Re: [CR] Recently ended Medici & Herse

(Example: Framebuilding:Brazing Technique)

Date: Sat, 2 May 2009 21:22:46 -0700
To: <>
From: "Jan Heine" <>
Subject: Re: [CR] Recently ended Medici & Herse

>Hey Guys, I am the nudnik who bought the Herse on Ebay and I will
>share with you what I find out when it arrives.

Congratulations on your purchase. If you can give us a serial number once you get the bike, that might help figuring out the story of the bike.

My hunch is a bike made elsewhere. Why? Well, the "bolt-on" and "braze-on" parts all say "expensive Herse," but the basic frame design does not. Not only the unusual lugs, but for example, the bike doesn't have the SKF bottom bracket, which requires a custom shell, and cannot be retrofitted. (Of course, not all "true" Herse bikes have that, either.)

My suspicion is that somebody had a relatively nice frame - Sabliere perhaps? - and decided to have it updated by Herse. The Herse logo is unusual - Herse stopped putting his logo on "refurbished" bikes in the late 1940s, it seems - but otherwise, it's not that unusual a story.

Singer still does put his decals on refurbished bikes today, if they are considered worthy. There is more than one Herse that now wears Singer decals. After all, the frame is only a small part of the bike, and if Singer/Csuka put his racks, his braze-ons, his lights, etc. on the bike, then you could argue that it is a Singer, no matter who made the frame.

Also remember that 1964 was a very, very lean period for French constructeurs, and they were willing to entertain orders that they would have turned down at other times.

Jan Heine
Bicycle Quarterly
140 Lakeside Ave #C
Seattle WA 98122