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ALPS frameset...built by Toei?

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ALPS frameset...built by Toei?

Old 05-06-19, 07:15 PM
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TenGrainBread 
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ALPS frameset...built by Toei?

An old handbuilt Japanese pass hunting bike has been on the grail list for a while. Something from Alps, Toei, Amanda, Cherubim, CS Hirose, Pegasus, etc... These bikes are not easy to come by as they were mostly custom and not many make it out of Japan. But they are beautiful. French-inspired but with their own character.

This Sport Cycle Alps frameset has been on ebay for a while at a very high price. I've been steadily making offers for the past few months. Finally, the seller acquiesced to a more reasonable but still pretty high offer. He claimed the bike was from the 80s and made by Toei. I was skeptical about this because I had never heard of Toei making frames for Mr. Hagiwara at Alps. Now that I have the frame in hand it looks likely that he was correct.

The frame has the Toei logo stamped in both rear and front dropouts. It utilizes vertical Shimano SFR dropouts, which I believe were introduced in 1980 or slightly earlier, which places the frame in the early 80s. It has 121mm rear dropout spacing. It is meant for fat 650A wheels, with about 55mm of clearance for the tire at the chainstays. It came with a nice Tange headset and an Alps-engraved Nitto Pearl stem with the triangular clamp nut. An interesting thing is that the triangular clamp nut has "Patent Pending" written on it. Maybe early on in Nitto's use of this feature.

Anyone know more about Toei building for Alps? Or the frame in general? The seller called it a Rover model. No info online as far as I can see about the model names.



Brazed-on handle for portaging the bike when roughing it in the mountains...






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Old 05-06-19, 07:18 PM
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Interesting...double chain hanger?



Toei logo stampings with serial number(s)...





Shimano SFR dropouts



ALPS stem by Nitto



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Old 05-06-19, 07:25 PM
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Can't help you with identification but I look forward to this build. Looks great already!
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Old 05-06-19, 07:35 PM
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-----

Thanks very much for posting this.

Shall look forward to following along.

We have had a specialist cycle shop in my area for about thirty years which has been a Toei stockist since opening.

Perhaps I can ask the proprietor if he has any information on the Alps connection.

Do you envision a laced leather cover for the portage grip?

Slightly surprised it does not exhibit the standards for a French style rubber chainslap protector.

IIRC Japan offers them in half a dozen different colours.

Enjoy!

-----
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Old 05-06-19, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by TenGrainBread View Post
Interesting...double chain hanger?



The lower chain hanger is for the usual wheel removal. The upper one is for Rinko.
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Old 05-06-19, 08:51 PM
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That is a real nice frame, will be nice when setup.
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Old 05-07-19, 08:59 AM
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Fab find!
I would drop a line to Jan Heine at BQ/Compass. He knows a lot of Japanese constructeurs personally, and has toured their shops.
https://janheine.wordpress.com/2016/...ycle-shop-gen/
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Old 05-07-19, 09:05 AM
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That is a GORGEOUS frame! I too am looking forward to seeing it built up.
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Old 05-07-19, 12:04 PM
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This is an exceptional platform for an inspirational build.


Good Luck!
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Old 05-07-19, 12:18 PM
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Wow, beautiful frame...
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Old 05-07-19, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by palincss View Post
The lower chain hanger is for the usual wheel removal. The upper one is for Rinko.
Interesting. Is this to keep the chain fully stretched and out of the way, with the wheels removed and packed?

What size is the bike? Looks to be about 21". Do you size down a bit compared to a road bike for a pass hunter, as you would a mountain bike?

The handle is cool and the paint looks sharp (cool stem too!).
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Old 05-07-19, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by specialmonkey View Post
Interesting. Is this to keep the chain fully stretched and out of the way, with the wheels removed and packed?

What size is the bike? Looks to be about 21". Do you size down a bit compared to a road bike for a pass hunter, as you would a mountain bike?

The handle is cool and the paint looks sharp (cool stem too!).
It's about a 50cm (19.5") seat tube and a 53cm (21") top tube. 52-54cm top tube is what I normally ride.

There are some interesting things about these bikes that set them apart from your regular cyclotouring bike. Basically they have some mountain bike features. For example, I believe the seatpost clamp was made for a mtb quick release binder bolt. It came with a Suntour QR binder. The clamp on the right side matches the diameter of the Suntour QR cam, and on the left side matches the diameter of the binder's nut, so it looks like it was made for the Suntour QR binder specifically.

The portaging handle is also another mtb-ish feature. There is also no hole in the front of the fork crown for fender mounting. I have seen a couple of pictures from the Japanese magazine New Cycling that show similar bikes with knobby tires and no fenders, some with flat bars.

I'm thinking this was repainted at some point as the paint is too good for its age. I'm not complaining. It's a very nice paint job.
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Old 05-07-19, 01:43 PM
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-----

For front mudguard mount one of the rubber expanders could be employed.

-----
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Old 05-07-19, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by specialmonkey View Post
Interesting. Is this to keep the chain fully stretched and out of the way, with the wheels removed and packed?
Yes, exactly.
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Old 05-07-19, 03:19 PM
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Try Hiroshi Iimura at Jitensha Studio in Berkeley. He has been working with Toei for 60 years. He would also be a good source for better 650A rims and tires.
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Old 05-07-19, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
Try Hiroshi Iimura at Jitensha Studio in Berkeley. He has been working with Toei for 60 years. He would also be a good source for better 650A rims and tires.
Will do. Thanks for the tip.
I will probably do 650b for the build, just for rim/tire availability. The brake track is only 3mm lower than 650A.
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Old 05-07-19, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by juvela View Post
-----

For front mudguard mount one of the rubber expanders could be employed.

-----
Had a look at the frame tonight and looks like the builder did one better - brazed in fender mount under the crown. That hole is threaded.

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Old 05-07-19, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
Try Hiroshi Iimura at Jitensha Studio in Berkeley. He has been working with Toei for 60 years. He would also be a good source for better 650A rims and tires.

-----



This the person & shoppe was referring to in me refer earlier message.

BTW - he is a Honshu stockist, among other things.

-----
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Old 05-08-19, 09:54 AM
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@63rickert @juvela

Already a reply from Hiroshi vi email.


"I think this one is OUICK ACE SUPER.
Originally they design for Rinko bicycle.
The name meaning very easy to disassemble and assemble quickly when customer use this bicycle for Rinko.
They had Quick Ace and higher grade model Quick Ace Super.
This frame might be CLIMBER model. ( from the grip pipe lower down tube and lower seat tube.
Model name, CLIMBER, PASS HUNTER, are ALPS’s created name among bicycle business.
Another bicycle shop and maker they do not use this name at that time.
I think they respect ALPS’s idea.


The frame is made by Toei.
Time to time they change spec and several different frame shops made frame for ALPS.
If possible I will research more and try to find exact name and detail.

Hiroshi Iimura"
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Old 05-08-19, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by TenGrainBread View Post
@63rickert @juvela

Already a reply from Hiroshi vi email.


"I think this one is OUICK ACE SUPER.
Originally they design for Rinko bicycle.
The name meaning very easy to disassemble and assemble quickly when customer use this bicycle for Rinko.
They had Quick Ace and higher grade model Quick Ace Super.
This frame might be CLIMBER model. ( from the grip pipe lower down tube and lower seat tube.
Model name, CLIMBER, PASS HUNTER, are ALPS’s created name among bicycle business.
Another bicycle shop and maker they do not use this name at that time.
I think they respect ALPS’s idea.


The frame is made by Toei.
Time to time they change spec and several different frame shops made frame for ALPS.
If possible I will research more and try to find exact name and detail.

Hiroshi Iimura"
I expect good things from Hiroshi, that is just so over the top. Hope it all lines up for 584.
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Old 05-08-19, 03:59 PM
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Never heard of this style of bicycle but I'm digging the grab bar! Looking forward to the build.
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Old 05-08-19, 05:44 PM
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Wow, that is a fantastic response to your question. The frame is beyond beautiful. I’m glad it found a good home with you. I’m looking forward to watching this one progress!
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Old 05-13-19, 09:33 PM
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Ok, first work on the build and some decisions to make.

Definitely want to use this pair of Bullseye hubs. Problem is they are 130 OLD and the frame is 121 rear spacing. I don't want to spread this particular frame and I am happy running 5 or 6 speed. So looked online for Bullseye replacement axles. None to be found. I contemplated dropping some money on another rear Bullseye hub with a shorter axle but then came to my senses and remembered I have a lathe.

These are hardened aluminum axles with slip fit spacers/washers. One spacer on each side is drilled and tapped for a small set screw to hold everything in place. So I shortened the axle from 130mm to 123mm and turned a new step to fit into the dropout. I also cleaned up the axle a little bit, and faced one of the spacers that was out of parallel.

Hub disassembled.


Facing spacer on the lathe.


After:
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Old 05-13-19, 09:39 PM
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I now know the tubeset.



THIS is a Tange cartridge bearing headset. I've never seen a Tange headset with the old toothed washer that was cartridge bearing. It is clearly a newer headset than the frame.

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Old 05-13-19, 09:51 PM
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First major decision of the build is crankset. I'm pretty set on a triple. Here are the first two options.



Mavic 631 triple from @malcala622. I put NOS Salsa rings on there. 48-39-28. The TA Pro 5 vis is a 52-42-32.
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