Re: [CR]Herse cantilever brakes, or why Rene is the man.

(Example: Framebuilders:Cecil Behringer)

In-Reply-To: <a05111700b935891561de@[]>
Date: Tue, 18 Jun 2002 19:18:32 -0700
From: "joel metz, ifbma/sfbma" <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Herse cantilever brakes, or why Rene is the man.

i totally agree - even for french artisian builders of that period, who commonly modified stock parts or came up with their own, herse went one step beyond. not to knock builders who dont make their own cranks and brakes and whatnot, but thats the thing that really wows me about herse. when confronted with "this part isnt *exactly* what im looking for" he seems not to have simply said "but itll work just fine regardless" but progressed on to "hmm. well fine then, ill *make* exactly what i want!" - which is a rare thing indeed... not to say that other french builders of the period didnt do the same kind of thing (theres plenty of evidence in rebour drawings from le cycle to show that they did) - herse just turned it up to 11.

>When I saw the brakes that were available on Ebay I just stared and
>said, "Wow." At that moment Mitzi looked over and said, "Can I have
>those?" Alas her options were spend 6 weeks in Belgium or own some
>Rene Herse brakes . She chose Bruges. From some of my posts in the
>past some people might think that I don't believe Rene Herse was any
>more of a master framebuilder than any other bicycle craftsman.
>That couldn't be further than the truth.
>Sure he was a great framebuilder, but there were builders before and
>after that are just as good and inventive. The thing about Herse
>that impresses me every time is his parts. There have been too few
>builders that have seen beyond the frame to everything that goes on
>it. Most builders build for parts that are available, Rene saw the
>bicycle as a whole and not just a sum of its parts. If he didn't
>like parts that were around he designed his own. Many builders have
>racks and stems for their frames but way to few have looked at the
>rest of the parts. There are other builders that looked at the bike
>as a complete system like Behringer and Morroni, but I can't think
>of any one else that ever went as far as Herse.
>What I'm getting down to people talk a lot about his frames, but I
>feel people need to talk more about the parts he made for those
>bikes. So down to the questions: Who made his parts? Did he farm
>them out or make them in-house? What parts did he not "improve"?
>Why did he do it? Why did he feel he needed to "think outside of
>the box?" Anybody else on the list fell the same way I do?
>Santa Barbara, Calif.

joel metz : :
bike messengers worldwide : ifbma :
po box 191443 san francisco ca 94119-1443 usa
i know what innocence looks like - and it wasn't there,
after she got that bicycle...