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An Old Jo Routens Randonneuse!

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An Old Jo Routens Randonneuse!

Old 10-18-22, 07:35 PM
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Kilroy1988 
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An Old Jo Routens Randonneuse!

Hello all,

I'm finally diving into the French scene with a splash after receiving a box from France last weekend. This afternoon I took the time to assemble the bicycle as purchased...

It's a Jo Routens randonneuse that probably dates from the 1950s, based on the description of the seller (who also thought it might have been a Sabliere) as well as a handful of other notable collectors, who at least all agreed that it was a Routens! The frame and fork are made from lightweight FOBUR tubing (you can look that up if you're curious) that was commonly used by Routens and contemporary builders in the region during the immediate post-war era. The frame was modified to accommodate modern gearing sometime during or after the 1970s, as the Huret hanger, derailleurs and shifters attest to. However, the lovely sealed-bearing Maxicar hubs are the first generation with blue caps on the cartridges, which means they pre-date 1947. Besides that, there is the neat proprietary stem, nicely integrated fenders and front rack, Stronglight crankset, Lyotard 460 pedals, Mafac levers and calipers, AVA rims, and a rather crusty Ideale saddle... The seatpost was cut to accommodate the rear brake cable that passes through the seat tube, so I have it set 3cm lower than I usually ride and will need to find a replacement.

I re-greased the headset putting the bicycle together but everything else needs to be gone through and all of the consumables need to be replaced as well. However, it rode super quietly and smoothly down the road as is with just around 40 pounds of pressure in each of the old Wolber tires.

There are two other project bicycles nearly complete in my queue and then I'll move onto this one. I'll get it into tip-top mechanical condition before any major cosmetic work gets done. However, I'm already wondering if it's a tad small for me and debating whether or not that'll seal its fate before I even begin the restoration process... If it's not to be, then I'll probably pass it on to one of you fine folks! Cheers!

-Gregory










Last edited by Kilroy1988; 10-18-22 at 09:29 PM.
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Old 10-18-22, 07:39 PM
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52telecaster
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Wow!!!
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Old 10-18-22, 08:25 PM
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Really cool! I hope it fits!
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Old 10-18-22, 08:26 PM
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Oh man, what a beauty! I'm so jealous!
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Old 10-18-22, 08:42 PM
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A bike of the decades.

needs to be Black I think.
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Old 10-18-22, 09:06 PM
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-----



shall definitely look forward to following along here - whenever it will be that it becomes a front hob becane

if Stronglight spindle at all contemporaneous to cycle it shall have a two digit number stamped into one of the taper flats on the drive side



the two stem binders and the seat binder are ALGI bits

have a set of MAXI's similar to these with the blue anodised caps but alas electrolysis got going between the hub shell and the spokes so that the flanges have become somewhat dematerialized

congratulations on this wonderful find and thank you for sharing it with the forum


-----

Last edited by juvela; 10-19-22 at 05:31 AM. Reason: correction
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Old 10-18-22, 09:16 PM
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In freaking love, Kilroy! What a fantastic looking machine. Have been in love with the seatstay treatment (step aside GT, this is how real framebuilders do triple triangle) and the slightly wider-than-the-blades Routens crown ever since first seeing one of these.

-Kurt
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Old 10-18-22, 09:27 PM
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Congratulations! You have certainly stepped into the world of French bikes in fine style.
Brent
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Old 10-19-22, 03:57 AM
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Wonderful; having three vintage GTs, I always wanted to get a Rountens when I finally get a Randonneuse.
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Old 10-19-22, 04:14 AM
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What a wonderfully elegant old machine.
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Old 10-19-22, 04:30 AM
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Beautiful 😍
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Old 10-19-22, 06:51 AM
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Beautiful bike . I hope this gets the full treatment, although it is presentable as it stands. I have not gotten into the French touring bikes myself , save for a Motobecane or Peugeot. This is in another league.
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Old 10-19-22, 08:06 AM
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jet sanchEz
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Lovely

Is that the original paint?
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Old 10-19-22, 08:07 AM
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Hi Gregory, what a machine you've found! Of course, I am going to scurry over to French eBay now given your example. I know with your attention to detail put to work on this thing, the bike will be made ready for another 70 years of service.

When I've searched for similar, they are always too small. It seems to me that few larger-sized bikes were built - I hope this fits you, but if it doesn't, it looks like it would fit me...
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Old 10-19-22, 08:53 AM
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Good morning, folks! Thanks for the compliments, I'm very excited about the bicyle for sure.

repechage If it gets to the point where I know I'll be keeping it then a new paint job is definitely in order. For the time being the plan is to do a dark blue with red single box lining akin to a handful of Routens I've seen in their original paint.

juvela Thanks for the information on the ALGI parts, and all will be revealed once I start tearing it down again! Will keep an eye on that spindle.

Kabuki12 I hope I get a chance to restore it completely as well! I have already purchased a reproduction set of the main downtube decals and will wax and polish all of the parts as is while getting it back into top riding condition. A second tear-down and paint will be in order if it works for me, otherwise I don't want to do that and then sell it to someone who might have a different color in mind!

jet sanchEz The paint is not original. The bicycle would have probably originally had a stay-mounted rear derailleur and one of Routens proprietary front derailleur mechanisms, and the associated braze-ons were removed and the dropout hanger added at some point in time along with the current paint, by the look of things.

Ged117 I'll keep you in mind as #2 on the list!

Since I'm sure some are curious, the seat tube measures 60.5cm from center-to-top with a 56cm center-to-center top tube. This is almost identical to some of my other bikes but the way these frames were meant to fit is a bit different, so we'll see... Cheers!

-Gregory
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Old 10-19-22, 09:41 AM
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One way you could tweak the fit of this bicycle is to have a new stem made. Any good framebuilder could copy that style. Of course the original stem was made so it is level but it could be angled up just a bit. And the length could be altered so your seat and handlebars are in the perfect position for you. And the new one could be painted to match.

This style of bicycle was made to ride comfortably not win a race. Most likely that means a slightly higher handlebar position.
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Old 10-19-22, 10:15 AM
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Doug Fattic Thank you, Doug. I already engaged with Mark (gugie ) prior to even receiving the bicycle and I'll likely only need the tube that's brazed into the steerer extended about an inch and a half with the original stem, which Mark would then add material to the bottom of so it still sits flush atop the headset. Then I'd get it rechromed. That's the plan, anyway.

I'll clean and paint the stem as is and should be able to judge how much more effort I'll put into it all.

I purchased the required consumables this morning and will report back in a few weeks with fresh photos and a ride report!

-Gregory
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Old 10-19-22, 10:34 AM
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I like the way that front rack is mounted. I have always thought that a Berthoud fender would work as a rack if there was a way to support a bag.
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Old 10-19-22, 11:25 AM
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Late to this but man is that nice.
Great Score, Congrats.
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Old 10-19-22, 01:36 PM
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When Mark finishes the stem modification you may want to look into nickel plating, I think it is more appropriate for such a rare piece. Also , pardon my ignorance , but the stud(s) on the side of the stem are for....?
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Old 10-19-22, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Kabuki12
When Mark finishes the stem modification you may want to look into nickel plating, I think it is more appropriate for such a rare piece. Also , pardon my ignorance , but the stud(s) on the side of the stem are for....?
If the chromer that my uncle uses for his hot rod restoration shop work does nickel I would also prefer to go that route. The little stud is threaded and is an attachment point for a bell.

-Gregory
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Old 10-19-22, 02:02 PM
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I am sure there is a nice bell out there somewhere that would be appropriate! Thank you for the clarification , as I say , no knowledge of these type bikes . Just a huge appreciation . Joe
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Old 10-19-22, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Kilroy1988
If the chromer that my uncle uses for his hot rod restoration shop work does nickel I would also prefer to go that route. The little stud is threaded and is an attachment point for a bell.

-Gregory
"Triple" chrome is Copper - Nickel - Chrome in that order, restoration work is typically this method (best quality), so nickel is almost assuredly avaialble.
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Old 10-19-22, 05:55 PM
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The fitment of the tubing and the brazing that holds it together is amazing. Looking forward to the cleanup and build.
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Old 10-19-22, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Kabuki12
I am sure there is a nice bell out there somewhere that would be appropriate! Thank you for the clarification , as I say , no knowledge of these type bikes . Just a huge appreciation . Joe
Did someone say bell?




If'n I do a stem mod, it'll be easy to get a vintagy bell integrated properly.

Cause, constructeur.
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