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Empire Le Jour

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Empire Le Jour

Old 04-21-21, 05:40 AM
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Empire Le Jour

Picked this bike up for free but canít find anything about it online. It looks like the brand is empire and the model is Le Jour.

Rear derailleur is an eagle II and thunderbird front derailleur. It says itís made in Japan. I plan on restoring it just as a fun project. Anyone have any info? Hereís some pics.

Iím an automotive painter by trade so I plan to strip, paint and rebuild. My last project was an older Norco wolverine. Bought for $100. Put about $100 into it. I painted the frame and fork and cut the decals for the frame and fork. Rebuilt it as a 1x10 with some other new parts.

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Old 04-21-21, 06:00 AM
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thank you for posting

readers would be able to give more information regarding the cycle if you could post one or more drive side images...

from what can be seen it would appear to be an early 1970's department store type machine

name likely to be a house brand for a chain store or distributor

member T-Mar may be familiar with it


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Old 04-21-21, 06:19 AM
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Empire was the private label brand for Empire Distributing a Canadian company importing and distributing sports equipment. Circa 1978 there was a merger of sorts with CCM, when CCM was sold to Empire's Montreal based parent company. At the time, Empire reportedly had about 7.5% of the domestic market, while CCM had about 15%. By merging the two companies Empire could apparently avoid the import surtax imposed on their Japanese built models. CCM would subsequently be sold to Procycle, another Quebec company.

I have a vague recollection of the brand being sold through the Home Hardware chain or similar chain stores but that may have been the Orions sister brand.

The subject bicycle has a CPSC compliant front derailleur in the style introduced by Shimano in 1977, so I believe it's very late 1970s, possibly very early 1980s. The serial number may allow us to determine the exact year. The tubing is a lightweight hi-tensile steel but other characteristics, such as the stamped dropouts, nutted axles, steel rims and steel, cottered crankset point to an entry level model.

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Old 04-21-21, 07:13 AM
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Thanks for the info. It does feel heavy but Iímnot sure how much of that is in the wheels and drivetrain. I donít care too much about finding high end tubing since this is more just a fun project for myself. I do plan on making it nice though.
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Old 04-21-21, 09:41 AM
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Nice job on the Norco!
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Old 04-25-21, 08:41 PM
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I bought my Empire Professional in Spring 1976 from the Happy Outdoorsman sporting goods store on Pembina Highway in Winnipeg. Pretty decent specs for the price... double butted High Tensile tubes , alloy everything, Shimano Titlist derailleurs, and Shimano 600 brake levers and sidepull calipers.
I let it go 2 years later when I outgrew the seatpost. More recently I acquired an exact duplicate, except 1 framesize larger, and restored it (since the paint was pretty far gone in many areas). Now the replacement is in the same use as the original, i.e. regular workout rides around the district.
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