[CR]Re: parting out is such sweet sorrow

Example: Racing:Beryl Burton

In-Reply-To: <MONKEYFOODWGMhLPBLY00001177@monkeyfood.nt.phred.org>
From: Richard Risemberg <rickrise@earthlink.net>
Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2007 06:42:26 -0700
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Subject: [CR]Re: parting out is such sweet sorrow

On Jul 16, 2007, at 4:29 AM, classicrendezvous-request@bikelist.org wrote:
> I agree that the Rene' Herse being parted out is a different
> situation, but in general, when I've offered complete bikes to this
> list, about 90% of the time, I end up getting an offer for only the
> frame/fork/hs.? Granted that all of my bikes may not have original
> parts and if they do, they weren't sold that way in the first
> place, but I find a bit of hypocrisy that so many are getting on
> the "don't part it out" bandwagon when their own actions decry that
> same position.? I've said it before, unless you have a rare bike or
> one that has parts made specifically for that bike, I see nothing
> wrong with parting out.??? Lou Deeter, Orlando FL USA

Well, a lot of Rene Herses in particular were sold as touring and utility bikes, particularly the porteurs, which were work bikes, occupying the place in the bike world in their time that a downtown messenger's fixie does today. Granted, they were sold with specifically-designed and built racks and often other parts, but Herses were built in a regular albeit small factory. They were meant to be "rode hard and put away wet"; it may be a disservice to the memory of the man who designed them to treat them as display objects. A collector I know who is, I believe, on this list, rides his RH regularly--I watched him hop a curb with it just last Saturday, and a few months ago he brought it on my "Stitching the River" ride in LA, which wound mostly through the alleys and over the railroad tracks of downtown's warehouse district. I suspect RH himself would have been proud.

Anyway, as bikes meant for heavy use, these machines would very likely often have been repaired with non-original parts anyway, by the customers their builders made them for. I suggest that if parting out a bike--especially one whose frame is in mediocre condition, such as the one that initiated this thread--it may very well allow, as someone else noted, owners of these fine old workhorses to complete their own builds and get their bikes on the road where they belong.

To cary it further, many if not most Alex Singers were (and are) made to order for a particular person. Should the bike be retired when that particular person dies, then, never to be ridden by a non- original owner? Or if the buyer of such a thing grows older...say, if one of you bought a custom Vanilla or Weigle today, and twenty years from now decided that you wanted a different seat or handlebar or transmission, should you consign the bike to a corner of the garage and buy another complete unit from Sacha's or Peter's son--or would you change parts and keep her rolling?

Rick "not quite two cents' worth today" Risemberg -- Richard Risemberg http://www.bicyclefixation.com http://www.newcolonist.com http://www.rickrise.com