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Help me identfy my swap meet find

Old 11-03-19, 09:07 AM
  #1  
wschellen
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Help me identfy my swap meet find

Picked this project up at the recent San Diego Velodrome swap meet. Would love to know what it is so I can properly restore it. Here is what I know: The previous owner thinks it might be a Urago. He said it came with TA cranks. It is quite light weight, the frame is 4lbs. 4oz and the fork is 1lb.10oz. It has French tubing diameters and French headset and BB threads. It has Oscar Egg lugs and cable stops on the right side top tube for the rear brake and also on the down tube for bar end shifters. The seat tube diameter is 25.8mm. Perhaps the most unique feature I see is the fillet brazing on both the brake cable bridge and seat stay bridge. Any ideas? Perhaps it is a Urago Thanks for any help.








Last edited by wschellen; 11-03-19 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 11-03-19, 09:59 AM
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First look speaks French.
you might look for evidence of head badge holes from inside the head tube- but as it is missing paint- strip it to help.
check the threadings - really think both will be French.
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Old 11-03-19, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
check the threadings - really think both will be French.
Originally Posted by wschellen View Post
It has French tubing diameters and French headset and BB threads.
First thing I thought when I saw it was "Jeunet" (620? 630?), then I saw the brake bridge. You got me stumped. Fork crown is a clue also, pretty chonkey. Overall, has a late 60s vibe to it. I don't think it's a Urago, don't recall seeing one with those seat stay caps, but I've been wrong plenty before.
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Old 11-03-19, 10:33 AM
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The fishmouth treatment on the RDO is pretty unique, no idea who but very distinctive to me.
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Old 11-03-19, 10:40 AM
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-----

Urago frames of this era have their serials stamped on the outer face of the left side dropout. The upper number is the serial and the lower is the date. Stamping is often shallow so it may require a bit of excavation to reveal.


---

You state a seat tube diameter of 25.8mm. Frame clearly of too high a quality for this size.
Suspect seat binder ears may be pinched down.
Alternately, seat tube/lug may be out of round from brazing heat. Or there may be foreign matter coating seat tube interior such as paint, rust or dirt.

I would run an adjustable blade reamer in there gently to make sure things are clean and round and then re-measure. Would expect a pillar size of 26.6mm.

---

Keep in mind that a Swiss origin may also be a possibility. Do not wish to assert one. Mention it only as something to be aware of...

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Last edited by juvela; 11-03-19 at 10:54 AM. Reason: addition
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Old 11-03-19, 11:21 AM
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wschellen
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A few more photos might help



It does have two small holes on the headtube about 46mm apart, but I do not see any serial numbers on the left rear dropout.
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Old 11-03-19, 11:46 AM
  #7  
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-----

Thank you for the additional images and information.

Headplate fastener holes dimension will be of help if things get down to a proposed ID.

Wonder if blue paint on crown indicates an original colour.

One unique feature is the joinery of blades to ends. While they are fishmouth on the lateral side they are something between fishmouth and domed on the medial side. We do not have an image showing the medial side of the dropouts so do not know if the arrangement the same there. Have not seen this before on another frame. Unlikely to have been done by many makers and may prove a helpful clue for the experts.



With regard to headplate fastener holes -

Urago employed a 45mm dimension:



---

We may have to wait until we can hear from @MauriceMoss...

-----

Last edited by juvela; 11-03-19 at 01:29 PM. Reason: addition
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Old 11-03-19, 12:50 PM
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Don't have a good guess but am subscribing for updates! The "fish-mouth" stay ends are often associated with Bernard Carre but many other FR builders adopted that detail so it's not the best clue (plus the bridges and stay caps have no "Carre" look to them. IMHO). Since you correctly (I think) ID'd these as Oscar Egg lugs, this and the brake bridge may be the best clues, and also might point toward Swiss as Juvela indicates, since that's where Egg originated even tho the lugs were more highly popular with Brit builders than others.

Last edited by unworthy1; 11-03-19 at 01:01 PM.
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Old 11-03-19, 01:35 PM
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What a lovely frameset. As mentioned by others such as unworthy1, some details look Carreesque. The fishmouth stay cuts, the star shaped rear brake bridge reinforcement and the brazed on seattube lug ears with the filed retention notch are all evocative of Carre's style. The Oscar Egg lugs and the fork crown would not be typical for his work. What is really interesting is the cable stop on the down tube and the headtube drillings. The drillings look a lot like the mounting size for a Urago badge. Finally, the Campy rear dropout has the spring drilling that disappeared around 1970 so the bike is likely a 1960s/late 60s construction.

Last edited by bertinjim; 11-03-19 at 06:45 PM. Reason: spelling correction
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Old 11-03-19, 01:43 PM
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Interesting puzzle.
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Old 11-03-19, 02:44 PM
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wschellen
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Inside of the dropouts

I also noticed the unique joining of the dropouts. The inside is not cut like the outside and instead has a nice little teardrop. The fork crown also has a nice little arc to it that I especially like. A few more photos.

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Old 11-03-19, 02:48 PM
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And the paint is crackling. I dunno why this is a thing with some French bikes but it is. My Moto GR has this.

The OP's bike is a great find; I'll be curious to find out what it is.
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Old 11-03-19, 03:02 PM
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If Swiss, would probably be from Vaud or one of the other cantons on the French side where it would be more likely (I'd think) to be French-threaded. If so, Condor is a distinct possibility. Head badge has similar bolt pattern, but some Condor bikes had the serial stamped into the seat cluster area. Condor also used this style of stay cap. Would need to look at a few models to compare the bridges though.
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Old 11-03-19, 06:55 PM
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Consider the similarity between the brake bridge photo in #1 and the crummy photo of my Carre/Bertin C 37.

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Old 11-03-19, 07:25 PM
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Is the reason the lower headset bearings being visible because the front fork is loosely attached? That is that the headset is not fully tightened/adjusted?

Cheers
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Old 11-03-19, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
Is the reason the lower headset bearings being visible because the front fork is loosely attached? That is that the headset is not fully tightened/adjusted?
Unless I'm missing something, there's no headset installed. It has plugs on either end of the head tube to hold the fork in the frame. Looking at the fork crown closeup, it looks like we can see an empty crown race with several divots in it.
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Old 11-03-19, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by francophile View Post
Unless I'm missing something, there's no headset installed. It has plugs on either end of the head tube to hold the fork in the frame. Looking at the fork crown closeup, it looks like we can see an empty crown race with several divots in it.
Thanks. On my monitor those divots look like unevenly spaced bearings. I thought perhaps they were in a damaged bearing cage that was extremely dirty.

Cheers
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Old 11-03-19, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
Thanks. On my monitor those divots look like unevenly spaced bearings. I thought perhaps they were in a damaged bearing cage that was extremely dirty.
It's not just you, I had to triple-take on the bottom half because of those divots also! Wasn't what I was expecting to see there.
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Old 11-03-19, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by juvela View Post
-----

Thank you for the additional images and information.

Headplate fastener holes dimension will be of help if things get down to a proposed ID.

Wonder if blue paint on crown indicates an original colour.

One unique feature is the joinery of blades to ends. While they are fishmouth on the lateral side they are something between fishmouth and domed on the medial side. We do not have an image showing the medial side of the dropouts so do not know if the arrangement the same there. Have not seen this before on another frame. Unlikely to have been done by many makers and may prove a helpful clue for the experts.



With regard to headplate fastener holes -

Urago employed a 45mm dimension:



---

We may have to wait until we can hear from @MauriceMoss...

-----
Would you believe I own the bike attached to this head badge, not one like it the same bike. Bike belonged to Hank Sima who was a chicago area professional racer in the late 30's. There is a half page on him in the book Six Days of Madness by Ted Harper.
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Old 11-04-19, 12:27 PM
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Bottom Bracket Serial Numbers

A little sand blasting on the bottom bracket shell has reveled what looks like the letter P and the numbers 3702. There are also a few small round indents on the drive side which I have not seen before.
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Old 11-04-19, 12:55 PM
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-----

Thank you for this new information.

Regarding the letter P -

there was a builder active at this era in Nice called P. Peschi

we have had one example posted to the forum...

unfortunately, it exhibits no resemblance to the subject frame

Another French addition: P. Peschi

as everyone is no doubt aware. the letter P may not refer to a specific marque but rather one of several builders working in a given operation

-----
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Old 11-04-19, 02:36 PM
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Do the left, rear, outside dropouts have writing? I can't tell.
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Old 11-04-19, 08:47 PM
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Nice find, @wschellen. Looks like a nice, well made frame.


I suppose it could be a Urago product but I havenít come across one that has matching features. Also, as @juvela pointed out w/r to their frame number, Iíd expect some sort of a stamp on the NDS dropout.


It's pretty much impossible to have a slam-dunk ID of this frame, so Iíll go out on a limb here and throw out one possibility: La Perle.

I have seen a few of their frames that share some similarities with the mystery frame here, especially that brake bridge that (to me) is somewhat unique. Here are some pics for comparison:



Brake bridge (the four comparison pics are from two different frames. There is a third one I've found but the bridge was almost completely obscured in the pics so no point in including it here):






Head lugs/cable guides:








Seat stay caps/seat cluster:






Fork crown:




Stay ends (by the way, what's French for "fish mouth"?):




Chainstay bridge (the supporting evidence here is pretty crappy as apparently no one takes pics of the chainstay bridges...):




Bottom bracket shells (I included this for the punch marks plus one compare pic show numbers '3' and '7' which seem to be of similar font). Does anyone know if these punch marks were a more widespread practice or somehow limited to La Perle?





Finally, the crappies pic for the end - full shot of a frame that is kind of the closest to the mystery frame (some of the earlier pictures came from this frame as well):





There were a few different styles of La Perle head badges and I would assume they had different rivet spacings (just looking at the pics online - I donít have access to any La Perle badges). The only data point on the spacing I found is from a pic posted on tontonvelo.com where it looks like the spacing very well could be ~46mm:




Finally, re: dating - Iím not a La Perle marque expert and I donít know if anyone took over the brand after company went under in 1955. I have seen frames that look (and are claimed to be) from late 50s and 60s, so that is a bit of a mystery to me.
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Old 11-04-19, 08:59 PM
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I think you nailed it, @MauriceMoss, A+

Originally Posted by MauriceMoss View Post
(by the way, what's French for "fish mouth"?):
hmmmm.....
Oh lŗ lŗ?
Oh la vache?
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Old 11-04-19, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by MauriceMoss View Post
It's pretty much impossible to have a slam-dunk ID of this frame, so Iíll go out on a limb here and throw out one possibility: La Perle.
Wow - nice work! Seems pretty convincing to me. I've been searching for a nice La Perle in my size for years.
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