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Grandpa's "french racer" from "after the war"

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Grandpa's "french racer" from "after the war"

Old 06-05-16, 09:15 PM
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Yason Zavitkov
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Grandpa's "french racer" from "after the war"

My grandfather bought this bicycle in New York City "after the war" (referring to World War II) and always referred to it as a "french racer" (but he may just have been referring to the style and not the actual origin). He told me he was going to dig this bicycle out from "under the stairs" for about 15 years but he never got around to it. When he passed away a few years ago my father gave it to me and it was completely taken apart. A bicycle-mechanic/friend told me there was little chance I could reassemble it due the level of rust to the threads, but I'm still really curious about it's origin/history/manufacturer/etc. I might try to tinker around with putting it back together even though it likely won't be rideable and I'd be curious to learn people's opinion on that idea too.

Some hints:
Wooden rims!
Brake pad that says " Brax 269, Made in England' (may not be original - I don't recognize any other parts as brake parts)
Numbers pictured are stamped into the bottom bracket shell appear to read "67824"

Thanks for any help!
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Old 06-05-16, 09:25 PM
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It can live again! Thanks for bringing this to BF. I hope you make a go of it. Looks like everything is there.
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Old 06-05-16, 09:37 PM
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Thanks for the motivation!
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Old 06-05-16, 09:56 PM
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Beautiful! Do it!
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Old 06-05-16, 10:05 PM
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You don't give us much to sink our teeth into, but there are a few details such as the type of fork crown that have me thinking it's made in England. But it's very tenuous and the bike can be form anywhere, though it seems to be from the early post war period.

The best indicators for at least the country of origin will be related to the fork and stem. British forks had/have steerers 1" in diameter with either 26 or 24 threads per inch, and an ID (OD of the stem) of 7/8". A French fork would be 25mm OD, 22mm ID and have 1mm thread pitch (25.4 threads per inch).

So make some measurements and you'll at least have a starting place.
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Old 06-05-16, 10:15 PM
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That saddle and drops look pre war to me, possible mid to late thirties but could be war time. If this were my grandpa's bike I would buy a can of Evaporust at OReillys or AutoZone for the $25 or so dollars and get an oil pan, drop as many parts as you can in there with it overnight. Once they clean up you should get some identifying marks. You will need to do anyway if you want to put it together and ride his bike which it appears can be done if its not rusted through. Its great they took it apart and nothing is seized.

Would also post close up pics of seat lug cluster, brake bridge, side of head tube to show lugs and front to see spacing of holes and how head badge was mounted.
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Old 06-05-16, 10:48 PM
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very cool, and definitely looks like reassembly is possible. it's a lot of work but totally worth it. The only thing I can see that appears to be missing is the seat pillar.
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Old 06-05-16, 11:03 PM
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Thanks! Unless I am understanding you incorrectly, it seems like I'll need some calipers for those tolerances, correct?
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Old 06-05-16, 11:05 PM
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Check out the spanners!

What's the slotted disk with 6 holes?

What's the T-shaped gizmo with two holes?
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Old 06-05-16, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Yason Zavitkov View Post
Thanks! Unless I am understanding you incorrectly, it seems like I'll need some calipers for those tolerances, correct?
Calipers can be had for $10 from Harbor Freight. They are one of the most handy tools to have.
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Old 06-05-16, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclotoine View Post
very cool, and definitely looks like reassembly is possible. it's a lot of work but totally worth it. The only thing I can see that appears to be missing is the seat pillar.
Seat post seems to be folded beneath the seat.
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Old 06-05-16, 11:18 PM
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Looks like it might actually be a pre-war American-made bicycle. It looks like it has ashtabula cranks, a late 1930s Wald quill stem, and an Elgin chainring. Those also look like American-pattern 28 inch wood rims with single tube tires. Saddle and lucky 7 seat post look American. I'd say it's a pre-war American-made bicycle.
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Old 06-05-16, 11:24 PM
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I'll get some rust cleaner tomorrow! Attached are pics of the areas you mentioned, plus a couple others. The badge mount holes are asymmetrical on either side of the head tube... in case that helps to point out.
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Old 06-05-16, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Bad Lag View Post
Check out the spanners!

What's the slotted disk with 6 holes?

What's the T-shaped gizmo with two holes?

Those wrenches are sweet! No idea about the slotted disc or gizmo. Yup, seat post is tucked under the seat. I'll grab my calipers from my shop tomorrow.
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Old 06-05-16, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Yason Zavitkov View Post
I'll get some rust cleaner tomorrow! Attached are pics of the areas you mentioned, plus a couple others. The badge mount holes are asymmetrical on either side of the head tube... in case that helps to point out.
Be careful with that rust cleaner. You may take off years of patina. Clean is clean but patina is awesome.
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Old 06-05-16, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by SirMike1983 View Post
Looks like it might actually be a pre-war American-made bicycle. It looks like it has ashtabula cranks, a late 1930s Wald quill stem, and an Elgin chainring. Those also look like American-pattern 28 inch wood rims with single tube tires. Saddle and lucky 7 seat post look American. I'd say it's a pre-war American-made bicycle.
Thanks! I'll do some research on those components... it would be cool if it was American made after all.
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Old 06-05-16, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by guygadois View Post
Be careful with that rust cleaner. You may take off years of patina. Clean is clean but patina is awesome.
Keep your jean shorts on, I'll be careful. haha. I agree entirely.
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Old 06-06-16, 04:29 AM
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I can't help with identifying but what a cool acquisition! Definitely not beyond getting running again.
I'd echo what others have said and keep rust removal to the areas necessary to get it assembled, being careful not to take away its hard-earned patina.
Hope you keep us updated.
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Old 06-06-16, 05:55 AM
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It is great that you are able to put something from your family's past back together.

There is a place in my area that specializes in old American bikes. They may be able to help out with some of the missing pieces. Memory Lane Classics
I'm not sure if they are the correct size, but they had these tires listed for wood rims: https://www.memorylane-classics.com/i...ic%20Tires.JPG
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Old 06-06-16, 06:54 AM
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OK, the Ashtabula crank, the fairly wide rims which accept a Schrader-style valve (maybe originally a Woods valve?), the heavy sprung seat and the 2 parallel rails just behind the BB (to accept a kickstand) all say "American pre-war" to me, and not a terribly competitive frame at that. Probably a road-to-town bike.
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Old 06-06-16, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Bad Lag View Post
...

What's the slotted disk with 6 holes?


...
I've been wondering about that one for years. Now I've started a thread about it:

https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...d-uh-tool.html
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Old 06-06-16, 07:59 AM
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I can't contribute anything to identifying the frame, but that's a storybook start for a bicycle build. So cool. You had me at "New York City after the War". Cant wait to see this ready for the road.
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Old 06-06-16, 08:03 AM
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Post a thread about it on this website. The folks over at the cabe have a lot of knowledge on this type of bike and can probably help you figure out what you have.
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Old 06-06-16, 08:30 AM
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Appears it may be a tourer. Brake bridge is drilled for a fender or some type of accessory.

The Evaporust does not have acid and is environmentally safe. It will remove the rust but leave behind any actual patina. I have not done a complete frame but I think ist parts will looks great as I have done several sets. Actual crusty rust is not that acctractive IMO unless it's a wall hanger.

Does the seat post bolt have something stamped on it? Kinda looks like it. And yes, the Cabe guys will give you answers for sure.

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Old 06-06-16, 09:06 AM
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Be careful handling the tires the are valuable them selves even if they do not hold air as a display. I second suggestion to check the web site mentioned above.
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