Over the last couple of weeks I was lucky enough to score two more Miele bikes. One came out of the garden of a fellow club member,
the other one from the small ads.
Both are about the same age, mid/late fifties, both are top-of-the-range Originals, but they seem to have had widely varying fates. While the gents´ bike was painted over at some stage, and then used to display a basket of flowers in a garden for some considerable time, the ladies´ bike has led a more sheltered life.
I must say that I would really like to make the ladies bike into the nice bike it was, and I think there is a good chance that a serious clean, new grease in the bearings and some black wax over the rust may make a great deal of a difference, while the gents´ bike will not even end up as my son´s town hack to be parked at the university campus because the front fork is damaged. Hard to photograph, it is bent just above the fork crown. The bike will yield its b/b and headset bearings, the chainguard, and little else. A series of uncaring owners is to be blamed for this. The ladies´ bike actually seems to be three years older than the gents´ , but it was obviously much better cared for.
The Gents´ Bike
Let´s start with a few pics of the gents´. It has a dented top tube and there are hardly any Miele specific parts left. The unusable saddle is one of those horribly heavy and soft Leppers, the bell is wrong, and so on.
Unbelievably, the Bosch lights are still working, fore and aft. After a re-paint, they will perhaps be grafted onto the ladies´ as its lights are about 20 years out.
Also the spokes will be transferred as the gents´ wheels have at some time been rebuilt with s/s spokes, and those in the ladies´ are rusty.
Many Miele specific small parts, like the rubber grommet in the mudguard, are gone. Acres of rust after all the time out in the open. The handlebar grips are modern, and old ones are not easy to get nowadays.
The Ladies´ Bike
It´s a model 512, meaning Miele Original, 28 inch wheel diameter, 52 cms frame size.
In a case like this, grime is your friend.
Neither headlight nor dynamo are even remotely suitable for a mid-fifties bike. The Miele lighting seen on some of my other bikes was an extra. At the time bikes were sold without lighting. Miele parts were expensive, so many customers chose cheaper Bosch or Impex lighting. The first owner of this bike spent a lot of money on the Original model plus chrome rims, so the idea about the gents´ Bosch equipment might not be good after all. I´ll cross that river when I come to it.
This is bad. The geflammte paint is flaking off. White was sprayed over black, and then specially trained workmen would put on the lining and actually take a small flame to the white paint. Its soot would then be covered with a clear coat. Lots of stages to commit mistakes, which I assume to have happened. Just figured that warranty has run out. Heck.
The little connector which connects the interior lighting cable to the exterior one coming from the dynamo. And this is where the cable re-surfaces again. Note the rubber grommet which in this case survives. The Pletscher plate holding the kick stand is a hint at the bike being a late production one. Also the protective netting still is in place. Its rubbery parts however are not rubbery any longer, letting the netting hanging down slack, so it will have to be replaced.
Funnily enough, no frame number could be found. Usually this is in the seat lug, but not this time. I guess I´ll surprised by it jumping in my face when I´ll be busy cleaning. Until then, the little “55” must serve as a hint at how old the bike is.No Miele hub – not that late. The Union hub is great, indestructible, but it´s not the same, is it, not having the “Miele” script on the hub. Neither is it on the pedals. Again, the oily grime will clean up very nicely.
So far, so good. I´ll keep you posted.