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Rene Herse Show and Tell

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Rene Herse Show and Tell

Old 12-13-21, 02:59 PM
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Rene Herse Show and Tell

This has been on my list of grail bikes for many years. I have had four escape me at various auctions because of not wanting to pay obscene prices. They do not come up for sale often. I was amazed to be successful this time bidding the starting number.

It was missing a couple of key parts like the stop plate on the rear derailleur, a broken front derailleur bracket and the stops for the bar end shifters. The components are an odd mix, but mostly original. The derailleurs are Huret Jubilee and the shifters are Campagnolo. The headset and bottom bracket are French thread Campagnolo. The stem and crankset are Rene Herse (modern continuation). Hubs are Pelissier and rims are Mavic 700c clincher. Seatpost is a 26.8 Campagnolo with a Gilles Berthoud saddle. Brakes are Mafac Competition with a GB Randonneur handlebar. Pedals are Lyotard Berthet. This has been on my list of grail bikes for many years.

The images are from the build up, as well as before and during my shakedown ride. I have included a couple images with a Raleigh International randonneur build for comparison (I did Raleigh build because I had all but given up on finding a Rene Herse). Both bikes are similar in size, layout, components and gearing.

I mentioned the shakedown. This was a fifteen mile ride that involved smooth pavement, gravel, grass and dirt. The ride was uneventful. This was largely because most of an afternoon was spent adjusting brakes and fenders. The bag on the Herse is an Acorn medium randonneur in blue black. I am normally not a fan of front bags, but this one sits low and has minimal affect on steering. The saddle on the Herse is a black Gilles Berthoud Gibraltar which is similar to a Brooks Swallow.I found the ride very similar between the two bikes. The Brooks microfiber handlebar tape is more comfortable than the cloth tape. I elected not to shellac the cloth tape on the Herse as I find the untreated softer and more comfortable. Both bikes have Huret Jubilee derailleurs. The Herse are first generation Jubilee and the International are second. Shifting is more precise on the Raleigh, but I suspect that is due to the Rivendell ratcheting bar end shifters not the derailleurs.



























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Old 12-13-21, 03:05 PM
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Beautiful! Do you know what the riding weight is, sans bags?
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Old 12-13-21, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Oldairhead View Post
Beautiful! Do you know what the riding weight is, sans bags?
I have not weighed it yet, but I can tell you it is less than the Raleigh.
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Old 12-13-21, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve Bauserman View Post
I have not weighed it yet, but I can tell you it is less than the Raleigh.
I was gonna say that those are out of order, the RH should be front and center here and I am a big Raleigh fan too, but still....

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Old 12-13-21, 05:20 PM
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Beautiful. Both, really, but especially the Herse.
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Old 12-13-21, 06:26 PM
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So nice! Thanks for the photos.
How does the Jubilee rear handle that range of gears? Do you have 46/30 in the front and 14/28 in the rear?
Brent
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Old 12-13-21, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by obrentharris View Post
So nice! Thanks for the photos.
How does the Jubilee rear handle that range of gears? Do you have 46/30 in the front and 14/28 in the rear?
Brent
It handles the range of both fine, but that is the maximum without going to a long cage.
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Old 12-13-21, 07:31 PM
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Congratulations. Itís a fabulous machine.
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Old 12-13-21, 08:27 PM
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Congratulations, indeed! That's the sort of bicycle that you can wait around for a long time for and know that when you finally get it, that's precisely when it was meant to be!

-Gregory
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Old 12-14-21, 12:33 AM
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Congratulations! People toss around the G-word, but that truly is a grail bike. No matter what you paid for it, you'll likely be able to recoup the costs if you ever decide to sell. In the meantime, it's an investment in happiness!
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Old 12-14-21, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve Bauserman View Post
It handles the range of both fine, but that is the maximum without going to a long cage.
Good to know. I am thinking of using one on my competition with a sturmey archer aw and 26-40-46 up front.
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Old 12-14-21, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve Bauserman View Post
It handles the range of both fine, but that is the maximum without going to a long cage.
That's impressive.
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Old 12-14-21, 07:21 AM
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Geez, beautiful Rene Herse bikes are popping up all over this joint.

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Old 12-14-21, 03:41 PM
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In my view, the French constructeur bikes are the epitome of “custom”. Still, I am always amazed at the variation of details and that no two were ever alike. In the general time period of this bike, Herse seemed to use a lot of Huret derailleurs and Weinmann centerpull brakes. So I think it is interesting that this one has Mafac. It’s also interesting that the brakes on this bike use the bolt on stirrup as most of them seemed to have the brazed on pivots. In this time period, both Herse and Singer seemed to attach the Huret front derailleurs with a braze on fitting that eliminated the front piece of the attachment clamp. The Herse stem is a great feature as well. This is a great bike. These constructeur bikes have a funny way of outliving their original (or even subsequent) owners and to fall into new appreciative hands who put a few things back right, discover how great they ride, and give the bikes a whole new life.
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Old 12-22-21, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve Bauserman View Post
...The stem and crankset are Rene Herse (modern continuation).
How did you install the stem? Was a metal insert epoxied into your steerer as per the general instructions?

As previously noted, this is amazing. I'm so glad you found it and are giving it a good home.
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Old 12-22-21, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by mountaindave View Post
How did you install the stem? Was a metal insert epoxied into your steerer as per the general instructions?

As previously noted, this is amazing. I'm so glad you found it and are giving it a good home.
The stem tube is pressed into the steering tube after painting a thin coat of epoxy on the inside of the steering tube. I used a 4x4 block and hammer to insert it about two inches.
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Old 12-22-21, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by 52telecaster View Post
Good to know. I am thinking of using one on my competition with a sturmey archer aw and 26-40-46 up front.
With a 14-28 in back, I would want something tighter up front, like 26-42-46, for a more even half-step with the 14-17-20-24-28 in back.
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Old 12-23-21, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
With a 14-28 in back, I would want something tighter up front, like 26-42-46, for a more even half-step with the 14-17-20-24-28 in back.
That is a decent half-step combo with a very common freewheel. (I havenít made one yet, but it is on my list of possibles.)

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Old 12-23-21, 09:48 AM
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Beautiful Congratulations.
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