ルネエルス (René HERSE)


Originally seen here:



Vampire randonneuse

The bike is French in origin but the seller, fittingly, is in the home country of Dracula, et al.



1950s french randonneur in 650b wheels

48,5cm seat tube (c-c) x 53cm (c-c) top tube

I found this beautiful rare bicycle near the city of Chateauroux in the heart of France, while on holiday in 2014. The condition I had found the bicycle in , was barely functional, with beautiful patina, the original paint was partly still visible but rust seemed to have taken over most of the bicycle, but luckily all parts were the original ones. I was lucky to have bits of two letters of the original decals still visible. After deciding to completely restore the bicycle to its original condition, I took on the challange of re creating decals, and paint decoration. All steel parts that were rusted have been freshly chromed: Crank set, derailleur , seat post, rims, hubs, handlebar , rear stays of the frame and fork. Aluminum parts have been professionally polished to mirror shine: early M.A.F.A.C cantilever brakes, rando brake levers , AVA stem.
After managing to find the right painter for this difficult restoration job, I was very happy with the results. Only parts with original patina still on, are the Le Fol Martelle aluminum fenders, typical of 650b french randonneurs of the 50s and 60s. I also have the rear rack of the bicycle , original dynamo, and a period correct french head lamp, but didn’t get to install them yet. They are also included in the listing price. The wheels have been build using original hubs and rims after re chroming. New spokes and nipples were used, and after that new Grand Bois 650b tyres have been installed. The freewheel is a very rare Moyne Model 1960 four speed freewheel. This bicycle is ready to be ridden on weekend rides, and has the potential of a complete touring bicycle with eyelets for front and rear rack as well.

Vampire 650b randonneur , Nervex Lugs – 2100g steel frame (49cm x 53 cm)

Headset: Original french origin
Bottom bracket: original axle / cups
Crank set: A. Duprat steel crank set 48 teeth
Freewheel: 4 speed Moyne modele 1960
Rear derailleur: Simplex Juy piston push derailleur
Shifter: Early Simplex Juy lever
Saddle: Original french Luxe leather saddle
Stem: Ava
Handlebars: Ava rando bars
Brake levers: Mafac rando levers
Brakes: Mafac early cantilevers
Hubs: New Star , original hubs
Rims: Rigida Chromolux
Fenders: Le Fol Martell
Rear light: Catalux
Head light: Radios
Tyres: Grand Bois 650Bx42


Appealing Alex Singer

Our size, too!


1981 Alex Singer 650B. Details (in French, from the receipt): BICYCLETTE Randonneur, cadre sur mesures et d’après dessin, souda-brase, entièrement tubes REYNOLDS 531, série 5/10 extra légère, emaille sur enduit avec pattes AV & AR chromées. Montage a la demande. Sans selle et tige de selle. Measurements: Seat-tube 51 cm Top-tube 52 cm Head-tube 13.5 cm 10 cm stem, can’t measure the degree drop, but it looks like it’s -6, -8 degrees (that’s a guess) Its in a powder/baby-blue with chrome details. The photos speak for themselves. The components: Pelissier 2000 Pro high-flange hubs, Super-Champ 36 hole rims, Grand Bois Cypres 650×32 tires. Mafac 2000 brakes, F/R. TA Crankset, 170 arms, 50/40/32 TA chainrings. Huret front (downtube) and rear derailleurs. 13-24 cassette. Stronglight Competition headset. Phillipe handlebar 40cm. Soubitz rear-tire sidewall dynamo, front and rear lights* Z Course frame pump. I purchased this bike from a regular Ebay seller of Herse and Singer bikes, enjoyed cleaning it up, rode the inaugural California L’Eroica 2015 on it, had a blast, but it’s time to find a new home for this bike. The *on the lights indicates that it will need to be completely re-wired – the existing original wires are sheared off at their openings. I replaced the brake and shifter cables and the brake housing. It rides GREAT! It’s light and nimble. The gearing provides a wide-range, so I was riding more than walking during the Eroica. The rear fender is a little banged up, and it looks like at some point there was a rear carrier installed. Presently there is a front rack and the in-house decaleur, with a Sologne handlebar bag. The Grand Bois tires have ~ 300 miles on. NOS Mafac brake hoods on perfectly lacquered handlebar tape. The entire front fork is chromed. Handlebar bag is included. A copy of the sale receipt is with the bike. Local pick-up is fine, I can coordinate SF/Oakland drop-off, otherwise I will use the BikeFlights shipping system at a flat rate of $200 USD. Ship only to CUSA. In lieu of pick-up or shipping, I will be at the North American Handmade Bike Show Saturday evening and all day Sunday [Feb 27/28th] if you want to collect it there.


Small Eisentraut

Looks like a great deal.


1970s Eisentraut Limited Road/Touring Bike – $700 (Davis)

You are looking at a vintage frame made in our very near and dear Oakland, CA by a pretty legendary custom builder named Albert Eisentraut. He no longer makes frames so this is a rare piece of steel. It’s equipped with a multi-national group of high-end vintage components which are most likely original to the first owner’s build (minus the rear derailleur). It’s a light frame; I’m assuming Columbus or Reynolds 531 tubes. Classic nervex lugs and nice contrast paint fill-ins. Cool elegant attachment at seat-stays and seat tube. It has several minor paint dings and one dimple on the frame, otherwise the decals are in great condition and shows no signs of structural threat.

The bike is a tiny 49.5cm but I have it set up for a rider that typically would be on a 54-55cm. It still rides great after adjustment. The drivetrain moves smoothly and hosts a front derailleur with vintage acclaim, shifts great. The rear derailleur is one that often gets overshadowed in shifting history. It’s a great piece of machinery that marks the transition towards extremely lightweight and aerodynamic components for the racing bikes of the 80’s and on. However, it’s a rare technological artifact; while other radically aero and sexy derailleurs skipped and were generally unreliable, this more humble device simply worked. The tires are recently glued on, not sure exactly how many miles are on them but they’re still in great condition. Saddle not included.

It’s painted A’s colors, too!


Sugino Mighty Competition 165mm crankset (52-42t)
1st Gen. Dura Ace calipers and levers
Zeus hubs laced to Fiamme gold anodized tubular rims
Suntour Cyclone mk-ii rear derailleur
Campagnolo Nuovo Record front derailleur
Campagnolo downtube shifters, polished
Campagnolo Nuovo Record headset
Campagnolo pedals
Regina freewheel (6 sp.)
Chistophe chrome toe clips w/ leather straps
Nitto Technomic stem
Nitto Randonneur bar
Brooks leather bar tape
Velo Orange hammered fenders
Velo Orange porteur rack
Nitto Randonneur handlebar
Vittoria Competition Rally tubular tires


Not impressed with the overall package

But the parts appear to be greater than their sum. With a few changes, this could be a nice ride.


Alain Michel was one of France’s top frame builders and this is a fine example of his work. The frame is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen, iridescent brown, gold, and cream. The lugs are delicately outlined by hand with gold, and they have neat circular cutouts at the headtube. The seatstays are faintly stamped a.michel. there seems to have been a decal on the downtube at one time, but it was gone when I bought this frame on ebay several years ago. There are so many cool details about this gorgeous handbuilt frame, it must be seen to be appreciated. I got so many compliments on it.

It doesn’t have a sticker indicating the tubeset, but the seller I got it from on ebay said it was reynolds 531, which seems appropriate.

I’m selling this bike because it’s just a bit too big for me! Its so gorgeous I would definitely keep it otherwise. Fender eyelets f&r. no rack braze ons, but it could still be fitted with racks that have a center mount to the brake bolts.

It’s 52.5 tt x 53ctt with long chainstays and relaxed touring geometry. It has a great “french feel”. I removed the chain tensioner screws, pulled the wheel all the way back in the dropouts and have fit tires up to 35c.

Just put on some new cables & housing & fresh bartape for you!

Shimano 600 headset
chorus 9sp shifters/brake levers. they are both chorus 9, but from slightly different years, so they have slight differences in appearance.
chorus 9sp rear derailleur
Older campy 8sp front derailleur- might be record
Reparto-corse dual pivot brake calipers- bianchi take offs
hand built rear wheel veloce hub/mavic grey ano open pro
Mavic 501 hub/ gold cxp30 rim front
Record crankset- much of the decal is rubbed off
BB is french threaded, I tracked down a campy iso french threaded BB for this build
26.6 laprade style seatpost
sakae randonneur handlebar
wtb rocket V saddle
basic flat pedals

There are some paint chips and wear consistent with the age of this bike. the frame is well preserved.
the middle housing guide on the top tube has been damaged, but this doesn’t affect any function.
Everything works great. it’s a fun little ride. Great touring, road, gravel, mixed terrain, randonneuring bike. Suitable for someone about 5’8″-5’10”


Pipe dream of the day: HERSE tandem


s-l1600 (1)ht

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.