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  1. #1
    Zee
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    Hi all! I've been away since the weather got too cold but I'm back again and have I ever got a question for y'all!!

    My mother and sister found the coolest bike I've ever seen in an antiques booth and bought it for me for my birthday. I just brought it home last night. They told me they did a dozen searches on the Net and came up empty every time. I plan on searching myself but I lost alllll of my links when our hard drive went kaput on us just before Christmas. I wasn't sure if the classic bikes forum was best or this one so I'm starting here.

    Here is what I do know:

    This bike is older than 30 years because it has an Indiana bicycle license tag on the rear fender that expired in 1976. It is an Original Falter, made by Faehnrich of West Germany, and also says "Super Star" on the front of the seat post and the downtube. Every decal has a gold butterfly on it. The tires are 26 X 1 3/8 and may or may not be original (they are a bit cracked and may say someting in German or Dutch on the sidewall, I can't tell for sure, but they don't look 30+ years old). The sparkly hand grips are original, and are the same pretty dark metallic blue as the frame.

    It has a very old Union pedal-powered headlight that could be original to the bike - there is a special place to attach it that is part of the bike frame (the whole thing is on the front tire, nothing running to the back). It is a single speed with a front hand brake only, and it has a pedal brake as well (in reverse, I forget what you call it lol). The brake says Altenburger Synchron in white on a small red badge. The back of the seat says "Royal System" with the word "Patented" above "System" and "Made in Italy" under the world "Royal."

    Here's something I've never seen before: Both the seat and the gooseneck can be moved by turning a large white heavy plastic wingnut. There are also smaller white plastic wingnuts that hold the frame together when the bike is ready to ride; you remove the wingnuts, fold the bike in half and then replace the wingnuts on the welded-on screws until you're ready to ride again. The bike is made of pretty sturdy stuff, including the fenders, and I'm just guessing but I'd say it weighs about the same as my 1970's Schwinn.

    I have alot of pictures, which I've uploaded below; sorry about the quality of some of them, my camera isn't the best indoors w/o the flash but sometimes the flash is too much. Some of these pics are fairly large so be patient while they load =0)

    Any and all information you might be able to give me, especially websites and original/reconditioned Falter photos links, would be much appreciated!

    ~Zee
    Attached Images Attached Images
    • File Type: jpg A.JPG (84.5 KB, 132 views)
    • File Type: jpg B.JPG (96.7 KB, 91 views)
    • File Type: jpg C.JPG (53.3 KB, 54 views)
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    • File Type: jpg F.JPG (81.6 KB, 79 views)
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    • File Type: jpg H.JPG (44.0 KB, 38 views)
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    • File Type: jpg K.JPG (47.1 KB, 53 views)
    Last edited by Zee; 03-05-06 at 03:48 PM.

  2. #2
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    Interesting find, i have seen bikes reminiscent of it, but never one quite like it. I can't really tell you much about it except that the Plastic wingnut things is /was common for Folders marketed in the Netherlands anyway. They tended to be the cheap ones which i think this one is too. You will probably find that the bike will be fine if you don't except huge things from it/ride it loads. None of the components look great nor terrible. Not sure if it is worth upgrading, depends on how strong/flexy/durable the frame is. The achilles heel of many of these older cheaper folders (especially if they don't feature thick tubing or a double diamond design) is that the frame tends to crack if they are used a lot. Yours having two tubes should help though.
    http://www.rhizomes.nl/twenty.html
    My Tweaked and modded Raleigh Twenty. Lots of pictures and lots of general info on for example a different & Cheap Bottom Bracket solution as well as fork solution.

  3. #3
    Zee
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    I finally found another one, for sale online! http://www.goantiques.com/detail,gir...er,687395.html

    This one's green and has a different seat (the color anyway); it also has an intact bell (mine's missing the top) and a rack on the back, plus the water bottle and pump (mine are missing). Gives me hope I can find those things online though! Time to search ebay lol...

    I also see from the photos that the handlebar is different on this one, but I also see that it has the same single break (on the other grip, though) and headlight; I was wondering if the brake was an add-on on mine because it has the pedal brake for the rear tire. Now I guess I know different!

    ~Zee

  4. #4
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    Classic Folding Bike

    I was excited to see your pics! I also have found a falter folding bike. I found it here in Colorado at a garage sale. I liked it because it was so unique. Mine is green with the original bell, pdeals, generator with head light and tail light, fenders in real good shape, with the carry rack in the back (not sure what this is called). I paid forty dollars for it. The tires were pretty bad so I did replace them. It rides nice for since an old bike. If you find any more info on this type of bike let me know and I will do the same.
    If I can figure out how to post pics on this site I will take some of my bike so you can see it. I am new and only here because I was looking for info on this bike. Hope to hear more soon, Linda

  5. #5
    newbie- Dave in Philly
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    Help me out guys- I know nothing about this stuff! Thank you for your patience-come again :)

  6. #6
    Veni, Vidi, Foldi
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    I've attached some scans of a Falter Star brochure from 1967. I've seen quite a few Falter Stars over
    the years but can't say I've ever seen a "Super Star".

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    Mine has a 2 speed kickback hub!!!

    I just bought an old Falter Super-Star from a very, very nice man on craigslist. I started googling "altenburger synchron" because the caliper brakes on the front tire are broken, and I'd love to replace them with a vintage part. That's what led me to your thread. Anyway, the reason I write is because, as cool as ANY old bike is, and as cool as ANY folding bike is, my version of the Falter Super-Star bike has a 2 speed kickback hub!!! YEAH!

    This is a hub that functions just like a coaster brake, except that braking also toggles the internal gearing into high and low speeds. It would be possible to ride the bike and not even realize you were switching gears, and this I why I am pointing this out to you. Check to see if yours has a 2 speed hub, too. I can't imagine mine is the only one.

    FWIW, my bike is reddish, with the brace for a dynamo headlight (but no headlight) and also little peggy things on the downtube for a frame pump. LOL I haven't seen a framepump that long in like 20 years, they're all dual action things no longer than my hand. But anyway, can't wait to equip my West German 2 Speed Foldie with a dynamo, framepump - and Altenburger Synchron caliper brakes, if i can ever find some!

    Regards,
    BC

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Ive got a pair of dual pivot brakes similar to them.
    dont think there Altenburgers though.

    Im in Scotland though. So probably be a bit far to send them

  9. #9
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    I have one too

    I'm not sure where I got this from. We were cleaning the side of the house and found a Falter Super Star. It is the foldable bike has a two speed rear hub activated by a wire switch at the handle bar. if had a light and generator on it and has the plastic wing nuts. it is gold and also has the butterflys on the id stickers. the bell is complete, it has a rack on the back, and the prongs for the pump on the seat riser. the tires on mine are shot but what a great bike.


  10. #10
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    bike pics

    here are the pictures of the bike
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11
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    Falter

    I just found out that the word Falter is Butterfly in German. Therefore the butterflys on the stickers and the name falter for the folding bike. It cant be the manufacture though? Who is the manufacturer???

  12. #12
    Senior Member Foldable Two's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Remix View Post
    That's an early Dahon. Lots of them around.

    Interesting how many folks find they're not the only ones with a rather obscure Falter folding bike. (The internet can be very neat at times.) It's amazing those plastic wing nuts have held up over the years. They've got to be a bit brittle by now.

  13. #13
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    Foehnrich falter super star

    Iv'e had one hanging in the garage in my summer home, picked it up at a garage sale with a few other unusual bikes. i need to take a better look at it now. will post pictures in the future.
    Can't be too many of these around.

  14. #14
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    Zee, I just got TWO bikes like yours! I was told they were from about 1968. Lighter blue blending to silver in the middle of the frame. Otherwise just the same. Did you learn any thing new?

    Sandie

  15. #15
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    Hey Zee,
    The bicycles were built by Falter in Bielefeld, West Germany and were imported by Faehnrich Imports, Chicago, Illinois during the 1960's and 1970's. Your bike does not have the original handle bars or seat, and is missing the luggage carrier which was standard at the time. The bikes weighed 32lbs ready to roll, and with the left pedal removed, would fit into the trunk of the original Volkswagen Beetle.
    I would probably be the foremost authority on the Faehnrich Folding Bikes as my late father was the one who imported them. I was also heavily involved in both the assembly and sales of the folding and other bikes built by Falter. There's still a small cache of bike, frames, and parts stashed away in the corner of my garage. I will be going through and cataloging these soon, as I am preparing to move.
    I would be more than happy to answer yours and everyone else's questions.
    Thanx,
    Peter Faehnrich Jr.

  16. #16
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    Halefmly,
    You have a rare 3 speed version, we didn't build many of those as the cable was problematic with the folding feature. Most of the bikes were sold with the Fichtel & Sachs Torpedo Duomatic. It was a 2 speed, 36% overdrive, that was shifted by kicking back on the coaster brake. Later on F&S added an Automatic that shifted by itself at a certain rpm.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by halefmly View Post
    I just found out that the word Falter is Butterfly in German. Therefore the butterflys on the stickers and the name falter for the folding bike. It cant be the manufacture though? Who is the manufacturer???
    "Falten" means "to fold." Perhaps a pun was intended?

  18. #18
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    Falter....non-folding!

    Peter, The model I have is not a folder ,its a solid frame. It has the three speed shifter and hub.
    Where there many imported without the folding option. Can the cable setup be replaced with standard parts?
    Thanks, Don M.

  19. #19
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    donjmatt0, not all the bikes Falter made were folding. During the big bike craze of the early '70's we imported, built, and sold just about every kind of bike imaginable at that time.

  20. #20
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    Restoration help - Falter Faehnrich automatic 2-speed folding bike

    20131030_073722.jpg

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteFaehnrich View Post
    donjmatt0, not all the bikes Falter made were folding. During the big bike craze of the early '70's we imported, built, and sold just about every kind of bike imaginable at that time.
    @PeteFaehnrich, I just got a Falter Faehnrich folding bike off Craigslist and I am trying to restore it. Three questions I'm hoping you can help me with...

    1. I'm trying to decide if I should open the rear hub with the automatic gears. The bike is in rough shape, but I've never worked on a component like automatic gears. Is this easy to service? Or should I just leave it alone?

    2. How do I get the crank arms off (attached is a photo)?

    3. Do you have a manual for the bike that you could post online?

    Thanks for the help!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by crank_set View Post
    20131030_073722.jpg



    @PeteFaehnrich, I just got a Falter Faehnrich folding bike off Craigslist and I am trying to restore it. Three questions I'm hoping you can help me with...

    1. I'm trying to decide if I should open the rear hub with the automatic gears. The bike is in rough shape, but I've never worked on a component like automatic gears. Is this easy to service? Or should I just leave it alone?

    2. How do I get the crank arms off (attached is a photo)?

    3. Do you have a manual for the bike that you could post online?

    Thanks for the help!
    For the cottered crank, go to Sheldon for some great advice.

    For the Sachs automatic, go to Jens' Site.. the hubs are pretty simple... nothing goes 'boing' when you remove the guts from the shell.. a good cleaning works wonders... lots of nice tips and pictures courtesy of Jens..
    Last edited by BruceMetras; 10-30-13 at 03:52 PM.

  22. #22
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteFaehnrich View Post
    Thanx,
    Peter Faehnrich Jr.
    hey, pete. you should get in touch with enraqio before he's forced to change his phone number after receiving hundreds of crank calls and dozens of pizzas delivered to his door.


  23. #23
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    Hello there Peter I also have 2 of the folding super stars both of which are in very good condition but l also suspect that the seats, and possibly the headlight are not original but they both have all of the accessories including the pumps. They also both feature the three speed rear hub one of which is intact the other as you mentioned the cable has proved problematic in the folding style which by the way was interesting to hear they will fit inside of the original beetle with the left pedal removed. So lastly not only was I happy to have found someone with first hand knowledge of these fairly rare bikes but also that you may have some original parts laying around and honestly I am extremely interested to find out if you may have some key parts for these bikes I have had them for a year now and the little time I have looked into these I honestly have 2 of the best looking and most complete pair I have seen and would love it if we could get together on this and bring them both back to as originall condition as possible. Thank you for your time Peter and I hope to hear from you. Eric.
    Last edited by eraqio; 03-12-14 at 12:38 PM.

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