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Alex Singer Information?

Old 05-23-22, 12:55 AM
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SoccerBallXan
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Alex Singer Information?

Hello list friends,

I was fortunate enough to happen upon this Alex Singer. Beneath piles of children's bicycles and rust buckets caught my eye this very special offering... a potential Alex Singer. Of course, the bicycle followed me, and now my curiosity regarding its legitimacy/history has peaked. Below are a few photographs of the bike in all of its mistreated glory. Please, feel free to share any thoughts as I am looking for information on the bike (besides the little that I might already know). Excuse the condition of the bike, its positioning, and the quite bad photos.

There is a four digit serial number printed on the non-drive side rear dropout.









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Old 05-23-22, 01:07 AM
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That could be a lovely build. Next time I am at the shop I can find out the name of the original order, the paper invoices are all in huge binders back to the 50s. I don't see a serial # on the dropout, just the "brev. campagnolo". If you can read a number post it. Shame about the cracked seat lug, that likely makes it non-rideable unless fixed. If you were willing Olivier would probably repair for you but it wouldn't be cheap or fast. I could show him this thread and ask what he thinks. PM me if you want to proceed that direction.
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Old 05-23-22, 01:34 AM
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!!!!!



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Old 05-23-22, 08:34 AM
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Highly likely it was sold by Spence Wolf, so the A. Singer records will indicate such. "made in France" indicates an export. The Mafac brake stiffener is a "spensism"... same with the choice of dropouts.
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Old 05-23-22, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by bbbob View Post
Highly likely it was sold by Spence Wolf, so the A. Singer records will indicate such. "made in France" indicates an export. The Mafac brake stiffener is a "spensism"... same with the choice of dropouts.
That's great info...I'd wondered about those Campy dropouts. They do look odd on a Singer.
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Old 05-23-22, 02:37 PM
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This is Roland's work. Also this frame has extra work done to the BB shell, an optional "extra", all the long points and tongues were steel welded on and filed to blend, this takes hours. The Phil BB is yet another spensism.
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Old 05-24-22, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by bbbob View Post
This is Roland's work. Also this frame has extra work done to the BB shell, an optional "extra", all the long points and tongues were steel welded on and filed to blend, this takes hours. The Phil BB is yet another spensism.

Right you are Bob, and props from the Man himself:

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Old 05-24-22, 08:37 AM
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For comparison here is my Singer 1975 Alex Singer (fattiretrading.com)
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Old 05-24-22, 10:07 AM
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-----

1978 would make it during the relatively brief period where Spence had the shop in Pacific Grove, California

visited both the original Randy Lane and Pacific Grove locations

always a treat!

absolutely wonderful courtesy, knowledge, graciousness & generosity of spirit

still have in me spares drawers some treasures purchased during the big moving/inventory reduction sale as they were preparing to relocate from Randy Lane to P.G.

have wonderful fun with this outstanding find


-----
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Old 05-24-22, 05:35 PM
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For the seatlug, I'd do the most minimal repair possible - a builder should fabricate a splice to complete the ear. If fitted carefully, it could be silver brazed perhaps. That would minimize disturbing the rest of the joint and minimize any possible distortion. But a good builder could do it in brass as well. I've seen Mark Nobilette do splices that were significantly more complicated.

Interestingly, some of Singers that came into the US were actually designed for 27" wheels. There were a couple of frames that came in around the time of this one that went to the Boulder Spoke Bicycle Shop as "spec" frames and at least one was 27".

The Singer frames of this period tend to ride very well. It's very much worth restoring to it's former glory!
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Old 05-24-22, 07:27 PM
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Where's this crack y'all are seeing?
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Old 05-24-22, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by scarlson View Post
Where's this crack y'all are seeing?
The seat binder ear is mangled from too many butchers in the mix.
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Old 05-24-22, 10:56 PM
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Still not seeing a crack, only paint chipping, but maybe I am just thick. Looks rideable from here!
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Old 05-24-22, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by scarlson View Post
Still not seeing a crack, only paint chipping, but maybe I am just thick. Looks rideable from here!
The paint chip on the ST is obscuring it, the NDS ear is split way open at the bottom.

And I think you're probably right, it could be ridden with a good bolt/washer setup, but given it is what it is, it should be properly fixed first.
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Old 05-25-22, 05:21 AM
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The transport would add to the cost, but it would be great if this bike could go back to Alex Singer for the repairs and refinishing. It’s beautifully built and quite worth the investment….
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Old 05-25-22, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
The paint chip on the ST is obscuring it, the NDS ear is split way open at the bottom.

And I think you're probably right, it could be ridden with a good bolt/washer setup, but given it is what it is, it should be properly fixed first.
I think that's just the keyway for the seat binder bolt key, (you know, the notch to stop the left side of the binder bolt from moving when you are tightening the right side). I don't think that goes all the way through, and I don't think it's damaged much at all.
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Old 05-25-22, 07:12 AM
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I'm pretty sure this isn't a crack but an entire missing piece, this should be a continuous metal surround of the binder bolt nut:




For reference a brand new one

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Old 05-25-22, 07:53 AM
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I'm pretty sure it's just a seat binder bolt keyway. To take a seat binder bolt with a key that stops the left side from turning. Like this one. I do not think it was originally hex shaped.




See similar on my René Herse.



From that angle, I can see how it might appear to be a ripped-out section. But, 1) I cannot imagine quite how that might happen, and 2) I can see the bottom of the keyway, dimly, in that photo. Yes, it's cut quite deep, much deeper than my René Herse, but I'm 85% sure that's what's going on here. Admittedly a cruder design than your beautiful new Singer, and it relies on those silly Campy binder bolts with their added weight and infamous stress-risers. But, no brazing needed!

Edit: here are two zoomed-in images. In the first, I outline the edges of the keyway. In the second, it's just zoomed-in. Do you see it?


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Old 05-25-22, 08:37 AM
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Huh. Well now I have no idea until OP posts a better-lit photo..
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Old 05-25-22, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by poprad View Post


Oh good god that's hot.
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Old 05-25-22, 10:21 AM
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I’m dumber than a sack of hammers but is it normal for the binder hole to be squared off on the inside? It looks like a carriage bolt goes in there.
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Old 05-25-22, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by RustyJames View Post
I’m dumber than a sack of hammers but is it normal for the binder hole to be squared off on the inside? It looks like a carriage bolt goes in there.
I think it started out round but someone gouged it a bit on that corner-y looking region in front near the tube, by putting the key on the wrong side and started to tighten it before realizing something was wrong. This sorta makes sense, as many lugs will have the keyway facing forward. Some fool, probably reassembling a new seat binder in there after the original one broke (thanks Campy!), started it out wrong with the key facing forward thinking it was just like any other bike. It made a little gouge which approximates a straight line, giving the illusion of a squared off hole. I've seen worse. My Trek was way worse! My friend saw a bike shop goon do it to his Nishiki when his binder bolt broke on a ride!
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Old 05-25-22, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by scarlson View Post
I think it started out round but someone gouged it a bit on that corner-y looking region in front near the tube, by putting the key on the wrong side and started to tighten it before realizing something was wrong.
That would ‘splain it. Thx.
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Old 05-25-22, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by scarlson View Post
I think that's just the keyway for the seat binder bolt key, (you know, the notch to stop the left side of the binder bolt from moving when you are tightening the right side). I don't think that goes all the way through, and I don't think it's damaged much at all.
From where I'm sitting, 1000+ mi. away, respectfully disagree, but agree it was a keyway that is now a void, split open by a hamfist and a short attention span. The other side looks to be doing the same but still intact for now. At any rate, and I hate to say it but imho those ears were not robust enough to begin with, all hamfists considered.
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Old 05-25-22, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
From where I'm sitting, 1000+ mi. away, respectfully disagree, but agree it was a keyway that is now a void, split open by a hamfist and a short attention span. The other side looks to be doing the same but still intact for now. At any rate, and I hate to say it but imho those ears were not robust enough to begin with, all hamfists considered.
To my eye it looks like a normal notch for a keyed bolt, not split, completely rideable as-is.

A mandrel should be placed in the seatpost hole to allow the upper point to be straightened by hammering. Because this is a special bike, this hammering should only be done by someone very good. That probably means a framebuilder, not an LBS mechanic, though there are probably a few mechanics I'd trust with that. Actually none come to mind though. The metal is very malleable and it will bend back without cracking, but let's avoid doing more damage.

I wouldn't even repaint it, if it were mine, though of course the new owner should do as he pleases.

Enjoy!

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