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Alex Singer dumpster find

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Alex Singer dumpster find

Old 04-16-20, 10:10 AM
  #76  
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Excellent!
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Old 04-16-20, 10:43 AM
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Wow, what a find, and nice work getting it back in good shape!
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Old 04-16-20, 11:18 AM
  #78  
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Great job !!!

That is a keeper !!!!!!
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Old 04-16-20, 11:44 AM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by wawine View Post
no touch ups coming and the seat looks more ragged than it is, so I will keep treating it, but not add more color back into it.

there are lots of pretty Singers out there, so I will keep the old scars on this one, especially since it was literally rescued from the garbage and that is a significant part of the history of the bike. I took the rusty chrome off as it was functionally lacking and possibly had structural issues as well.
Sounds good, I get it, great rescue.
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Old 04-16-20, 12:35 PM
  #80  
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I love it!
But better check your rear derailleur, the chain is not on the first pulley!
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Old 04-16-20, 02:23 PM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by Vaang View Post
I love it!
But better check your rear derailleur, the chain is not on the first pulley!
bumped off during photos, but already back on!😊
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Old 04-16-20, 03:03 PM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by wawine View Post
Update:
I have this now done to where I want it. Totally broken down, rubbed out, waxed and then rebuilt. I replaced the rustiest Campagnolo bits, added better tires, new bar tape and called it good. I even kept the original cable housing. The frame is 1976, so the hoods are probably from the 1980’s, but I left them alone.






It looks great! I really appreciate your approach to leaving imperfections as a testament to the history of the bike. How's it ride?
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Old 04-16-20, 05:42 PM
  #83  
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The bike looks great. It looks fast, too. Is it? What's it weigh, just for grins? Or maybe I missed that.

Last edited by cb400bill; 04-17-20 at 05:17 PM. Reason: Clean up
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Old 04-17-20, 01:11 PM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by BFisher View Post
The bike looks great. It looks fast, too. Is it? What's it weigh, just for grins? Or maybe I missed that.
Great questions! I don't know a lot about constucteur bikes, but some of the reported weights were surprisingly low for vintage bikes. wawine , are you able to report on this?
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Old 04-17-20, 03:02 PM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by tricky View Post
Great questions! I don't know a lot about constucteur bikes, but some of the reported weights were surprisingly low for vintage bikes. wawine , are you able to report on this?
I have not put it on the scale, but surprisingly, it doesn’t feel all that light. However, it may be the wheels. I am used to tubs and these are clinchers with Paris Roubaix 27’s
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Old 04-17-20, 04:27 PM
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Clinchers add mass. No question.
I will be contrarian, the bike appears well, needs fenders.
look at the room under the front brake caliper, the position of the brake blocks.
Fenders.
I have seen mid 70's Singer race bikes, this is not.
Heck, you are in a region where fenders are even sensible.
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Old 04-17-20, 04:46 PM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Clinchers add mass. No question.
I will be contrarian, the bike appears well, needs fenders.
look at the room under the front brake caliper, the position of the brake blocks.
Fenders.
I have seen mid 70's Singer race bikes, this is not.
Heck, you are in a region where fenders are even sensible.
hmmm...
according to Olivier at Singer, this was sold new as a bare frame to Angel Rodriguez, the frame builder, in 1976, to be built with all Campagnolo, in Seattle. Having grown up in Seattle, we never put fenders on a full Campagnolo NR bike in the 1970’s. We saved the fenders for bikes with triples, Duopars, Suntour or maybe a Rally.
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Old 04-18-20, 11:19 AM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by bulgie View Post
That frame looks too large to be Angel's. I think he rode more like 52 cm. Here's a picture of him in 1980, 2nd from the left:

The sasquatch to the left is yours truly. I worked there from '79 to '84. For scale, I am 6'1" not counting the hair. He's maybe 5'4". The guy on one knee is Glenn Erickson, Angel's partner. The Singer wawine has now could maybe have been Glenn's, but more likely it was brought in for resale to a customer.

I've often wondered about that bit of lore, that Angel apprenticed at Singer. I did hear him mention it, but I suspect "apprenticed" may have been more like "hung out at the shop a lot". Even if he was employed to help make frames, he wasn't there long enough for a proper apprenticeship, and apprentices do a lot of sweeping the floor and recycling the cardboard before they're allowed to melt metal. I do believe he got a close look at how they did them however, and it shows in his framebuilding style and choices. He didn't copy Singer, but the influence shows.

None of the written "origin stories" about R+E that I've seen mention a Singer connection. Like the '81 Rodriguez brochure I have, or the history page on the R+E website, or this article about them in a 1976 trade magazine "Bicycle Dealer Showcase". Or this Nov.'75 Bicycling article on American framebuilders, which says Angel learned at Witcomb in England, "with some additional time spent at a shop in Paris". Why so coy? If Angel really did apprentice at Singer, it seems he didn't want to talk about it in public. No one who knows him would describe him as overly modest -- he was good at self-promotion. Lest that sound like an insult, it's not. It's an important skill for a business like that, and Angel was not shy about it.

He did bring back some brazing torches that he got in France, and that's what we used in the R+E frame shop. We did the under-BB cable guides just like the way Singer did, and we sometimes fillet-brazed over a lug to make more pleasing, swoopier transitions, a technique done in France but uncommon in the US back then. This was circa '79-'80. I arrived in '79 and so I was only a little aware of what they did before then. I never saw any Singer frames go through the shop, but we did sell a lot of French exotica like Maxi-Car hubs, and TA headsets and pedals. The tandems we built offered the French oversized (28 mm) tandem steerer as an option, and remember, this was before modern OS 1-1/8" existed. 28 mm was used by Singer, Herse, and Jack Taylor among others, but it was exotic and rare in this country.

Angel designed his own tandem crown to take either 1" or 28 mm steerers, and to fit the wonderful Reynolds 531 oversized tandem fork blades, that almost no one else in America had ever seen other than on a Jack Taylor (Singer tandems being so very rare in this country). Angel's crown was a rough casting but very strong, and they looked nice by the time we got through filing off the roughness.

But I digress!

Mark B in Seattle
in another group, I just got a note from Olivier at Singer stating that he actually remembers Angel Rodriguez ‘training with my uncle’

it looks like the story is true!
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Old 04-18-20, 11:22 AM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by wawine View Post
hmmm...
according to Olivier at Singer, this was sold new as a bare frame to Angel Rodriguez, the frame builder, in 1976, to be built with all Campagnolo, in Seattle. Having grown up in Seattle, we never put fenders on a full Campagnolo NR bike in the 1970’s. We saved the fenders for bikes with triples, Duopars, Suntour or maybe a Rally.
You are missing the French perspective of the builder, not the buyer.
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Old 04-18-20, 12:38 PM
  #90  
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
You are missing the French perspective of the builder, not the buyer.
I am afraid you are mistaken. I have actually been in contact with Olivier at Singer, as recently as yesterday. Here is what he had to say, just this morning:

”for the States we sold only racing frames, with a few racks and stems. For Japan, completes traditionnals bicycles for tourind with so much AS spécification. I have to check but the number is probably more than 200. Tomorrow if i have time, i shall post you my own gallery.”

in the States, we did not put fenders on racing bikes in the 1970’s
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Old 04-18-20, 02:17 PM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by wawine View Post
I am afraid you are mistaken. I have actually been in contact with Olivier at Singer, as recently as yesterday. Here is what he had to say, just this morning:

”for the States we sold only racing frames, with a few racks and stems. For Japan, completes traditionnals bicycles for tourind with so much AS spécification. I have to check but the number is probably more than 200. Tomorrow if i have time, i shall post you my own gallery.”

in the States, we did not put fenders on racing bikes in the 1970’s
Ok, Olivier was not running the show 45+ years ago though.
Look at the position of the brake pads on the front brake, the room above the tire, which is not a typical 22-23mm race tire of the 1970's,
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Old 04-18-20, 04:21 PM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Ok, Olivier was not running the show 45+ years ago though.
Look at the position of the brake pads on the front brake, the room above the tire, which is not a typical 22-23mm race tire of the 1970's,
don’t know quite how to respond. I was riding racing bikes in the 1970’s in Seattle, the guy who owns the shop who sold the bike, who has records of what was sold, and the types of bikes they were, has specifically addressed this bike based on the serial number, but you don’t agree with either of us.

believe what you choose, but I am going with my first hand knowledge of what we bought and rode in Seattle at the time this was sold AND the word of the guy who runs the shop who actually brazed it.
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Old 04-18-20, 04:55 PM
  #93  
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Originally Posted by wawine View Post
in another group, I just got a note from Olivier at Singer stating that he actually remembers Angel Rodriguez ‘training with my uncle’

it looks like the story is true!
Wow, "from the horse's mouth", excellent! Makes me wonder why that info was left out in those articles about Angél and the shop.

Thanks for the update.
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Old 04-18-20, 06:13 PM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by wawine View Post
...believe what you choose, but I am going with my first hand knowledge of what we bought and rode in Seattle at the time this was sold AND the word of the guy who runs the shop who actually brazed it.
You've got the gist of it, I'm sure... Some people are just always right, you know?

This Singer really looks great as is. Thanks so much for sharing. I read through most of the thread but don't think I responded earlier... Very amazing find!

-Gregory
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Old 04-18-20, 07:17 PM
  #95  
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The paint damage around the head lugs showing filleted brass raises a question I am curious about. Can someone more familiar with Singers tell me if the lugs on this frame were made from 2 pieces of tube and filleted together? Or was the brass added to smooth out the curve between the 2 sockets of an already made lug?
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Old 04-19-20, 12:18 AM
  #96  
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Originally Posted by Doug Fattic View Post
The paint damage around the head lugs showing filleted brass raises a question I am curious about. Can someone more familiar with Singers tell me if the lugs on this frame were made from 2 pieces of tube and filleted together? Or was the brass added to smooth out the curve between the 2 sockets of an already made lug?
Pretty sure Singer did both at different times, so hard to tell without a hacksaw.

Mark B
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Old 04-19-20, 08:40 AM
  #97  
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I see repechage point about the fenders. While it wasn't the fashion to put fenders on race bikes in the US, the 700C "Sportif" with fenders was a common style in France. A competition bike designed for long rides where weather is unpredictable and comfort is somewhat important. Still considered a race bike but designed for more than just crits.

The fender mounting braze-ons on the bike indicate it was designed to be able to take fenders.
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Old 04-19-20, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by TenGrainBread View Post
I see repechage point about the fenders. While it wasn't the fashion to put fenders on race bikes in the US, the 700C "Sportif" with fenders was a common style in France. A competition bike designed for long rides where weather is unpredictable and comfort is somewhat important. Still considered a race bike but designed for more than just crits.

The fender mounting braze-ons on the bike indicate it was designed to be able to take fenders.
My 1972 Raleigh Professional has fender eyelets and room for 32mm tires at least, but the geometry is so tight that I have to let air out of the 23mm tire to fit into the dropouts between the front derailleur anyway!

Just because some features are included doesn't necessarily mean that they were practical or meant to exemplify the ideal build around a frame set. The geometry on this Singer is also tight, and I'm sure would have been excellent for crit racing in its day, fender eyelets and room to spare or not.

-Gregory
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Old 04-19-20, 10:08 AM
  #99  
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Originally Posted by TenGrainBread View Post
I see repechage point about the fenders. While it wasn't the fashion to put fenders on race bikes in the US, the 700C "Sportif" with fenders was a common style in France. A competition bike designed for long rides where weather is unpredictable and comfort is somewhat important. Still considered a race bike but designed for more than just crits.

The fender mounting braze-ons on the bike indicate it was designed to be able to take fenders.
just about every bike ever made with Campagnolo 1010A dropouts at that time, had fender eyelets, as they were part of the forging itself. If a frame maker had these in his shop, he would have to take them off, but why would you? Down the road, someone may want to put fenders on the bike. However, the presence of these, doesn’t mean the bike was intended for fenders at the time it was sold.

Seattle frame builder Angel Rodriguez, who had worked at Singer before this frame was made, ordered this in 1976 for likely a well heeled client. As confirmed by Olivier, who likely actually brazed this frame, it was built as a racing frame, for the US market, where Campagnolo was the rage, and shipped bare.

If Angel, who had worked at Singer, wanted the classic French style Singer with fenders, he would have ordered it that way. Instead, this is an ‘Italian’ style frame, with Campagnolo dropouts, Campagnolo cable clips on the top tube, a peg on the down tube to lock into Campagnolo band on shifters, with the intent to build an entirely Campagnolo racing bike for the US market.

When found, this is exactly as it was, with no fenders. In the US in those days, nobody used fenders on racing bikes and many didn’t on touring bikes either. I have a 1971 Cinelli with full Spence Wolf Alpine components, with the original receipt, from the original owner. It has these same dropouts but was never fitted with fenders. My 1971 Masi has these dropouts, was sold new in Vancouver but never had fenders. There are lots of stories about Cinellis being delivered to the US in the 1960’s with fenders, and the first thing that happened, was that they were discarded.

Olivier at Singer shipped a bare ‘racing’ frame to a former worker at the shop, with no fenders, to be built up with Campagnolo when it arrived. This has been confirmed directly from him.

I find the bike, 40+ years later, built exactly this way, with no indication it was ever built any other way, and no fenders were ever mounted.

For some reason, people want to continue to keep telling me it is not built ‘correctly’.

WTF?
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Old 04-19-20, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Kilroy1988 View Post
My 1972 Raleigh Professional has fender eyelets and room for 32mm tires at least, but the geometry is so tight that I have to let air out of the 23mm tire to fit into the dropouts between the front derailleur anyway!

Just because some features are included doesn't necessarily mean that they were practical or meant to exemplify the ideal build around a frame set. The geometry on this Singer is also tight, and I'm sure would have been excellent for crit racing in its day, fender eyelets and room to spare or not.

-Gregory
You can bet that if a Singer left the shop with fender eyelets, it was designed and tested to be able to have a fender mounted. The fact that your Raleigh can't mount fenders despite having braze-ons is more of a reflection of bike-boom Raleigh's poor design and quality control. It's a little silly to try to argue that it's good practice to add a fender braze-ons but make it impractical or impossible for the rider to use them.

Check out the pictures posted of the bike. Look at the gap between the fork crown and front tire. Look at the fact that the brake posts are at the bottom of their adjustment to reach the rims. As @repechage already mentioned, the clearances are clearly designed to allow use of a fender. Whether the owner adds the fenders or not is their choice. But to argue that the bike was 100% intended to go fenderless by the builder is clearly wrong considering the frame's features.

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