[CR]Interview with E.Csuka/Singer Bikes

Example: Framebuilders:Chris Pauley
From: "Douglas R. Brooks" <dbrk@troi.cc.rochester.edu>
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org (Classic Rendevous)
Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 21:04:59 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: [CR]Interview with E.Csuka/Singer Bikes

A fine BOBpal of mine, David DeSmet from France recently sent me a whole slew of magazine materials, all in French, nearly all about randonneuring bikes, classics, and neat roughstuff. There is one long piece on Singer and another on 650B bikes and in a sidebar a fairly interesting interview with Ernest Csuka about randonneuring and equipment. If I have a chance this coming week I'll translate the interview and, if folks are interested, maybe we could put it up on a website or post it to the List (if Dale thinks that's okay). Just to clear up a bit of history, the shop went to Ernest and his brother Roland Csuka, both Singer's nephews. Roland was a welder for Citroen and built the frames at night. Ernest built the carriers and the "finishing", meaning he put the bikes together. When Roland died the frames were "farmed out" and have been ever since. While some think that the original Singers are the only real deal and still others swear by the Roland-built frames, both of my bikes are post-Roland and they are as nice, riding and finish, as any I have owned. Csuka-built Singers are _great_ bicycles. In terms of building a randonneur/cyclo-camper in the French-style I think you have to look to Mariposa or the great Japanese builders for a fair comparison. Truly, the Singers are special and more so if this is your cup of tea.

There are some swell pictures in these magazine clippings of other 650Bs, including a nice piece about the Confrere, and a nice piece too about Paul Dolemes, the proprietor of Rando-Cycles in Paris. Paul is half-American and speaks fluent English and builds great randonneuring and rough stuff bikes. Though clear on the other side of Paris this shop is a must see and Paul happily welcomes pilgrims.

Anyway, deep thanks to David DeSmet. I'll pull more out about Singer in the coming week including a translation of this interview. I'm perfectly capable of reading French, it's speaking that poses me real challenges! M. Csuka and I traded notes when I couldn't understand him!!

Douglas Brooks
Canandaigua, NY