[CR]Norris, Rene Herse, and Charrel.

(Example: Framebuilders:Jack Taylor)

Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2007 12:39:51 +0200 (CEST)
From: "alex m" <alexpianos@yahoo.fr>
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Subject: [CR]Norris, Rene Herse, and Charrel.

I don't always agree with Norris' posts, but for once I do with some of this one.

Rene Herse had over the years several frame builders, some were better than others, they had like all human beings good and bad days, but the main point is that if you look through an RH catalog there were top of the range models with all best components, and others not so expensive. You got what you paid for.

So you can't expect the same level of finish on a frame with Speedy tubing as on a chromed model made for show on the Paris Salon, like the one on the front page of "The Golden Age"... With a start price of 400 USD, the Speedy frame was priced reasonably, it would have gone much much higher than 1000 USD if it had been one of the very top notch frames.

All you can say is that the average level is outstandingly high, I've never seen a bad one, and that the best RHs are in a league of their own.

A few small makers reached the same level of perfection in the workmanship/elegance, but you can't IMHO put them on a par with RH for one reason : they don't have as many proprietary parts (on the RH, cranks, brakes, chainrings, stem are all RH exclusivities).

This point removed, I have seen a few bikes equivalent in every way to a top Rene Herse : a Maury I have here, a Faure, several Camille Daudon, a couple of Narcisse bikes, and every Charrel I have seen ie 5 fabulous bikes (I don't mention Reyhand because these are pre-war so not comparable to an RH that was built post-war).

I have been thinking for a while now of preparing a post on the Lyon makers, Sabliere and Charrel, with new photos of some fabulous bikes on the site, but haven't got round to it. I will definitely do so sometime.

I was counting on the "effet de surprise" but now Norris has let the cat out of the bag. I'm certainly glad I bagged that Charrel before he did...

Alexander March Bordeaux France

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