Re: [CR]French aluminium bikes?


From: "Joe King" <joeking@fastmail.fm>
To: "Jan Heine" <heine94@earthlink.net>
References: <1bf.2a0b1484.3254f6ea@aol.com> <a06230941c1499825f71c@[192.168.1.33]>
Subject: Re: [CR]French aluminium bikes?
In-Reply-To:
Date: Wed, 04 Oct 2006 20:09:25 +0100
cc: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org

Jan, Dale & Others, Hope I will be forgiven for sticking my oar in on this one and for some of it for being off topic. The first recorded use of an all alloy bicycle would possibly be in 1896/97 when a Mr. M.Corde bicycled around France on an all alloy cycle built by Rupally in Paris. Have a look for one on your French excursion please Norris! Approximately at the same time the Lu-mi-num was made in Manchester England by the Aluminium Jointless Cycle Co. I had always believed that it was not until the early 1930's that the use of alloy frames was really devolped on a large scale. Jan you mentioned the firm of Delage, didn't they make their alloy frame with cast-iron lugs into which alloy tubes were expanded by internal expanders? In 1933 they made a frame in which alloy tubes were forced into steel lugs and the ends were then expanded by means of a specially shaped wedge which was inserted through a hole in the lug, the hole was then welded up with a piece of alloy sheet. The whole frame assembly was reinforced by Duralium sleeved fittings between the tubes and lugs and was also strengthened by pinning. The Carminargent used octagonal tubes bolted into lugs. The head-tube and top and bottom lugs were diecast and plugs coated with petroleum jelly placed in the joints to absorb vibration and reduce metal fatigure. The beauty of this beast was that it could be completely taken apart for easy transport or for the replacement of a damaged tube. They used Almasilium for the front forks, seat and chainstays. The Bordeaux Paris Caminargent in fixed mode with one brake and sprints weighed 12.5 lb and the Randoneuse with pressures, gears, brakes and mudguards 20lb. Pierre Colin later produced the Cavaprud frame which was brazed up. Reynolds of Coventry produced a demo frame in Hiduminium joined by thier Alusol process. Others who made alloy frames were Magri and Galomozzi of Milan who used expanders for the frame tubes and welding for the forks and rear stays. Oscar Egg's alloy frame was all welded. Mercier made an alloy frame of Alumag tubing which was jointed by internal expanders which can be screwed up through holes in the lugs. Leginox produced an all welded frame also in Alumag. This had round tubing with with oval section employed at the bottom bracket. This is full touring mode (Full Monty) weighed only 17.5lb!. Two other alloy frames worth a mention are the Fontalloy which was posibly a re-badged Barra and the Holdsworth circa 1948. In the early 1970's the Southern Veteran Cycling Club had a member who was a Citroen, Ferrari, Masseratti and Frazer-Nash restorer as well as being an avid veteran cycle fan. On his many trips to France and in particular the "Flea market in Paris he found and purchased over 20 Mercier NOS 1950's alloy frames in both gents and ladies models. Would you believe he had trouble selling them! Best wishes Joe. Croeso Cymru Joe King Nr. Maenaddwyn Ynys Mon Wales

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