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Yellow Jo Routens

Old 11-28-21, 11:22 AM
  #1  
poprad
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Yellow Jo Routens

As seen at Alex Singer shop this weekend. You never know what you'll come across in there. I believe he'd acquired it for another client.

Also rode with those guys again in today's 40 degree rain. Great people, and no hard feelings when I have to turn about as the knee starts to ache.

OK, the Routens!


Crappy iphone pics in a dimly lit space, but still cool enough to post. I gotta start bringing my camera every time I swing by there.

Check out the Cyclo derailleur

Reverse mount rear brakes


Desmodromic shift system

Fork crown...artwork and function



Lovely rack design

Check out the cable routing!
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Old 11-28-21, 11:29 AM
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More pics!

Graceful stem

Made in Grenoble, gateway to the French Alps


Saddle is really something

I'm guessing the added buttress on the downtube at the BB shell is to change the stiffness? No idea. Someone with more knowledge chime in!


Another workbench in the Singer shop...filing system. Get it?

This detail shot makes me cringe. I have to have every tool and spare in its place, and the bench clean after every job. Of course, that's why I'm a guy who pretends to know about bikes and he's been building them for 40 years.
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Old 11-28-21, 11:47 AM
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pretty cool bike - thank you for the detail pics !

/markp
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Old 11-28-21, 12:09 PM
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@poprad

Cool as heck, love the HB, industrial, no nonsense.

Missed my Routens, bought an Ideale saddle from the guy then @gugie swooped in and snatched it after the fact, my bad, it was my size, DOH!

Great reporting and pics, please do keep it up and convey our thanks for the window to the inner sanctum of Cycles Alex Singer and followers.
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Old 11-28-21, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by poprad;22322523[i
Another workbench in the Singer shop...filing system. Get it?

This detail shot makes me cringe. I have to have every tool and spare in its place, and the bench clean after every job. Of course, that's why I'm a guy who pretends to know about bikes and he's been building them for 40 years.
Method to the madness, looks like my bench working at flat rate (like piece work) when its busy.

At least half the tools will be needed on the next car, bike, task, etc. If they're laying out on the bench already you can save a lot of steps.

Each of us has our own version of "in It's place".

You have to embrace the chaos.
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Old 11-28-21, 12:21 PM
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Thank you for posting the pics. Makes me feel better about myself and my work benches
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Old 11-28-21, 12:26 PM
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I’m sure he knows exactly where everything is.
Tim
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Old 11-28-21, 12:28 PM
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Very stylish bike, love that forkcrown and the seat stay treatment! Thanks for all the pix, workbench "chaos" included! Also never heard of "Desmodromic" in reference to anything but Ducati valve trains before now...we live and learn!

Last edited by unworthy1; 11-28-21 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 11-28-21, 12:34 PM
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Apologies if this has been posted on here a thousand times over the years.
https://vimeo.com/35915497
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Old 11-28-21, 02:46 PM
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I'd be forever thankful if you took a picture (or pictures) of his main fixture which I believe hangs above his alignment table except when in use. As I understand it, he drops it down to rest on the table when probably spotting the frame together and then raises it up out of the way when he is aligning the frame. The reason I am so interested in a picture of his fixture is because it is based generally on the same concept I use for my fixture. These are not the kind of fixtures most modern frame builders use (especially in the US).
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Old 11-28-21, 08:14 PM
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The rear brake cable routied through the seat tube is a Routens characteristic. I've always wondered if the two holes in the seat tube is a problem for moisture.
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Old 11-28-21, 09:17 PM
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Thanks for the visit, lovely pictures, beautiful bike, looks like my wine room, the inventory is in my head….
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Old 11-28-21, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by kroozer View Post
The rear brake cable routied through the seat tube is a Routens characteristic. I've always wondered if the two holes in the seat tube is a problem for moisture.
So long as there's a drain hole in the BB and it all gets inspected and serviced regularly, it shouldn't be a concern.

And beings as the French are the original world class randonneurs I would hope it to be a nonissue.

Framesaver and or painted inside the tube and inspected regularly would also go a long way.
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Old 11-28-21, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by FBOATSB View Post
Apologies if this has been posted on here a thousand times over the years.
https://vimeo.com/35915497
Not like we can have to much of this and I've never seen that video, Tx!
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Old 11-28-21, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug Fattic View Post
I'd be forever thankful if you took a picture (or pictures) of his main fixture which I believe hangs above his alignment table except when in use. As I understand it, he drops it down to rest on the table when probably spotting the frame together and then raises it up out of the way when he is aligning the frame. The reason I am so interested in a picture of his fixture is because it is based generally on the same concept I use for my fixture. These are not the kind of fixtures most modern frame builders use (especially in the US).
early in the thread was an image that caught the suspended frame fixture- only a hint of what is going on- a space resourceful idea.
I could see lifting it up and catching points from below also.

later on is an image of the vise with lead drapes over the jaws… maybe scraps from Notre Dame? I jest but not.

a number of Routens frames have transverse webbing- one of the constructors also created a folded reinforcement. For enhanced stiffness most likely. Probably thin tubing.
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Old 11-28-21, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug Fattic View Post
I'd be forever thankful if you took a picture (or pictures) of his main fixture which I believe hangs above his alignment table except when in use. As I understand it, he drops it down to rest on the table when probably spotting the frame together and then raises it up out of the way when he is aligning the frame. The reason I am so interested in a picture of his fixture is because it is based generally on the same concept I use for my fixture. These are not the kind of fixtures most modern frame builders use (especially in the US).
Funny you would ask that, I was trying to get a shot of that during this visit, but the fact that he hangs it about 7 feet up and the shop is lit by skylight makes it next to impossible to achieve anything worth posting. It all just comes out as a black skeletal thing with no detail. I'm hoping one day I'm there and he has it down on the table. It is the coolest looking frame jig I've ever seen, and even though I've not yet learned to braze up a frameset it interests me greatly. I will keep it in mind though and try to get some worthwhile pics of it.
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Old 11-29-21, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by poprad View Post
Funny you would ask that, I was trying to get a shot of that during this visit, but the fact that he hangs it about 7 feet up and the shop is lit by skylight makes it next to impossible to achieve anything worth posting. It all just comes out as a black skeletal thing with no detail. I'm hoping one day I'm there and he has it down on the table. It is the coolest looking frame jig I've ever seen, and even though I've not yet learned to braze up a frameset it interests me greatly. I will keep it in mind though and try to get some worthwhile pics of it.
I was one of those Americans what went to England in the 70's to learn how to build frames. I was a high school teacher at the time and wanted to bring those secrets back here to the US to share with students. Where I apprenticed at Ellis Briggs in Yorkshire, they had a marvelous cast iron surface plate that served both has their fixture and alignment table. This takes the pressure off of the fixture to be perfectly machined and places the responsibility for accuracy on the table.

One of Englands great builders Johnny Berry had recently died in 1974 and I brought back a lot of his tooling. One of his pieces of equipment was a "sizing board" used by a number of builders in the UK to design frames. F.W. Evans in London claims to have invented the system in the 30's. It replaces the need to do a full scale drawing. Over the years I (with a number of engineer helping me), have refined the concept to include bells and whistles that make me happy. And it helps me teach my framebuilding class students how design frames. It also is useful for checking miters and spotting a frame together ready to be brazed. I now have them laser cut and etched out of stainless steel in Ukraine. I'll attach a picture of one so you can get the idea.

Perhaps if you let them know that one of America's frame building teachers is anxious to see the features of his fixture design he might be persuaded to take it down for you? It is worth an ask so you appear to be a helping agent of knowledge instead of just a bother trying to get pictures. It is worth a shot anyway.

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Old 11-29-21, 02:34 AM
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Now that is cool. I am supremely jealous of your having that experience. Comparatively I'm just a voyeur. PM sent.

Last edited by poprad; 11-29-21 at 02:43 AM.
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Old 11-29-21, 02:45 AM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
Very stylish bike, love that forkcrown and the seat stay treatment! Thanks for all the pix, workbench "chaos" included! Also never heard of "Desmodromic" in reference to anything but Ducati valve trains before now...we live and learn!
I can't claim the credit for using that, I believe I picked that up from Jan Heine in an issue of BQ. It's an excellent one-word description of a push-pull system though.
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Old 11-29-21, 01:50 PM
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interesting to see that Routens has a Cyclo rear derailleur, but a braze-on for a modern(ish) front derailleur. I wonder if that modification was done at a later date. The Routens I owned was the opposite - modern derailleur hanger in the back, handmade Cyclo-style pushrod derailleur in the front:


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Drunken attempts and subsequent faliures at tarckstanding in front of cops is majestic failz.
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Old 11-29-21, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Catnap View Post
interesting to see that Routens has a Cyclo rear derailleur, but a braze-on for a modern(ish) front derailleur. I wonder if that modification was done at a later date. The Routens I owned was the opposite - modern derailleur hanger in the back, handmade Cyclo-style pushrod derailleur in the front:


I sure wouldn't mind seeing the rest of this bike...
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Old 11-29-21, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by poprad View Post
I sure wouldn't mind seeing the rest of this bike...
You can read all about it here, and see a gallery of photos: https://djcatnap.com/jo-routens-650b-restoration. It was shown at the 2015 Eroica Concours d'Elegance, and ridden in the Eroica. I sold it in 2016 to another collector.

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Originally Posted by indiglow View Post
Drunken attempts and subsequent faliures at tarckstanding in front of cops is majestic failz.
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Old 11-29-21, 05:23 PM
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Wow- that's cool.

Thank you for this.
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Old 11-30-21, 02:26 AM
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That is a lovely bike, thanks and your blog about it is interesting. Anyone who likes the pics above should click his link and read it.

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Old 12-02-21, 01:57 PM
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The yellow Jo Routens is for sale on Le Bon Coin, couldn’t link the ad so here’s the screen shot,


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