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1972? The Dura Mixte

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1972? The Dura Mixte

Old 02-09-20, 05:29 PM
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Evil Cisum
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1972? The Dura Mixte











Hereís a new project Iím trying to get ready for my wife to ride in Eroica California. Itís on loan from an elderly client who toured Europe on it in the early 70ís. She canít bear to part with it yet, but there is an implied future sale or trade. So, at this time I will be doing the least expensive refurbishment that is safely rideable. Since I got the Allvit derailleur freed and functional through full range, it stays. Hubs and cranks spin relatively smoothly , but the headset is rough. Hopefully a clean and repack will do it. Other than that itís cables, housings, chain, one bent spoke, tired, tubes and a seat substitution.

The Dura was imported by higher end shops here in the states in a he early 70ís this one by Hans Ohrt Beverly Hills. They were made in Belgium by A Declercq. Iíve only seen a few photos of higher end 531 racers with Campagnolo components. This is the only mixte Iíve seen, unfortunately neither 531 or Campagnolo equipped. Still, the workmanship and aesthetics are very nice.
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Old 02-09-20, 05:34 PM
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This is a beautiful bike and definitely eroica worthy. Your plans sound very solid.

Are you planning on overhauling the BB and hubs? It's not clear if you plan to do so, but I would recommend it. Even if the crank and hubs turn freely, that is really old grease.

I'd also use new brake shoes.

Also AFAIK, Belgian bikes are British threaded which is a plus (but some of them have a weird 70 mm BSC bottom bracket I believe).

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Old 02-09-20, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
This is a beautiful bike and definitely eroica worthy. Your plans sound very solid.

Are you planning on overhauling the BB and hubs? It's not clear if you plan to do so, but I would recommend it. Even if the crank and hubs turn freely, that is really old grease.

I'd also use new brake shoes.

Also AFAIK, Belgian bikes are British threaded which is a plus (but some of them have a weird 70 mm BSC bottom bracket I believe).
Brake shoes ordered. Just forgot to list. Hubs and BB undecided. First order is to get her on it for a test ride to find out how much she likes it. Sheíll be doing the short route. If I actually acquire the bike that will all get done and I will look at drivetrain changes.
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Old 02-09-20, 06:01 PM
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That is a cool bike! The bronze, the lining, the elegance!!!
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Old 02-09-20, 06:35 PM
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In love!

Keep the pics updated as you get this ready.
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Old 02-09-20, 11:11 PM
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As a The Dura owner, this thread got my interest, and what an interesting bike!
All of the paint and lining with color accents, along with the silver-painted "socks", is just like on mine.
Coincidentally, today I sold a Motobecane Mixte with just that kind of toptube/mid-stay arrangement!
When I found my The Dura 11 years ago, there seemed to be zero information on the marque at that time, but now more is known (thanks for that).

Your crankset and bb will do fine with periodic oil-can lubrication, perhaps every year or two depending on usage.
Do make sure that the cotters are well-seated, alternating hammer blows to the heads of the cotters with some torque on the nuts until the nuts stop wanting to turn.

The Allvit derailer would normally sit at more like a 5-o-clock angle, might just need to be twisted forward after it got left pointing to 7-o-clock after a wheel change(?).
A rearward disposition as shown would only be needed for use with a larger 32t freewheel.
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Old 02-10-20, 12:37 AM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
As a The Dura owner, this thread got my interest, and what an interesting bike!
All of the paint and lining with color accents, along with the silver-painted "socks", is just like on mine.
Coincidentally, today I sold a Motobecane Mixte with just that kind of toptube/mid-stay arrangement!
When I found my The Dura 11 years ago, there seemed to be zero information on the marque at that time, but now more is known (thanks for that).

Your crankset and bb will do fine with periodic oil-can lubrication, perhaps every year or two depending on usage.
Do make sure that the cotters are well-seated, alternating hammer blows to the heads of the cotters with some torque on the nuts until the nuts stop wanting to turn.

The Allvit derailer would normally sit at more like a 5-o-clock angle, might just need to be twisted forward after it got left pointing to 7-o-clock after a wheel change(?).
A rearward disposition as shown would only be needed for use with a larger 32t freewheel.
I believe it is a 32. Itís quite large as it was originally used as a loaded touring bike. Iíll check tomorrow. It was shifting accurately after I freed the derailleur and before I cut the cables fir replacement. Alas, I was not aware that Huret cable ends were a different ďlollipopĒ style. So I was not able to re-install and tune the shifting today. Thanks for drawing my attention to this as an adjustment to check.

My wife had a Moto Grand Touring mixte 650b conversion that she loved, but it was stolen. Consequently I watch for Moto mixtes on CL. Iíve not seen this external braising of the midstsys on them before. All that Iíve seen were fed inside the single top tube which was ovalized at the insertion. Do you know what year the one you sold was? I think my wifeís was Ď78. Do you have pictures?
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Old 02-10-20, 12:44 AM
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Very nice! Thanks for sharing it. Hoping to see more.
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Old 02-10-20, 01:22 AM
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I didn't describe the Moto well enough, it is as you describe with the stays entering the toptube.
I am more familiar with the ones having the stays going all the way to the head tube.

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Old 02-10-20, 10:17 AM
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The shop I worked for sold this bike. '71-'72 was a trick to import them and the exchange rates were variable and a challenge.
This was also the early post containerized cargo days, consolidating less than a full container was another hassle.
Well done bikes, very little on them on the web.
Another pointer on the date would be the locations noted on the bottom of the sold by sticker.
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Old 02-10-20, 11:40 AM
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Looks like a tall mixte frame, probably 22-23". I've never seen European mixtes taller than that. Freewheel looks like a 28T to me.

Nice bike.
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Old 02-10-20, 11:48 AM
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Unless I'm missing something, this isn't a mixte. Cool step through frame, absolutely, but only one "top" tube.
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Old 02-10-20, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
Unless I'm missing something, this isn't a mixte. Cool step through frame, absolutely, but only one "top" tube.
It has abbreviated twin lateral tubes from the dropouts to the upper downtube, so until somebody pipes up with the correct technical name mixte will probably do although stepthrough is all encompassing for the category.

"Sport" seems to be it.

Last edited by thumpism; 02-10-20 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 02-10-20, 04:00 PM
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Singer made step-through frames in a similar construction. I think the mid stays had more engagement.
The couple that owned the shop was tall, she was exceptionally tall, always seemed to have tall female customers.
23" step-through frames were not ignored.
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Old 02-10-20, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
As a The Dura owner, this thread got my interest, and what an interesting bike!
All of the paint and lining with color accents, along with the silver-painted "socks", is just like on mine.
Coincidentally, today I sold a Motobecane Mixte with just that kind of toptube/mid-stay arrangement!
When I found my The Dura 11 years ago, there seemed to be zero information on the marque at that time, but now more is known (thanks for that).

Your crankset and bb will do fine with periodic oil-can lubrication, perhaps every year or two depending on usage.
Do make sure that the cotters are well-seated, alternating hammer blows to the heads of the cotters with some torque on the nuts until the nuts stop wanting to turn.

The Allvit derailer would normally sit at more like a 5-o-clock angle, might just need to be twisted forward after it got left pointing to 7-o-clock after a wheel change(?).
A rearward disposition as shown would only be needed for use with a larger 32t freewheel.
The Dura set these up very well, Campagnolo dropouts, yes the "lesser" version, but definitely a step beyond expected.
The silver paint instead of chrome was part of their "look" Allegedly due to toxic chrome waste, in an age before most cared.
Always appreciated the pin stripes. Talent and repetition brings production speed.
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Old 02-10-20, 04:51 PM
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OP, be sure to post pix in the Belgian bikes thread, if you have not already done so.

Show us your Belgian bikes!
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Old 02-11-20, 12:27 PM
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The Dura is very nice. While it may not be 531, it has several nice touches besides those already mentioned. The finish is reminiscent of the Willier team colour. The flush fit between the down tube and BB shell s interesting. I especially like the handlebar sleeve.

My recollection of boom era brands from Belgium was that most utilized English threading but that there were some that used French threading. Given that crankset is Nervar and assuming that it has a matching Nervar BB, the adjustable cup lockring has a straight knurl which it should make it one of the French threaded exceptions.





The later style of Motobecane mixtes are different and have what I call a wishbone or split tube configuration, in that the larger diameter tube stops well short of the seat tube and branches off into the two mid-stays, which are then attached to the seat tube via a small bracket behind the sea tube.

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Old 02-11-20, 02:25 PM
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From where I am sitting, it looks as if the chain may not be routed correctly through the Allvit. That would explain its strange position, I think.

WRT to the top tube arrangement, this was the popular well into at least the sixties. I have a couple of bikes with the same feature.

An (also Belgian) Indesteege, which I presume to have come from the Royal Nord shop,given the "RN" decals on the seat tube:



Another, unidentified, but most probably also Belgian:



For comparison, this is how Renť Herse did it:


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Old 02-12-20, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
The shop I worked for sold this bike. '71-'72 was a trick to import them and the exchange rates were variable and a challenge.
This was also the early post containerized cargo days, consolidating less than a full container was another hassle.
Well done bikes, very little on them on the web.
Another pointer on the date would be the locations noted on the bottom of the sold by sticker.
What shop was that? This was purchased from the Hans Ohrt shop in Beverly Hills or Westwood. Iím interested to know whether it was a private label for that shop only, or if it was sold throughout the states.

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Old 02-12-20, 01:32 PM
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With no Los Angeles location, only BH or Westwood, rider on bike not Lightweight Bicycles, Inc
1974 which is later than I would have thought.
The LA location shut down in 1974.

Not a house brand, but rare in the USA, imported by the shop, ordered in 1971-72.
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Old 02-12-20, 03:19 PM
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repechage Iím not sure I understand. Did you work at one of the Ohrt bicycle shops?
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Old 02-12-20, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Evil Cisum View Post
repechage I’m not sure I understand. Did you work at one of the Ohrt bicycle shops?
Yes. sometimes two in the same day. All the Southern California shops were owned by the same owners.

Before stickers the graphic was a varnish fix transfer, then waterslide decal. There was also a Serviced by decal
The style of sold by sticker reported is curious.

the location evolution on the sold by sticker :
Beverly hills (with bike rider art)
Beverly hills Los Angeles with same art.
Beverly hills, Westwood, Los Angeles with revised art, rider illustration dropped in favor of Lightweight Bicycles, Inc.
Then Beverly Hills, Westwood - typography only - Lightweight Bicycles, Inc.
Finally Westwood. all typography - Lightweight Bicycles, Inc.

There was for a short time a pro sticker, clear background, all typography, HANS OHRT lightweight bicycles, Inc. sized to fit on a rim or frame.

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Old 02-12-20, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Yes. sometimes two in the same day. All the Southern California shops were owned by the same owners.

Before stickers the graphic was a varnish fix transfer, then waterslide decal. There was also a Serviced by decal
The style of sold by sticker reported is curious.

the location evolution on the sold by sticker :
Beverly hills (with bike rider art)
Beverly hills Los Angeles with same art.
Beverly hills, Westwood, Los Angeles with revised art, rider illustration dropped in favor of Lightweight Bicycles, Inc.
Then Beverly Hills, Westwood - typography only - Lightweight Bicycles, Inc.
Finally Westwood. all typography - Lightweight Bicycles, Inc.

There was for a short time a pro sticker, clear background, all typography, HANS OHRT lightweight bicycles, Inc. sized to fit on a rim or frame.

For the BF record, a better photo of the shop sticker.
If I understand you correctly this is a Beverly Hills sticker. Hopefully we can get some others to post up the other variants. Tomorrow I will see the owner of this bike and get a photo of the original receipt.
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Old 02-13-20, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Evil Cisum View Post

For the BF record, a better photo of the shop sticker.
If I understand you correctly this is a Beverly Hills sticker. Hopefully we can get some others to post up the other variants. Tomorrow I will see the owner of this bike and get a photo of the original receipt.
this was before the Westwood store
BH or Robertson Blvd.
most likely BH
the Robertson store was more Raleigh Record, Grand Prix type area.
while Westwood was in Los Angeles- it was noted on the sticker as Westwood.
í72 -Ď73 would be the timeframe most likely.
I think there were only two batches imported.
The Dura was not a ďhouse brandĒ
but ordering bikes while in Europe could turn a vacation into a business trip.
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Old 02-13-20, 09:11 AM
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If I was running the show, I would have picked up Motobecane and or Italvega at the Robertson store.
then ďsoldĒ them there but delivered them at the other locations.

They did that with Masi to good effect early on.
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