Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking
Does anyone know anything about french bikes?
I picked up a nicely lugged tange 900 french bike the other day.
It says it is a "Rapallo" I think (decals very faded) and has Simplex derailiers and CLB brakes.
I can't find any mention of Rapallo on the web (apart from it is an Italian town).
I only know that in a country with largely English based parts, you're going to have fun finding bits
But that's half the joy of old bikes isn't it? And ebay makes it sooooo easy.
I had a good bike ... so I fixed it
I'm sorry but I haven't heard of a Rapallo bike before. I think the most important ingredient of any French bike rebuild is whether the bearings / threads / components are in roadworthy condition as you point out with this bike. A cosmetic clean-up is probably worthwhile.
I hate to say it but I really can't warm to French bikes (except for Vitus and some older Peugeot) - perhaps I'm just a bike snob.
Well here are the Pics.
As you can see the frame will have to be stripped back to bare metal!
Exactly when I'll get around to this one I have no idea, but I did like the detail around the minor lug work and I couldn't stand to see it go down the tip.
Looks like the exact same seatpost (what's with those black cutout strips anyway?) I found impossible to budge, even with the tightening bolt completely removed.
I ended up dropping it into the LBS to get the bike "roadworthied", and told them to have a go. I'll find out today if it worked, and if they've got no joy, I'll take a hacksaw to it.
Just an update on the rejuvenation of my Rapallo.
Have found a shimano 6 speed cluster to fit the 126mm but havenn't found suitable rims yet.
Frame has been stripped and is off to the powdercoaters today...pearl red, similar to the original (I hope)
Have bodged a few bits and pieces (barrel adjusters and screw) to get the brakes and rear Simplex derailleur to work.
Front Simplex derailleur has a broken clamp and is cactus so I replaced it with a shimano AX found on a dumped Malvern Star.
Have put the (perfect) chainrings, stem and derailleurs om a buffing wheel after a soak in solvent, and polished them to a mirror finish. Not appropriate for a classic I know, but from what the LBS tells me , Rapallos were quite good bikes but never top notch.
Looked real good when I roughly reassembled it and It's gunna look bloody beautiful when it comes back from powdercoating.
Will provide pics then, when it's finished.
Sometimes bike manufacturers in countries that use different dimensional standards exported their domestic models, & sometimes they made "export" models with frame dimensions & thread standards that matched the market where they were to be sold.
Your seatpost diameter may well be the clue to the whole thing as these differed between countries, but is normally marked on the post itself.
A quick search through the Sheldon Brown site should reveal whether the size on the post is French standard or English standard
Carbine & SJH cycles, & Quicksilver BMX
Now that's AUSTRALIAN to the core.
[quote="Minority"]I can't wait to see it finished to give me an idea what mine might look like when I get a around to working on it.
It would be really nice if you could source some Rapallo decals to finish it off like these ones
I'm not sure that I can put decals on it anyway if it's been powdercoated...maybe just put some clear enamel over the decal only and leave the frame alone?
The powdercoat colour is a close match to the original though.
"Crystal Ruby"...4 coats beeudiful!
Not on forum long enought o repeat the links tin your post. Nice pics though.
I know it's easy for me to say the extra $70 is worth it, but I think Kid is right.
Check out the bike in this link (also a possible source for decals in the USA, no idea of cost though)
http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t= ... =jrrestore
Chatting to the LBS bloke and he told me that "Rapallo" was not actually a brand. Manufacturers just used to buy the decals and put them on bikes made up from whatever happened to be lying around or going cheap.
He also told me that he can open up the rear dropouts to 130mm to take a modern hub, so rather than waste time trying to find old wheels I'm just going to bung on some Shimano R500s
That definately seems to be the case for some bikes (I wish I could find some of those decal sets in stock somewhere!).
But I think there may also have been Rapallo bikes as there seem to be bikes identical to mine in far flung corners of the globe (well USA I think).
Check out this link:
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.ph ... ht=rapallo
Excellent links, well done.
I just scored a set of Shimano 600 downtube shifters and F and R derailleurs in really good condition for $AUD20.00 and have a pair of NOS Weinmann brakes and levers ($30.00) on the way. The powdercoater rang me last night to let me know the frame is ready for collection.
The Rapallo Owner's Club grows!
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