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Paris Sport

Old 01-18-21, 07:48 AM
  #1  
ExPatTyke
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Paris Sport

I bought a Paris Sport during the first lockdown, back in May last year; I've ridden it for a few miles and am interested in finding out a bit more about it.

I'm not bothered about the value - I paid 37 for it and got a nice bike to ride that I'm intending to keep - but am interested in where and when it was built, whether there's a model name or number, and any catalogue photos. I'm assuming it's a low end model; there's no braze on for a bottle cage or rear derailleur and no tubing label. The only identifier is what I presume is a serial number stamped on the rear dropout, which is pictured below.

From what I've found in searches I think the bikes were made (using either imported French frames or frames built in house) and sold by Park Cycles of NJ. I may be wrong on this of course, but I'm very happy to be corrected. Assuming the bike was built and sold in the USA, I'm intrigued at how it ended up in a shed in rural Somerset. There's no way I'll ever find out, but the history of an object like this always interests me.

The seller I bought it from said he'd started a restoration, fitted a new back wheel (unfortunately he said he'd got rid of the original wheel) and lost interest. Probably for the best - the hub locknuts on the new wheel had been undone and refitted on the outside of the dropouts!

For information the replacement rear wheel is a Weinmann rim on Quando hub. The front wheel is a Rigida rim, I can't quite make out the inscription on the hub. Brakes are CLB, the chainset's a Solida, and front and rear derailleurs are Shimano - I think they are probably also replacements as the rear mech is a SIS mech, and the shifters are (non-indexed) Sachs-Huret.

I bought it with fitted with Weinmann suicide brake levers, very grubby white handlebar tape and cable housings. I've replaced the levers with CLB levers, fitted a new chain and 6-speed freewheel, a bottle cage, Look Delta pedals, and treated it to a pair of 27 x 1-1/4 Conti Ultrasport 3 tyres, as the tyres fitted were cracked quite badly. I had to fit new bearings and regrease the bottom bracket as there was enough play for the crank arm to be scraping on the front mech - it's a French bottom bracket.

A few photos below - apologies for the state of the bike; I did 40 odd miles on some pretty rough roads yesterday and haven't got round to cleaning it properly yet. Many thanks, as always, for any information.





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Old 01-18-21, 06:36 PM
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Nice bike. Not digging that RD, no way. Hopefully someone has a suggestion for the right OEM part.
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Old 01-19-21, 04:30 AM
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Not to argue, but with updated 6-speed gearing on the back, that SIS derailleur will work perfectly. Original derailleurs, like an older Simplex, will need a huge amount of travel in the shift levers to operate fully across 6 gears. At least that's been my experience. Of course I'm a "handsome is as handsome does" sort of person. Be careful with the position of the skewer on the non-drive side. It doesn't seem to be on there by much. Looks like a fun ride.
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Old 01-20-21, 01:27 AM
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Originally Posted by WGB View Post
Nice bike. Not digging that RD, no way. Hopefully someone has a suggestion for the right OEM part.
Originally Posted by kross57 View Post
Not to argue, but with updated 6-speed gearing on the back, that SIS derailleur will work perfectly. Original derailleurs, like an older Simplex, will need a huge amount of travel in the shift levers to operate fully across 6 gears. At least that's been my experience. Of course I'm a "handsome is as handsome does" sort of person. Be careful with the position of the skewer on the non-drive side. It doesn't seem to be on there by much. Looks like a fun ride.
Cheers for the feedback guys - much appreciated. WGB - I agree completely that the RD doesn't look right. It does work pretty well though with the new freewheel and chain - it was slipping and jumping gears when I bought it. I'm assuming the original was a Sachs-Huret matching the shifters, but finding one in good condition at a sensible price isn't easy. I may swap it for something like a Shimano RD1055 which should work just as well and look much better on the bike (I've got one fitted to my Gitane, and it works very nicely with a 6/7 speed chain). The problem with nice shiny components is that they show up the state of the paintwork

kross57 - good spot on the dropout; I'd undone it and moved it forward to show the serial number; I've normally got it pushed back as far as possible. The area where the paint's been worn off was where a previous owner had fitted it. And you're right about travel on the shifter. I've got a BSA that I've fitted with a new rear wheel and respaced the dropout to 126mm. That's got Sachs-Huret shifters and a six speed freewheel too, but has the original Raleigh branded RD; getting it into the bottom sprocket needs the lever pulling right back.
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Old 01-20-21, 07:30 AM
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I got a Paris Sport as a teenager back in the early '70s. It replaced a Raleigh Record that was stolen (along with my older brother's Raleigh Grand Prix). I lived in Northern New Jersey near the shop that sold them and the Paris Sport was the bike to have at the time for a kid wanting what we called a "ten speed" back then. I used the bike in all weather conditions commuting to my part-time job during my college years. Then one day I went to pick up the bike to bring it out for a ride and the fork just fell apart, detaching from the point where the fork meets with the lugs at the top. The front wheel and fork were left hanging by the cables! I was lucky to have averted disaster as the fork separated when I lifted the bike rather than when I was riding it. My Paris Sport was a nice shade of light blue and I really loved that bike but once the fork broke I got rid of it. Unfortunately I cannot add to the discussion of the value of your bike but seeing yours did bring back fond memories of mine.
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Old 01-20-21, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by WGB View Post
Nice bike. Not digging that RD, no way. Hopefully someone has a suggestion for the right OEM part.
Agree 100%. I had a near neighbor who rode a Paris Sport. I can't recall how it was kitted, though.

If it were mine, I'd fit a Shimano Crane or a SunTour VGTLuxe, or a VxGT.
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Old 01-20-21, 08:49 AM
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Here you go, courtesy of Classic Rendezvous...

Paris Sport & Victor Cycles were "house brands" name applied to many bicycles as sold and distributed by Park Cycle & Sports in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey. Vic Fraysse, with his son, Mike, imported or had made in the States, frames sold as Paris Sport. These were manufactured by multiple suppliers including Bertin, Vitus (Bador) and Starnord (the latter bikes made by Bernard Dangre's company DANGRE-STARNORD, of Valenciennes, northern France. This company also made bikes under the France-Sport and NORD-STAR brands. It also had the rights to the Eddy Merckx name for France.) "..(Starnord was a) relatively small family-owned affairs but they managed to produce a full range of bikes from kid's' tourers and racers right through to serious amateur racing machines... sponsored local semi-pro teams from time to time. An interesting fact about Dangre-Starnord is that the company never kept any stock; it did not have a warehouse. Every frame and cycle built was ordered by someone, and each customer, regardless of the model, price, etc., of their bike and could choose their own spray finish from a range of about 20 colours."
"Both Dangre..(was) on the route of the Paris - Roubaix classic, ... being just around the corner from the first 'ravitaillement' zone on the route." Norris Lockley

In addition to "regular" manufactured bikes, there were Paris Sport high end frames made by interesting specialty builders who had brief stints for the Ridgefield Park concern. Those included Francesco Cuevas (Spain), Pepe Limongi (France), and Dave Moulton (UK).

Paris_Sport Bikes
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Old 01-21-21, 05:00 AM
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Thank you everyone for the replies - some really interesting replies and good advice from all of you.

From what's been said it looks like the bike was made and sold in the USA - before I saw this one on Ebay I'd never heard of the Paris Sport brand, and I haven't seen a single other one either on the road or Ebay (UK) since. As I mentioned before it's intriguing how this one has made its way from NJ to a corner of the UK; but however it got here I've got a great bike to ride.


Great Exmoor Ride 2020 - one of the very few sportives that went ahead in the UK last year.

Last edited by ExPatTyke; 01-21-21 at 05:09 AM. Reason: Line added to photo
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Old 01-28-21, 10:58 AM
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Paris-Sport, at least on the Westcoast in the 70's were in general the custom built frames by a handful of builders. There was a following, I think driven by the appearance in the National monthly racing newspapers, the racing bikes had a white ellipse with a big F, easy to see even in print. Smart marketing. I think Dave Moulton built for them at one interval and a few other eponymous builders.

We did not see the production based bikes out west.

the bike shown here appears as a capable machine, nothing odd, all in concert. The lower tier SIS rear mech of curse is a later replacement. Maybe a drop parallelogram or slant parallelogram unit instead.
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