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What have we here? A Groene Leeuw?

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What have we here? A Groene Leeuw?

Old 03-28-22, 11:29 AM
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What have we here? A Groene Leeuw?

Of course I hadn't planned to buy a bike or a frame at yesterday's jumble sale. I even had mrs non-fixie with me to keep me on the straight and narrow.

But, when a seller and fellow enthusiast we've both known for a while now offered me this battered frame in my size at a very friendly price, even mrs non-fixie realized refusal would have been an insult to our friend.

So it came home with me.

The colors are consistent with a Groene Leeuw team bike from the mid seventies, when they were used by the Whatney Maes team, like in this 1974 example. However, the curvature of the fork makes me think it could be quite a bit older than that, and the fact that is has been at least partially repainted, make me wonder about the actual origin of the frame.

See what you can make of it.



The only braze-ons are this cable stop and guide. The dropouts look like Campagnolo items.



The seat cluster looks quite attractive to my eye. The wrap-around and scalloped top eyes and the thinned lug point indicate a fair bit of attention was paid and time was spent by the frame builder.



The fork crown looks to be a Vagner nr 5 "Professional".



Fork ends.



The BB shell is a Nervex item, and shows the number "53"



Apparently that is the serial number. I found the same number on the steerer.

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Old 03-28-22, 12:33 PM
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Nice one! So I guess you were in Nieuw Vennep, I was nearby but no opportunity.
Didn't ride the Groene Leeuw-Sinalco-SAS team end fifties/begin sixties and the Wiel's mid sixties also ride on these green/yellow bikes?



And probably you know Mieke from Jan too? She's the specialist.
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Old 03-28-22, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by fabiofarelli View Post
Nice one! So I guess you were in Nieuw Vennep, I was nearby but no opportunity.
Didn't ride the Groene Leeuw-Sinalco-SAS team end fifties/begin sixties and the Wiel's mid sixties also ride on these green/yellow bikes?



And probably you know Mieke from Jan too? She's the specialist.
One distinct possibility is that it is an older Groene Leeuw, which was "updated" somewhere along the way. The serial number implies it was made by a small builder, so it may even have been a team member's bike at some point. Know any tall pros who would have ridden a 62cm frame?

I am actually hoping it is an older Groene Leeuw, so I have an excuse to get me one of those gorgeous Wiel's jerseys:



And as a matter of fact, I got the frame off Jan, so when he says "it may or may not be a Groene Leeuw" I am assuming that was Mieke's verdict.
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Old 03-28-22, 09:44 PM
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Here is a picture that I have of Hans Junkermann's bike from the Tour in 1962.
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Old 03-29-22, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Fat Tire Trader View Post

Here is a picture that I have of Hans Junkermann's bike from the Tour in 1962.
Thank you! Much appreciated, as there is surprisingly little information about these bikes to be found on the internet.
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Old 03-29-22, 09:20 AM
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Never heard of the marque. Thank you for the very educational post!
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Old 03-29-22, 10:59 AM
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I have had a closer look at the frame, and in better light, as well as with stronger glasses.

After a bit of cleaning, the fork and frame ends turned out to be Zeus products, rather than Campagnolo:





After opening the seat lug slot a bit, a 26.4mm seatpost fit. After cleaning, it might even take a 26.6.



Head lugs are Bocama:





The frame has been repainted. It looks like the original color was also green, but less blue-ish. The yellow panels look like they might also have been added later.

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Last edited by non-fixie; 04-06-22 at 11:03 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 03-30-22, 12:16 AM
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There's a book on the Groene Leeuw team, it's available on a Belgian second hand site. I was going to post the link but I won't.
Head badge holes might be helpful in identifying this bike (the GL headbadge is a classic) you thought of that, surely.
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Old 03-30-22, 12:23 AM
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Originally Posted by CMAW View Post
There's a book on the Groene Leeuw team, it's available on a Belgian second hand site. I was going to post the link but I won't.
Head badge holes might be helpful in identifying this bike (the GL headbadge is a classic) you thought of that, surely.
Thanks, I'd found the book already, and it should be here today.

I have not yet found any evidence of badge holes, but they may have been there. But weren't some also fitted with decals instead of metal badges?
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Old 03-30-22, 12:30 AM
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The older ones I have seen all had the metal badge, stickers in the late '70ies maybe? I've just seen a few though, the book will hopefully clear that up for you.
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Old 03-30-22, 10:36 AM
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It looks like there is a longer number on the bottom bracket that might be helpful, something like 682842022... (more that is lost in the glare). Or is it just my imagination? Maybe 53 is the size?
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Old 04-06-22, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Sluggo View Post
It looks like there is a longer number on the bottom bracket that might be helpful, something like 682842022... (more that is lost in the glare). Or is it just my imagination? Maybe 53 is the size?
That long number is a Nervex code, which is cast into the shell and expresses the relevant angles and measurements of this BB shell. It is not directly related to this particular build. The frame's size is 62cm, measured center-to-top, so I'm fairly sure "53" is either a serial number or a customer's or rider's designation.
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Old 04-06-22, 10:51 AM
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BTW, I finally received The Book today, and it's a big 'un.

It doesn't seem to have a search function, so apparently I am going to have to actually read it.



The title reads "The cycling team that challenged the Emperor". The Emperor being Rik Van Looy, nicknamed the Emperor of Herentals, who was supposed to win the World Championship in 1963, but got beaten by Groene Leeuw's Benoni Beheyt:



360 pages crammed with information about Groene Leeuw history. I am going to enjoy reading this.



There's actually a link to Bikeforums C&V here, too! Thumbing through the pages I recognized one of the bikes. It belongs to fellow-member joe v :


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Old 04-06-22, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post






There's a BMW Neue Klasse in that top right photo! Must not be a 2002 since that pic says 1965 on it. Mind if I post this on the BMW 2002 forum? I'd like to get their take on it. Any other BMW pics from that book would be great too!
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Old 04-06-22, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by tricky View Post
There's a BMW Neue Klasse in that top right photo! Must not be a 2002 since that pic says 1965 on it. Mind if I post this on the BMW 2002 forum? I'd like to get their take on it. Any other BMW pics from that book would be great too!
I don't know whose picture that is, and I am no specialist when it comes to intellectual property rights, so you're on your own there, but here is a slightly better version of that picture:

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Old 04-07-22, 03:18 PM
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-----

yet another fascinating find non-fixie!

only in the low countries could one expect to find a machine combining BOCAMA lugs with NERVEX crown and shell and with an ends set from Senor Arregui!

shall look forward to following along as you work further with it

would appear great in a Watney's livery.... (open one for us!)


-----

Last edited by juvela; 04-07-22 at 03:18 PM. Reason: spellin'
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Old 04-07-22, 04:24 PM
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Cross-posted.

A bit of a hijack, but here's another BMW support car that came up in the thread I started over there. An Italian team this time. Galli and Castelli, pretty cool.

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Old 04-10-22, 04:16 PM
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Made a start with the build. Going through my bins I found a Zeus Criterium transmission and Zeus pedals, a set of Normandy/Weinmann tubular wheels, a Brooks saddle, a Universal Mod. 61 brake set and an ITM bar and stem.

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Old 04-10-22, 05:22 PM
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By looking at the frame (1st pic in thread) the head tube looked short for 62cm. Pics can be deceiving.

@non-fixie = ever the hunter and historian. Woo-hoo!

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Old 04-10-22, 06:48 PM
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Woo-Hoo indeed. Classy! Now you can, maybe, ride Cino in Montana one day? Don
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Old 04-10-22, 08:30 PM
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I love seeing old frames like this one. It's a gem. What do you think caused the strange wear on the steerer tube over the stamped "53"? A bearing ball caught in the tube above the race?
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Old 04-11-22, 12:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
By looking at the frame (1st pic in thread) the head tube looked short for 62cm. Pics can be deceiving.
That is one thing like about older frames. They look smaller than their late eighties counterparts in the same size, which tend to look a bit awkward in my size.
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Old 04-11-22, 01:34 AM
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Originally Posted by ollo_ollo View Post
Woo-Hoo indeed. Classy! Now you can, maybe, ride Cino in Montana one day? Don
Thank you. I'm afraid I am a little too far away from Montana for that to be a realistic option. Although the wine-drinking and Gitane-smoking that is mentioned on the Cino website does sound appealing.

As an alternative mrs non-fixie and I just registered for L'Eroica in Gaiole, Italy, for the first weekend in October.
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Old 04-11-22, 02:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles Wahl View Post
I love seeing old frames like this one. It's a gem. What do you think caused the strange wear on the steerer tube over the stamped "53"? A bearing ball caught in the tube above the race?
Thanks! I was wondering about that. Looking at the picture again, I believe you may well be right.
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Old 04-12-22, 02:19 PM
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Mrs non-fixie mentioned this morning that a ride after work would be nice. I grabbed the opportunity, and this machine went on its maiden trip.

Not bad. Not bad at all. It needs a few tweaks (the original Universal brake pads only provide the merest of hints of slowing down, and the Zeus Criterium RD only grudgingly accepts the 28T rear cog when the wheel is in its rearmost position) and finishing touches, but otherwise this is a pretty nice ride.

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