22 March, 2007

A 1952 Chrome Rene Herse


I got a great e-mail and photos while I was out of town and promptly forgot about it. Well Steve has e-mailed more photos and I wanted to share them along with some of his comments. This is one fantastic bike and a neat project. Steve wrote:

"Dale Brown has stored my '52Herse for years and three weeks ago I had it mailed. Recent health issues finally made me realize now is the time for refurbishing and riding . This bike is a year older than me and we both need rebuilt!!.I bought a pair of wheels from ebay gorospil and the front wheel arrived today crushed by DHL. 60's 650b Mavic, Maxi Car hubs. God give me strength !!! I pray the second arrives intact. Life is indeed fragile. Your VeloOrange blog prompted this email.

I have accumulated all RHerse parts needed. RHerse front dr, a 60's RHerse triple crank, Herse canti's and all hardware, Herse stem with the owners address imprinted, hand shaped bars unlike any I've seen and the Sologne bag with the decauler ?, RH rear rack and a Singer front rack. Lefol fenders, lights and all the little things too. This frame has the Herse bb, wiring thru the frame with the brass thing in the fork and a Simplex rd. Ideale alloy cantle saddle, red Michelin tyres.

I'll be taking pix of my redo and posting somewhere. Right now I don't feel good enough to take the pix. I feel blessed to be able to have this opportunity and thankful my lovely wife concurrs. The frame is soaking in Evaporust currently, seems to work well but slowly. I'm also having a custom built with authenic Herse/Singer lugs, metric 531 from the Singer shoppe, pre war Hetchins rear, current Bates Diadrant fork and crown and a JTaylor curved seat tube .I will buy all of your racks, bags and trappings when we get that far. I'm still deciding on 650b or 700c as I ride a 58-59 and tend toward long and lean 700c since that matches my body."

13 comments:

neil m berg said...

Oh my God, is this exciting! Are the spokes as heavy as they appear or is it a photo illusion? I love the seat stay detail. I don't want to take business from Chris, but this baby deserves racks made to fit. Chrome, not stainless. No matter how well intended, off the rack racks(sorry)are compromises.

ANDY said...

neil,

I think the VO racks are for his OTHER sweet-ass bike ("I'm also having a custom built with authenic Herse/Singer lugs...")!

neil m berg said...

I stand corrected. Steve is rich. Rich in bicycles.

thefastfifty said...

agh!
i really wish that seat cluster photo was bigger.

peter weigle said...

The seat stay arrangement on the Herse where the stays pass by the seat tube and attach to the top tube is called helenic.
It has been used by lots of builders over the years, Routens,Hetchins etc. and was used on the Baylis Aero Tour.
Routens did this treatment very well, with a light and delicate slight wrap of the caps on the top tube.
The Data Book shows several examples of this style.

david_nj said...

Amazing bike. I personally don't like that style of seat cluster though -- is there a functional reason for it or do some people just like the look?

Hey, BTW I have a question for you guys: last night commuting home on my trusty old PX10 commuter in the rain I couldn't see very well and I fell into a *huge* pothole. Didn't crash, just saved it, but I just barely avoided going up two octaves in the process. When I got home, I noticed that although the front wheel was true, the paint was cracked on top of the TT and the DT just behind the head tube lugs. There's faint dimple underneath too. The clearance between the fender and the DT is tighter. Does that mean the frame is toast, or should I not worry about it?

Chris Kulczycki said...

David, Technically the frame is toast. But plenty of folks keep riding frames like that. You could make some measurements to see how far out the head tube is. I doubt that a PX10, nice as they are, is worth having two tubes replaced since you can get another one for a reasonable price on E-Bay.

neil m berg said...

DJ,
Bad luck. I'm sorry, I know how much that bike meant to you. I guess you have to look at this as an opportunity.

johnson said...

i have a witcomb that i ran into a parking garage, same type of damage. i did that damage 4 years ago, and have ridden it ever since. it steepened the head angle and the bike doesnt like to be ridden no hands now...
but i check it often, no crack has formed.

peter weigle said...

David nj said," Does that mean the frame is yoast"?

David, yes, "french toast", I couldn't resist...

Sorry this happened to you, these old bikes become friends don't they.
Like Chris and Johnson said, you may be able to ride it forever,, but I would always be on the lookout for another. If you or any of your friends are on the Classic Rendezvous list you may want to post a frame wanted ad there. The guys/gals on the list are an amazing rescoursce for vintage bikes,parts and frames,,, they all collect way too much,,, and sometimes relish the chance to pass one of their pieces along.
Just a thought.

david_nj said...

Thanks for the advice. The frame doesn't look that screwy, but the wheel is now far too close to my toe. I think it's partially that the fork itself might have bent.

At any rate I can't see chucking the bike. Anyone know of somewhere I can quickly get a 1" threadless canti fork made up with shitloads of rake?

Best, /d

Chris Kulczycki said...

David, this frame on E-bay is your size and would be a great replacement and the guy selling it is trustworthy:

http://tinyurl.com/2ztjo8

david_nj said...

Chris many thanks but that one doesn't have the fender attaching eyelets. I reckon what I'll just do is try to find a large old beater frame for 27" inch wheels and then using 700 wheels there might be a little more room to fit my fat city tires and fenders and such.