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Need help identifying old bike from the 40's/50's

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Need help identifying old bike from the 40's/50's

Old 08-21-12, 04:47 AM
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Old 08-21-12, 10:34 AM
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Nobody any idea what it might be?
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Old 08-21-12, 10:46 AM
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I love the St. Christopher Headbadge! No idea about the maker, it very cool though. "Long Life"....seems to have lived up to it's name! Good luck with it!
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Old 08-21-12, 11:28 AM
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A 3-blade airplane prop on the nose of a car, with a cycle wheel in the rear? Planes, bikes, & autos, St. Christopher protect us from them all.
Probably not a "grail bike" but a neat one none-the-less. I'd be cleaning it up to ride.
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Old 08-21-12, 11:48 AM
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Cheers!

The head-badge is a beauty indeed. Yet, I've no idea if the badges and paint are original or not. First I thought so, but it strikes me odd that it's builder wouldn't have wanted to put it's name on it... Thus I think it has been repainted somewhen in the 50's and been given new fictional badges.

Maybe the lugs or the low serial number (215) might give any indication who built it?

From a previous attempt to identify it I know it's no Hérse, and most likely not a Singer.
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Old 08-21-12, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by DanielWilde
From a previous attempt to identify it I know it's no Hérse, and most likely not a Singer.
Excellent! Process of elimination at work. Two down, and... uh... well, maybe about ten thousand to go?

Seriously, it does look like a nice, interesting bike; probably from the days when most better bikes were made in small shops. Good luck!
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Old 08-21-12, 08:09 PM
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Hey, I'm pretty sure I've seen that head badge sometime recently... maybe on Flickr? There's a group set up just for head badges.
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Old 08-21-12, 10:29 PM
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It looks like a frame built in the 60's or 70's, not something from the 40's or 50's. It could be from almost anywhere other than Italy
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Old 08-22-12, 12:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Citoyen du Monde
It looks like a frame built in the 60's or 70's, not something from the 40's or 50's. It could be from almost anywhere other than Italy
Definitely not. If it were from the 60's or 70's, the spacing for the rear wheel would never be 115mm, but 120-126mm. 115 indicates an 8-speed racing bike from the 40's or 50's.

Also, the lugs are way too old for that. The 60's and 70's were the time of Nervex, Bocama etc. These look a lot more ancient, like from the time Osgears were used.

The area of origin can probably narrowed down to France and Swiss, as it's got these threadings. If it were eg from Italy, GB or Germany, it would have ITA- or BSA- threadings instead.

Also, the low frame number indicates a comparatively small brand, unlike Peugeot, Motobecane etc., or an early bike from a company that was recently founded at that time, like eg. Bertin.

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Old 08-22-12, 01:25 AM
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Originally Posted by rhm
Excellent! Process of elimination at work. Two down, and... uh... well, maybe about ten thousand to go?
I know, I know - the idea it might be a Herse or Singer sounds stupid. I'd never have thought of it - until I stumbled across THIS.

Ok, I've already checked, mine's not a Herse. But if you take a closer look at the pictures, you'll see that there is quite a big resemblance between the two bikes...

Thus, my guess about it being from the 1940's fits.

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Old 08-22-12, 02:09 AM
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The headbadge appears to say "regarde St Christophe et va en rassuré" which is a common inscription on traveller's medals (sometimes rendered "va t'en"). Roughly " behold St Cristopher and proceed reassured".

Not sure that helps any.

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Old 08-22-12, 02:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Mark Kelly
The headbadge appears to say "regarde St Christophe et va en rassuré" which is a common inscription on traveller's medals (sometimes rendered "va t'en"). Roughly " behold St Cristopher and proceed reassured".

Not sure that helps any.
Thanks for the translation! - I'm afraid not. As said, most probably it has been repainted in the 50's, with fictional badges. It's a nice frame, and I can think of no reason it's builder would not have wanted to put his name on it when new.

The parts are newer and also don't help - as it seems, identification could only be made by frame details like the lugs and the frame number.
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Old 08-22-12, 06:19 AM
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Well, then, what about tubing diameters? Can you measure the outer diameter of the main tubes to determine if metric or English? What about the seat post size? To get an accurate measurement you might have to remove a little bit of paint.

The weight of the bare frame might also offer some indication of the quality of tubing used.

Are there any signs of brazed on fittings that have been removed, especially on the chain stay? Specifically I'd be looking for traces there was a chain stay derailleur mount and possibly an eyelet for the tension spring of a standard Cyclo type derailleur. Or dents on the left chain stay where the reactor arm of a coaster brake might have been clamped? Any of these, if they are there, are likely to be under the paint; which will make it hard to find them.

The answers to these questions are not, in my opinion, likely to tell us much; but additional data is always good. Especially if it's unexpected.

Last edited by rhm; 08-22-12 at 06:26 AM.
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Old 08-22-12, 01:48 PM
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As far as the decaling, famed French bike makers like Urago and Automoto would commonly sell their bikes to popular downtown merchants with that merchant's preferred labeling.
I have two such bikes, from the early 50's and early 60's, respectively.
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Old 08-22-12, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by DanielWilde
Definitely not. If it were from the 60's or 70's, the spacing for the rear wheel would never be 115mm, but 120-126mm. 115 indicates an 8-speed racing bike from the 40's or 50's.

Also, the lugs are way too old for that. The 60's and 70's were the time of Nervex, Bocama etc. These look a lot more ancient, like from the time Osgears were used.

The area of origin can probably narrowed down to France and Swiss, as it's got these threadings. If it were eg from Italy, GB or Germany, it would have ITA- or BSA- threadings instead.

Also, the low frame number indicates a comparatively small brand, unlike Peugeot, Motobecane etc., or an early bike from a company that was recently founded at that time, like eg. Bertin.
Without wanting to be overly dismissive, you have quite a bit to learn:

1. There were 8 speed frames of this quality sold regularly well into the 70's. My 1972 Peugeot had 115 spacing. The 115 width can also be due to having a narrow hub fitted for a long period of time.
2. There were bike built with French threading built in Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Scandinavia and even the rare one built in Britain, so this does not mean anything.
3. Now, Find me one single bike from the 40's with that seatlug that did not use a collar to clamp the seatpost. The integrated seatlug bolt on this less than top-of-the-line bike did not come around until much later, the 60's and 70's.
4. Many bikes had absolutely no serial number whatsoever well into the 70's.
5. The chainstay indentations appear more similar to those produced by machinery used in the 60's and 70's than to those produced using machinery of the 40's and 50's.
6. There is not the least bit of logic to take a bike from the 40's and or 50's and fully update it with low-end componentry from the late 60's early 70's. If you are simply updating the bike, you would only replace the 'broken' or 'obsolete' parts. and none of the parts now on this bike are sufficiently good to have been considered an upgrade from an earlier time. Plus, the cost of replacing all the components of a bike would have cost just about as much as buying a complete new bike. I guess that it is a bike from the late 60's or early 70's with fully original equipment that was quite likely repainted.
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Old 08-22-12, 05:03 PM
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I tend to agree at this point, given that my 1980 Cheltenham-built Pedersen came with 114mm rear spacing for the 5-speed, Pelissier-hubbed wheelset.
I don't suspect that this bike was ever re-painted, however.

The lugs and transfers are quite unusual, but the seat lug does seem to be of a later design, and the entirety of the parts selection seems to be of a very consistent quality level.

BTW, what is the seatpost diameter?

Last edited by dddd; 08-22-12 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 08-27-12, 02:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Citoyen du Monde
Without wanting to be overly dismissive, you have quite a bit to learn:

1. There were 8 speed frames of this quality sold regularly well into the 70's. My 1972 Peugeot had 115 spacing. The 115 width can also be due to having a narrow hub fitted for a long period of time.
2. There were bike built with French threading built in Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Scandinavia and even the rare one built in Britain, so this does not mean anything.
3. Now, Find me one single bike from the 40's with that seatlug that did not use a collar to clamp the seatpost. The integrated seatlug bolt on this less than top-of-the-line bike did not come around until much later, the 60's and 70's.
4. Many bikes had absolutely no serial number whatsoever well into the 70's.
5. The chainstay indentations appear more similar to those produced by machinery used in the 60's and 70's than to those produced using machinery of the 40's and 50's.
6. There is not the least bit of logic to take a bike from the 40's and or 50's and fully update it with low-end componentry from the late 60's early 70's. If you are simply updating the bike, you would only replace the 'broken' or 'obsolete' parts. and none of the parts now on this bike are sufficiently good to have been considered an upgrade from an earlier time. Plus, the cost of replacing all the components of a bike would have cost just about as much as buying a complete new bike. I guess that it is a bike from the late 60's or early 70's with fully original equipment that was quite likely repainted.
...Wait, I'll explain it to you...

Last edited by DanielWilde; 08-27-12 at 03:28 AM.
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Old 08-27-12, 02:33 AM
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The forged dropouts that I have seen in the past are thicker and have a form that cannot be made in a punch. Your dropout is flat and looks to be made in a punch.
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Old 08-27-12, 03:01 AM
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Originally Posted by ftwelder
The forged dropouts that I have seen in the past are thicker and have a form that cannot be made in a punch. Your dropout is flat and looks to be made in a punch.
I know, and they also don't have an "attachment eye" for the derailleur. But they're still forged, which also indicates the bike is quite old...

...Beginning to think I should have posted a pic of the bare frame stripped off all it's equipment. Probably would have been more effective, as 'bout everyone seems to focus just on these crappy components...
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Old 08-27-12, 06:48 AM
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Nice looking Tigra.
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Old 08-27-12, 07:12 AM
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Cheers! Though the Tigra's paint is not in such a good condition, it will of course remain as is and only be properly waxed a few times a year. Though Tigra's are quite rare, the colour seems to be even more rare. Most Tigra's from the 60's and 70's painted in similar ways are green (with red and white patterns) https://www.speedbicycles.ch/showBike...19412b864f233d, or just painted in a single colour like blue, silver etc.

Was originally equipped with mostly Campagnolo parts - and will be again soon. Already managed to get some purple Bluemels mudguards, too.
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Old 08-27-12, 08:37 AM
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This place has some decent information and lots of good pictures: https://www.classicrendezvous.com/
if you haven't been there yet. I have a late 60's Falcon that is narrower than 120, I don't know (or care) what it is spaced at, but they were around then. The frame looks sharp, I'd roll it as a mystery bike.
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Old 08-27-12, 09:12 AM
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You're probably right that this bike will remain a mystery... Which is a bit sad, as I hoped to find out who made it. Thank you for the classicrendezvous link. I have already searched there many times before and seen a lot of bikes that are similar in some ways, but the lugs did not match completely...
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