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Belgique!

Old 10-14-15, 07:22 AM
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JWLeach
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Belgique!

Hi everyone!

I now have a Belgique Rapidex(?).

From the little I was able to find in my research, it's nothing special, but I came across this for $10 recently. It had the usual plastic derailleurs and shifters. The jockey wheels on the rear mech were worn down to little plastic balls.

I removed those derailleurs, as well as the brake levers. I swapped out the wheels, because the front wheel was pretty well gone with rust. The bars had a couple layers of hockey tape, which exuded some toxic dust when removed/sanded off. I cleaned up the bars (at least where they would be visible by the stem).

I was thinking of running it as a singlespeed, and leaving the original crankset, which cleaned up beautifully with some steel wool. I can get a 20t single speed freewheel, so the gearing shouldn't be too steep. Any other options that I may have overlooked?

My main question to you is about brake levers. I have some dia compe levers, as well as myriad other crappy Weinman and Schwinn levers, but none of those seemed to fit visually. I do have a set of Velo Orange City Levers, which I thought might look good.

(These: VO City Bike Brake Levers - Levers - Brakes & Parts - Components) Any other suggestions?

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Old 10-14-15, 07:52 AM
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First, you need to supply bigger pictures

I use drop bar levers in the normal position on my SS, which also doubles as my fixed gear. I have run it with bullhorns and TT levers; and also for a while with interrupter style levers on the top of a drop bar (similar to what I'm guessing you'd do with city levers) But I decided after a while to go back to some standard levers with reasonably comfortable hoods, a set of AGCs. YMMV

As far as gearing, your choice is very close to what I'm currently running 48*18 when in SS mode. (assuming you have 52t front)
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Old 10-14-15, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Ex Pres View Post
First, you need to supply bigger pictures

As far as gearing, your choice is very close to what I'm currently running 48*18 when in SS mode. (assuming you have 52t front)
Having trouble with the pics this morning. Thought I got a bigger one on there, but maybe not... My original file is about 6mb, so had to trim.

Definitely running original drop bars. Looking for suggestions for brake lever style, either NOS or neo-classic stuff!
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Old 10-14-15, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by JWLeach View Post
Having trouble with the pics this morning. Thought I got a bigger one on there, but maybe not... My original file is about 6mb, so had to trim.

Definitely running original drop bars. Looking for suggestions for brake lever style, either NOS or neo-classic stuff!
The best way to get large pics on here is use a third-party hosting site, like Flickr, photbucket, imgur, etc. Then you can link large hi-res images easily.
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Old 10-14-15, 09:20 AM
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Welcome to the Belgique club. I love mine as I tend to upgrade it as I go, sure sign it's a keeper. It has been a SS , tourer and reg 10 speed model over the years. Got mine as a frame for dollars too. Currently getting a change to 1X 5 with Suntour drive and MAFAC brakes.

Original brakes should be attenburger sp?? Centerpulls. Mine worked great but I have put many types on the bike to try.

The ride is very smooth and quick feeling.

old picture

What is the serial number ? Left dropout...

Look forward to more pics. Be sure and visit the Belgian bike thread.
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Old 10-14-15, 09:24 AM
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@3speedslow, yep, original centerpulls are in good condition and seem to work just fine.

More pics forthcoming! Have an account with PB, but will have to upload later.

Keep the advice coming!

Last edited by JWLeach; 10-14-15 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 10-14-15, 10:13 AM
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@3speedslow, what fenders are those?
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Old 10-14-15, 10:25 AM
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For brake levers which are new, you might want to look at the cane creek SCR-5 ones. They are areo. Are you going for wrapped cables or loose cables ?

Like the Orange colour, appropriate for a Belgian bike! Probably an early 70's bike. They were made by Superia for Belgique as to what I have gathered.

careful if you want to change out the BB. It should be a 70mm with standard threading, hard to find. What brand is the crank?

I like your idea of a SS. I live in a flat area and have several. Used the Rapidix as a gentleman's about town bike. Purple is a great time for Easter as well. What size frame do you usually ride? Yours looks to be the same size as mine. That's a lot of Seatposts showing. How much is left in the seat tube?

It might not be high end but you don't come across these much, making it unique in a way.
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Old 10-14-15, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by JWLeach View Post
@3speedslow, what fenders are those?
Those were a close out buy from Electra. Exact copy of VO fenders but not on the bike at the moment. I cannot afford the Honjo ones !! I found an older set that looks more appropriate to the bike in the Zepplin style I have seen on other Belgian or French bikes.

Depending on how they are set up I have no toe overlap with this bike.
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Old 10-14-15, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post
For brake levers which are new, you might want to look at the cane creek SCR-5 ones. They are areo. Are you going for wrapped cables or loose cables ?

Like the Orange colour, appropriate for a Belgian bike! Probably an early 70's bike. They were made by Superia for Belgique as to what I have gathered.

careful if you want to change out the BB. It should be a 70mm with standard threading, hard to find. What brand is the crank?

I like your idea of a SS. I live in a flat area and have several. Used the Rapidix as a gentleman's about town bike. Purple is a great time for Easter as well. What size frame do you usually ride? Yours looks to be the same size as mine. That's a lot of Seatposts showing. How much is left in the seat tube?
No brand that I found on the crank, but in very nice condition. The usual cotterpin, one piece style, with the small ring bolted to the big ring.

I tend to run a lot of seatpost, but it's up a bit high because I freed it, cleaned it, then left it long to clamp in the stand. Still plenty left in the seat tube, though.

Going with cloth/shellac for bar tape, which is why I want to make a fairly solid choice on brake levers before I shellac, haha. Dark blue cloth tape, fyi.
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Old 10-14-15, 10:48 AM
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Well, Wiemann were long time producers so some age correct can be found. MAFAC would work nicely. Balilla type 61 would look cool and give you a hood that will never melt away. Why not use the original levers ? Caution, the ferrels for those are propriety and can't be inter changed if you lose them. Hang on to them if you want to use the levers for some other project.

Saddle on mine now is an old Perjohn, cheap version of an Ideale. Can't wait til it dies so I can send it to RHM to get it redone.

Dark blue cloth

Last edited by 3speedslow; 10-14-15 at 10:48 AM. Reason: Left off
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Old 10-14-15, 11:08 AM
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The current saddle on this guy is solid, hard plastic mounted on steel rails, and says "Grand PRIX." Will replace with something else, not sure yet.

I have decent metalworking skills, and a well-equipped shop. I plan to machine some of my own little tidbits in brass or bronze. Stuff like cable housing ends, etc. Thought it would be a cool touch.

Does anyone have recommendations on where to find good thread with which to whip the ends of the bar tape?
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Old 10-14-15, 11:26 AM
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It must be nice to have a gnome friend who checks the tire pressure for you!
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Old 10-14-15, 11:30 AM
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I thought they were the ones that sneak around and let the air out !
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Old 10-14-15, 11:35 AM
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He has a friend who steals my multitools.
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Old 10-14-15, 11:45 AM
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The gnomes you guys have mentioned are the ones who don't hang around for photos, and I would not call them friends!
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Old 10-14-15, 01:15 PM
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Thanks for posting JWLeach!

Yours is the first orange example have seen.

Owned a new one hat was made about 1973 and was that muddy beige/gold/bronze colour they used.

Sounds like yours was kitted just about the same as mine.

If you check the archives the forum has had some previous discussions on these machines.

Last edited by juvela; 10-15-15 at 02:44 PM. Reason: spellin'
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Old 10-14-15, 01:21 PM
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So that makes the Colour choices up to 3 bronze gold, purple and orange.

JWL, does the decal on the seat tube say Continental Cross Co.? Wonder if they were the importers.
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Old 10-14-15, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by juvela View Post
Thanks for posting JWLeach!

Yours is the first orange example have seen.

Owned a new one hat was made about 1973 and was that muddy beige/gold/bronze colour they used.

Sounds like yours was kitted just about the same as mine.

If you check he archives the forum has had some previous discussions on these machines.
I couldn't seem to find any old threads on these! I tried, I swear!

Mine has "72" stamped on the front of the seat collar.

@3speedslow serial number is 171773, and yes, it does say "ContinentalCross Co."

Working on her some more this afternoon/evening. Singlespeed freewheel is on the way from QBP. I found a 1-piece alloy seatpost that was the correct diameter, shined it up, and installed. There is a Selle Italia CX saddle on there as a placeholder. Slapped on some Dia Compe brake levers that look pretty slick. I am thinking I'll stick with those.

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Old 10-14-15, 02:49 PM
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Some of us have posted ours in the show us your Belgian thread.

Your S# is very close to mine. I will have to wade into the shed to see it again.

looking good.

add; pg 8,9 and on has another bike like ours.

Last edited by 3speedslow; 10-14-15 at 03:41 PM. Reason: new info
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Old 10-15-15, 02:43 PM
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the 72 mark on the bicycle's seat lug refers to the angle between the lug's sockets.

does your example have the trademark stippled dropouts?

to find the threads of the past where these bicycles are discussed search also under the Superia name.

that horrible "grand prix" saddle is o.e.m., alas.

Last edited by juvela; 10-15-15 at 02:45 PM. Reason: spellin'
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Old 10-20-15, 02:24 PM
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here is my Belgique serial # 176757. Model is the Rapidix. Seems to be many different bikes used the Superia frames for their boom offerings

Just saw the Royal Regina in another thread, very similar.
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Old 10-20-15, 04:30 PM
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owners -

are your shells 70mm?
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Old 10-20-15, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by juvela View Post
owners -

are your shells 70mm?
Yes, reg threading. But one thing I have noted, the BB threads are not cut too far in so it is frustrating to find another set of cups to use.

I read where 70mm is a Belgian thing.
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Old 10-21-15, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post
Yes, reg threading. But one thing I have noted, the BB threads are not cut too far in so it is frustrating to find another set of cups to use.

I read where 70mm is a Belgian thing.
yes 70mm is found on some belgian bikes, also 71mm in some cases iirc.

asked about shell width as i sold my belgique about 1977 and do not recall its shell width.

inexpensive bb cups often do not have as great a threaded length/depth as quality ones, hence the condition you describe.
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