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Where are the Belgian frames?

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Where are the Belgian frames?

Old 04-16-11, 11:30 AM
  #1  
kroozer
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Where are the Belgian frames?

It's Classic's season in northern Europe, and that got me to wondering: why has such a cycling-mad nation such as Belgium produced so few high-end bicycle frames? I know it's a small country, but that hasn't stopped them from spawning a slew of top-notch racers. For frames there's Eddy Merckx, but only after about 1975. You see a Kessels on Ebay maybe once a year. That's about it. Can anyone chime in here with a little history lesson?
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Old 04-16-11, 01:54 PM
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I am sure there are more. Many small builders for example, just like in Holland. When visiting 'Stalen Ros Gent' I encountered multiple 'Groene Leeuw' bikes. It would be very interesting to learn more on them.
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Old 04-16-11, 02:09 PM
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Flandria is a nice brand as well. And Elev12k, i guess your assumption that there were many small artisans building frames (and more probably as a side business to a cycle store) is correct, i just mist out on a full reynolds 531 bike branded in the name of a store from belgium in "that seventies" light blue - a pity, really. But I think that the belgian market switched to Italian bikes quite early compared to other places, because all the pro's rode on GIOS'ses, Colnago's etc.
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Old 04-17-11, 09:52 AM
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Belgian bikes:
https://www.wooljersey.com/gallery/v/...Belgian+bikes/

https://www.wooljersey.com/gallery/v/...etsen/Cornelo/

https://www.wooljersey.com/gallery/v/...orges+Pintens/

https://www.wooljersey.com/gallery/v/...inqueuer+1983/

https://www.wooljersey.com/gallery/v/...tsen/Splendor/

In the 70s, and early 80s, there were still a lot of pro teams sponsored by and supplied with Belgian bikes: Flandria, Superia, Norta, Ludo, Splendor, Plum, Carlos, Fangio, etc.
Splendor was a big bike manufacturer, but the Splendor race frames were made by Martens (now Martelly), they probably made a lot of frames for other teams too. Martens also made frames for shops, like the Pintens.
Carlos was basically a French make, close to the Belgian border. Boston were the bikes that had the first complete Mavic gruppo (Boston-Mavic), but what Boston was, and who made the frames, i don't know.
The Clemenso history is well described on the net.

Looked at this way, Merckx frames are newcomers ...

So, basically, i have tidbits of knowledge and wish i had found out more back in the day ...
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Old 04-17-11, 10:24 AM
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Good thread.
Worthy of some research.

I think Kroozer is secretly (or subconscientiously) looking for a new and obscure addition. Clever cover - the Spring Classics.
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Old 04-17-11, 10:26 AM
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Diamant, early 80's full 531


Another Diamant...


And a Merckx


Jake
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Old 04-17-11, 08:56 PM
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Diamant, also build by Martens ...
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Old 04-17-11, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by s70rguy View Post
Diamant, also build by Martens ...
Nice to know, thanks!
What about the U Scanini? It is newer, but any ideas on who built those?

Jake
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Old 04-17-11, 09:16 PM
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The more expensive Scaninis were build in Italy, and had ITA bb threads; the cheapeer ones were build by Martens and had English threading. Eddy Martens or Bart Verhagen (owner of the Scanini name) told me that they made the profiled tubing for the cheaper frames themselves, with a machine to press creases into the tubes. I had a Belgian made Scanini, and its certainly a different feeling frame! But I prefer the Italian ones, super quality.
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Old 10-30-11, 02:06 PM
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Martelly

New Martelly
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Old 11-03-11, 02:53 AM
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Another Martelly, Columbus SLX, crimped tubing, very light. Mayor framebuilding skills!

all pictures

Last edited by stevenc; 11-03-11 at 05:44 AM.
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Old 11-03-11, 03:02 AM
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yep,i saw many Belgian are racer,i also wondering why so many people in their country are like to ride bike?
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Old 11-03-11, 03:49 AM
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I don't know. It is a cultural thing. Where I live people tend to like speedskating, in Canada they like ice hockey, in New Zealand they are grazy of rugby... etc. The Belgian's dominate cyclo cross and are also very well represented in road cycling. Maybe it has to do with riding is good and that there were quite some successfull riders?
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Old 11-03-11, 05:31 AM
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Originally Posted by yifeng vivi View Post
yep,i saw many Belgian are racer,i also wondering why so many people in their country are like to ride bike?
When cars, parking, gasoline and taxes are very high, riding a bicycle becomes easier.
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Old 11-03-11, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by bbattle View Post
When cars, parking, gasoline and taxes are very high, riding a bicycle becomes easier.
True for commuting, but many people in Belgium ride only for sport/fun. That was already the case when cars & gasoline were cheap and parking was plenty. I think it's a cultural thing, as Elev12k said. It sure helps to have somebody like Gilbert dominating the Classics and winning Tour stages.
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Old 11-03-11, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by s70rguy View Post
The more expensive Scaninis were build in Italy, and had ITA bb threads; the cheaper ones were build by Martens and had English threading.
I don't agree Martens built the cheaper frames.
U. Scanini had it's own factory in Beauvechain, I understand that's where the majority of the frames came from. If they needed something high-end (because they were sponsoring a rider) they turned to Italy or Martens.
Just like Diamant, who still has the factory in Bekkevoort, turned to Martens for "specials".
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Old 11-03-11, 05:56 AM
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Another Diamant...

Jake
Is that MAX tubing?
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Old 11-03-11, 07:31 PM
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Not to speak for Jake...but...if I remember correctly, it had a MAX DT and chain stays but round TT and non-MAX fork blades.

Originally Posted by stevenc View Post
Is that MAX tubing?
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Old 11-07-11, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by stevenc View Post
I don't agree Martens built the cheaper frames.
U. Scanini had it's own factory in Beauvechain, I understand that's where the majority of the frames came from. If they needed something high-end (because they were sponsoring a rider) they turned to Italy or Martens.
Just like Diamant, who still has the factory in Bekkevoort, turned to Martens for "specials".
'Cheaper' as opposed to the obviously expensively made Italian Scanini frames. But for all I know Scanini could have had the less expensive frames anywhere in Belgium. Mr. Martens told me he build for Scanini. The owner of Scanini told me they used to press the profiling in plain tubes with their own machine .. i have had one those frames, hold it next to my Italian build Scanini with Oria tubing, and the difference was plain to see and feel.

About a year ago Martens offered (on kapaza I think) some very nice NOS Martelly frames, in a variety of exotic tubing. Ver well built, very nice paintjobs, but expensive. One in Columbus Neuron, one in Max. From the look of it, very classy workmanship.
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Old 11-07-11, 07:52 AM
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This is, or better, was, my 2002 Diamant Blitz, in Thron OS tubing, and Campy Veloce 9 speed components, as it must have come out of the shop.

It was a heavy bike, but a very stable and comfortable long distance rider. i used it very much in Thailand, then sold it to a Thai collector.

https://www.wooljersey.com/gallery/v/...08940.JPG.html
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Old 11-07-11, 09:55 AM
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J Van Staeyen probably mid 70's. Van Staeyens are a 4 or 5 generation racing family. Run a bike shop in Schoten Flanders. Sorry about the poor picture.
Ed
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Old 11-07-11, 12:46 PM
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Another small Belgium Bike Builder?

Flander Pro Team w/7spd Shimano STIs
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Old 11-07-11, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by yifeng vivi View Post
yep,i saw many Belgian are racer,i also wondering why so many people in their country are like to ride bike?
Its really flat, so its easy for children, ladies and gentlemen to travel by bike. When I went as a child there were bike paths, so culturally bikes have always been used and so bike infrastructure is built just like other countries builds roads for cars.

Just drop google street view onto a random road in Holland and chances are its safe nd flat for bikes to ride on.
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Old 11-08-11, 08:45 AM
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If anyone can tell me more about Fangio bikes, i'd be grateful!

https://nl.kapaza.be/antwerpen/een-ko...s-60502267.htm
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Old 11-08-11, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Belg-Ital Steel View Post
Flander Pro Team w/7spd Shimano STIs
Probably built by Martens, it shares some details with Diamant frames.
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