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If You Were Going to Have a CV Replica Frame Built for You — what would you ...?

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If You Were Going to Have a CV Replica Frame Built for You — what would you ...?

Old 07-23-11, 10:34 AM
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Lenton58 
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If You Were Going to Have a CV Replica Frame Built for You — what would you ...?

If you were going to ask a frame-maker to build a replica road racer, or something close to a replica of a classic CV road frame, what candidates would appeal to you?

By replica, I don't mean to be so strict and demanding as to spend a fortune on the last boxed set of special 531 on the planet, or spending five years hunting down lugs. What I am thinking of is the best approximation of what is feasible, practical ... without getting obsessive. Besides it has to be affordable.

It seems to me that you need the following:

* A frame-maker you can trust.

* A supply of lugs that come close to providing the original angles.

* A suitable tube set.

* Drawings, or at least a pattern bike to copy or come approximately to the original geometry.

Reasons for asking:

(a) Just interested

(b) I am hankering for a bigger frame than my 54 Trek 560. And I want to recycle all the parts I have on the Trek. But, I am having trouble justifying buying a vintage 56 size due to the increased prices in vintage frames, plus the increase in international shipping, the cost of repainting. Besides, I am just not finding what I want.

If I add all the expenses up in getting a nice, vintage frame made from 531, Columbus, Vitus 172, or a swell flavour of Tange to my door, and I'm well into the cost of what a local maker will charge me to build one for me. And it will be rust free (duh), straight, no surprise dings, drilled holes etc. And it will be built exactly to my body proportions. The tubing can be anything I supply, but Mr Matsumoto uses Ishiwata — I think.

I was thinking of using my 56x56 Vitus 979 for a pattern. I have the brochure with all the angles. Of my three road bikes, it fits me best and proportionally has the longest head tube ... which seems to be part of my fit. It's stable on the road, and unlike my 56x54 Simplon, I don't have to nearly fall of the bike to dismount. In addition, it will be a tad lighter than my 560 in 501 Reynolds. And it will have the triangle, stays and forks made from the same tubing.

Oh ... one last thing. This would be a C&V bike ... 126 mm stays spread, 6-7 speed cluster, braze on friction shifters, brazed lugs, horizontal drop-outs, quill stem, bell and ring BB. Apart from aero brakes, strictly old school.
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So what would you build? And any suggestions?
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Old 07-23-11, 10:49 AM
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I am considering this. Options:

Geometry replica of my favorite road bike just made with double OS tubing and a twin plate crown, 130 mm rear spacing, maybe even a disc front brake. As thin a tube set as possible.

Have Strawberry do the same with a full sloping crown and their wishbone rear seat stay system. Get them to use the decades old graphics.

A "tribute" bike of a long gone builder, so I don't have to worry about the original. "paging Rob Roberson..."

MY name stamped into the bottom bracket shell underneath.
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Old 07-23-11, 10:50 AM
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Easy - Daniele Marnati. He's as skilled as any builder around, he's reasonably priced and he's traditional in his approach.
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Old 07-23-11, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
Easy - Daniele Marnati. He's as skilled as any builder around, he's reasonably priced and he's traditional in his approach.
If I wanted a new frame he would be a good candidate. I would not ask him to build a replicant of another frame, at least not as my first frame from him. Maybe after a road and track bike, then ask for "one like this"
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Old 07-23-11, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
If I wanted a new frame he would be a good candidate. I would not ask him to build a replicant of another frame, at least not as my first frame from him. Maybe after a road and track bike, then ask for "one like this"
I defer to someone more knowledgable than myself

PS - Daniele Marnati
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Old 07-23-11, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
If I wanted a new frame he would be a good candidate. I would not ask him to build a replicant of another frame, at least not as my first frame from him. Maybe after a road and track bike, then ask for "one like this"
Good point. The "replica" in this case that I would love to have would be of one of the team bikes from one of the outfits Marnati built for. Alberto Masi has been known to do that type of thing, and I certainly wouldn't turn down a replica Faema team bike from him.
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Old 07-23-11, 11:23 AM
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I also considered this. After 4 years of searching for a prewar Frejus, I was going to allow 3 more years of searching before I made a replica frame. I had collected all of the period correct parts, why not make a frame. I even have rear lugs specifically for a Vittoria Margherita derailleur.

First I spoke with a local framebuilder about building and lugs. He wasn't opposed to building a replica, although he would have preferred to have his own touch in it. He was correct in pointing out the workmanship of a hand produced bike would be superior to a mass-built bike, even one from back in the day. So it could never be an exact replica unless you have purposeful flaws. I don't know too many builders that would want to do that.

I bought a Columbus SL tubing set (I still have it). That set was likely from the 1980s but it is period correct for the 1930s. I doubt the spec changed much. I also bought steel tubing to make custom lugs. I would need to turn them down to get the proper wall thickness but i have access to a machine shop. Cutting things to the proper size and welding them together would not have been an issue.

The hard part was determining the geometry and the lug shape from the 30s. I have slowly collected images of Frejus bikes from any era and Italian bikes from the 30s. From there, I was fairly confident in the geometry. What I could not get were any good photos of Frejus lugs from the 30s. I found a couple but they weren't anything great. A large picture, 8x10, of Giovanni Valetti and his Frejus was on ebay. I was willing to go to $75 for a picture (yes, I was a bit crazed) but I was still out bid. I actually tracked down the buyer and sent a very polite message explaining why i wanted the picture and could I have a good scan of the lugs only. I'm still waiting for a reply.
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Old 07-23-11, 01:36 PM
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Isn't that what Mike Kone and Mark Nobilette are doing with the new Rene Herse Bicycles?

Neal
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Old 07-23-11, 01:52 PM
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Mike Barry. Mariposa

(but it's not cheap)

(then again I just looked at the Herse prices....whew!)

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Old 07-23-11, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Isn't that what Mike Kone and Mark Nobilette are doing with the new Rene Herse Bicycles?

Neal
Or, for that matter, TOEI.
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Old 07-23-11, 02:13 PM
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I sorta want to get my '50 Schwinn done but scale it up some to better fit my 6'2" body and some 29er wheels.
A double butted 531 Raleigh Sport would be kinda fun, too.
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Old 07-23-11, 02:14 PM
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I'm a sucker for a Faema themed bike. I'd have built it out of the Spirit for lugs or PegoRichie tubing. Flat fork crown, Richie-issimo lugs.

Either that, or carbon fiber.
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Old 07-23-11, 02:25 PM
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I'd go to my local frame builder, tell her what I want, and then listen to her advice. We'd find a compromise between my fantasy and her recommendation, because I trust her.

I'm talking about Marie of Folk Engineered. Her husband, Ryan, does the brazing, but she does the bulk of the design, and she does the finish work.
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Old 07-23-11, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post

First I spoke with a local framebuilder about building and lugs. He wasn't opposed to building a replica, although he would have preferred to have his own touch in it. He was correct in pointing out the workmanship of a hand produced bike would be superior to a mass-built bike, even one from back in the day. So it could never be an exact replica unless you have purposeful flaws. I don't know too many builders that would want to do that.
That's much like true automobile restorers that will not clearcoat over body graphics, sand the paint to a glass flat finish prior to buffing, etc. They try to reproduce the finish right down to the factory orange peel if they're really picky.,,,,BD
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Old 07-23-11, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Old Fat Guy View Post
I'm a sucker for a Faema themed bike. I'd have built it out of the Spirit for lugs or PegoRichie tubing. Flat fork crown, Richie-issimo lugs.

Either that, or carbon fiber.
Crumpton, forgot about him, tubes and "lugs", actually filament reinforcements. Any geometry possible.
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Old 07-23-11, 03:05 PM
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The problem I'd have with trying to recreate a bike from the days of old when I was only doing it from photos or published specs is that I would have no idea how it rides. What happens if you go through all the time, effort, and expense and find that you hate the ride? I have a buddy who's been very keen about collecting 1930s high-end Raleighs only to find out that he doesn't really like the way they ride.

Neal
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Old 07-23-11, 03:09 PM
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I'd have David build a Hetchins but in the mean time......I had Steve Willis start this:

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Old 07-23-11, 03:51 PM
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If You Were Going to Have a CV Replica Frame Built for You — what would you ...?

Sure. I'd have my Cinelli Centurion Equipe duplicated, 1cm shorter seat tube and top tube. I'd use Tange Prestige tubing, use Cinelli lugs and BB, the same treatment on the brake bridge as Ironman frames, and a lugged chrome Tange Prestige fork. Chrome plated chain stays (2/3) and seat stays (2/3) and chrome seat and head lugs. Same seat stay caps as the Ironman, standard size tubing, 130mm rear capable.

White, with patriotic accents and headbadge, by Mills Brothers in Advance NC.

Not that I've thought about it, mind you.
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Old 07-23-11, 04:13 PM
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If I had that kind of money I would call Paris and get the Alex Singer crew to build me a 1950s campeur, or a PBP contender. Newvex lugs, and full chrome, natch.
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Old 07-23-11, 04:34 PM
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I am mostly in the "here is my favorite bike, just this shape but with these lugs, those brazeons, that finish" camp. In my case my Maruishi Emperor. Rides fantastic, but stamped dropouts and 1020 tubes. I am sure that tubing would make a difference in the ride, so I would be willing to go for non butted 531, or just better chromoly. I have been considering this, but its a few mor piggy banks away.

but if I had lots of bread, I would have a reproduction of the Richard and Nicholas Crane
Journey to the Centre of the Earth bikes made.
From the site.

The bikes were tailor-made, built to the highest specification by Raleigh. Gerald O'Donovan master-minded the project at his Specialist Bicycle Development Unit at Ilkeston, which has also produced the winning Tour de France team bikes.
Frames. The geometry was based on that used for the toughest professional races, e.g. the Paris-Roubaix, with a lengthened wheelhase, softer angles (74o seat tube, 73o head tube) and increased rake. Together these give a smoother, less ,twitchy' ride. The tubing was TI Reynolds 753 which is much in favour for professional racing because, although it is expensive, it offers the best strength-to-weight ratio; 753 is heat-treated manganese molybdenum steel which on our bikes was double-butted, top tube 24 gauge, down tube 23 gauge, i.e. the tube wall was about 0.5 mm thick in the middle and about 0.8 mm thick at the ends. The tensile strength is an impressive 80 tsi. The lugs, fork crown and bottom bracket were micro-fusion crushed steel (i.e. very fine-grained, precision cast) and all joints were silver-soldered. Each frame contains £20 worth of silver solder! The frames were hand-sprayed and stove-enamelled with five coats of paint in the Raleigh Team colours: pearl, red, blue and yellow. They had long Campagnolo rear dropouts, and bosses for bottle cage and a single (the rear) gear lever.

I was a little kid when they did this, and it was all I wanted to do myself. I might have a couple extra bottle cage mounts put on, but thats it.
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Old 07-23-11, 07:10 PM
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Were I in your situation, I'd go to Toei or one of the other fine Japanese "classic" builders, and have a nice long conversation about what I want, which bikes I like, which I don't, put down a deposit and trust the builder. Don't insult the builder by dictating everything - you'll only end up with an inferior product.

SP
Bend, OR
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Old 07-23-11, 07:44 PM
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I'm waiting until I can find some Cambio Corsa dropouts to build a replica bike
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Old 07-23-11, 07:52 PM
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Were I in your situation, I'd go to Toei or one of the other fine Japanese "classic" builders, and have a nice long conversation about what I want, which bikes I like, which I don't, put down a deposit and trust the builder. Don't insult the builder by dictating everything - you'll only end up with an inferior product.
I agree with you on every point. And your advice is consistent with what noglider says. (By the way, I have read about that couple — very interesting business.)

The problem with doing what you say — seeking out one of the master builders and down south — is that it would escalate the price and put it right out of reach. The train fare and hotel bills alone would murder my bank account.

Mr Matsumoto who builds Amvna has told me that he will build a frame for me for under $1000 — lugged or braze-filled. He works in the tiniest of shops set up on a shopping street. It's crammed with heavy machinery for bending and milling. I've not visited since the quake, so I hope that his shop stood up OK. He was no where near the tsunami.

And you are right. I should not hold him to an exact reproduction. If I have him start cutting lugs I will either have to get a night job or my wife will kill me in my sleep. If I show him the Vitus and say, "Can you make something like this in lugged steel?" he'll have a free hand to make a bike that fits me perfectly and hopefully rides the way I hope and imagine. He'll have the factory specs and drawings to ponder over. And he uses a computer and a CAD app to map out his designs. You are right. I should let him figure it out and use the Vitus as a rough pattern.

Perhaps replica was the wrong word of choice, but it gets the ball rolling.

But I am still fixed on the idea of using "vintage" parts or today"s retro designs — as I said above, the stuff that is currently on my '85 Trek but for the quill stem which will have to be different. (The Technomic stem was an adjustment to get the 54 frame to fit me.)
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Old 07-23-11, 08:00 PM
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I'd just buy another Waterford. They can make just about anything.
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Old 07-23-11, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I'm waiting until I can find some Cambio Corsa dropouts to build a replica bike
Nice to see I'm not the only one. And that's no joke.
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