Pipe dream of the day: HERSE tandem


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This is a fabulous item that came into our shop recently and we are selling it on consignment for the original, and only owner, who bought this René Herse tandem in or around 1950. It is made of Reynolds 531 tubing and was originally chrome – but it was repainted by Cyclart in California, the absolute best bicycle frame painter and restorer around (cyclart.com).

The wheels are 650B, The Idéale 59 saddle in front and Idéale 77 in back are likely original. Front derailleur is shifted by pulley connected to a rod mounted on the front seat tube. Rear derailleur shifting is actuated via a lever on the front downtube. Mafac brakes are installed front and rear but there is also a rear drum brake. Dual brake cables exit the right front brake lever. Both handlebars are French. The bell is not working!

My colleague, a tandem salesperson and fitter, hand-measured this bike carefully, reporting that driver’s portion of the bike measures 22 1/2″ or 57cm from center of the bottom bracket to top of top tube (where it joins seat tube). The stoker is 22″ or 56cm. Top tube length – the top tube is not exactly level – measured center to center in front is 54.5cm and 59cm in back.



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