One can dream, right?
We really do want to sell this machine as it is just too small for the riders in our household to fully enjoy (but if it doesn’t sell we love having it for display) – and in fact, some of the new production Rene Herse bicycles have featured design elements directly inspired by this machine!
This bicycle was in Cycling Plus Magazine a number of years ago – its very special!
Offered here is an amazing Rene Herse! A 1973 randonneur / very light touring machine that has the exceptionally rare chromed lugs, forkcrown, bb shell, lower stays and blades, and forkcrown. The paint is very dark slightly metallic brown (looks almost black in the photos, but it really is brown). Frame is 53cm center to top, with a roughly 55.5cm center to center top tube. This bike is 700c. The rack is extraordinary – as on a smaller frame a seatube mounted light is blocked by a rack/light load, Herse chose to move the rear light to the back of the rack. The frame has a generator and internal wiring – note the cool headlight on the rack! The lighting, however, is not hooked up although all the parts are present.
Note – we created a duplicate of this listing by accident as we were creating it, so you will see a completed listing for this item that happened within a few moments of creating this listing. This listing is the real one!
This bicycle has top-level parts. It has Maxicar hubs, Herse sealed bearing bottom bracket, Herse stem, Herse 170mm cranks, and lots of special bits. It is getting harder to find Rene Herse bicycles with all the original parts present. The one item this bicycle does not have is a decaleur – not sure why. The pedals are Campagnolo Nuovo Record as stated in the description.
This bicycle is in exceptional structural condition. There are lots of paint blems (especially on the top of the top tube, seatstays, and underside of downtube and chainstays) and a fair amount of touch-up. Please see the photos. The top tube really does have a number of paint blems that may not show in the photo. The chrome is in very nice condition – we see pits, especially around the seatlug and bottom bracket shell, but we don’t see any obvious signs of chrome peeling which usually occurs. And the pitting may clean up to. This bicycle is extremely appealing and the close-up shots make it look not as nice as it is overall. But there are lots of paint blems so be aware. We see no signs of any tube damage. We also see no dents or dings. The paint blems that are touched up feel wavy and it is possible that one touch-up on the drive side seatstay may have the slightest indent, but upon closer inspection it really feels like its just in the paint. So the frame seems exceptionally healthy for sure.
The parts are used of course, and one brake lever shows notable scraping and the hoods are not in great shape. Also, we notice the non-drive bottom bracket cup is not sitting flush with the shell, but the bottom bracket feels proper. Worst case, a shim might be needed under the cup, but we would leave it alone as it seems fine. Most likely it left the Rene Herse shop like this.
Tire width on Rene Herse Rando style bikes is actually fairly narrow – figure around 25 to 26mm or so. This bike was made in the day when you could get amazing tubular tires in around 25 to 26mm and both Herse and Singer did not go for the wide 32’s which are common today. This bike is just begging for a tire like a Challenge Strada. The idea of this bike is that it should give up very little to race bikes of the era.
The stem cap is not original – we found a stem cap from the period (there is a name engraved on it as you will see when you receive the bike).