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1970s Manufrance - Unsure of Year - Many other questions to come

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1970s Manufrance - Unsure of Year - Many other questions to come

Old 05-21-23, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by 1989Pre
That's a nice bike in really good condition. I'm not sure how instructive these photos I'm sending prove-to-be, but it is the same model as yours. This one is owned by one Gary Keim, who is the owner of the Facebook page Vintage UK. He cites his as a 1972 model. I would like to add that Vitus 172 came out in 1972, and the early sets had a 26.2 internal diameter to the seat-posts. we see no tubing sticker on Gary's bike, either, so maybe Durifort. My Manufrance is the best-riding bike I own.


That's my bike! Very cool. I'm gratified to hear you think your Manufrance is the best riding bike you own. It's the reason I want to get this thing ridable as soon as possible, before I get too far into things -- I figured if I like how it rides it'll be a keeper, and I'll be happy to put some time and (a little) money into it. Thanks again to everyone for their comments and suggestions!
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Old 05-21-23, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by 1989Pre
That's a nice bike in really good condition. I'm not sure how instructive these photos I'm sending prove-to-be, but it is the same model as yours. This one is owned by one Gary Keim, who is the owner of the Facebook page Vintage UK. He cites his as a 1972 model. I would like to add that Vitus 172 came out in 1972, and the early sets had a 26.2 internal diameter to the seat-posts. we see no tubing sticker on Gary's bike, either, so maybe Durifort. My Manufrance is the best-riding bike I own.


-----



"It's deja vu all over again."

---

In 1974 a new bike shop opened in me town.

All of the sought after marques well known to the general public were sewn up with territories.

This new shop settled on Manufrance.

A new-to-me marque at the time which I assumed to be a made up name for the shop or some distributor.

It was only decades later that I learned it to be an actual manufacturer.

Long about 1987 a neighbour brings in an incomplete example one model down from the subject cycles of this thread.

They were interested in putting it into a complete and running machine.

Upon hearing the cost of parts & labour to accomplish this end they became immediately angry/bitter and in a gesture of pique gave me the partial cycle.

She has been hanging in me racks all these years giving a drop of disquiet as I think upon the negative charge carried...

-----
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Old 05-21-23, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by juvela
-----



"It's deja vu all over again."

---

In 1974 a new bike shop opened in me town.

All of the sought after marques well known to the general public were sewn up with territories.

This new shop settled on Manufrance.

A new-to-me marque at the time which I assumed to be a made up name for the shop or some distributor.

It was only decades later that I learned it to be an actual manufacturer.

Long about 1987 a neighbour brings in an incomplete example one model down from the subject cycles of this thread.

They were interested in putting it into a complete and running machine.

Upon hearing the cost of parts & labour to accomplish this end they became immediately angry/bitter and in a gesture of pique gave me the partial cycle.

She has been hanging in me racks all these years giving a drop of disquiet as I think upon the negative charge carried...

-----
I suspect many of us have a few too many projects hanging around. I've started moving some of them on to other tinkerers to enjoy.
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Old 05-21-23, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig
I suspect many of us have a few too many projects hanging around. I've started moving some of them on to other tinkerers to enjoy.

-----


sprechenin' o' danglin' projekten...

whot be the status o' thine amarillo Libertas?

​​​​​​

upon the occasion of its intake received impression that another player was in the batter's box and Monsieur Libertas was in the on deck circle

in the interval the manager has continued to put in one pinch hitter after another to bat ahead of the yeller feller...


-----
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Old 05-21-23, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by juvela
-----


sprechenin' o' danglin' projekten...

whot be the status o' thine amarillo Libertas?

​​​​​​snip . . .

upon the occasion of its intake received impression that another player was in the batter's box and Monsieur Libertas was in the on deck circle

in the interval the manager has continued to put in one pinch hitter after another to bat ahead of the yeller feller...


-----
That is one of the projects that I have hanging on a hook, along with a Mercier 300, a Pinarello cross bike, a Claud Butler Jubilee from the 50s, and a Raleigh Grand Sport. It's far easier to collect projects than to finish them, .

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Old 05-21-23, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by juvela
-----She has been hanging in me racks all these years giving a drop of disquiet as I think upon the negative charge carried...-----
Smudge the frameset and give it a try, Juvela. Maybe it is one of the Reynolds 531 Manufrances:

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Old 05-21-23, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by 1989Pre
Smudge the frameset and give it a try, Juvela. Maybe it is one of the Reynolds 531 Manufrances:

-----



alas, no

t'is a model roughly parallel to a U08

"I was a teenage Hirondelle"


-----
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Old 05-22-23, 03:22 PM
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This thread will be a useful repository for info on parts I need, so thanks again to everyone who's given me tips and provided links for things like pulley wheels, brake pads and tires etc. I don't even mind the slightly off-topic stuff either as it seems like every time someone comments I learn about something new, or some bike I've never heard of before.

I did a little cleaning and polishing over the weekend to see how she might clean up once I can really tackle it. A few photos:

Bottom bracket area cleaned up nicely:



Just wiped the shifters down, but didn't get too detailed:



Polished most of one side of a fork leg. I left the upper part alone as I'll try to source a replacement sticker or just use some vinyl striping to duplicate the tri-color. Could use more work, but looks pretty decent. You can tell how far chrome and paint quality has come in the intervening 50 years or so, but that's part of the
charm:



Polished just two small sections of the front rim, I think will turn out nice with some real effort. The spokes all have this blackened effect to them, so I polished one of them and it did turn silver, but isn't very shiny.
I'm not going to go crazy detailing the wheels until I can determine the health of the hubs, as someone here suggested:



I polished the top of the stem as it had some weird gunk almost welded to it -- it looked like light rust -- and succeeded in removing it. However there is still some underlying staining so a more serious
polishing method will be called for.




Lastly, I've been able to ID the pedals (Lyotard) and toe clips (Christophe), but can anyone ID the toe straps?

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Old 05-22-23, 08:24 PM
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My Covid summer 2020 project was re-habbing a Manufrance/St. Etienne branded with CDI that I got in probably 1974. The process is in a thread titled Another 70's St. Etienne. It has contributions from resident experts Verktyg, T-Mar, juvela, bikemig and others. Mine was originally the same blue, cottered cranks and Simplex. The word Competition is on the stem. It's a nice riding bike
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Old 05-22-23, 08:40 PM
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-----

for readers unfamiliar with the CDI appellation it stands for Curry Distributing Inc. of Dallas TX

the company seemed to disappear in the mid-1980's

they had house branded cycles done by Gino Liotto, Manufrance and perhaps others

the forum has had several threads on examples


-----
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Old 05-23-23, 07:40 AM
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Very nice result there, Medium Size Dog, am I right in thinking you're the original owner? Or did you just acquire it when the bike was still very young? I will look for the thread on your restoration, I'm sure I will learn a lot.

That's interesting about CDI, Juvela. Of course, I had to do a google for it, but there are only a few incorporation type websites showing very basic information about the company, and nothing else I could see.

In other news I was able to identify the bike's toestraps, by (duh) undoing one of them. Looks like Lapize is the brand. An Ebay search shows quite a few Lapize straps, but almost all had more modern script, so these are probably contemporary to the bike, and possibly even original equipment. I hope so, I love originality whether it be a car, a motorcycle or a bicycle.

All my modern bicycles I ride clipless, but when I was still in high school I had an entry level Sekai 1000 that I installed clips and straps on, so I'm actually looking forward to re-acquainting myself with them. I remember that you use your toes to flip the pedal upright before inserting your foot, so I already have a leg up, so to speak!


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Old 05-23-23, 08:32 AM
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-----

Lapize brand products come from the firm Poutrait-Morin

some of the other brands from the company include AFA, Christophe, Tornade & Zefal

here is a catalogue from the manufacturer of 1974

https://velo-pages.com/main.php?g2_itemId=88


-----
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Old 05-25-23, 01:30 PM
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-----

you mention a plan to repack all of the cycle's bearings

for this procedure you will wish to make sure to employ the correct lubricant...





-----
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Old 05-25-23, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by juvela
-----

you mention a plan to repack all of the cycle's bearings

for this procedure you will wish to make sure to employ the correct lubricant...

-----
juvela, you must mean if I am an absolute purist about keeping the cycle as French as possible? Or do the French metals react badly to, say, Italian or English grease? I'm sure you must say it in jest...
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Old 05-25-23, 06:10 PM
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Proper patches for fixing future flats?
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Old 05-25-23, 06:22 PM
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Maxey If you aren't going to go *all in* on your new role as ManufranceMan, well why bother?
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Old 05-25-23, 06:26 PM
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Between the severe pressure I'm mightily resisting at work, and this new pressure to become the World Manufrance Ambassador, I fear I may crack under the weight of it all.
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Old 05-30-23, 10:19 AM
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So I had a little time on my hands this weekend so thought I'd tackle a bit of light restoration work on ye olde Manufrance. I'm probably going to do the bulk of the mechanical work over the winter, as, well, North Dakota winters last about 6 months and a guy starts looking for ways to pass the time. No doubt most people would do the mechanical work first as that makes more sense, but when you're dealing with 51 year old bicycles all sense has already gone out the window in any case.

The rear hub was very grimy and dirty, and the quick release handle had some corrosion on it so I though I'd see what I could do.

Getting started:


Chromed axle had some very stubborn solidified grime on it:



Almost there:



QR handle was pretty corroded, nut on other side was about the same (not shown):



Turned out pretty well, better than I expected really:



I also got the same results from the front hub, though of course there was much less grime to deal with. I used Metal Wizard on the hubs, and Mothers chrome and metal polish applied onto .0000 steel wool on the QR bits. Next up is clean and polish the rims, and I'll leave the spokes for last.
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Old 05-30-23, 10:46 AM
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-----

une becane de course de MCMLXVIII -



-----

hub tip -

have found that the five-piece large flange rear hubs of this pattern will sometimes have their drive side flange loosen a bit with use

to check for this place the wheel in the frame and lay the cycle down on its non-drive side

then spin the rear wheel like a roulette wheel
if the flange has loosened you will be able to view the gear block wandering about lazily in a kind of ogival manner

if present, does not represent a danger as axle set and spokes keep everything together


-----
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Old 05-30-23, 10:52 AM
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Thanks for the tip, juvela. I have observed the phenomena you're describing in others' bikes so will know what to look for. I've found that the front hub spins smoothly, but the rear bearings seem to have a very slight 'bumpiness' to them when spun by hand, though they do smooth out when some weight is applied. In any case I haven't really checked them over yet, as I prefer to do things bass ackwards and make them pretty first. But when I do get around to the mechanics I'll inspect more thoroughly and also surely apply your tip.
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Old 05-30-23, 11:00 AM
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pretty bike. I'd like to find one like it.
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Old 05-30-23, 11:07 AM
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-----

a routier close in time to your cycle -



-----
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Old 05-30-23, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by RB1-luvr
pretty bike. I'd like to find one like it.
They are falling out of trees and hitting me on the head here in N. Dakota. I bought another Manufrance a week later in the same town this one came out of.
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Old 05-30-23, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by juvela
-----

a routier close in time to your cycle -



-----
Nice looking bike. Oddly enough I hate that color on automobiles, but like it on motorcycles or bicycles. My guess is routier means some sort of touring or distance cycle. What is the reference to Raymond Polidor on the downtube?
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Old 05-30-23, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Maxey
Nice looking bike. Oddly enough I hate that color on automobiles, but like it on motorcycles or bicycles. My guess is routier means some sort of touring or distance cycle. What is the reference to Raymond Polidor on the downtube?
“po-po” was a French pro racer with a long career, often on the podium but rarely won, the perennial second.
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