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Framebuilders Thinking about a custom frame? Lugged vs Fillet Brazed. Different Frame materials? Newvex or Pacenti Lugs? why get a custom Road, Mountain, or Track Frame? Got a question about framebuilding? Lets discuss framebuilding at it's finest.

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Old 11-11-09, 12:41 PM   #1
DeDuva
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70's Connecticut Framebuilder

Does anyone know anything about a framebuilder that worked in Brookfield, CT back in the 70's and early 80's? I believe his first name was Fred and I recall that he had been on the 1936 German Olympic Bicycling team. He also used to ride occasionally in the Hartford Criterium. He made some beautiful frames, the first I had seen with the Moser-like top tube brake cable holes and I recall the built up bikes as having nice clean lines. I'm betting someone like Peter Weigle would know of him.
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Old 11-11-09, 02:19 PM   #2
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fred krancher (sp?).
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Old 11-11-09, 03:35 PM   #3
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Well, that sounds right. Do you know what he used as the marque on his bikes? Thanks for the name, it has been bugging me for a while.
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Old 11-11-09, 09:12 PM   #4
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I didn't know him personally but I knew of him, A guy I used to ride with frequently a few years ago owned two of his bikes, I think he said Fred died some years ago.
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Old 11-12-09, 01:47 PM   #5
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Fred Karcher

Yes, that appears to be correct. I had kind of assumed as much given his age. Notice of death (along with this SS#) came up when I googled him. I hope I run into his bikes again someday, I'm curious to see if my 18 year old tastes align with those I have now. Thanks to you for the info, too. If you get another free moment, I'd be interested to know if you saw your friend's Karcher frames and what you thought of them.
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Old 06-12-13, 12:00 AM   #6
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Fred Krancher

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I hope I run into his bikes again someday, I'm curious to see if my 18 year old tastes align with those I have now.
Fred sold me my very first bike! His wife came outside and taught me how to shift "keep paddling!" (Fred and his wife both had thick German accents despite living in the US since the 1950s). I totally loved them and their shop, and went back whenever I was in the area.

At least one of their daughters also worked in the shop painting details on bikes to be sold. The shop was near the four corners of Brookfield in the 1970s and 80s (maybe earlier too), and Fred had a welding shop across the street.

He specialized in making extremely lightweight but strong racing bikes from Reynolds tubing when I talked to him about bike frames in the mid-80s. He said that in order to get the tubing from Reynolds, they would send you some, and you'd have to send back a sample weld so they could QA it before letting you build a frame. The tubing had very thin walls and was a pain to weld, was my understanding.
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Old 06-12-13, 07:58 AM   #7
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He specialized in making extremely lightweight but strong racing bikes from Reynolds tubing when I talked to him about bike frames in the mid-80s. He said that in order to get the tubing from Reynolds, they would send you some, and you'd have to send back a sample weld so they could QA it before letting you build a frame. The tubing had very thin walls and was a pain to weld, was my understanding.
That must have been 753 tubing. Reynolds wanted to be sure that the builder could join the tubes without compromising the heat treatment that gave the tubing its strength. 531 tubing had no such requirement.
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