member SingeDebile's Avatar
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    i would definitely put that as a herse, though even if it is not it looks to be just as well made with just as much care given to the parts chosen etc... That bike is simply perfect, its beautiful.. I am almost glad I am too tall to ever seriously look at most of these, / I really wish you the best, and I wouldnt worry too much about the paint, everything else looks so good.

    , on a side note if you do buy this and you want to replace the front light I have been looking for one of those for too long.

    best of luck to you!!
    bike bike
    ,/(looking for high end steel frames in the larger then life sizes of 68-70cm)
    69cm Romic 'Sport Tourer/Porteur'

  17. #17
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    Suspense over... he responded and has received offers over 2000 euros . Too much for me , if someone speaks french and wants his contact info , let me know. There will be others, so I'm not too disappointed. SingleDebile; Was that a JOS light ? I noticed they sell for a ridiculous amount!

  18. #18
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    Is it just me, or does that frame look a little too modern in geometry to be a classic René Herse. Certainly not a 1950's bike. Looks more like a more modern road bike lugged frame converted to 650B wheels. Could be wrong, but I woudn't be surprised if there are fakes out there. There are some more recent René Herse bikes from the 1980's that didn't really look too different than other road bikes of that era.
    Last edited by Longfemur; 05-17-09 at 01:00 PM.

  19. #19
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Well, while we're still on the topic of Herses, might I ask from those who might have ridden them what their ride qualities are? Stiff? Whippy? Solid, somewhat slow, but nevertheless stiff and reassuring (a-la Schwinn Paramount)? A bit springy, but peppy (Peugeot PSV-10)? A mix of the two? Ostentatiously French? Or similar to American touring frames?

    -Kurt

  20. #20
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    With better images the bike could fetch 3000 euros (I'm not going to bother locating the Euro sign key)

    It appears from observing ebay.fr, that the French have rediscovered this brand, for a while they went cheap and went export, no more.

  21. #21
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    I remember Raleighs having that wrap-around seat stay and head tube pattern. I will admit the fork crown does not look too much like a Raleigh but I'm no expert. What assurances do you have (other than the seller's word) that this is a Herse bike?

    Personally, I am lovin' those tires.

  22. #22
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    I can't say for sure about the frame being a Herse but I can say:

    • The stem is a Herse.
    • The left crank arm looks to be a Herse (looks similar to Stronglight 49D but different).
    • The wheels may not be original. They look like Maxi-Car hubs but Herse usually machined his with cutouts, or with larger flanges riveted on. Maybe not always. Un-holed Maxi-cars are in keeping with the assumed age of the bike.
    • I think the rear end looks bent because it was re-spaced from like a 3-speed freewheel to a 5. A shot of the freewheel would clear that up.
    • The taillight mount is classic Herse.
    • I can't really see the rear derailleur but it looks 50's or early 60's at the latest which is in keeping with the rest of the gear.
    • Those are early TA pedals, also in keeping with the assumed 50's age range.


    Sweet bike in any case!

    Hope that helps.

    Karl

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by repechage View Post
    With better images the bike could fetch 3000 euros (I'm not going to bother locating the Euro sign key)

    It appears from observing ebay.fr, that the French have rediscovered this brand, for a while they went cheap and went export, no more.
    I agree with you, it could be worth 3000 Euros but the seller is looking for offers over 2000 Euros. Even offering over 2000 Euros you'd be engaging in a bidding war against other collectors. Definitely too rich for me.

    About the hubs , just for your interest , here is a herse with what appear to be the same hubs Edit; maybe not

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