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Not so low-end this time (Eddy Merckx content)

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Not so low-end this time (Eddy Merckx content)

Old 12-08-23, 12:23 PM
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Not so low-end this time (Eddy Merckx content)

It's not the first time I've found a bike I wasn't looking for. And it's the second time it's happened with an Eddy Merckx.

The first time it was a very cheap Kessels Merckx that sort of got in my way, this time it is a Starnord Merckx that is attached to the Stronglight headset I was looking for.

This is what turned up in my search results on Ebay: a full Vitus 172 double-butted frame set, with a P3 headset, Sugino BB and MAFAC cable hangers front and rear. In my size ...



I hesitated for a few days. Then the seller lowered their asking price.

So, it turned up at my doorstep today. First thing I did was put in a set of wheels I had at hand, as I was curious about the geometry. Most Starnord Merckx' I've seen were demi-course bikes, with relaxed frame angles and fairly long seat stays.

Not this one. 73 degrees seat tube and head tube angles indicate it wasn't built for casual touring:



The 30mm tires on this wheel set only just fit between the chain stays:



Chain stays, seat stays and fork blades are Vitus 172:



I like the look of that seat cluster. Takes a 26.4 seat post, one of which was included, BTW:



Most Starnord bikes I have seen were equipped with Huret transmissions, and this one was no exception:



Starnord's owner Bernard Dangre was an interesting manufacturer. He had no warehouse and did not build to stock. All bikes were built to order and to customer specifications, or so I've read. This explains why pretty much all Starnord bikes I have seen so far are different. And Starnord bikes of this quality level seem to be quite rare as well.

If you have a Starnord or Bernard Dangre bike, please chime in. I'd love to see it.
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Old 12-09-23, 02:27 AM
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Gorgeous color!

You know mine, I've posted it a few times before — La Nordiste brand. It's my beater bike .

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Old 12-09-23, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by CMAW
Gorgeous color!
You know mine, I've posted it a few times before — La Nordiste brand. It's my beater bike .
Yes, thank you for posting it again! I like it, especially the classic headbadge. I actually came across it again recently, as I was researching the origins of a Paris Sport frame I have. Apparently some of those were built in Valenciennes as well.

The past week I have been searching across the web for Dangre Starnord bikes with Vitus 172 tubing and Huret dropouts, to see what parts mine would have come with.

Didn't find much. Here's one:



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Old 12-09-23, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie
this time it is a Starnord Merckx that is attached to the Stronglight headset I was looking for.
Is this suggesting that you still need a headset because you are going to build this one up?
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Old 12-09-23, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Chuck M
Is this suggesting that you still need a headset because you are going to build this one up?
Not really. "Need" is a very broad term, when it comes to my looking for nice shiny bike parts.
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Old 12-09-23, 10:22 AM
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Looks way better out in the sunlight, great color.
Build it.
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Old 12-09-23, 04:23 PM
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As they were individually specified, maybe Huret derailleurs and the balance your choice. I did not study what configuration the Huret drive side was, Huret specific or Campagnolo acceptance.

I have a bike with the Challenger series, pretty decent. Two positions, 24 or 28 large allowed.
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Old 12-09-23, 07:20 PM
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All this gorgeous Vitus on the forum lately has me feeling,... like.....my vintage cycling ambitions are....unfulfilled? Certainly my current biases may be found to be lacking thorough research.









I still want to ride them all.
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Old 12-10-23, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage
As they were individually specified, maybe Huret derailleurs and the balance your choice. I did not study what configuration the Huret drive side was, Huret specific or Campagnolo acceptance.

I have a bike with the Challenger series, pretty decent. Two positions, 24 or 28 large allowed.
As the hanger has the notch at four thirty, a Huret RD is pretty much a given. I was thinking Jubilee, but I may also have a Challenger somewhere. Thanks for that idea. Might be more fitting.

Quick mock-up today with "sprints" and a saddle at the correct height. Need a slightly longer (and newer) stem. Also to see if MAFAC 2000's will fit. Looks like I need the shorter Competitions ...


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Old 12-10-23, 10:09 AM
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Idealé saddle. Very good. Geometry appears fashionable road bike.
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Old 12-10-23, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood
All this gorgeous Vitus on the forum lately has me feeling,... like.....my vintage cycling ambitions are....unfulfilled? Certainly my current biases may be found to be lacking thorough research.
Here's a couple for ya', but the numbers don't show the magic.

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Old 12-10-23, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage
Idealé saddle. Very good. Geometry appears fashionable road bike.
Spot-on for the average mid-seventies racing machine, I'd say.

BTW, while foraging through my parts bins for a couple of hours I managed to find the Challenger RD and a matching Challenger FD. The correct levers will take a bit more time, I suspect.


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Old 12-10-23, 04:39 PM
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I found it necessary to back out the adjusting screws and lubricate the front mech liberally to free up the movement. Once limbered up adjust the stops- an old trick when I was very young and the parents bikes were stored outside. Under a “tarp” but outside.
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Old 12-13-23, 02:34 PM
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Pulled the fork tonight, and found this script. It occurred to me that it might be an indication as to whom this bike was made for. To me it reads "C1DVH62".

The "62" part matches with the CTT frame size, but the rest? "C1" the model? "DVH" the customer? The "H" could also be "hauteur", but the French generally use "taille" for frame height, AFIK.

All suggestions are welcome.

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Old 12-13-23, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie
Pulled the fork tonight, and found this script. It occurred to me that it might be an indication as to whom this bike was made for. To me it reads "C1DVH62".

The "62" part matches with the CTT frame size, but the rest? "C1" the model? "DVH" the customer? The "H" could also be "hauteur", but the French generally use "taille" for frame height, AFIK.

All suggestions are welcome.

Paging @CyclesMakaron
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Old 12-21-23, 03:42 PM
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Found some time this week to build up the bike. Almost there, but the the most difficult decision of all is yet to be made: the color of the bar tape ...

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Old 12-25-23, 10:24 AM
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Christmas without any other obligations, so a perfect day to finish my own present. The one thing left to do is find a slightly more modern set of pedals than these 460D's. French threads, so that will take a little more digging. And I wouldn't mind coming across a set of MK I Challenger shifters while I'm at it.













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Old 12-25-23, 10:46 AM
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White is the best answer on the tape color.
while the shift levers are a bit later, they look good. On my bike so equipped, I think I have the original chrome plated and a bit longer levers, appear to me a bit below the rest of the bike.
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Old 12-25-23, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage
White is the best answer on the tape color.
while the shift levers are a bit later, they look good. On my bike so equipped, I think I have the original chrome plated and a bit longer levers, appear to me a bit below the rest of the bike.
I tried black (a bit boring), yellow (trying too hard) and even purple plastic (actually looked good, but a tad too modern) and ended up choosing white (looks fresh and is what everyone was doing in 1975).

The levers do indeed look good, although I cheated with the D-ring screws. The levers I would prefer are these drilled aluminum ones I saw on Velobase:



But the ones I am finding are indeed the rather scruffy chromed examples you describe, and which aren't half as nice:

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Old 12-25-23, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie
I tried black (a bit boring), yellow (trying too hard) and even purple plastic (actually looked good, but a tad too modern) and ended up choosing white (looks fresh and is what everyone was doing in 1975).

The levers do indeed look good, although I cheated with the D-ring screws. The levers I would prefer are these drilled aluminum ones I saw on Velobase:



But the ones I am finding are indeed the rather scruffy chromed examples you describe, and which aren't half as nice:

I too like those drilled levers, priced pretty dear when I see them. My chrome levers are a bit different, maybe earlier? I will have to snap an image. Bike is at work.
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Old 12-27-23, 09:37 AM
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Finished for now. I found a smooth and good-looking pair of Atom 600 pedals. With BSC threads of course. But I also found a set of 93 cranks with the same. So off went the 49D's.

Ready for the next season:



The 37cm bars are a bit narrow and took a couple of miles to get used to, but I really like the look of narrow bars on a vintage road bike.

Merckx's-eye view:


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Old 12-27-23, 10:22 AM
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gosh this bike is dirty. What happens when used in Santa Ana conditions.
note no Huret logo
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Old 12-27-23, 03:17 PM
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That is a variation I hadn't seen yet, I believe. Thank you for taking the trouble!

BTW, what's the bike, if one may be so bold as to inquire?
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Old 12-29-23, 02:47 AM
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Kool find....
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Old 12-29-23, 02:50 AM
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Good choice to save it!

Must admit that, in the past, I have stopped looking when I realise that a bike is a starnost
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