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Obscure or rarely seen marques

Old 02-01-12, 10:19 PM
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Here's one of my Olympias.
Scary good rider. I got it as a frame & built it up with parts I had on hand.
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Old 02-01-12, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemanbob
"Favorit."
My best friend next door was just showing me pictures of his Favorit. It's still in his parent's basement in Budapest. He went back to see them over the summer and went for some rides on it. He took the pics for me cause he know's I like that kind of stuff.
I've got a Favorit coaster hub on my '42 Roadmster. I stole it from a 70s Free Spirit. It looks a lot like a Fitchel & Sachs Komet.
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Old 02-01-12, 10:25 PM
  #28  
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Its cousin isn't obscure, but you don't see too many Kogas around here:



Recently sold:



Definitely uncommon in these parts:



Definitely unusual in the states, and not that common in the motherland either:


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Old 02-01-12, 10:32 PM
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I wonder if we could make a list at the beginning of this thread with the various makes as they are posted, with links to any possible outside information such as the history of the builder if available? It would be great if anyone who was looking for or owned something unique to be able to narrow down places to check. Ebay and the internet are helping to uncover more all the time, as we are seeing here. It would have been wonderful to tour Italy and France in the 1960's or '70's looking for all those craftsmen in their shops and see their work. Too bad I was not able to do that, but this is the next best thing.

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Old 02-01-12, 10:34 PM
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Oh, Frank just sent me this sweeet Non Pareil. Actually it was mad by Manton & Smith in Chicago. I need to take some good pics of it.

Then I had this Jetter a few years ago. It claimed to be made in Pittsburg but it looked a lot like Japanese. Nice bike for gaspipe;

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Old 02-01-12, 10:35 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by VintageRide
I wonder if we could make a list at the beginning of this thread with the various makes as they are posted.
Good Idea.
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Old 02-01-12, 10:40 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by sailorbenjamin
Oh, Frank just sent me this sweeet Non Pareil. Actually it was mad by Manton & Smith in Chicago. I need to take some good pics of it.

Then I had this Jetter a few years ago. It claimed to be made in Pittsburg but it looked a lot like Japanese. Nice bike for gaspipe;
Stunning how similar they are.
May wanna fix the link. I wanna see the Jetter, pipe or no.
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Old 02-01-12, 10:41 PM
  #33  
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How about a stack of smaller Dutch builders:

Zieleman
Roover
Springfield
Jabo
Verhoeven
Van Tuyl
Magneet
Bontekoe
Jonkers
Huissoon

..to name a few.
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Old 02-01-12, 10:42 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by VintageRide
I wonder if we could make a list at the beginning of this thread with the various makes as they are posted, with links to any possible outside information such as the history of the builder if available? It would be great if anyone who was looking for or owned something unique to be able to narrow down places to check. Ebay and the internet are helping to uncover more all the time, as we are seeing here. It would have been wonderful to tour Italy and France in the 1960's or '70's looking for all those craftsmen in their shops and see their work. Too bad I was not able to do that, but this is the next best thing.
You started it (thank you). Just edit post #1 with a list of brands contained herein. Some of these bikes have no real info on the web (ie, my Bonanno).
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Old 02-01-12, 10:43 PM
  #35  
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Oh, and I've only seen one other one of these (also referenced here on BF):





Dennis Sparrow custom built in Missoula, Montana. Still haven't been able to lock down many details, although from the serial number I'm pegging its build year around 1979.

DD
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Old 02-01-12, 10:46 PM
  #36  
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I have quite a few bikes built by framebuilders that are virtually unknown around here: 4 Marastoni's, 2 Ortelli's, 1 Zanardi, 1 Giotto Cinelli, 1 Fossati, 1 Soncini, 1 Vellystig.

PS: I used to own an Olympia, plus a Grandis, plus a Koga...
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Old 02-01-12, 11:00 PM
  #37  
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I liked CDM's Maasi best!
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Old 02-01-12, 11:02 PM
  #38  
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Wow, that Sparrow's headtube decal is out of this world!
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Old 02-01-12, 11:07 PM
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I've found love with local (Minneapolis) framebuilders such as Walter Croll, Chris Kvale, Bob Brown, and Curt Goodrich.

I currently have a Bob Brown single speed mtb, a Walter Croll 653 frameset that I am working on currently, two Chris Kvales, and a Curt Goodrich Sportif.

In the case of Chris Kvale, a talented builder that can have a custom built heirloom quality frameset in your hands in about six months for a relatively modest sum.

I have yet to see an example of his work that isn't top shelf, and I find it difficult sometimes to say that for some other brands.

Additionally, Walter Croll built quite a few frames locally twenty years ago.

They ranged from sensational early versions to less desirable copies towards the end of his production years.

My early 653 Walter Croll frameset before I dropped it off for eyelet and canti post additions recently.


Last edited by gomango; 02-01-12 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 02-01-12, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Drillium Dude
Oh, and I've only seen one other one of these (also referenced here on BF):





Dennis Sparrow custom built in Missoula, Montana. Still haven't been able to lock down many details, although from the serial number I'm pegging its build year around 1979.

DD
Still a stunner every time I see her.

Would love to ride that one someday.
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Old 02-01-12, 11:19 PM
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Another regional builder that I heard very little of out here in the prairie was John Hollands.

John built a fairly wide range of sport bikes including this one.

I can't believe the long distance ride afforded by this bicycle.

Built from EL and EL-OS, it is nimble when it needs to be, yet no apologies needed for all day rides.

I completed a 500 mile ride to the Canadian border and back on this bicycle, yet no one has heard of him on our club's rides.

Fascinating to me!




Last edited by gomango; 02-01-12 at 11:35 PM. Reason: Adjust that quick release Grady!
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Old 02-01-12, 11:29 PM
  #42  
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As I figure out the country of origin I will note it. If there are no pictures available of other makes mentioned I will make a separate listing.
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Old 02-01-12, 11:34 PM
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Being a tandem enthusiast here are a few lesser known tandem brands we have ridden in the past 37 years:
Gottfried (French), Colin Laing (US and England), Follis (French), Assenmacher (US), Berry (US), Borthwick (US) Bruni (US), Counrterpoint (US), Jack Taylor (England), Lippy (US), Osell (US), Velo Schauff (Germany), Dawes (England), Fuji (Japan), Gilmour (US), Ibis (US), Montague (US), Zona (US) . . . among others.
Have owned and extensively ridden following tandems: Follis, Assenmacher, Colin Laing, Co-Motion and Zona.
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Old 02-02-12, 07:01 AM
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Here's a pic of my Ricardo. This is a commonly seen brand in Australia but most people on this forum would never have heard of it before. The best previous bikes to this they made were of Tange 1, 2 and 900 the model mine replaced was a tange 2 shimano 600 White Lightening.
Ricardo died in the middle of 1990 only Repco went on till the mid 90's but they were importing frames from Giant in there last years. This was because the government had drastically lowered import tariffs allowing cheap imports making own brand bikes not viable anymore, in previous decades there were many aussie branded bikes.
But back to my bike, it was built in the last few months before closing and I like to think they new the end was near and decided to make something a bit special "nameing it Pinnacle" as a last hurrah with Reynolds 531c and Suntour Sprint 9000, nobody even in Australia new of this model untill it was posted on a aussie forum last year by the previous owner that had two of them a his and hers pair sold together, I got the hers one The other cool factor is it was made in my home town of Adelaide and I work just around the corner from the old factory.
In a couple of weeks I'll finish my current project that started with a custom made aussie frame built in the late 70's of no brand name with Columbus lugs SL tubing and Cinelli BB, my first attempt at a full period race bike build but here's a pic of my Ricardo Pinnacle.

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Old 02-02-12, 07:14 AM
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Maclean Featherweights, in the que for a complete rehab.

Also a builder of Tandems which may interest Zonatandem
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Old 02-02-12, 07:26 AM
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My contributions include this wonderful bike built by Emiliano Freschi:



I also owned a folder by Brillant that I never managed to locate any information on. Less rare but nevertheless still pretty seldom seen (at least stateside) are the Follis and Elswick-Hopper marquees.

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Old 02-02-12, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by jan nikolajsen
How about a stack of smaller Dutch builders:

Zieleman
Roover
Springfield
Jabo
Verhoeven
Van Tuyl
Magneet
Bontekoe
Jonkers
Huissoon

..to name a few.
add to that: CERA



There are/were far more obscure English marques than well known ones.
How about Fothergill?
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Old 02-02-12, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by jan nikolajsen
How about a stack of smaller Dutch builders:

Zieleman
Roover
Springfield
Jabo
Verhoeven
Van Tuyl
Magneet
Bontekoe
Jonkers
Huissoon

..to name a few.
I've always considered Magneet to be a mass volume manufacturer. I know during the boom, they were a complete range manufacturer and had fairly wide distribution in the USA.
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Old 02-02-12, 08:02 AM
  #49  
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I keep waiting for Belg-Ital Steel to chime in here as he's got several examples in his collection, including UScannini and Norta among others.
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Old 02-02-12, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by kaliayev
Appel. One of Americas greatest builders seems to be pretty obscure unfortunately.

is this Will Appelhans?
there was a really cool, track bike that was in last years Copake auction with a somewhat crude handmade headbadge by Will Appelhans, an american builder.
https://copakeauction.auctionflex.com/showlot.ap?co=9768&weid=16039&weiid=5706077&archive=y&lso=lotnumasc&pagenum=3&lang=En


Here is my addition, SW Cotten (Sam Cotten) American actor and bicycle racer from California had a handful of frames imported from renowned english builder William Hurlow in the early 70s before building his own machines in the lter 70s and 80s. This is a Hurlow frame... hand painted letering/pinstiping. https://s5.photobucket.com/albums/y163/k3davis/bikes/SW%20Cotten%20comlete%2072/





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