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Obscure or rarely seen marques

Old 07-09-18, 11:26 AM
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Nice to see you're posting here again, @Lenton58!
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Old 07-09-18, 12:29 PM
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Ficelle

-----

This machine was recently on Minnesota CL and sold quickly as it was priced at 50USD.

Suspect it originally hailed from ~1973 but has had numerous fittings replaced.

Importer was Island Cycle Supply Co. of Minneapolis; now out of business.

https://thecabe.com/forum/threads/fi...134252&slide=0

[attempted to post individual images but they would not display]

-----
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Old 07-09-18, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Lenton58
Hello reelsteel: I can only say that I was startled when I saw the pictures of your Di Bartolomei. Every detail appears to be the same as my "SIMPLON 4 Star”, even down to the paint design. The chromium tubes are the same, as well as the lugs and their windows, ferrel guides — the lot! I see the forks are Columbus, so should I assume the rest of the frame is too? (My triangle is badged as Reynolds 531.) I had fotos of my bike on this forum, but they have dinosaured, and AFAIK no longer appear. I will update with new ones soon, and we can compare.

For reasons I will forgo here, I have always thought that Simplon contracted someone to build my frame. And I thought I had a pretty good guess in regards to a larger Italian maker that used to produce frames for some very good marques when their orders were piling up. I'll have to dig back in my stuff to see the name —I forget. It was not the charming little shop you show here.

Of the three bikes I am currently riding, the Simplon is my most favourite ride. In 2010 I bought it in auction, and it was shipped from Budapest to Japan where I live. I built it as single-speed on tubs. The frame is asymmetrical: 56x54. It fits me perfectly.

I've been away from Bike Forums for awhile; I'll be back soon with some pics.
Hello @Lenton58 , I guess you're wondering if Renato Di Bartolomei also made your Simplon frame.

I imagine there were many small artisan builders in Italy at the time (early 1980's) who followed the same style and had access to the same lugs and braze-ons, but you never know. I'd like to see some pictures of your Simplon.

In the meantime here are some more pictures of the Di Bartolomei:



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Old 07-09-18, 04:15 PM
  #304  
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Originally Posted by juvela
-----

This machine was recently on Minnesota CL and sold quickly as it was priced at 50USD.

Suspect it originally hailed from ~1973 but has had numerous fittings replaced.

Importer was Island Cycle Supply Co. of Minneapolis; now out of business.

https://thecabe.com/forum/threads/fi...134252&slide=0

[attempted to post individual images but they would not display]

-----
Lemme try ...





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Old 07-10-18, 11:50 AM
  #305  
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Originally Posted by ksryder
The Bauer is probably Steve Bauer, Olympic medalist for Canada and wore the yellow jersey at the Tour for a few days. I think he either built frames for a while or licensed his name.

Just noticed you're local to me -- speaking of Canadian cycling greats, maybe I'll run into you on my Jocelyn Lovell-built bike one of these days. I've got a modern Campy Veloce 10-speed group on there right now (sacrilege I know but I'd rather ride it than look at it) and the thing is an absolute blast to ride. I need to clean it up and get some good pics for this thread one of these days.
Hey, I'll be riding the Lizard Under the Skillet on my Canadian bike -- Devinci is not an obscure make, but this one seems to be, as I've been unable to dig up any significant information about it -- this coming Sunday morning (sans flag)! If you're in town for the ride, keep an eye out for me. I'm starting early, because the forecast looks grotesquely hot and humid.

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Old 07-10-18, 12:14 PM
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Has anyone mentioned Griffon? I know where there is one for sale - Griffon Frameset 62cm
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Old 07-10-18, 12:18 PM
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Since I just picked up a frame... Proteus.
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Old 07-10-18, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by rocks in head
Since I just picked up a frame... Proteus.
not too uncommon. Especially in Baltimore/ DC area.
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Old 07-10-18, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by cog_nate
Hey, I'll be riding the Lizard Under the Skillet on my Canadian bike -- Devinci is not an obscure make, but this one seems to be, as I've been unable to dig up any significant information about it -- this coming Sunday morning (sans flag)! If you're in town for the ride, keep an eye out for me. I'm starting early, because the forecast looks grotesquely hot and humid.
Ah cool, random Canadian bikes inexplicably in Kansas unite!

On the fence about the Lizard but we'll see, sometimes I change my mind at the last minute.
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Old 11-16-19, 02:40 PM
  #310  
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Bertol

My 1950's BERTOL Track Bike.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/moonm/...7628707132547/





Pretty Obscure brand, only ever seen three Bertol's.
My Track Bike
A City Bike
A Road bike

Some of my other bike stuff:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/moonm/...7628707166153/
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Old 11-16-19, 06:05 PM
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Won't necessarily claim it to be rare, but I've never seen another Magneet before or since. Given to me by Poguemahone back in '04, I turned it into my long term touring bike. Originally, it was a standard pre-Bike Boom 10-speed: Gaspipe tubing, Campagnolo Valentino drivetrain, Universal center pulls, cottered crank, steel rims on low flange three piece huts and wing nuts. The picture is it's earliest incarnation after I put it back on the road. At this point the frame, headset, stem, bars, dork disk and crankset were still original. As of today, we're down to the frame, headset, stem, and dork disk. And it's a wonderful touring bike.

From what I've learned, the marque was owned by Batavus, which finally discontinued the brand in 1969.

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Old 11-16-19, 06:18 PM
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Does the Bertol have Agrati crank set? It's really cool!
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Old 06-16-20, 08:12 AM
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Since I posted last I have acquired another (most likely Fred Kelley built) Alpine frame (free, it has stuck seatpost and rust issues) and something I'm really excited about - a Crescent. Here's a photo by the seller. I love the dropout detailing on the forks, plus the nice lightweight 531 frame.
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Old 06-16-20, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by sykerocker
Won't necessarily claim it to be rare, but I've never seen another Magneet before or since. Given to me by Poguemahone back in '04, I turned it into my long term touring bike. Originally, it was a standard pre-Bike Boom 10-speed: Gaspipe tubing, Campagnolo Valentino drivetrain, Universal center pulls, cottered crank, steel rims on low flange three piece huts and wing nuts. The picture is it's earliest incarnation after I put it back on the road. At this point the frame, headset, stem, bars, dork disk and crankset were still original. As of today, we're down to the frame, headset, stem, and dork disk. And it's a wonderful touring bike.

From what I've learned, the marque was owned by Batavus, which finally discontinued the brand in 1969.

There's one locked up regularly near the Walmart at Brook and Parham. Must be an employee of that store or the restaurant supply place. It's not nearly as nice as the one in your photo. I have a pic somewhere.



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Old 06-16-20, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by thumpism
There's one locked up regularly near the Walmart at Brook and Parham. Must be an employee of that store or the restaurant supply place. It's not nearly as nice as the one in your photo. I have a pic somewhere.


Definitely a bent fork and, like mine, that bike has been seriously upgraded over it's life.

On of the fun parts of riding a little known old European bike is that nobody has any idea as to how the frame was originally set up, or for that matter, what the original tubing was. My Magneet originally was the late 60's equivalent of the infamous $100.00 Bike Boom 10-speed. I'll guess it sold for about $85-90.00 in 1969. Gaspipe frame with good handling and very comfortable geometry (thus the upgrade), it originally came with cottered crank, Campagnolo Valentino derailleurs, either cheap Universal or Ballila center pulls, no-name headset, stem and steel bars (the first two are the only remaining original parts on my bike), and the wheels were classic three piece steel hubs with Rigida steel rims and quick releases (brand forgotten, but definitely not Campagnolo).

There is no way back then that I would have stripped that bike and rebuilt it with the current quality of components - it would have been a ludicrous waste of money. 35 years later with lots of good condition second-hand parts, it's worth the time and effort.

And if the frame is well made and comfortable, who gives a damn about what type of steel was used?
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Old 06-16-20, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Grim
Great thread!

I'm hoping that something will show up that is identical to my Raleigh thats not a Raleigh. Pictured in this thread :
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...t-this-Raleigh!


I actually feel like I might be getting close I have seen both Geoffrey Buttlers and Charles Roberts with similar features. Most notably is the seat stay cluster. Trying to find Registries for them to see if my SN looks right for one of them.
that’s really dangerous to drill out a seat post like that, but it looks great.
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Old 06-17-20, 09:12 AM
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Stopped by for a closer look at that Magneet nearby. It has the Durolon decal signifying the same type of finish coating my Batavus had and the same IC (Intercycle) conglomerate decals. Cousins, at least.


Shop sticker on the rear fender hints at the original sale occurring in the Netherlands. Always interesting to speculate about how such things arrive here, of all places.


This bike, incidentally, has all the signs of having been abandoned here; tires are flat, looks like some parts have wandered off, and its position does not seem to have varied in the times I've looked at it but the U-lock continues to be a deterrent.

Last edited by thumpism; 06-17-20 at 08:09 PM.
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Old 01-28-22, 03:20 AM
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I picked up this late 1940s Ciclo Piave recently. It was updated here and there by a previous owner, so the search is on for correct parts. Fortunately the Cambio Corsa was left alone and is all there. I'll post more about it on a future thread.




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Old 01-28-22, 07:29 AM
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I've got a couple that are a bit rare I guess.

The first is the Evans bike. Builder is a guy named Wayne Evans in the Denver, CO area. I've only been able to find one other example of his work with internet sources.

Columbus EL OS tubing for the frame. Since I've got it I had a local auto body shop repaint the blue section since there was a lot of paint damage to the drive side chain stay. Then I upgraded the components to Dura Ace 9 speed.


Got this from Bob Fourney, 3 time RAAM winner. He had it custom made by Wayne Evans for a 90's Paris Brest Paris event.

​​​​​​
Then there's the Duell Vienna, more common in Europe I'm sure. Found this as a frameset and built up with a mix of new Super Record/Record parts. Another 90's EL OS frame.


This is an amazingly good ride, really fast yet comfortable. The front can feel soft at times yet is soaks up all sorts of road imperfections and corners at high speeds just fine.

I guess now I can also throw in the Fishlips bike. This is actually a David Kirk built bike but one of only two he made for the short-lived Fishlips bike company. This is how I bought it minus the wheelset.



This is how it's now set up with a really nice Campagnolo Daytona groupset and new Zonda wheels.


Another sweet ride!

This is the other Fishlips bike, never built up.

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Old 02-11-22, 06:42 PM
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My Contribution is still a mystery to me and kind of an enigma! Since going through this thread I am seeing bikes that seem more like mine than any motobecane or peugeot catalogue I've seen. Look so much like some of the Cilo, Baffert, Rossin, Cornelo Frames, it's probably none of them but I still like to dream. They're such gorgeous bikes!
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Old 08-13-23, 11:16 AM
  #321  
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This brand was mentioned by jan nikolajsen in his post on page 2, but I don't think we've seen pictures yet. Well, I picked up a Huissoon a couple of weeks ago and finally got around to taking for a test ride around the block.

Jaap Huissoon was a former pro who went frame builder and bike shop owner. He rode for Magneet-Vredestein in 1958 and 1959:



Jaap in his shop in 2013, at the age of 77:



This is my Huissoon, made with Columbus Max tubing:

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Old 02-12-24, 09:55 AM
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Krapf - Losa built

i guess I should have added this one in last year. It's a Krapf, house brand for a Swiss bike shop. Made by Giovanni Losa whom I didn't see listed here either.

Frameset as I got it.



Built up mostly with Suntour Superbe components. It's got a Dura Ace EX FD as the braze on tab was made specifically for this FD and others would not work without modification. I had a wheel builder lace some beautiful Velocity Fusion rims to a set of NOS 110/126 Dura Ace hubs I had acquired sometime along the years and never used.



The AER fork on this one is super nice!





The back of the seat tube is crimped for tire clearance since the rear tire is really tucked in close to the frame.



On the road the bike proved to be much smoother than I expected with that tight rear end. It was one of my most enjoyable bikes to take out last year and seems to have the potential to be a real rocket.
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Old 02-12-24, 08:03 PM
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Centurion 'Cinelli Project' bike. Made in Italy by Cinelli in 1983-84, probably at the Cirocao shop in Milan, imported and badged as joint 'Centurion/Cinelli Project' . Nope, not a Centurion/Cinelli 'Equipe bike (1985 only). The frame was sold by the Bicology bike shop and shows up in their 1983 catalog only, frame/fork $449.








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Old 02-13-24, 10:27 AM
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I missed this thread when it came around previously. Last year, I came across an old bike in barn find condition, in an antique mall in Alabama. And by barn find, I mean that it was dug out from under the barn, not hidden away in pristine condition. The frame decals were missing, but you could make out the shadow said F.W. Evans. I did a quick Google search for the maker but very little information came up. It had tubular tires, fancy lugs, and Campy dropouts, so I figured it had to be at least halfway decent, so for $40, I took a chance.

FW Evans as found in Alabama

After doing more research and making some inquiries on a Facebook group, I learned more about thestory of Frederick W Evans and his bike shop. Evans was not a frame builder, but was a pioneer in the design of British touring bikes. He opened his first shop on Kennington Road in London in 1921. In 1939, he joined the Royal Air Force, leaving the shop to be run by his manager. F W Evans died in an accident in 1944, but his widow continued to operate the store, eventually selling it to the shop manager in the 1950s. They continued to build bikes in the basement for sale in the shop upstairs for many years. The business has been through ups and downs and changes in ownership, but there are still several Evans Cycles stores around the UK.

I learned that my bike was one of the later bikes built in the Kennington Road shop before they relocated to The Cut, near the Waterloo Train Station in 1977. The dropouts I have were introduced by Campagnolo in 1969. Some of the Sun Tour components have early 1970s date codes, but I don't know if they were original to the bike. One of the people who responded to my Facebook inquiry said he had worked at the Evans shop and that a lot of American tourists would fly to London and then come in to the shop and buy a bike to tour the country. At the end of their trip, many would sell the bike back to the shop, while others would have it shipped it back home. I suspect that is how my bike found its way to Alabama.

I cleaned up the frame to remove the peeling paint and arrest the rust. The components were in really rough condition, so I replaced almost all of them from my parts bin. I did keep the Campy seat post and Weinmann brakes, which cleaned up nicely. I reassembled the bike so I could verify the fit. I put on a lot of miles over the summer and I was very pleased with the ride. The bike is now disassembled to prep the frame and repaint. I am planning to use hunter green with ivory on the head and seat tubes to highlight the lugs. I already have the decals from H Lloyd.


FW Evans as ridden all summer

Luckily, H. Lloyd had replacement decals

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Old 02-13-24, 11:16 AM
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For years I was under the impression that ‘Simplon’ was a Swiss firm. Wrong! In 1934, a pair of brothers started manufacturing bespoke bicycles under the name “Falke”. Their shop was quartered in the town of Hard on the southern shores of Lake Constance. In 1961, the name ‘Simplon’ was adopted. In 1981, an Austrian professional road racer Gerhard Zadrobilek won the Tour of Austria on a Simplon. This brought greater attention to the marque. The company has evolved and expanded over the years. It produces a range of quality bicycles for various disciplines and purposes. Simplon still provides custom fitting for customers using online software.

As for my specific bike, there is very little information to help me with dating and identification. For sure it’s a “4-Star” model. Since 2011 when the bare frame arrived from Budapest, I’ve managed to collect pictures of only four or five vintage road Simplons that can be identified: a 2-Star model, a 4-Star model showing up on the Simplon website, and the supreme model — a 5-Star bike that featured a premium bottom bracket shell. That’s it! No member has displayed a similar bike in the forums. And I’ve never seen another on the street. For sure I’m the only owner of a vintage Simplon road-racer in Japan.

However, there is one clue: The bare frame came with 120 mm spread in the stays. This suggests that it was built in the days of five speed freewheels. So I’m guessing early 70’s. The frame was thoroughly gone over by a local frame maker. I had him cold-set and realign the stays at 126 in order to accommodate all my wheel-sets.

For years this bike was fitted out as single speed. Recently, I made it a 1x and geared it to run on the flat ground along the rivers here in Sendai. The Reynolds 531 frame is C-C 56 with a 54 TT and Campagnolo dropouts. The parts are neither matched to a group, nor contemporaneous with the age of the frame. It runs on tubs and Mavic Montherly rims with Shimano 600 hubs. The chainwheel was mounted inboard on the spider to make a chain line for the most used cog. You’ll see the front brake lever on the right in accordance with Japanese custom. That suits me because I ride a motorcycle. It’s a very nice bike to ride, and it gets its turn along with my Gazelle AB and 979 Vitus.

One last thing: my inaugural ride on the Simplon was on March 12th, 2011. I surveyed the appalling damage and raging fires left after the Great Eastern Earthquake. I took some photos that were published later. I arrived back home with a muddy bike and rather shaken.






Last edited by Lenton58; 02-13-24 at 11:27 AM.
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