Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Alex Singer Cycles and culture

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Alex Singer Cycles and culture

Old 05-21-22, 01:07 PM
  #126  
poprad
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
poprad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: In transit
Posts: 1,848

Bikes: 07 Vanilla, 98 IRD road frame built up with 25th Ann DA, Surly cross check with 105 comp, 78 Raleigh Comp GS, 85 Centurionelli

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 66 Post(s)
Liked 767 Times in 161 Posts
It rides like a bike I've owned for 20 years and tweaked until it's perfect. Tomorrow morning early will be the first real ride. It was an incredible day, filled with new friends, new bike, and memories I'll cherish forever. I can't say much more than that.
poprad is offline  
Old 05-21-22, 01:20 PM
  #127  
ehcoplex
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 590

Bikes: '38 Schwinn New World, '72 Peugeot PX-10, '97 Cannondale T900, '98 Peugeot Appalaches, ?? Raleigh Sports, ?? Raleigh Superbe, ?? Hercules 3sp (x2)...

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 243 Post(s)
Liked 399 Times in 198 Posts
Absolutely stunning!
ehcoplex is offline  
Old 05-21-22, 01:48 PM
  #128  
merziac
Senior Member
 
merziac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: PDX
Posts: 10,139

Bikes: Merz x 5 + Specialized Merz Allez x 2, Strawberry/Newlands/DiNucci/Ti x3, Gordon, Fuso/Moulton x2, Bornstein, Paisley,1958-74 Paramounts x3, 3rensho, 74 Moto TC, 73-78 Raleigh Pro's x5, Marinoni x2, 1960 Cinelli SC, 1980 Bianchi SC, PX-10 X 2

Mentioned: 203 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3144 Post(s)
Liked 2,908 Times in 1,840 Posts
Originally Posted by poprad View Post
It rides like a bike I've owned for 20 years and tweaked until it's perfect. Tomorrow morning early will be the first real ride. It was an incredible day, filled with new friends, new bike, and memories I'll cherish forever. I can't say much more than that.
That is just fantastic, beautiful, so glad you wound it up, love it when a plan comes together, especially one like this.

So much anticipation, hope and expectation, often hard to come by these days.
merziac is online now  
Likes For merziac:
Old 05-21-22, 02:24 PM
  #129  
gomango 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: STP
Posts: 15,204
Mentioned: 71 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 814 Post(s)
Liked 222 Times in 129 Posts
Pretty bike.

Enjoy!
__________________


Bikes and stuff

https://www.flickr.com/photos/36270004@N06/
gomango is offline  
Likes For gomango:
Old 05-21-22, 03:02 PM
  #130  
BFisher
Senior Member
 
BFisher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 2,188
Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 704 Post(s)
Liked 1,625 Times in 781 Posts
Thank you for sharing all of this. What an enjoyable thread!

Many smooth miles on that incredible machine!
BFisher is offline  
Likes For BFisher:
Old 05-21-22, 03:15 PM
  #131  
non-fixie 
Shifting is fun!
 
non-fixie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: South Holland, NL
Posts: 10,195

Bikes: Yes, please.

Mentioned: 260 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1879 Post(s)
Liked 2,592 Times in 1,143 Posts
It must be a wonderful feeling when la derničre machine is actually your bike. Enjoy!
__________________
Woo hoo!









non-fixie is offline  
Likes For non-fixie:
Old 05-21-22, 05:05 PM
  #132  
mpetry912 
aged to perfection
 
mpetry912's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: PacNW
Posts: 583

Bikes: Dinucci Allez 2.0, Richard Sachs, Alex Singer, Serotta, Masi GC, Raleigh Pro Mk.1, Hetchins, etc

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 249 Post(s)
Liked 237 Times in 137 Posts
it's beautiful Mark ! very nice. you now are the caretaker of a true heirloom quality bike.

Truly built for you !

be sure to ride it, not just let it sit on the wall.

Very nice

/markp
mpetry912 is offline  
Likes For mpetry912:
Old 05-22-22, 08:02 AM
  #133  
poprad
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
poprad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: In transit
Posts: 1,848

Bikes: 07 Vanilla, 98 IRD road frame built up with 25th Ann DA, Surly cross check with 105 comp, 78 Raleigh Comp GS, 85 Centurionelli

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 66 Post(s)
Liked 767 Times in 161 Posts
So the day after...
Once the white smoke cleared from above the Vatican and the angels ceased their melody, I collected my thoughts and committed to a group ride with the "slow group" of the ACBO. You may recall earlier ride reports of these fine folks and their crushing strength on the hills, their gentle manners with lagging Lanternes Rouge (me) and my amazement at the average age in the 60s. French cyclists do not wane. They ride more, because you know...more time.

After an unfortunate incident (non-alcohol related) on a Berlin escalator (hint: they're never broken, they start automatically) it has been since Feb that I've been on the bike. I've focused on gentle runs and "ruck marching" to build the knee again. This has worked wonders, and actually today was the first time I've done decent size hills around Paris without pain in that knee since my accident in summer of 2020. Maybe it's the bike... in any event I met the group and we headed off west towards St Germain and the hills out thataway. Maybe I mis-heard when I asked how many km today would be. I heard "oh a gentle ride, it's your new bike and we will let the others go ahead. Maybe 30 km or so." This sounded just right to my ears, and was a message delivered by Olivier's lovely wife Catherine. I should have known better... perhaps there is a cultural thing and one simply doesn't ask "how far?" As it turned out the day's ride was approx 52 mi, or 85 km. Happily they were nice to me and waited on all the long climbs. Without them I'd have had a real time of it navigating my way back through the complicated warren of roads in the communities west of the city; none are remotely parallel and they never seem to put you where you are sure you must be.

The bike? Ah, yes. The bike. As expected zero mechanical issues. The fit, with no adjustments by me, is spot on. This is not inconsequential. I assume most here in this forum are well-experienced in the minor adjustment phase of a new bike, even after careful measurements. I didn't need to turn a single bolt or change a thing. To pick up a brand new bike, after zero saddle time in three months, and do 50+ mi isn't a credit to me. It's a credit to Olivier and his ability to set a bike up to the nth degree. The man knows his business, cold.

To describe the ride experience is difficult at best. I want to avoid hyperbole. Also, does anyone ever say their brand new Porsche or Ferrari sucks? Of course not. I will say that I deliberately tried to find fault (spoiler: FAIL) and forced myself not to react in a way that is attributable to the full experience of ordering, waiting, dare I say befriending the folks at AS, and then finally receiving the most gorgeous bike I've ever seen. I don't know that I was fully successful, this has been a journey for me on several levels and to coldly assess the ride of a bike after all of that is rather impossible. Also, I am far from being "on form" as the French say. It was hard to an unbiased reviewer, but I'm not writing for a magazine nor am I trying to portray this as anything but a personal choice based on numerous aesthetic and functional biases.

It goes like stink.

If you're unfamiliar with that old hotrodding phrase, it's a compliment. A major one. It implies raw speed and domination. At my fitness level I'm not dominating anything right now except the occasional steak frites. And I crush those. But, I have been in good shape before and a not too shabby rider, and I know what feels right. And fast. This machine is both. The feel is similar to my Vanilla (although I'm not trying to compare builders here, they're very different bikes) once I had it set up how I wanted it. It descends like a rock off a bridge, but some of that is my own spare tire. Being 6' and not wire thin has its benefits, right up until the hill goes right up. Which they did. So glad I chose the triple up front. I didn't use the smallest gears but they sure weren't bragging rights. I kept hearing the sane voice saying to kick the derailleur a notch as soon as my cadence drops. It made for some syrup-slow climbs but also resulted in little to no knee pain until the very last twenty or so kms.

I have never had a new bike ride this well. I have never had a Frenchman slow upon passing me and say "damn, that is one classy bike!" This happened not once, not twice, but three times. My Cannondale Slate with the Lefty fork barely gets a glance. This bike gets stares but from riders you'd want to have a beer with and hear their story. I didn't buy this machine to gain attention; I didn't make it and the only credit is being smart enough to get in the queue. It is a nice side benefit though. Chrome in the sun does garner attention in an era of matte black to gray lookalikes.

I couldn't be more satisfied. I took it out for the maiden voyage and went just hard enough to truly suffer a bit. I met more new friends, smelled the fields outside Paris and saw the acres of red poppies swaying in the breeze and reminding me of my job here. I saw goats under an ancient bridge and had the best-tasting croissant in history with people you want to earn the respect of. It was a very French experience on a gorgeous French day. La vie est belle. Vraiment.


Detail of the rim gen from Germany. I vascillated on this decision until Olivier told me about his client in Munich who rides one every day. Munich is not known for pleasant winter weather nor grime free roads. I'm excited for my first night ride to see how it works out, but the indoors test is bright as all get-out with an excellent standlight time.

The chateau in Beynes, about 25 mi outside Paris

Goats. Pondering the lycra clad humans who seem to be foodless and thus uninteresting.

Church tower and clock


Post coffee and croissant, ready for the return

Three, yep THREE Singers.

Catherine. She looks nice right? Pleasant and non-threatening? Sure. Pleasant absolutely and nice enough to wait for me on hill after hill. But a vrai rouleur.

Her Singer is a gorgeous road machine in a lovely mild gray. At least it wasn't a fixie, I have been often crushed by ACBO folks riding fixies and that's just not called for.

So, after food and water now I need to carefully ensure all sweat has been removed. One caution from Olivier was that any salt left on the chrome will pit it and I shall not let that stand. Thanks for joining me on this adventure and for patiently wading through my pics and prose. Now go for a ride!

Last edited by poprad; 05-22-22 at 08:23 AM.
poprad is offline  
Old 05-22-22, 08:37 AM
  #134  
ehcoplex
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 590

Bikes: '38 Schwinn New World, '72 Peugeot PX-10, '97 Cannondale T900, '98 Peugeot Appalaches, ?? Raleigh Sports, ?? Raleigh Superbe, ?? Hercules 3sp (x2)...

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 243 Post(s)
Liked 399 Times in 198 Posts
Thank you for sharing this journey!
ehcoplex is offline  
Likes For ehcoplex:
Old 05-22-22, 10:23 AM
  #135  
52telecaster
ambulatory senior
 
52telecaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Peoria Il
Posts: 4,389

Bikes: Bob Jackson World Tour, Falcon and lots of other bikes.

Mentioned: 54 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1318 Post(s)
Liked 1,236 Times in 641 Posts
Damn that's beautiful. You make me want to ride!
52telecaster is offline  
Likes For 52telecaster:
Old 05-22-22, 04:18 PM
  #136  
philbob57
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Chicago North Shore
Posts: 2,038

Bikes: frankenbike based on MKM frame

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 600 Post(s)
Liked 410 Times in 258 Posts
Thanks for this. Best of luck in getting into good enough shape to stick to thi or a faster group.
philbob57 is offline  
Likes For philbob57:
Old 05-22-22, 04:31 PM
  #137  
Hobbiano 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Baton Rouge La
Posts: 1,032
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 324 Post(s)
Liked 235 Times in 161 Posts
So beautiful! Really enjoyed following your story. It doesn't have to end here, does it?
Hobbiano is offline  
Likes For Hobbiano:
Old 05-22-22, 06:06 PM
  #138  
repechage
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 17,420
Mentioned: 113 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2396 Post(s)
Liked 1,312 Times in 991 Posts
Avoid Gravity Storms and you will be fully healed soon enough. Bikes have therapeutic power.

much earlier on in this thread I noticed the rim dynamo- looks smart- the with a stand light feature too... assume a small battery in the light housing?
repechage is offline  
Likes For repechage:
Old 05-22-22, 07:02 PM
  #139  
merziac
Senior Member
 
merziac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: PDX
Posts: 10,139

Bikes: Merz x 5 + Specialized Merz Allez x 2, Strawberry/Newlands/DiNucci/Ti x3, Gordon, Fuso/Moulton x2, Bornstein, Paisley,1958-74 Paramounts x3, 3rensho, 74 Moto TC, 73-78 Raleigh Pro's x5, Marinoni x2, 1960 Cinelli SC, 1980 Bianchi SC, PX-10 X 2

Mentioned: 203 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3144 Post(s)
Liked 2,908 Times in 1,840 Posts
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.


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!
I would have begged him to let me clean that up although it might cause an imbalance in the force.
merziac is online now  
Likes For merziac:
Old 05-22-22, 10:58 PM
  #140  
poprad
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
poprad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: In transit
Posts: 1,848

Bikes: 07 Vanilla, 98 IRD road frame built up with 25th Ann DA, Surly cross check with 105 comp, 78 Raleigh Comp GS, 85 Centurionelli

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 66 Post(s)
Liked 767 Times in 161 Posts
Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Avoid Gravity Storms and you will be fully healed soon enough. Bikes have therapeutic power.

much earlier on in this thread I noticed the rim dynamo- looks smart- the with a stand light feature too... assume a small battery in the light housing?
I'm guessing a tiny super capacitor. Unlike a battery they can charge in seconds (or much less) but dump their energy much quicker as well. Perfect for this application.
poprad is offline  
Likes For poprad:
Old 05-22-22, 11:47 PM
  #141  
bibliobob
Senior Member
 
bibliobob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 2,979

Bikes: '53/'54 Bianchi CDM, '62'62ish Altenburger Cinelli Mod B, '69 Rene Herse, '72 Motobecane Grand Record, '73-74 Colnago Super,, '74 Cinelli SC, '78 counterfeit Confente, '82 Medici Gran Turismo, '82 3Rensho SRA, '85 Eddy Merckx Pro

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 30 Post(s)
Liked 87 Times in 18 Posts
Oh, man, that is one gorgeous bike. I'm pretty sure that you've self actualized at this point. I'll stay subscribed to this thread.

Apologies if you already included a build sheet somewhere, but I'm curious on how you built it up. Hubs and rims? Handlebars? Are those Simplex shifters?

Cheers,
Bob
bibliobob is offline  
Likes For bibliobob:
Old 05-23-22, 01:08 AM
  #142  
Germany_chris
I’m a little Surly
 
Germany_chris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Southern Germany
Posts: 1,873

Bikes: Two Cross Checks and a Karate Monkey

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 457 Post(s)
Liked 803 Times in 417 Posts
Does the integrated mount for the dynamo quiet it down? I have one but pulled it because I couldn’t stand the noise.
Germany_chris is offline  
Old 05-23-22, 01:13 AM
  #143  
poprad
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
poprad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: In transit
Posts: 1,848

Bikes: 07 Vanilla, 98 IRD road frame built up with 25th Ann DA, Surly cross check with 105 comp, 78 Raleigh Comp GS, 85 Centurionelli

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 66 Post(s)
Liked 767 Times in 161 Posts
Originally Posted by Germany_chris View Post
Does the integrated mount for the dynamo quiet it down? I have one but pulled it because I couldn’t stand the noise.
I don't have a comparison to base it on, but it definitely sounds quiet to me. I know the mount they sell it with is a universal kludge that has to work with anything and everything, so I'm guessing that's the noise source. Also if on a carpet fiber fork the sound would really resonate, on this build it doesn't at all. After my first real quiet night ride on country roads I'll know more, but so far it sounds quiet to me. I don't have a db meter, so I can't provide an accurate measurement.
poprad is offline  
Old 05-23-22, 01:20 AM
  #144  
poprad
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
poprad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: In transit
Posts: 1,848

Bikes: 07 Vanilla, 98 IRD road frame built up with 25th Ann DA, Surly cross check with 105 comp, 78 Raleigh Comp GS, 85 Centurionelli

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 66 Post(s)
Liked 767 Times in 161 Posts
Originally Posted by bibliobob View Post
Oh, man, that is one gorgeous bike. I'm pretty sure that you've self actualized at this point. I'll stay subscribed to this thread.

Apologies if you already included a build sheet somewhere, but I'm curious on how you built it up. Hubs and rims? Handlebars? Are those Simplex shifters?

Cheers,
Bob
Thanks man, it is a literal dream come true. And I literally avoid the use of the word "literal" with a vengeance.

I can find all that out tonight on the build sheet which I can post but it's in French. Hubs are sealed Grand Bois units. Shifters are non-index Grande Comps mated to Microshift rear and SRAM force front D's. I wasn't sure about full non-index shifting but I didn't miss a shift all day yesterday. Turns out my fingers can index pretty well, and unlike the stuff we're used to there wasn't any "overshift and back off" technique required. I can't remember the bars.
poprad is offline  
Old 05-23-22, 01:20 AM
  #145  
Germany_chris
I’m a little Surly
 
Germany_chris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Southern Germany
Posts: 1,873

Bikes: Two Cross Checks and a Karate Monkey

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 457 Post(s)
Liked 803 Times in 417 Posts
Originally Posted by poprad View Post
I don't have a comparison to base it on, but it definitely sounds quiet to me. I know the mount they sell it with is a universal kludge that has to work with anything and everything, so I'm guessing that's the noise source. Also if on a carpet fiber fork the sound would really resonate, on this build it doesn't at all. After my first real quiet night ride on country roads I'll know more, but so far it sounds quiet to me. I don't have a db meter, so I can't provide an accurate measurement.
I kinda thought that the mounts may have issue which is why I wondered if it was quiet. The thing gets great reviews on the internet but I just couldn’t take the noise.

I’m glad you’re happy with it it’s such a nicely machined piece.
Germany_chris is offline  
Likes For Germany_chris:
Old 05-23-22, 11:11 PM
  #146  
CMAW 
Pining for the fjords
 
CMAW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Brussels
Posts: 589
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 71 Post(s)
Liked 261 Times in 88 Posts
That bike is simply irresistible! Curious about it's weight. Your blending in with the AC crowd is also amazing to me, Parisians don't exactly have the reputation of being open and welcoming to foreigners.
__________________
CMAW is offline  
Old 05-24-22, 06:51 AM
  #147  
poprad
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
poprad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: In transit
Posts: 1,848

Bikes: 07 Vanilla, 98 IRD road frame built up with 25th Ann DA, Surly cross check with 105 comp, 78 Raleigh Comp GS, 85 Centurionelli

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 66 Post(s)
Liked 767 Times in 161 Posts
Originally Posted by CMAW View Post
That bike is simply irresistible! Curious about it's weight. Your blending in with the AC crowd is also amazing to me, Parisians don't exactly have the reputation of being open and welcoming to foreigners.
Thanks CMAW. I don't have a scale here, but it's no lightweight with all the stuff I specified. That said, I doubt you'd find a randonneur with these options in my size weigh much less.

As to the ACBO - they're some of the nicest folks you could ask to meet on two wheels. I don't think Parisians in general are any less friendly than most urban dwellers worldwide. The French are as friendly as people anywhere, and our time here has made me really appreciate the culture. They also have a few kinds of cheese. And calvados....
poprad is offline  
Old 05-24-22, 10:58 AM
  #148  
northbend 
Senior Member
 
northbend's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: North Bend, Washington State
Posts: 2,647

Bikes: 1937 Hobbs; 1974 Alex Singer; 1977 Bruce Gordon; 1987 Bill Holland; 1988 Schwinn Paramount (Fixed gear); 1999 Fat City Yo Eddy (MTB); 2018 Woodrup (Touring)

Mentioned: 259 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 454 Post(s)
Liked 1,944 Times in 419 Posts
Simply wonderful, Mark. I appreciate you sharing your experience with us. Thank you!
northbend is offline  
Likes For northbend:
Old 05-24-22, 03:22 PM
  #149  
Drillium Dude 
Gone riding
 
Drillium Dude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 11,584
Mentioned: 240 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2160 Post(s)
Liked 3,187 Times in 1,155 Posts
Originally Posted by poprad View Post



It's definitely mine
While the entire bike came out wonderfully, this little detail is my favorite. Enjoy the new ride in good health - and I hope you get more chances to ride together with your new group as you get back to full fitness!

DD
__________________
My Flickr pics: https://www.flickr.com/photos/30331021@N08/

Drillium Dude is offline  
Likes For Drillium Dude:
Old 05-24-22, 04:54 PM
  #150  
El Chaba
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 352
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 113 Post(s)
Liked 132 Times in 45 Posts
Okay, the bike is fabulous…in every detail….fabulous….It amazes me the variety of machines and the incredible number of details that comprise them that are produced by AS…They never seem to put a foot wrong. I also love the combination of components that they favor to produce machines that seem to defy the passing of time. If one isn’t careful when mixing things up, it can easily wind up as a dog’s breakfast…but at AS they are always right. Once again, fabulous machine…enjoy it. As fabulous as these bikes look, they perform even better….
El Chaba is offline  
Likes For El Chaba:

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.