As the seller of the Rene Herse racer that has taken a fair amount of in my opinion unfair criticism, I think I have the right to defend the bike I am selling :
1) No RH parts : Rene Herse racers, unlike the cyclotouring models, were often not fitted with RH cranks or stem. So this is perfectly normal. If you want all the RH parts, look for a cyclotouring model.
2) Incorrect parts : The bike would probably have been fitted with Campy/Stronglight. Not terribly difficult or expensive to find. I could of course have fitted these parts onto the bike myself prior to selling, but I would then have been selling a bike as all original when in fact the parts would have been only correct, not original. I don't like doing this. It's more honest to show the buyer what he is actually buying.
3) Price : within a few hours of listing the bike I had an offer of 3000 USD + from a CR member, so I think I am not being unreasonable. I sold item 220091453576 for 3000 USD a few months back, the bike didn't have perfect paint either, and didn't have all the chrome that makes the one on ebay at the moment a rather special and spectacular example of RH's work. The buyer was delighted with the bike and said it was the bargain of his life.
A Jean Desbois RH racer with no correct parts at all sold on eBay for 2900 USD. Missing parts aren't as important on an RH racer as on a cyclotouring model.
4) Paintwork : this is the only criticism that I will accept. Top tube is not perfect, on the other hand an expert hand would make this just about unnoticeable, and the important parts that can't be touched in easily, ie chrome and Rene Herse logos are perfect. There again I could have had the touching in done here in France but chose not to.
5) Poor photos? It says clearly in the description click HERE which leads you to a full page of high resolution photos. I spend a lot of time downloading photos to my internet site so that buyers get a precise idea of what I am selling. I always detail photo any imperfection, and as my feedback shows, buyers generally find the bikes they buy even better than they looked in the photos. Detail photos always make imperfections look worse than they really are because the human eye always takes in a general view, not a detail view.
To change the subject, I would just like to give my personal opinion on Rene Herse bikes buily by Jean Desbois. Much as I admire these bikes, I believe the bikes built before 1976 are in a league of their own. Rene Herse was the ultimate perfectionist, and on his best bikes every detail is perfection and harmony, both absolutely beautiful and absolutely functional. They are at their best the best bikes ever built. To achieve such perfection, time spent had to be of no object. Although Rene didn't do all the work himself, be was an engineering and design genius, and a hard driver of his very skilled workers. On the Desbois machines there were a very few shortcuts that make them just a shade less perfect than things were when Rene was alive : the most obvious the replacement of hand written logos by transfers. I am not in any way denigrating Desbois bikes, they are wonderful, among the best of their time, but not quite as wonderful to my eyes as the "Rene" Rene Herses.
I am awaiting with great interest the first results of the Mike Kone RH resurrection. If they want the end result to be of the same standard as the originals, which I believe they do, they will have to spend unlimited time getting every detail perfect. Time = money, so I think these bikes are going to have to be VERY expensive to be economically viable. I think that retrospectively in comparison 3600 USD for an original beautiful model RH blue and chrome racer will seem cheap
Alexander March Bordeaux France
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