1935 Ordonnanzrad '05 Swiss Army Bike

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AUbicycles
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1935 Ordonnanzrad '05 Swiss Army Bike

Postby AUbicycles » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:58 am

This is my recently acquired 1935 Ordonnanzrad which was based on a 1905 design that was retained until 1988. First some photos and then some details.

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A short note on the army bikes, bicycles were cheaper than horses and a lot of different nations had military bikes - the Swiss are particularly well known for their bikes as they are still used. These bikes are self contained, many had luggage and various models were used to transport (buggies) and even weapons such as grenade launchers or small canons.

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I purchased for a fair price. The seller had the typical luggage and toolbox in the pictures however they were no longer on the bike - they had between stolen and as such I haggled. The luggage however wasn't original (just the toolbag). Other details, I asked for the saddle, an original Stephan (no longer exists) in leather but unrideable. A dodgy plastic in faux leather was mounted and was discarded. Also some grips were provided but I later discovered that they didn't fit. In the photos the bike is show without grips. Unfortunately the original pump was not on the bike, just the pump holder.

The bike is technically in great condition and the frame structure is sound. It is stamped with 1935 and I cross-checked the serial number before purchase to confirm that it was actually correct. The production year and serial number are stamped on either sides of the top of the seat tube. As a size note, based on production year and the distinct chainring - this was is a Condor manufactured bike.

The first step was a complete cleanup. It would not be stripped and repainted, rather cleaned and the frame protected. There are a number of superficial rust areas and the frame is heavy scuffed and scratched but this also adds to the charm. There was fairly heavy grim and I relied on elbow grease and 'balistic oil' - Balisttol. The oil is naturally based (though historically was chemically based) and is great for rust to clean and then to protect. It is not a hard or aggressive cleaner so used as a smear and doesn't actually cuts through rust as such. Previously I have used car wax as a protector which works well however a lot is removed in buffing and it is not actually or specifically active to protect against rust.

An interesting thing is that in service, the bikes did go through upgrades and the rear fender is newer as well as the front reflector. The Swiss introduced number plates and this bike has a registration number (the green one) while the second one with the Swiss Canton (state) was not on the bike.

The chain is wonderfully massive and it is interesting, on the torpedo hubs there are small nozzles whee oil can be refilled. It has three brakes, a plunger brake at the front, a drum brake and a coaster brake. The cables are degraded and I don't want to replace - rather keep it original but wondering if I can protect.

Likewise, the saddle is beautiful and I could organise someone to do a new leather so the bike is more rideable however it takes away plenty of charm. The saddle was produced in Germany by Stephan (which was founded in 1851 but and then was part of East Germany and became a Government company (VEB) and eventually disappeared).

I purchased new grips, they were cheap as they are fairly generic (but postage was 4 times the cost of two grips). Saddle bags, particularly one that are appropriate for the era are about 400 - 650 Euro and I would love to get a tool kit but this could also be 100 - 200 Euro.

It ride nicely - fairly upright and even though the handlebars are wide and control is nice, it feels narrow - like a classic gentlemans bike. It is not fast - so steady and stable with a specified weight of 22.5kg... you notice the weight when moving it but riding doesn't feel like a burden as such. While it has some comfort, riding long distances would still be a challenge for comfort - I am considering that the upright seated position and reaching down to the bars is not as relaxed or ergonomic as a modern geometry.

Because I like the saddle and overall presence, I will probably keep it as a display bike and potentially organise a second saddle for an occasional ride. I want to take care as replacement parts are pricey and I would prefer to keep it as original as possible.

There is a fair amount of info about the Ordonnanz 05 (Swiss Army) bikes - though mostly in German. If you are curious, you can run this resource site through Google Translate: http://osth.educanet2.ch/ordonnanzrad/. ... /index.htm

Or ask me (I am fluent... in German, not Swiss-German)

Christopher

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Re: 1935 Ordonnanzrad '05 Swiss Army Bike

Postby Gordon1 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:22 am

Can I ask if it was purchased locally?

Keep your eyes out for international sellers, sometimes cheap (in comparison to buy every day) bags come up.

You will be unlikely to get the matching year bag and bike but leather from the 30's probably wouldn't be all that desirable.

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Re: 1935 Ordonnanzrad '05 Swiss Army Bike

Postby P!N20 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:31 am

Wow. Looks to be in amazing condition for its age. How many gear inches are you pushing?

I think a grenade launcher would really set this bike apart, and I feel it's something missing from today's offerings.

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Re: 1935 Ordonnanzrad '05 Swiss Army Bike

Postby AUbicycles » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:35 pm

I am overseas so it was far more accessible though it was still a nice chance as it is still harder to get the older bikes. In the US I have seen that there is a bit more demand while in Australia I would struggle to recall ever seeing one of these.

On the leather, you are right. It was a bit 'wiffy' and it was originally intended for my office to mount on the wall as a nice display but was promptly banned again.

The other thing about the old leather - like the bags is that they get brittle and crack. There is new-ware available but it is still handwork so as its price. I do like the look of the luggage but there is not really a big motivation to replicate.

I will check the gearing.

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Re: 1935 Ordonnanzrad '05 Swiss Army Bike

Postby Thoglette » Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:28 pm

Schön!

I do like that seat post - you learn something new (well, old) every day
Stop handing them the stick! - Dave Moulton
"People are worthy of respect, ideas are not." Peter Ellerton, UQ

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Re: 1935 Ordonnanzrad '05 Swiss Army Bike

Postby WyvernRH » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:46 pm

Very nice! I have a German ladies 'Farrrad' in the pipeline and the remains of an old Adler with the 3-speed in the triangular bottom bracket that I would love to get more parts for. I find these these working bikes really interesting. I'll see if I can get some pictures arranged.

Richard

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Re: 1935 Ordonnanzrad '05 Swiss Army Bike

Postby AUbicycles » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:24 pm

If you get stuck for parts, let me know. I rarely trawl the markets but am a local contact :)

Cheers
Christopher

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Re: 1935 Ordonnanzrad '05 Swiss Army Bike

Postby Gordon1 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:15 pm

AUbicycles wrote:I am overseas so it was far more accessible though it was still a nice chance as it is still harder to get the older bikes. In the US I have seen that there is a bit more demand while in Australia I would struggle to recall ever seeing one of these.

On the leather, you are right. It was a bit 'wiffy' and it was originally intended for my office to mount on the wall as a nice display but was promptly banned again.

The other thing about the old leather - like the bags is that they get brittle and crack. There is new-ware available but it is still handwork so as its price. I do like the look of the luggage but there is not really a big motivation to replicate.

I will check the gearing.



I got mine from the US when there was close to parity between the AUD and USD. The freight was basically the same price as the bike but it was still reasonable overall. I subsequently got a satchel bag at a reasonable price and is from the 60''s. While i would have liked the years of bike and bag to match it would be pretty hard to "do". Luckily mine had tool bag, tools and pump. Mine also has the beaded edge tyres and is 1938 build.

I may be wrong but I think before about 1940/41 there was no drum rear brake so that is possibly a later addition (mine also has this) but don't quote me. I think most early ones have been upgraded to 3 braking mechanisms if I am correct about the drum brake being a later addition

I also believe there were different builders. The one I have has the remnants Condor water slide decal where a traditional head tube badge would be so I am pretty sure mine is Condor but who knows what is original and what isn't after all these years. Either way they could tell some stories.

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Re: 1935 Ordonnanzrad '05 Swiss Army Bike

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:09 pm

AUbicycles wrote:
Or ask me (I am fluent... in German, not Swiss-German)

Christopher


Pfft, Schweizerdeutsch, I can barely remember regular deutsch...

Interesting post this.

Calling it a Swiss Army Bicycle conjures images of total utility, although I can't see the bottle opener, scissors or corkscrew....

Didn't the US military develop a folding MTB for their Airborne divisions, as in recently like Iraq, or something like that..
Mmm, SunTour

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Re: 1935 Ordonnanzrad '05 Swiss Army Bike

Postby AUbicycles » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:36 pm

A lot of the bike went through various upgrades and I don't know everything that was done but it does change it away from an original build.

On the hubs - here is a guide on specifications for the timeframes:
http://osth.educanet2.ch/ordonnanzrad/. ... /index.htm

For the different builders, the chain ring is the obvious reference point and there was a lot of cross-over - i.e. multiple simultaneous manufacturers:
http://osth.educanet2.ch/ordonnanzrad/. ... /index.htm

Here is also another reference for the numbers / serial numbers / registration numbers:
http://www.mein-schaufenster.com/Fahrra ... sicht.html

All sources are in German but no need to really translate as the data is fairly self explanatory.


The American military were, I understand, using the Montague Folding bike and this then made is fairly quickly into commercial sales. In Australia, these were also available through Eureka for a short time and now are handled by another importer. In 2010, one of these were reviewed on BNA:
http://www.bicycles.net.au/2010/06/trai ... lding-mtb/

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Re: 1935 Ordonnanzrad '05 Swiss Army Bike

Postby Bunged Knee » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:43 pm

Nice and interesting bike.

Have you read this https://www.benvanhelden.nl/Condorclub/Fiets/Switserland/MO05/MO05.html yet?

Scroll down to see if it`s looks similar like yours or not.
ID please? What ID? My seat tube ID is 27.2mm or 31.6mm depending on what bikes I ride today.thanks...

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Re: 1935 Ordonnanzrad '05 Swiss Army Bike

Postby Bunged Knee » Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:01 am

Looks like you`d need the leather carrier pack for your bike.

Try it in your country too see if price change. From EBay Pack Carrier Black Leather Bike MO-5.
ID please? What ID? My seat tube ID is 27.2mm or 31.6mm depending on what bikes I ride today.thanks...

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