Re: [CR]Mike Kone's rene Herse Announcement

(Example: Framebuilding:Brazing Technique)

Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2007 21:40:53 -0700 (GMT-07:00)
From: "Guy Apple" <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Mike Kone's rene Herse Announcement

Hello Norris,

Good luck on the Reyhand project. <snicker>


Guy Apple Sunnyvale CA USA 9th gen American

-----Original Message-----

>From: Norris Lockley <>

>Sent: Jun 18, 2007 5:55 PM


>Subject: [CR]Mike Kone's rene Herse Announcement




> me stupid, if you want, but twenty-four hours and goodness kno

>ws how many emails on this subject later, I still don't get the plot. It mu

>st have something to do with the American psyche !


>Is this how the story is going to go when the production...hand-building

> of the new RH's ,starts? Mark starts to build a frame as he ha

>s always built them, to a very high standard I am told, with great attentio

>n to detail, and to the client's personal specification or at least his phy

>sical measurements; he selects the tubes, fettles the lugs, mitres the

> tubes and the stays etc etc..brazes the whole thing up..adds the braze-on

>bits..finishes the whole assembly..polishes and burnishes etc etc .sprays i

>t to a fine lustre and then.... he is going to either coach-paint on or add

> decals with the name "Rene Herse". ...when what he has built is an excelle

>nt Mark Nobillete.? What's the point.? If I did that in the UK m

>y clients would have me in front of the Trading Standards Board answering s

>ome pretty pointed questions. ..Even if you can point to the certificate en

>titling you to use the name, it still doesn't make the frame a Herse...just

> a Herse look-alike.


>if there is such a demand for Herse-type frames in the States, why not j

>ust simply build a model, styled on Herse's designs and call it the Nobille

>te "Modele Rene Herse". or "Retro-Renes"? That, to use a word in popular po

>litical usage these days in the U" would be more "transparent", not t

>hat I am in any way suggesting that Mike and Mark are into counte

>rfeiting Herses as some builders in the Uk have counterfeited Hetchins.


>Another very puzzling problem for me is the reverence for and

> the almost..yes..worship of...Rene Herse frames that many American cyclist

>s, and particularly some of the List members display. And yet it seems

> that this same reverence is in itself a little fickle..witness the slight

>difference in opinion in some recent CR contributions about whe

>ther a road racing Herse is really as good as a touring or camping one. All

> that Rene or one of his artisans did was to choose different gauges of tub

>es, possibly different lugs ( I notice that the RH currently on Ebay has pr

>essed lugs not cast ones), different drop-outs, and possibly fork blades an

>d stays and cut ,mitre, file, braze, fettle, finish etc..all with the

> same level of skill and dedication as they did on the touring frames.

> Clearly Rene produced frames according to customer demand and from what I

>have read in French cycling Press the demand for serious touring and campin

>g bikes declined seriously in the 50s, as cars became more affordable, and

>demand for racing frames tended to increase.


>I have spent large parts of my free time in and around France for the pa

>st fifty-five years..and for the last thirty of those I have traded with do

>zens of French manufacturers, distributors, frame-builders/constructeurs et

>c..and I have to admit that on odd occasions during conversations acc

>ompanied by a "vin rouge" or two..I have heard the names of Singer and Hers

>e mentioned, but never with anything approaching the same sense of awe that

> I encounter on this List. In comparison with the UK, France is a lar

>ge country, but nevertheless I think that frame-purchasing customers on bot

>h sides of the Channel have, over the years, displayed similar trends and b

>uying habits.


>Many French people only acknowledge Paris in the sense that it is the ad

>ministrative capital of France, and as such the Parisians have to be tolera

>ted. Even in this age of cheap flights between regional capitals, of TGVs ,

> of fast autoroutes I still met up with an enormous number of French folk w

>ho have never been and even worse have no inclination to visit Paris. "Pari

>s is for the Parisians...not for the French !" is a not uncommon sayi

>ng. French cyclists tended to purchase their hand-built frames from l

>ocal builders..and in the heyday of French cycling there were hundreds of v

>ery competent builders in the capital cities of the French regions and depa

>rtments, such as Lyon, St Etienne, Nice, Dijon, Lille, Macon, Grenoble etc.

> If you lived in the centre or south or north of France,why bother to

> travel all the way to Paris to get a Herse when you could cycle over

>to visit Reiss, Longoni, Routens, Follis, Ondet, Errard, Janicaud, Duret, w

>hose products were probably perceived to be the equal of the Singers and He

>rses of Paris, assuming that is that the "paysans" of France at large had e

>ver heard of the latter.


>I have a question to pose to the List..and it isn't a rhetorical on

>e. If Herse frames and bikes are so good.. so desirable so renowned a

>nd so much an integral part of the French "patrimoine".then why has no Fren

>ch builder ( and there are still some KOF ones still working in France prod

>ucing some excellent frames ) sought to relaunch the marque? Perhaps the id

>ea never occurred to M Chollet of Follis, or Jean-Paul Routens of Cycles Ro

>utens, or Daniel Cattin, or Alain Michel, or Jean-Sebastien Joffres, or M B

>esson, or M Genet, or Alain Tourral, or Pithioud, or Gilles Berthoud?


>Why does it take a couple of Americans to keep the name alive? Would it

>be the same if, after their respective retirements at some future date, the

> name of Brian Bayliss were to be stuck on to frames built by a crafts

>man in the suburbs of Paris? Would English-made and transferred Richa

>rd Sachs frames be like the real thing that so many discerning America

>n cyclists now wait years to own? I really think not.


>To close with a cynical question, that of the price of the "nouveaux Her

>se" frames. Is it expected that they will, due to their Gallic influence an

>d forebears, carry a premium...perhaps a "cachet - supplement"? More

>importantly...would members of the List who lust to ride astride an "RH" re

>gardless of its country of origin, be willing to pay that premium?


>I'm due to spend quite a lot of time in July in and around Lyon. Does an

>yone chance to know who owns the rights to the "REYHAND" brand.? I'm j

>ust thinking that maybe the time is propitious to relaunch REYHAND, to be p

>roduced with finest UK craftsmanship.




>Norris Lockley....perhaps just old age catching up with me...Settle UK









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