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Alex Singer

Old 11-28-12, 11:19 PM
  #1  
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Alex Singer

This is still a work in progress. Last spring this Singer made it's way into my garage. So I will show what I have so far starting from the top, showing you it warts n all:



The handlebar tape will get removed (after I've put a few miles on it!!), the left brake lever is too low. Not sure what I'll wrap it with yet.


Gearing is set up for gravel rides like Cino. 36x46 14-28. This will be the bike I ride the cascade passes with next spring.

Still needs a longer stem, some proper fenders and fatter tires. Hope I get some clear weather so I can ride this thing and get to know it. I really hope it 'sings' to me. I think it has alot of character.
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Old 11-28-12, 11:27 PM
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Looks sharp! If anything, the minor imperfections should make it easier to just hop on and ride.
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Old 11-28-12, 11:27 PM
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Beautiful!
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Old 11-28-12, 11:34 PM
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Love those lugs - but where are the warts?

A beauty, and an exceedingly rare one at that. I'm psyched to see it once you've put the last details together BTW, who manufactured the saddle? That's carrying just the right amount of patina.

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Old 11-29-12, 12:25 AM
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Well, I don't know where you're going to go from there. That pretty much looks like classic bike nirvana. The wall in that last pic is a great backdrop - did you paint that just for this bike's photo session?
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Old 11-29-12, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by due ruote View Post
The wall in that last pic is a great backdrop - did you paint that just for this bike's photo session?
My wife painted the wall a few years back. I moved the furniture and wall hangings out of the way when she wasn't looking for that photo :-)


And to answer DD's question, It's an Ideale 90
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Old 11-29-12, 12:41 PM
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Man, I love this bike. +1 on any patina, I would be afraid to ride a bike more perfect than that

What year was that frame built?
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Old 11-29-12, 12:54 PM
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northbend, that is a beauty. Definitely I, as with mse, would like to know the year of this bike. I really like the darts that come off the ends of the chrome on the fork and rear stays. Very nice touch.

I'm trying to fit Cino Heroica into my plans for next year after seeing your writeup from earlier this year. It'll afford me an opportunity to see this bike in the flesh, if things work out as I'd like.
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Old 11-29-12, 12:56 PM
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Excuse me - but where are the "warts"?
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Old 11-29-12, 01:02 PM
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Love it - it's perfect.
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Old 11-29-12, 01:39 PM
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Oh my!
Simply wart-less, for anything short of museum quality.
Gosh, I need to ride with you local guys (my size of course).
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Old 11-29-12, 02:09 PM
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Beautiful, if you ever get bored with it, you can send it my way!
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Old 11-29-12, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Drillium Dude View Post
Love those lugs - but where are the warts?
Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
Excuse me - but where are the "warts"?
Isn't it obvious? It's French. Jeez, talk about missing the forest for the trees . . . .


<ducking and running in a zig-zag pattern to avoid the thrown tomatoes and old boots>


Seriously, though, about the only "wart" I can see is that the pinstriping at the point of the seat lug is less than perfect. Otherwise, very, very nice. Regardless of whether it is left as is or resprayed to a like-new sheen, please ride it. 'Tis what it was built for.
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Old 11-29-12, 02:26 PM
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Very nice, very RARE.
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Old 11-29-12, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by bikingshearer View Post
...

<ducking and running in a zig-zag pattern to avoid the thrown tomatoes and old boots>

...
A wise course indeed, Bikingshearer, given the audience this Gallic gem will draw!
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Old 11-29-12, 04:47 PM
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Stunner. One of the coolest bikes on the forum. Looks like my size, so let me know when you're ready to trade it for something!
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Old 11-29-12, 05:16 PM
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Beautiful! What a rare find.
I be she rides nice.
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Old 11-29-12, 05:17 PM
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Yes! I've been waiting for this since you announced you got the frameset. Awesome.
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Old 11-29-12, 06:44 PM
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Thanks. The frame was made in 1974. Maybe the warts are in my head. Like I had already noted, the stem/handlebar/brake levers need some sorting out, I didn't bother to clean it up after getting the last bits hung on it. There's grease on the top of the headset, smudges here n there. The chrome on one lug is a bit rough..stuff like that but I was anxious to get photos to share with you. Anxious to also ride the thing. I wasn't sure how my liberal use of Campagnolo would go over.. I went with what I had and what I understand. A purist may wonder why I didn't use Simplex or Huret, Normandie n the like.. Truth is if I ride this and really really like it, The long term plan would be to slowly find the best French components and hang them on it. We'll see. I have mixed feelings about this bike. It looks beautiful from a distance and the patina is nice but some of the details are kind of crude (to me anyway) in comparison to the craftsmanship of my Bruce Gordon. Riding this bike will settle the issue in my mind. I will write about it once I put a few miles on it
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Old 11-29-12, 07:22 PM
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Well it sure looks COOL! I've got a soft spot for these. Maybe it's because we share the first name. Maybe the reputation. DEFINITELY because the shop still exists in Paris, and is the only "Golden Age" shop that still exists. That shop should be on some sort of historical register. I hope it's around for many more generations. So, yes, I want one. That said, as a person that makes handmade things, I know they don't all turn out the same - some days are better than others. I also understand your other misgivings, and look forward to your riding impressions.
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Old 11-29-12, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by northbend View Post
It looks beautiful from a distance and the patina is nice but some of the details are kind of crude (to me anyway) in comparison to the craftsmanship of my Bruce Gordon. Riding this bike will settle the issue in my mind. I will write about it once I put a few miles on it
I've often thought about this. I think, partially because of the fetishization of the French constructeur bikes, possibly fueled by them internets, people associate them with being the pinnacle of craftsmanship. I kind of see them as representing the pinnacle of *design*, but not necessarily craftsmanship. The bikes were designed with no design details left unconsidered, but they were built to be ridden, not propped on a pedestal and scrutinized under the digitally zoomed in eye of the interwebs. If you're a current day constructeur or KOF builder (Weigle, Gordon, Sachs, etc) it's par for the course, and you BETTER NOT leave a file mark anywhere on the bike. I think the craftsmanship bar has risen a lot since the constructeur golden age, but many design elements and the concept of "integration" have been lost or forgotten. Even the new breed of young 20- and 30-something constructeurs (Circle A, Hubert H d'Autremont) who have been building bikes for only a few years are building NAHBS bikes with stunning craftsmanship, but some of these bikes, despite having perfectly thinned lugs and not a single flaw in the brazing, leave a lot to be desired in terms of design, function, and integration (I'm not referring to the above Circle and HHd'A specifically-- I've actually been impressed with their level of integration).

So basically, Northbend, you're never going to be happy... just give that Singer to me (it's my size!) and you'll never have to think about those crude details.
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Old 11-29-12, 11:52 PM
  #22  
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I'm glad you said that, Southpaw. From what I see coming out of the NAHBs, NOW is the true Golden Age. I think some of Weigle's work would make Czuka want to throw down his files and cry.
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Old 11-30-12, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Captain Blight View Post
I'm glad you said that, Southpaw. From what I see coming out of the NAHBs, NOW is the true Golden Age. I think some of Weigle's work would make Czuka want to throw down his files and cry.
And the French constructors in the 40's & 50's probably thought the same thing about their work as compared to pre-war or turn of the century work. The romance of the past yields to the egotism of the present and a hope for the future............or something like that anyway.

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Old 11-30-12, 11:26 AM
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I really enjoy the thoughtful comments from you guys. Funny thing is, I am not comparing bikes from different ages. The Gordon is only 3 years newer than the Singer. I really hope for a let up in the rain tomorrow so I can ride this thing. The greater joy for me is riding bikes not looking at them.
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Old 11-30-12, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by northbend View Post
The greater joy for me is riding bikes not looking at them.
Man, you got that right! That's not to say that I don't like a sweet looking ride, but riding is what it's all about.
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