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  1. #1
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    Alex Singer...Can someone enlighten me?


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    Wow... that's a high end French 650b porteur bike... very desirable. I wish I could afford it! It looks similiar to my reimagined Peugeot PX50 - a Puymorens PX10 rebuilt into a PX50 650b cyclotouriste:
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Incidentally, my Peugeot PX 10 has the same Reynolds 531 frame. Yippy, yippy, yay! Without the 2 grand plus price tag!

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    At the price it's at right now it's tempting... I'm sure it will go for more. There is not much enlightenment needed... the pictures tell the story! Hand made custom frame, racks, fenders, etc. But at $2100ish... it's not that much for a bike... I mean there are tons of classic bikes that go for at least this, if not more. And many more new bikes that go for three times this amount.

  5. #5
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    There has been a fair amount of discussion about this bike on the CR mailing list.

    Consensus is that there are better examples out there; thus this bike may bring a lot less than other Alex Singers.

    (I am not an expert, just following the chatter).

    BTW, you can purchase a new Alex Singer if interested - here is the (new) website:

    http://www.cycles-alex-singer.fr/

    New runs around 6,200 euros, or about US$ 7900.

    http://www.cycles-alex-singer.fr/cat...r-sportif.html

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    The price is more than fair... next to Rene Herse, Alex Singer is considered the creme de luxe of French cycling brands. Every thing about the frame is the utmost quality.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    The last one I bid on went all the way to $7000 and didn't meet reserve.

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    I'll be happy to enlighten you: it's a Hell of a bike, and I wish to GOD I could win the lottery so i could OWN it!

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    Agreed. I can't own one but all the same I'm happy with the Peugeot incarnation of the Alex Singer. Same Reynolds 531 hand brazed lugged frame and all that's missing is the marque label. Still, the AS is a dream bike and if money was no object, I'd have it today!

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    Quote Originally Posted by NormanF View Post
    Wow... that's a high end French 650b porteur bike...
    Not a "porteur" at all. French constructeur bikes are very purpose-built, as opposed to being flexible in terms of intended use and potential for interchanging parts. Each component and part is carefully selected and incorporated into the overall design. The idea is that the bike is as tightly built as possible with as few clamp-on bits as can be managed. Terms like "porteur," "randonneur" and "camping bike" thus have quite specific meanings based upon intended use, with the bike designed to maximize it's peformance for a specific, generally limited purpose.

  11. #11
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    "Same Reynolds 531 hand brazed lugged frame and all that's missing is the marque label."

    The idea that all frames built with Reynolds 531 are basically the same is naive. The selection of the material is just a starting point for a builder, large or small, and even the choice of which 531 to use and for which parts of the frame contributes to the final product.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerosity57 View Post
    I wish to GOD I could win the lottery so i could OWN it!
    Same here. I'm not that familiar with them but I want it. Thx for the education.

  13. #13
    Senior Member kpug505's Avatar
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    Hmm......Interesting frame. First thing I thought when viewing it was that it's got the wrong bars because of the shifters on the toptube and the choice of bars, stem & brake levers...The frame to me looks like it is designed for upright riding. But....What do I know! The toptube is short so I guess it could work fine. Just seems weird to me.
    I don't like the bend the cable needs for the front brake and I hate the cable routing for the shifters (which is just aesthetic... but still). Where is the dynamo? Is it at the chainstay bridge? Are those vertical dropouts? I wish their were a lot more pics of better quality...
    My favorite aspects are the way the front derailleur is attached...(It is attached weird isn't it?) To have it semi-brazed on in that fashion is really neat but would be limiting in your choice of chainrings. I assume from the builders reputation that they know best and the gearing chosen covers all bases just fine. To do that speaks volumes IMO about the builders thoughtfulness and knowledge (or the original owners desire). The lugs are very pretty and I love the derailleurs, crankset and choice of brake calipers (especially with the braze on posts for the brakes)...
    Would I spend $2500 on it? Damn right! I'm sure it will end up much more than that. You would be hard pressed to have a frame built to match it for that price...Let lone outfit it with such pretty stuff hanging all over it. Oh! And it's a Singer which is just about as nice (or as nice) as any French constructeur bike ever made.
    Not the ideal bike made in that fashion in my mind but.....I can't afford it anyways so what can I say?.

    As a fellow Peugeot PX? owner.....No offense to the previous posters but.....Uhm.....This bike is in a whole other league. I don't think I have ever seen or heard of a Peugeot that could even begin to compare other than similar materials and component specs. And then there is the addition of custom handmade racks suited specifically for this frame and other bits like innovative uses for braze ons (front derailleur) and exact frame geometries that are suited to very specific load weight and placement requirements. This bike if compared to autos built in the same fashion would be IMO the Singer=Bently custom ordered with 4 pages of requests (and an in house catered lunch, fit session and build consultation) compared to a PX-10=Ferrari from the dealership floor.

    Sorry I didn't list French auto makers......I just can't think of any good comparisons.
    It's all just my opinion though...Nice bike!
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    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    The auction closed at $3,900 (plus $200 shipping).

  15. #15
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    That sounds like a deal compared to a Confente. I can't afford either of them, which is fine, they probably belong in an environment where they are best preserved.
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  16. #16
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    On Peugeots...

    This is as close as I will ever get to having a bike like that Singer (unless I build one myself)... this is my 1957 Peugeot PLX8 which is pretty much stock save for the newer Ideale saddle and alloy randonneur bars.

    I was fortunate to have found the bike with it's original Mafac full open back levers as these are quite rare as is the Simplex JUY543 rear derailer... the frame is beautiful in that is rather light and has an excellent road feel.

    A few folks have said she belongs in a museum and for as nice a bike as she is, she cannot compare to a Singer or a Hearse.



    P.S. If I had not found this bike I do not think I would have been able to afford her as old Pugs like this seems to sell for rather high amounts.
    Last edited by Sixty Fiver; 01-28-09 at 01:44 AM.

  17. #17
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
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    That is a very attractive bike, it may not be a Singer, but I bet it turns it's share of heads
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    On Peugeots...

    This is as close as I will ever get to having a bike like that Singer (unless I build one myself)... this is my 1957 Peugeot PLX8 which is pretty much stock save for the newer Ideale saddle and alloy randonneur bars.

    I was fortunate to have found the bike with it's original Mafac full open back levers as these are quite rare as is the Simplex JUY543 rear derailer... the frame is beautiful in that is rather light and has an excellent road feel.

    A few folks have said she belongs in a museum and for as nice a bike as she is, she cannot compare to a Singer or a Hearse.

    P.S. If I had not found this bike I do not think I would have been able to afford her as old Pugs like this seems to sell for rather high amounts.
    This bike is absolutely awesome. I'd love to have a Singer, but I'd love to have this too. At auction, this bike might (might) on a good day, with interest from Japanese collectors, surpass the price of that ebay Singer. An early 60's PX-10 went once upon a time for over $7000, partly because of the really nice components like yours has. And yours is the right color scheme, too. Thanks for sharing the pic.

  19. #19
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    Some of the components on the bike, Mafac 2000 brakes, TA crank, Maxi-Car hubs are so superior even by today's standards that these forty year old parts are the first choice for anyone putting together a brand new cost-is-no-object randoneur bike today. The Huret Jubilee remains the lightest weight rear derailleur to this day but don't let the carbon-fiber/titanium weight weenie crowd find that out or they'll drive the price up even further.

  20. #20
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MKahrl View Post
    Some of the components on the bike, Mafac 2000 brakes, TA crank, Maxi-Car hubs are so superior even by today's standards that these forty year old parts are the first choice for anyone putting together a brand new cost-is-no-object randoneur bike today. The Huret Jubilee remains the lightest weight rear derailleur to this day but don't let the carbon-fiber/titanium weight weenie crowd find that out or they'll drive the price up even further.
    I'm assuming that everyone here subscribes to Bicycle Quarterly (what, you don't yet?). It's also amazing to see the weight of Alex Singer and Rene Herse bikes and components in there -- with fenders, racks and lights they weighed about the same as Tour de France racing bikes of the day (see actual weights in Jan Jeine's new book, "The Competition Bicycle.").

  21. #21
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    Has everyone seen this site?

    http://www.ece.ubc.ca/~gillies/singer/

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    I second your sentiment. My Peugeot has all new parts but it now looks like something made decades ago and I'm quite happy with it. Not all of us can ever hope to own an Alex Singer or a Rene Herse but we can come close. A French-made bike makes it authentic and I've tried to be true to the spirit of those great bicycles and that's what I want people to see when I ride it!

  23. #23
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    My PX10 was made in France. That's about all it has in common with an Alex Singer.

  24. #24
    Senior Member bibliobob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Picchio Special View Post
    Not a "porteur" at all. French constructeur bikes are very purpose-built, as opposed to being flexible in terms of intended use and potential for interchanging parts. Each component and part is carefully selected and incorporated into the overall design. The idea is that the bike is as tightly built as possible with as few clamp-on bits as can be managed. Terms like "porteur," "randonneur" and "camping bike" thus have quite specific meanings based upon intended use, with the bike designed to maximize it's peformance for a specific, generally limited purpose.
    Anyone feel like taking a stab at offering a definition for constucteur, porteur, and randonneur? How about audax, for that matter (different than cyclocross or touring bike, I'm told)? Any other terms that are in use in European countries that we're not so used to here in the States?
    I grow old, I grow old. I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by bibliobob View Post
    Anyone feel like taking a stab at offering a definition for constucteur, porteur, and randonneur? How about audax, for that matter (different than cyclocross or touring bike, I'm told)? Any other terms that are in use in European countries that we're not so used to here in the States?
    Quick stab:
    Constructeur - a purpose-built bike where all of the parts are designed and created to serve a unified whole.
    Porteur - upright-bar bike designed for carrying a relatively large front cargo load on a substantial front rack, i.e. the newspaper delivery bikes in France that gave rise to the type.
    Randonneur (or perhaps more properly Randonneuse) - a bike designed for fast long-distance riding, small-to-medium load (often low-trail for front loading, but not always), frame designed for medium-wide tires, full fenders, and lighting. Randonneuring technically involves unsupported solo riding of specific longer distances, and rules dictate some aspects of the bike (i.e. mandatory lighting in some cases). May use double or triple crank.
    Audax - Similar to Randonneur bikes, but Audax events involve riders traveling together in groups rahter than solo. Audax events are popular in the UK.
    (A touring bike is designed for larger loads than a Randonneur, including pannier clearance, and usually has more braze-ons (i.e. third bottle mounts, canti posts, which a Randonneur may or may not have). A camping bike is yet another type built by French constructeurs, and Japanese builders have added yet another type to the mix, the "pass hunter.")

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