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Alex Singer Cycles and culture

Old 03-19-22, 01:14 AM
  #101  
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@northbend you are dangerously close to opening an unclosable pandora's box of blather about military history and specifically WWI. If you want to discuss more feel free to PM, as this would derail this whole thread! I've spent many hours in and around the old battlefields and being involved with WWI commemorations. I could bore every user in here to death on the topic...


German trenchworks in the Vosges mountains of eastern France
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Old 03-19-22, 11:37 AM
  #102  
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Originally Posted by poprad View Post
I uploaded a whole set of hi-res pics to my Flickr album:
Alex Singer Cycles
Thanks for the great set of photos. I particularly enjoyed the detail shots of the beautiful yellow Routens bike, a surprise Easter Egg in an epic Alex Singer album!
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Old 03-19-22, 11:54 AM
  #103  
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Originally Posted by DMNHCAGrandPrix View Post
Thanks for the great set of photos. I particularly enjoyed the detail shots of the beautiful yellow Routens bike, a surprise Easter Egg in an epic Alex Singer album!
You are most welcome @DMNHCAGrandPrix, one never knows what bike will show up for maintenance or passing through in that place. The blue Rene Herse was a very cool stumble-upon for me as well.
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Old 04-24-22, 01:48 AM
  #104  
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Update coming later today, frame back from the chromers!
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Old 04-24-22, 08:52 AM
  #105  
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What better e-mail to read in the middle of a frustrating workday than "come by, your frame is back from the chromer?" So I did, and indeed it was. As usual I met some new and interesting folks, including one elderly gent who has done the PBP nine times. Yeah, you read that right, the event they only have every four years. Nine times. He's the one in the sweater in the last shot:










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Old 04-24-22, 08:55 AM
  #106  
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Old 04-24-22, 09:02 AM
  #107  
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Next step: lug lining. This is done by another craftsman, so off it goes again. After excess prevarication I went with simple black. Closer and closer.


A man that knows what works, after nine PBPs how could you not?
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Old 04-24-22, 09:08 AM
  #108  
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Another of the AS riding group showed up with what Olivier calls one of his "masterpieces." A fixie randonneuse with a chainguard and some of the finest applied paint I've ever seen. I wouldn't argue with that.










One seriously proud owner
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Old 04-24-22, 09:16 AM
  #109  
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We had a few libations, some fantastic conversation that ran the gamut from the recent Paris-Roubaix, the French elections, the war in Ukraine and Greg Lemond's battle with Fignon (hint: Olivier was there and has strong feelings about it). After lunch at a small Italian bistro we went back to the shop for a few more minutes.

My stem was also back:


I never fail to see a new tool I hadn't noticed previously. This one is apparently for quick wheel building by spinning the spoke nipples rapidly.

A random workbench collage

Detail of that chainguard

The older man's bike, it's seen more miles than my whole stable I'm betting.
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Old 04-24-22, 09:22 AM
  #110  
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OK, finally, Doug F this is all for you. When I asked Olivier was happy to share. I had noted that the frame table was clear so it was the perfect day to lower the jig and get some pics. The short video is Olivier explaining his layup process.


Lowered by means of steel cables. It's not light, and I wouldn't want to be in the way if one of them failed!







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Old 04-24-22, 09:24 AM
  #111  
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Here's the vid if this works:
Olivier and frame layup

Last edited by poprad; 04-24-22 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 04-24-22, 09:32 AM
  #112  
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My god, this whole story/thread/the bike is spectacular.
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Old 04-24-22, 09:48 AM
  #113  
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Originally Posted by poprad View Post
Here's the vid if this works:
Olivier and frame layup
skipped a bit I think - fork first - ( fenders? Front loading?) I'm with that-
bottom bracket And setback and seat tube length - ok
but but bottom bracket to front axle-
with seat tube set and head angle ( not mentioned )
the top tube length either just follows along or is controlled.
there is some juggling of attributes-
trail
fender allowance
aesthetic distance of the front tire to the downtube...
im sure there is an approach that most of this falls into place and easier to do on "mid sized" frames but what is missing here is the balancing of decisions.
oh, bottom bracket height...( or drop )
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Old 04-24-22, 09:50 AM
  #114  
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Yeah, he was just laying out the most basic of basics. He's happy to let me photo his frame jig but isn't about to give free framebuilding classes.
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Old 04-24-22, 09:58 AM
  #115  
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Originally Posted by ehcoplex View Post
My god, this whole story/thread/the bike is spectacular.
Thanks, this was indeed a unique opportunity. I'm just glad I took advantage of it. The group of people who orbit that shop are a special breed.
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Old 04-24-22, 10:08 AM
  #116  
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Originally Posted by poprad View Post
Yeah, he was just laying out the most basic of basics. He's happy to let me photo his frame jig but isn't about to give free framebuilding classes.
understand, but maybe the philosophy of what is important, no dimensions need be revealed.
actually impressed by the willingness to use english
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Old 04-24-22, 11:08 PM
  #117  
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Originally Posted by poprad View Post
Thanks, this was indeed a unique opportunity. I'm just glad I took advantage of it. The group of people who orbit that shop are a special breed.
Hey @poprad!

After being away for quite a few years, I've started lurking here at the Forums (I've spent most of my lurking hours on the CR list in recent years). This thread is spectacular! Really, one of the most useful and satisfying threads that I've seen in years!

Definitely keep posting the updates! I'll definitely subscribe to it. I hesitated on buying a Singer in my size some years ago, and have regretted it since then!

Hope all is well,
Bob
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Old 04-25-22, 03:16 AM
  #118  
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Bob! Great to hear from you. I had also been inactive in here from about 2018 through last summer, new job, new country, COIVD, etc etc...

I'm glad you've enjoyed this thread and stand by for more, the best is yet to come.
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Old 04-25-22, 07:56 AM
  #119  
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Originally Posted by poprad View Post
OK, finally, Doug F this is all for you. When I asked Olivier was happy to share. I had noted that the frame table was clear so it was the perfect day to lower the jig and get some pics. The short video is Olivier explaining his layup process.


A very big thank you for asking Oliver if you could take pictures of his fixture and to Oliver for making the effort to show you how it works. I've been curious about it for years but now I can finally (thanks to you) see more than just its underside. For the most part I understand how it works (because it is similar to how mine works) and these pictures answer many questions. And raise some more. The primary one I'm curious about is if the Vs that hold the tubes are height adjustable? I'm assuming they are but from the pictures it is hard to tell.

I'm also going to assume that he puts on the rear triangle using what I describe as T tools I see hanging on the wall. There is a picture of 2 guys admiring the chrome work. The older guy is resting both hands on the table and over his should are the tools I'm thinking he uses to make the rear triangle.

And if you get a chance in your conversations, ask Oliver about who designed the fixture and when was it made? If possible. I'm ecstatic to see these pictures and can die happy if I don't get more information but my curiosity has not been totally satisfied. You can tell him I get my fixtures (that work in a similar way) laser cut and etched in Ukraine. They are making me one right now. I may or may not ever see it. My hostility for what Russia is doing is off the charts. Our frame workshop is on a campus in Bucha (yes the city so much in the news) so I'm not optimistic how well it has survived. I suppose I better show a picture of mine so you can show him. It isn't my latest version but this picture is conveniently on my desktop.
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Old 04-25-22, 08:01 AM
  #120  
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I was happy to ask for you Doug, and I sent him the link of your site on the interwebs. PM me and we can discuss an e-intro. I use reverso.com all the time to translate text going both ways and it makes bilingual comms over e-mail a cinch, even if you have zero French.

From the look of it I'd guess one of the original frambuilders there (Olivier's father Ernst or perhaps Alex himself) made that jig. I weighs WAY more than it looks like it would and the accumulated shop grime looks like more than 50 years' worth.

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Old 04-25-22, 09:43 AM
  #121  
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When I looked at the fixture I wondered too about height adjustment- consider though:

not all tubes are true
over time I am sure there has been a transition from metric to imperial OD dimensions
a bottom bracket shell would vary in width from as delivered to dressed finished

Somehow those differences might be accounted for- perhaps using a height gauge off the surface plate?

even inefficient systems can become time efficient with repeated use.

From a quick look, I would work from the headtube "center" to the bottom bracket tube socket centers then the seat lug center of sockets. All else just has to match those.
( assuming tube bows are accounted for and not effecting lateral displacement )
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Old 04-25-22, 10:33 AM
  #122  
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
When I looked at the fixture I wondered too about height adjustment- consider though:

not all tubes are true
over time I am sure there has been a transition from metric to imperial OD dimensions
a bottom bracket shell would vary in width from as delivered to dressed finished

Somehow those differences might be accounted for- perhaps using a height gauge off the surface plate?

even inefficient systems can become time efficient with repeated use.

From a quick look, I would work from the headtube "center" to the bottom bracket tube socket centers then the seat lug center of sockets. All else just has to match those.
( assuming tube bows are accounted for and not effecting lateral displacement )
I'm going to assume that he has a "surface gauge" which I presume is the same as what you described as a "height gauge" to check alignment in various stages of a build.

It looks like his fixture can do tandems so that would mean it can accommodate different tubing diameters. I'm willing to bet the Vs on his fixture are height adjustable, it just isn't obvious to me how they adjust. The V bases has a knurled disc that I'm suspicious can be turned to adjust height somehow (either by raising the V or raising part of the base to move the V higher or lower).

Part of his fixture represents the center of a front axle. I'm sure that is for measuring purposes. Its position on the fixture, Oliver said, is established after making the fork. It can move up and down to place BB drop and can be measured from to know where the bottom of the head tube is located. The down tube position would then be established with a lug positioned a determined distance from the representative of the front axle. That system always make more sense to me than using trig because it is not based on assumptions but the actual materials themselves. The value of the DT/HT center varies between lugs.

I'm wondering if more fixture parts stored below the table are what holds the head tube or if he uses the "hockey stick" method of putting a frame together.
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Old 04-25-22, 02:15 PM
  #123  
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Originally Posted by poprad View Post
Beautiful.
__________________
Woo hoo!









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Old 05-21-22, 12:54 PM
  #124  
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La jour est arriver:


Olivier's son and protege, Walter. Meet the new generation, third in the lineage.









The after photo party
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Old 05-21-22, 12:59 PM
  #125  
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It's definitely mine

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