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Old 08-08-11, 12:35 PM   #1
blaise_f
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These touring bikes give me the chills

So I'm repurposing these photos from the C&V forum - I hope it CMAW doesn't mind - but they have to be seen. Being the antiquated lush that I am, and loving touring, these bikes are just too close to the heart. The construction, innovation and brilliance is just breathtaking. There is *literally* not a touring bike made these days with such class and utility.

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Spent the weekend in Paris, ghost city in august, bought some funky bar tape and went to see an expo called Voyages à velo, du vélocipède au Vélib (Vélib is a semi-public network of rental bicycles with drop-off points all over the city). Expo documents the history of the bicycle, cyclo-touring in particular. Lots of posters, pictures, press clippings etc plus 16 bicycles. This one was made by Nicolas Barra in 1949. That's 1 9 4 9 (just after the invention of the spoon).


[/I]




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Last one. Lionel Brans was a French artisan-constructeur who used to take his finished bikes on a little ride, like to Calcutta and Saigon.



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Old 08-08-11, 12:52 PM   #2
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Those are gorgeous. I love the FD shifter!
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Old 08-08-11, 01:29 PM   #3
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Those are gorgeous. I love the FD shifter!
Same here. I'm trying to understand how it works. Does it move in and out, or is the cage just angled? I could seriously see installing one of these on my bike. I shift the front so rarely that I ended up removing the FD. Just move between rings manually for "touring mode" and "round-town mode," but I have to admit that every now and then I hit a hill around town that would be more manageable in the smaller chainring, and every now and then on a flat or slope I max out the gears on the small ring.
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Old 08-08-11, 03:38 PM   #4
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Same here. I'm trying to understand how it works. Does it move in and out, or is the cage just angled?
Here's the Benelux rod shifter I have on my Raleigh Lenton:



Not a great shot but you get the idea. The rod is angled out at the top so you just reach down and pivot it forward for the inner chainring and back for the outer. The cage itself is like any other cage except that it's mounted on a rod that slides perpendicular to the frame centerline.

I'm using it with a compact double and it's great, dead simple and pretty bulletproof.
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Old 08-08-11, 03:52 PM   #5
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That is sweet. And perfect for my very occasional shifting needs. It there any way to adjust for chain line? I may have to keep an eye out for one of those.
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Old 08-08-11, 04:22 PM   #6
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That is sweet. And perfect for my very occasional shifting needs. It there any way to adjust for chain line? I may have to keep an eye out for one of those.
They're pretty straightforward, working just like a modern FD. All it does is pull the chain down off the rings, onto the next. It's brilliant, really.

The aforementioned cycles have such amazing features. Threadless headsets? 3x diamond frame? Tripod mount in the headset? CX hand grip. Integrated lights. Some of the coolest derailleurs ever created. The bags are of quality we don't even know these days. And I think both bikes were aluminum; for their time, quite the feat.

I love old French guiddonet levers. My dad picked up an old touring bike that has the same pair pictured, and they are quite the work of art.
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Old 08-08-11, 05:04 PM   #7
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There are still bikes like that being built today, but very few people are willing to pay the price for a custom like that. Those are beautiful bikes.

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Old 08-08-11, 05:14 PM   #8
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There are still bikes like that being built today, but very few people are willing to pay the price for a custom like that. Those are beautiful bikes.

Aaron
I'd venture to say, while you could have a custom framebuilder make one identical to these, they are not actively being made. The custom features, details and workmanship, due to necessity, have found workarounds and shrugged off what was at one point needed. People aren't integrating lights, because they dynamo an LED. People aren't integrating racks, because, "what if I want to take it off!". Integrated seatpost, nonadjustable? "What if I want to sell it!" Cross-cycle handle-grip for crossing unrideable paths and waterways? I'll take the paved road, more often traveled. These men were literally pioneers out of necessity. Add that all in to an aluminum build, before we were TIG and MIGing? Yep, nothing like it these days. Of course you can have it done, but who does? It's cheaper and easier to just have it done the standard way, and live through that one uncomfortable moment (see: shouldering the bike, rattling racks/screws, &c). And a build that far custom (and brilliant), these days, would be like 2 or 3 Rivendells, lest you did it yourself.
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Old 08-08-11, 06:09 PM   #9
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Here's a few more chills for you, a 1970 Rene Herse camping bike:

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Old 08-08-11, 06:25 PM   #10
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Here's the shifter/derailleur on my Raleigh Lenton Grand Prix.
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Old 08-08-11, 07:07 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by blaise_f View Post
I'd venture to say, while you could have a custom framebuilder make one identical to these, they are not actively being made. The custom features, details and workmanship, due to necessity, have found workarounds and shrugged off what was at one point needed. People aren't integrating lights, because they dynamo an LED. People aren't integrating racks, because, "what if I want to take it off!". Integrated seatpost, nonadjustable? "What if I want to sell it!" Cross-cycle handle-grip for crossing unrideable paths and waterways? I'll take the paved road, more often traveled. These men were literally pioneers out of necessity. Add that all in to an aluminum build, before we were TIG and MIGing? Yep, nothing like it these days. Of course you can have it done, but who does? It's cheaper and easier to just have it done the standard way, and live through that one uncomfortable moment (see: shouldering the bike, rattling racks/screws, &c). And a build that far custom (and brilliant), these days, would be like 2 or 3 Rivendells, lest you did it yourself.
Mariposa is one and I can't recall the other at the moment. Mariposa is no more, Mike Barry laid down his torch a few years back.

Aaron
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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

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Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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Old 08-08-11, 08:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Here's a few more chills for you, a 1970 Rene Herse camping bike:

Don't make me pull out the coupler Rene from the 50s, with Campy quick releases!

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Mariposa is one and I can't recall the other at the moment. Mariposa is no more, Mike Barry laid down his torch a few years back.

Aaron
Close, and while they are gorgeous machines, and he could certainly put in the special touches, it's perhaps something lost in both the art of framebuilding and cycling-touring itself. They're just standard touring bikes, 650s and a few add-ons. Of course, his work is brilliant, but the OP pics have a special glamour and touch that is unrivaled these days. He's also a very traveled and accomplished cyclist, with much to look up to. To think they were made 70 years ago, not to mention the stories they could tell...stunning. Enough arguing though, that's not what this is about.







Ok, I lied. I'm pullin' em out!
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Old 08-08-11, 10:30 PM   #13
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Here's the shifter/derailleur on my Raleigh Lenton Grand Prix.
Louis, I love my Frankenbuild '59 Lenton and I must say that seeing yours with the period-correct paint, decals and components is a real treat!.
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Old 08-09-11, 08:23 AM   #14
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Louis, I love my Frankenbuild '59 Lenton and I must say that seeing yours with the period-correct paint, decals and components is a real treat!.
Thanks. I shuffled a bunch of stuff around on my Flicker account last night; here's the complete set with much better detail.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/3945742...7627265429707/
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