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Where to go with this strange bird

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Where to go with this strange bird

Old 06-28-12, 11:19 PM
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Where to go with this strange bird

I found a cool shop less then a mile from the new casa that has a nice supply of used frames and parts. Nothing that great but for building up stuff on the cheap it's an awesome place. The owner is this crazy old guy with tats and is always talking to himself. How much better could a store owner possibly be. Well originally I was on the hunt for a bike for the 15 year old daughter and they had a cool Jeunet Franche Comte mixte frame and fork for five bucks as all their frames and forks in the back are that price. Well I got home and showed her online of a picture and she had this look I was like well what the heck do you want? She had a crusty Raleigh mtb before we moved but sold it because I wasn't hauling that thing over.

So I said foey on her if she's going to be picky dispite the fact she doesn't like riding in the first place and found something for myself. He had some cool cheap stuff but one thing caught my eye. It's not very pretty or special but I built a clunker style bike up earlier this year that I sold and missed. I may even spark up my torch and add some extra braze ons on.










Ah high quality vintage American built lugged precision aligned goodness. This puppy is as straight as a crooked arrow. Maybe this will give me a chance to test out my new alignment block I made for my personal project in school. The parts that caught my eye were the cantilever style frame, lugged and that it had a threaded bottom bracket. I really want to build it up with some beat up Record parts(cranks, brake levers, high flange hubs, shifters, derailleurs) and 26" rims with some meater city tires because there isn't much room between the stays to go any wider then 1.75". It'll be more along the lines of a city klunker so risers or mustache bars and downtube shifters or bar cons. I've shooting for under $200 to have this completely ride able and to how I want it.

Last edited by Henry III; 06-28-12 at 11:26 PM.
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Old 06-29-12, 01:46 AM
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Well, at least it's orange. Or at least the red paint is faded enough so it look orange.

[edit] take the existing handlebars and flip 'em over and put barcons in 'em. That'll save you a few bucks.[/edit]
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Old 06-29-12, 02:13 AM
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Sweet older half moon frame likely a bit of a tank. I just can't believe the Jeunet was a no go these where some of the best looking vintage bikes ever while not high end with the red hot Mixte market right now one could get $100 for that frame in most markets with somewhat decent paint.
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Old 06-29-12, 02:48 AM
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I went this way with my 1951 CCM utility bicycle...

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Old 06-29-12, 02:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
I went this way with my 1951 CCM utility bicycle...


Do you have a Brooks on every bike? I have about 1/2 as many as I need.
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Old 06-29-12, 03:01 AM
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I went this way with my 1951 CCM utility bicycle...

Are those 700c's and center pull brake touring brake?
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Old 06-29-12, 03:08 AM
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Originally Posted by zukahn1 View Post
Are those 700c's and center pull brake touring brake?
Yep... 700:35 and the front brake is a long reach Weinmann centre pull although it is not touring specific.

The bike was originally a coaster equipped model and as such, had the rear facing drop outs and no front brake... the repro fork was set up for a brake and it has a fixed drivetrain.

The saddle is an Ideale Professional...
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Old 06-29-12, 03:15 AM
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Originally Posted by ftwelder View Post
Do you have a Brooks on every bike? I have about 1/2 as many as I need.
I only have 2 Brook's saddles... but more than half of my collection has leather saddles with a few modern Terry leather saddles in the mix

The rest are Ideale (80, 90, and Professional), Wrights W3n and W35 (Brooks made), and I have a Lycette L'Avenir (Brook's made for French market) and a nameless French saddle on my 1957 Peugeot that may also be an Ideale.

The Ideale saddles are every bit as good as any Brooks I have used, Wright's saddles are decent, and the Lycette I have is a jewel.
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Old 06-29-12, 05:00 AM
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Henry, congratulations on your find! One of the reasons that it seems to have some strange features for an "American" bike is because it isn't. The bike is actually a rebadged Hercules Royal Imperial. Western Auto, Montgomery Wards and AMF were importing a lot of those machines in the 50s and 60s. This is one of the Hercules bikes I'd like to eventually get my hands on since the one in my Flickr set was repatriated to a friend in England.

Last edited by photogravity; 06-29-12 at 10:44 AM. Reason: Typos and Horrible Grammar! I was too excited.
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Old 06-29-12, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by photogravity View Post
Henry, congratulations on your find! One of the reasons that is seems to have some strange features for an "American" bike is because it isn't. The bike is actually that bike is actually a rebadged Hercules Royal Imperial. Western Auto, Montgomery Wards and AMF were importing a lot of those machines in the 50s and 60s.
+1. Cool find!

Where to go with it? I think I'd straighten the frame as much as possible, find a matching enamel, and repaint the parts of the frame that need it the most. But keep the original graphics as much as possible.

Speaking of which, what is the decal on the seat tube, just above the BB? I can't quite make it out.
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Old 06-29-12, 07:50 AM
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I vote for;
drop bars
Campagnolo Nuovo Record
650B wheels
Brooks Swift saddle
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Old 06-29-12, 10:26 AM
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Wow that's pretty cool to find out about the frame. I almost threw my back out lifting this thing which was deceiving for it's smaller size. I'd say it's at least ten pounds of the finest straight gauge British sewage pipe the Queen had to offer.

As for the band around the seattube down by the bb shell. I couldn't really make it out too much since it's just a outline of what used to be there. Now to find some haggered NR parts to get this beast on the road.
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Old 06-29-12, 02:21 PM
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Put some M-bars (motorcycle style - I bet your skills around metal might help here to make one, if you can't find a good one), put in a 3/5/8 IGH in the back, 26" (alloy rims) with fenders and install a bullet style headlamp in the front and a nice unobtrusive tail light. Flat black. This way you have a nice cafe racer to zip around town for not much money, with rain usability, style and enough "zip". For brakes, go with drums or if you really want to go rad, discs.
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Old 06-29-12, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by photogravity View Post
Henry, congratulations on your find! One of the reasons that it seems to have some strange features for an "American" bike is because it isn't. The bike is actually a rebadged Hercules Royal Imperial. Western Auto, Montgomery Wards and AMF were importing a lot of those machines in the 50s and 60s. This is one of the Hercules bikes I'd like to eventually get my hands on since the one in my Flickr set was repatriated to a friend in England.
I was thinking it was a Brit bike...that headset looks very much like a TDC. The threaded BB, fork crown etc.
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Old 06-29-12, 07:09 PM
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Whats the lime green build with the reynolds wheels in the background? Looks steel, also spot a Colnago
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Old 06-29-12, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
I was thinking it was a Brit bike...that headset looks very much like a TDC. The threaded BB, fork crown etc.
Indeed, this bike has many classic Hercules cues, for those that know them. I would like to have one of these someday, but in the meanwhile I've got the earlier version which has the two thin curved top tubes but not the cantilever tube. If I hadn't made a promise to look for one to sent to my buddy in England, I'd have one now.
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Old 06-29-12, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
+1. Cool find!

Where to go with it? I think I'd straighten the frame as much as possible, find a matching enamel, and repaint the parts of the frame that need it the most. But keep the original graphics as much as possible.

Speaking of which, what is the decal on the seat tube, just above the BB? I can't quite make it out.
If it is the same as on my Hercules Hawthorne cruiser, it says "Guaranteed Made In England". Pics below, not great ones, but you'll get the idea.


1959 Hercules Hawthorne Project - 39 by Sallad Rialb, on Flickr


Hercules Sticker Over BB - 1 by Sallad Rialb, on Flickr


Hercules Sticker Over BB - 2 by Sallad Rialb, on Flickr
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