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Normandy hub knockoff?

Old 12-19-11, 07:30 PM
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Chicago Al 
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Normandy hub knockoff?

I picked up a gaspipe Follis today, mainly to be a donor of its complete Mafac 'Racer' brakeset for my PX-10. The wheels might also be useful; the rims are straight-looking Super Champion 27" clinchers over high flange hubs. As I don't intend to go tubular maybe this would be a good and period-right way to make my bike a UX-10.

Now you'd think that those hubs on a French bike are likely the classic Normandys, but these have no labels, which is a little odd as other labels on the bike are quite intact, including those on both rims. And the QR skewers have an inscription I have not seen before and searching does not turn up: it looks like 'Bloc G.'

Sorry no pics as this only came to light when it was getting dark. Anyone have any idea bout 'Bloc G'?
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Old 12-19-11, 07:35 PM
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many years have passed, rider damaged a wheel and that was the replacement.
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Old 12-20-11, 08:12 AM
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The common Normandy Sport hubs never had labels.
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Old 12-20-11, 08:33 AM
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Thanks for that, GB. It would make sense that a bike like this might get a 'good' wheelset (alloy) but not the best. Pretty sure these are original to the bike...everything matches!
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Old 12-20-11, 08:48 AM
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just a guess since you said "gaspipe", but I wouldn't think that Super Champion rims were stock on that bike. Normandy hubs were below my level of caring BITD, but the only marking I remember is a very small "Normandy" engraved in the center.

Depending on the era, Suzue/Sunshine were very definitely Normandy knockoffs. Don't know that much about European knockoffs, I'm sure there were some
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Old 12-20-11, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
The common Normandy Sport hubs never had labels.
+1. IIRC, the Sport also did not have the thicker outer flange of the higher models. BTW, were there ever any Normandy skewers for their large flange hubs? I remember all mine as having the small fralnge Atom skewers.

Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
epending on the era, Suzue/Sunshine were very definitely Normandy knockoffs. Don't know that much about European knockoffs, I'm sure there were some .
I thnk most of these hubs are actually Campagnolo knock-offs. I do recall getting a circa 1977 St. Etienne club racer with New-Star hubs that I initially though were Normandy Sport. When I saw the name, I thought they were a Japanese hub but everything else on the bicycle was French, including Mavic rims and an Atom freewheel. To top it off, the freewheel body wasn't stamped to indicate English threads. I guess they could have been French threaded Japbese hubs, but it seemed strange given the level and era. Unfortunately, I never did investigate it at the time. I got an attractive offer and turned it over quickly.

Last edited by T-Mar; 12-20-11 at 09:28 AM. Reason: add respose to unterhausen
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Old 12-20-11, 12:10 PM
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Point taken, all of these high flange hubs were derived from Campagnolo, but I think it's kind of a second-hand version, ie the standard (for a French bike) would have been Normandy. But maybe these are Normandy. I cleaned up the front hub and see no markings on them at all.

Here's a pic showing hub and the Bloc G skewer.


http://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...5&d=1324404559
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File Type: jpg
Bloc G.jpg (95.0 KB, 52 views)
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Old 12-20-11, 05:40 PM
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Here's my favorite Normandy knockoff. It's a Lambert. There are no cones or races to worry about because it has cartridge bearings.

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Old 12-20-11, 05:41 PM
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Al, those dust covers have a distinctly Japanese look to them. Not sure though
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Old 12-20-11, 06:16 PM
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That Lambert does look nice, and I don't think these will clean up that well. The skewer distinctly looks 'knockoff,' reminds me of the early Taiwanese ones on a Lotus I had.

The mounted freewheel is a TDC so suggests the rear hub is English threaded. The pie plate though is Nervar. Doubtless that's worth a lot to Japanese collectors.
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Old 12-21-11, 02:55 AM
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I have one of those Bloc G skewers. Don't know where it came from.

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Old 12-21-11, 07:33 AM
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I did a little more googling on Bloc G last night, using various word combinations to narrow things down. The most common hit was a small hotel in Carcassonne, a picturesque walled town in southern France, which looks very nice. It took tremendous determination not to investigate that further and start planning a vacation that included it.

The only two real cycling related hits I got were an old post on the bikelist-l email group, in which a guy mentioned 'Itallion' (sic) brands of components including Bloc G and 3T. The other hit was my own OP, appearing on cyclebetting.com!

So, I don't know any more on the hubs: Japanese, French, or 'Itallion.' I guess much more important than the origin would be opening up the hubs and seeing if there is any life remaining.
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Old 12-21-11, 09:59 AM
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It's hard to tell from the pic if they are Normandy. The shape outside the flange doesn't look right. The most distinct feature I recall about the Normandy (and Atom) hubs were their locknuts. They were very thick, about twice that of Campagnolo. They also did not have a serrated outer surface but used a thin, raised, circular lip to bite into the dropout and aid in wheel retention.
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Old 12-21-11, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
It's hard to tell from the pic if they are Normandy. The shape outside the flange doesn't look right. The most distinct feature I recall about the Normandy (and Atom) hubs were their locknuts. They were very thick, about twice that of Campagnolo. They also did not have a serrated outer surface but used a thin, raised, circular lip to bite into the dropout and aid in wheel retention.
I always assumed that this was because they were so
ubiquitous and were specced on a lot of the lower end
bikes in the 70's that had smaller fork spacing (94-95, etc.)?

Thus they were versatile enough to be spaced differently
without modification other than the locknuts ?

At any rate, that's how I have found them to be handy from
time to time. Low end, but considerable bang for your buck.
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Old 12-21-11, 12:22 PM
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I remember a brand called Pelissier that looked similar to the Normandy, was high flanged, and highly polished. As stated, a lot of Normandy hubs did not have any brand designation on them.
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Old 12-21-11, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
I always assumed that this was because they were so
ubiquitous and were specced on a lot of the lower end
bikes in the 70's that had smaller fork spacing (94-95, etc.)?

Thus they were versatile enough to be spaced differently
without modification other than the locknuts ?

At any rate, that's how I have found them to be handy from
time to time. Low end, but considerable bang for your buck.
I appreciate your argument and you may be correct. Having different width locknuts (and hollow axles) would be a relatively easy way to make the same hub accommodate all common spacings. However, I have some of my old dealer catalogs that list small parts for Atom/Normandy hubs and there is no indication that they offered different locknuts or axle lengths).

Personally, I'd consider using mutliple washers and a common locknut. It's simpler from a logistical viewpoint, but would take a fraction longer to assemble. In the end, it would come down to whichever process the time and motion studies indcated was more economical.
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Old 12-21-11, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by jacksbike View Post
I remember a brand called Pelissier that looked similar to the Normandy, was high flanged, and highly polished. As stated, a lot of Normandy hubs did not have any brand designation on them.
Sweet Tapdancing Springfield Jeebus, the Pelissiers are nice hubs. They make the Normandy Luxe Compe look like Quando.

The nicer Normandy hubs had stick-on labels, which peel off startlingly easily. So they were branded, but not in a way that was made to last.
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Old 12-21-11, 03:24 PM
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Written like someone who didn't read the entire thread.
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