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Show us your Belgian bikes!

Old 09-14-13, 04:40 AM
  #201  
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Welcome, blitherbike, to the wonderful world of Belgian steel! Congrats on the find. Looks like it could be a Flandria. Have a look at these pictures and see if you recognize anything.
Although it is not a high-end frame, it looks to have some decent lightweight parts (are those Nisi rims?), so if it's your size and you like the ride it could be well worth fixing it up. Judging by the pics you'll need another pair of shift levers, and I think I'd also try to find a different pair of brake levers, but other than that it mostly seems to need your TLC.
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Old 09-14-13, 05:01 AM
  #202  
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A few weeks ago I got this Paganini for free.
It's got a mish mash of components and I don't know what to do with it yet.
Frame is a colombus tritubi, RD and shifters is some campa, shimano 105 crank and FD, modolo brakes/handles











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Old 09-14-13, 06:24 AM
  #203  
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Interesting brand, and although the owner is Belgian, it seems that the frames were made in Italy, either by Torpado or Ciöcc. Anyway, nice bike! It should polish up really well.
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Old 09-14-13, 08:45 AM
  #204  
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Thanks! And yes, well, one of the rims is Nisi- the back. The front rim has an odd texture on the braking surface. It looks like most of it has worn off. I saw similar rims on some Sears bikes, and that sent me looking at pics of them for a couple days. I've no idea which is the original. And I did see some things I recognize in the "fake Raleigh" pics: the brazed-on cable stops on the top-tube, the numbers stamped into the lugs (part numbers?), and the kick-stand plate. I'll have to check the fixed cup, none of my pics captured that. I guess if my bike has that type of fixed cup, and that type is proprietary to Flandria, I've got a Flandria!?



I've got a nicer SR Silstar crank which I'll probably use since the bike came with SR. I've also got some nice Suntour stem-mount shift levers and Dia-Compe brake levers, but I might want to stick with Euro parts. If I can ever get to it, I'd like to give it the same complete tear down and thorough clean and polish like I did my old Fuji.


(I have no idea why it keeps flipping and rotating my images)

Any idea how to decipher Flandria serial codes?
Attached Images
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MW's lug and cs.jpg (94.1 KB, 185 views)
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MW's frt lugs.jpg (93.2 KB, 187 views)
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MW's nisi rim.jpg (97.3 KB, 185 views)
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MW's front rim.jpg (96.3 KB, 185 views)
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Fuji-before.jpg (100.5 KB, 194 views)
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Fuji-after side.jpg (97.9 KB, 184 views)
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Fuji-after front.jpg (97.0 KB, 182 views)

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Old 09-14-13, 05:44 PM
  #205  
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My Merckx Alu Cross on the trail today.

SRAM till the snow flies, then on goes the Campy.

This bicycle is big time fun.

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Old 09-14-13, 05:54 PM
  #206  
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The white hubs on those fulcrum 5s are really going to complement that frame.
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Old 09-14-13, 06:09 PM
  #207  
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Originally Posted by thirdgenbird View Post
The white hubs on those fulcrum 5s are really going to complement that frame.
Agreed.

Start thinking about brakes, please.

These stink.
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Old 09-14-13, 06:12 PM
  #208  
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Originally Posted by gomango View Post
Agreed.

Start thinking about brakes, please.

These stink.
Done.

Pauls or Campagnolo. Is there any other option on a rig like this? Wide profile cantilevers would look the part, but I've also wanted to try minimotos
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Old 09-14-13, 06:16 PM
  #209  
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Nice Merckx Gomango.

Finishing touches on my 1985 today, ride tomorrow.

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Old 09-14-13, 06:18 PM
  #210  
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Originally Posted by thirdgenbird View Post
Done.

Pauls or Campagnolo. Is there any other option on a rig like this? Wide profile cantilevers would look the part, but I've also wanted to try minimotos
Please do some research.

All of those sound like good ideas.

I don't have a huge budget on the project, but the frame is worth it.

It handled single track, gravel, sand and some mud today.

Surprisingly comfortable, as we did just over forty miles.

Raining here tonight, so all mud tomorrow.
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Old 09-14-13, 06:20 PM
  #211  
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Originally Posted by Vonruden View Post
Nice Merckx Gomango.

Finishing touches on my 1985 today, ride tomorrow.

Thanks!

Gorgeous Merckx yourself.

They ride great, don't they.
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Old 09-14-13, 06:22 PM
  #212  
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Originally Posted by gomango View Post
Please do some research.

All of those sound like good ideas.

I don't have a huge budget on the project, but the frame is worth it.

It handled single track, gravel, sand and some mud today.

Surprisingly comfortable, as we did just over forty miles.

Raining here tonight, so all mud tomorrow.
Will do.

tektro 720s are also cheap, look good, and get good reviews. I haven't been overly impressed with mine, but it may be inexperience with setup, cheaper housing and/or cheap pads. I really should get some quality jagwire housing and koolstop pads. I think the issue is the housing compressing too much.
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Old 09-14-13, 06:27 PM
  #213  
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Yes, from the short ride today..this one may fit me better than any other.

Before and afters in this thread

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...6#post16066016


How does the Aluminium ride? I have never been a fan, however that Merckx and some of the older Kleins have piqued my interest.
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Old 09-14-13, 06:53 PM
  #214  
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Originally Posted by thirdgenbird View Post
Will do.

tektro 720s are also cheap, look good, and get good reviews. I haven't been overly impressed with mine, but it may be inexperience with setup, cheaper housing and/or cheap pads. I really should get some quality jagwire housing and koolstop pads. I think the issue is the housing compressing too much.
I'll post pics of my friend's All City/Fulton Nature Boy Zona team bike in a bit.

He uses Oryxs, but he doesn't plan on using brakes very often.

Maybe I'll toss on some 720s and Kool Stops for the short term.

They are dirt cheap and they have a good rep.

These Avids really are unacceptable.
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Old 09-14-13, 06:58 PM
  #215  
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Originally Posted by Vonruden View Post
Yes, from the short ride today..this one may fit me better than any other.

Before and afters in this thread

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...6#post16066016


How does the Aluminium ride? I have never been a fan, however that Merckx and some of the older Kleins have piqued my interest.
The Merckx rides like a really stiff aluminum bicycle, if you know what I mean.

I like stiff off-road though.

Stiff stays, stiff bb shell.

Good power transfer, especially hammering through sand and coming out of turns.

It loves to hop over ditches and downed trees.

Climbs like a Bultaco 250 and fits me great.

Cheap thrills for sure.
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Old 09-14-13, 07:04 PM
  #216  
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It sure looks like fun!
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Old 09-15-13, 06:15 AM
  #217  
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Love the looks of that CX Merkx
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Old 09-15-13, 06:28 AM
  #218  
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Originally Posted by EBH View Post
Love the looks of that CX Merkx
Thanks!

I wasn't looking for a new cross bike this fall, but it popped up on our local CL at a very good price.

The previous owner sunk a bunch of money into it and the frameset looks nos in person.

The bike rides great, but I am going to swing into the lbs and see if they have some Tektro 720s around.

I found some new Kool Stops on my parts shelf this morning, so the swap should only take an hour today.
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Old 09-20-13, 11:23 AM
  #219  
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Well, I emailed Flandria, and was notified that if my bike was indeed built in Belgium, it is not a Flandria. According to Adam Longworth of Flandria all U.S. bound bikes were built at their Portugal facility. No Belgian made bikes were officially exported here. He said that at that time the only higher-end Belgian made Flandrias that came to the U.S. were racing replicas imported in small numbers by "small independent bike shops."

My next best guess then is Libertas. The head tube lugs are very similar, if not identical, to a few Libertas I have found online. But the information about Libertas bikes is really scarce. All of the classic bike websites that I have found so far have provided me with zero info. I would love to find a Libertas expert if anybody out there is one or knows of one.


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side view.jpg (98.0 KB, 198 views)
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front view cropped.jpg (94.6 KB, 193 views)
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serial number.jpg (91.7 KB, 196 views)
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MW's frt lugs.jpg (93.2 KB, 187 views)

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Old 09-23-13, 02:13 PM
  #220  
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With such a number it should be a mass production bike.
Other possibilities :
Novy, Minerva, Superia, ...

Libertas ? I would rather try another name made by Libertas, like Girardengo or ... (well sorry I need to remember that brand first)
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Old 09-24-13, 09:58 PM
  #221  
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Thanks! I will definitely look into those other brands. I haven't even been able to find any info on other brands made by Libertas. I don't know if it's because the info is hard to find, or if my research skills are just that poor.
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Old 09-25-13, 06:14 AM
  #222  
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I think Libertas was the maker of Browning bikes sold in the U.S.

Here is one on Chicago CL -
http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/bik/4085753044.html

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Old 09-25-13, 07:42 PM
  #223  
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Originally Posted by blitherbike View Post
Well, I emailed Flandria, and was notified that if my bike was indeed built in Belgium, it is not a Flandria. According to Adam Longworth of Flandria all U.S. bound bikes were built at their Portugal facility. No Belgian made bikes were officially exported here. He said that at that time the only higher-end Belgian made Flandrias that came to the U.S. were racing replicas imported in small numbers by "small independent bike shops."

My next best guess then is Libertas. The head tube lugs are very similar, if not identical, to a few Libertas I have found online. But the information about Libertas bikes is really scarce. All of the classic bike websites that I have found so far have provided me with zero info. I would love to find a Libertas expert if anybody out there is one or knows of one.



hello blitherbike,

about thirty-five years ago i assembled a new bicycle that was very similar to yours. it was badged "Belgique" and was even the same, or very similar colour. it had the stipled dropouts seen on your frame and a similar component mix as well. the main difference was that it came with an Agrati cottered steel chainset. it was part of a batch of merchandise i purchased from a shop which had closed.

not shown in your photos are the bridges. are they ESGE plate style? this is what i would expect. is the shell seventy mm BSC?

wrt to the Flandria machines made in Portugal, iirc the bottom bracket spindles on these may be marked Portugal. i worked on several of them and remember that they said Portugal somewhere on the bike. this was about thirty years ago so the memories grow a bit dim ;^\

the QR looks as though it may be Gnutti. this would tend to imply Gnutti hubs. Peyrard also made hubs in this pattern. they were usually stamped New Star. have you tried cleaning the hub barrels to see if there is a mark?

best wishes with your detective quest. please keep us posted...
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Old 09-27-13, 04:04 PM
  #224  
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hello blitherbike,

about thirty-five years ago i assembled a new bicycle that was very similar to yours. it was badged "Belgique" and was even the same, or very similar colour. it had the stipled dropouts seen on your frame and a similar component mix as well. the main difference was that it came with an Agrati cottered steel chainset. it was part of a batch of merchandise i purchased from a shop which had closed.

not shown in your photos are the bridges. are they ESGE plate style? this is what i would expect. is the shell seventy mm BSC?

wrt to the Flandria machines made in Portugal, iirc the bottom bracket spindles on these may be marked Portugal. i worked on several of them and remember that they said Portugal somewhere on the bike. this was about thirty years ago so the memories grow a bit dim ;^\

the QR looks as though it may be Gnutti. this would tend to imply Gnutti hubs. Peyrard also made hubs in this pattern. they were usually stamped New Star. have you tried cleaning the hub barrels to see if there is a mark?

best wishes with your detective quest. please keep us posted...
Thanks juvela

I'm glad to hear that someone recognizes the bike- especially the stipled dropouts- I've looked at thousands of images trying to find another bike with them.

The quick-releases are Gnutti, but I haven't cleaned anything on the bike yet for lack of time. The brake bridges are not the plate style, and the bb shell measures 68.5 mm (aprox.), so I guess they would be considered 68mm.


I don't have a bottom bracket tool for this type. What do I need?


I did make some major headway on my search though! Thanks to munny, I found what looks like the identical frame to me, a 1974(?) American Arrow built by Superia. The photos don't have enough definition, so I can't make out any stipling on the dropouts, but their shape is identical.


http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php/591617-quot-American-Arrow-quot

http://oldtenspeedgallery.com/owner-.../#.UkXfIRYmZcM
After that discovery I found a few more that were also very similar, and had stickers like this:


Rolled Cold? Radio Controlled? Royal Crown cola?

Now, if I could just figure out that serial number code...
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m bike brake bridge.jpg (92.1 KB, 181 views)
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m bike bb 1.jpg (94.9 KB, 183 views)
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m bike bb 2.jpg (90.1 KB, 182 views)
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Old 09-27-13, 05:02 PM
  #225  
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hello blitherbike,

thanks for the update and the new imagery. good detective work to locate that white Superia! those pictures make me think the Belgique i assembled was made by them.

in the new photo of your bike's bottom bracket area it can be seen that the cs bridge is indeed plate style -likely an ESGE.

as to the tools to work on the bb:

the cranks will pull with any standard thread crank puller (same thread as Campag).

a cone wrench will work for the adjustable cup, prolly a sixteen or a seventeen mm.

the lockring looks to be a three-dog type so you will need one of those c-shaped lockring tools. no bashing with a punch or screwdriver.

the fixed cup is not visible so cannot advise you on that.

a good update. have fun as you commence the disassembly.
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