Never heard of it/him. Interesting-looking bike with a low opening bid and no reserve. Of course, shipping from the UK adds up.

ra$_57 (26)

I am continuing to reduce my (far too) large collection of classic steel framed lightweights from the 40’s-80’s.

I have reluctantly decided to sell this absolutely FABULOUS Rene Andre randonneur bike from the early 60’s.

Rene Andre rode extensively for Rene Herse in the 40’s and 50’s before setting up his own shop in Paris in the 1960’s. He was an extremely successful racing cyclist and if you google his name you can find some fabulous achive material of him racing…including cyclocross around central Paris during German occupation!

He became a constructeur of some note, very popular with serious Parisienne and French cyclists who aspired to but could not afford a bespoke bike from the likes of Rene Herse or Alex Singer. Some of his bikes were constructed from scratch ‘in house’ whilst others were modified and ‘improved’ versions of high quality bikes or framesets from other manufacturers… including Maury, Peugeot, Pitard, and even Rene Herse!

This bike was based on a 50’s Peugeot PHX60 frame…Peugeot’s top of the range (and very expensive) randonneur bike . The frame is in Super Vitus tubing (very light, certainly as light as double butted Reynolds 531). Lettering, paint and chrome is typical René André 1960’s. The brazing is remarkably good and the lugs are lovely early Nervex Professional. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE EARLY FRENCH 531 DECALS WERE FITTED BY THE PREVIOUS OWNER WHO ASSUMED THAT IT MUST BE IN THIS MATERIAL BECAUSE OF ITS WEIGHT. IT IS DEFINITELY IN SUPER VITUS BUT I HAVE NOT WANTED TO TRY TO REMOVE THE REYNOLDS DECALS IN CASE I DAMAGE THE ORIGINAL PAINT

The frame has been modified by the fitment of some addition braze ons…including for additional cable runs for any lighting sytem which the owner might chose to fit (braze on for rear mopunted dynamo).

I am only selling it because , at 57cms, it is just too small for me to ride comfortably…i am 1.90 (about 6’2.5”)

The bike retains its original and incredibly beautiful, rare and desireable Prior Grande Legere hub, laced to an equally lovely and original Mephisto rim via tied and soldered chrome steel spokes. These hubs and rims are like GOLD DUST. A used pair of these hubs sold recently for more than $1,000! The rims are equally sought after with a pair recently fetching about £200. the early 540 model Simplex skewers are also very difficult to obtain. These parts are all in good condition with silky smooth bearings are true rim, etc. The tyres complement the bike perfectly, being very early type Wolber Randonneur clinchers…both are in excellent unperished condition. sadly, the matching rear Prior hub wheel was thrown away by the previous owner when the freewheel failed!!! It has been replaced by a 1960’s large flanged Milremo laced to a Milremo rim…both in excellent condition.

The paint and chrome are excellent…not perfect but for a 50 year old bike it is very good with no rust or corrosion at all and absolutely no dents, cracks, etc. Everything is perfectly aligned.

Headset is a strange mix of TA and Campagnolo! Top bearing is a very early and rare TA item and the lower an early steel Campagnolo Record. The set up works perfectly…smooth and wear free. the top bearing incorporates a rare early Mafac brake hanger…in alloy with gusseted support.

Handlebars and stem are early AVA alloy in good condition…80mm stem extension.

Brakes are early version Mafac Criterium cantilevers with matching levers..all good.

Seat stem is domed top lightweight alloy (26.3mm…correct early Super Vitus size) with fabulous early Brooks professional saddle. There is a lovely early Carradice saddlebag with unique attachment system incorporating sticking plasters and wooden dowel! It works brilliantly so i have left it for originality but can provide the correct Cycle brackets if required!

Mudguards are lovely and rare pale blue Bluemels Lightweights from the 50’s in really excellent condition.

Gear system is VERY early delrin Simplex matched to Durax crankset and TA alloy 5 pin ring (45t). Bottom bracket appears to be M. REMY stamped into end of axle…whatever, it is a good quality unit in good condition. Pedals are lightweight Lyotard in very good condition.

The bike will also be supplied with a 52/36 crankset with TA rings and which can be seen in one of the photos. It will also be supplied with an early and very good Benelux ‘suicide’ front changer to allow easy conversion to 10 speeds if required.

The Frame is 57 cms (22.5 inches) centre to top. Top tube is also 22.5 inches centre to centre. Wheelbase is 41.5 inches, Chainstays are 18 inches. Bottom bracket height is 10.5 inches. Standover height is 31.75 inches. Angles are about 72.5 seat 71.5 head as well as i can measure. As pictured, distance from pedal top to Saddle top is 33.5 inches ( for 30 inch inside leg) . The saddle can go up about 2 inches from this position and down at least 3 inches. The bike should fit anyone of normal proportions from about 5′ 7” to 5′ 11’…but a longer seat post could easily be fitted as the bike is reasonably long to cater for taller riders.

All bearings are correctly adjusted and very smooth and the bike rides and handles like a dream.

If you want a classic and very attractive genuine randonneur bike that is as rare as a Herse or Singer but much cheaper to buy then this may well be it!

I have set the Buy It Now price at £595…….which isf you consider the originality, condition and rarity of the bike AND the value of the front wheel alone, i think is a very fair price. The BIN option will remain throughout the auction up until 24 hrs from auction ends…just contact me on 07843 378995 for that or any other query.


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