Blue Streak


Some days ago when on a bikeride I stopped at a cycleshop I didn´t know to ask a few daft questions, like if they had a used steel framed racing bike for my collection. Many salespeople don´t know there is such a thing, but this time I was lucky. I was led to a remote corner in the impressively large shop and there it was.

DRadfullThey had this strange mixture of bits and pieces for sale, at a price which made me race back home and fetch the car asap. I´m sorry about the quality of the pic, but it´s possible to see that there´s all sorts of parts on the bike, from the beatiful frame to a new suspended seat pin. I think can also see that the rear rim is bent beyond remedy, but then I know it is, and maybe that´s what makes me think it´s visible in the photo.

DradMod53This snap makes the problem about the bike clear. Note the beautifully thin stays and the Modell 53 Fichtel & Sachs 3sp. It doesn´t go together IMHO. I don´t know too much about Dürkopp, only that they were considered the German BSA, but I do know that other German quality manufacturers had heavy sturdy bikes they would sell as sports bikes with three speeds and simple alloy rims, whereas this Dürkopp definitively looks like a road bike which has lost most of its original parts complement over the deacdes.

There´s more indications that the parts on the bike weren´t on it in the early fifties when the frame was made. Some are just too young, like the lighting, others have traces of different bikes they once were fitted to:

DradvorderschblSee the trace of some other mudguard mascot under and behind the Dürkopp one?

Now the frame as such. I took the bike to bits one evening last week and found to my horror that the paintwork is disintegrating in many places over the chrome, flaking off or forming little bubbles. These are not rust spots working their ways through from the inside, I made sure of that by scraping one or two off. They´re far too many, anyway.

DfullSo this is it. I have taken the liberty to replace the cheap Taiwanese suspension seat pin with a very thin and lightweight steel one I still had in my box. As pictured here, c/w seat pin, fork, head and b/b bearings and chainset, the frameset at 58 cms c/t weighs 4.3 kg, which I think is pretty good. A Miele or Torpedo sports bike of the same vintage weighs much more, about two kilos. Another hint this frame may be a road frame.

OTOH, the rear brake bridge never had a brake caliper fitted to it. This may be due to the fact the the bike originally may have been fitted with a Renntorpedo or a Torpedo based three speed derailleur coaster brake hub.

DBrakeBridgeThe little scew underneath it is for fitting a mudguard. Clever. Road frames in the fifties often had braze ons for mudguards, but this little thing is special.

DbbspindleMore special stuff: The hollow b/b spindle. There´s still some dirt in it.

DforkcrownAnd of course the twin plate fork crown. This is something I really like.

DsteeringheadAcres of chrome, very flashy.

DSteerTopProbably Dürkopp made steering set; the b/b bearings definitively are made by Dürkopp.

DreardoRather simple pressed steel dropout ends, a bit disappointing. Do we have an early form of drillium here? But note the thinness of the seat stay.

DforkdoSame thing in the front. Some of the beautiful box lining has survived on the fork.

DbbThe dirt really has bonded with the rough surface of the faulty paintwork.

DIndentThe indentations obviously are made for fat tires. Note how close the chainwheel is to the stay.

DKurbelSchriftzugThe Dürkopp brand name is found in many places on the bike.


DseattubeAgain loads of little bubbles around the seatcluster.


DRearLightBrazeonThere is a brazeon for a rear light or reflector; a nice touch. I´ve seen this on a number of Dürkopp road frames.

DOberrohrThere are three little loops brazed under the top tube to take the brake cable. Neat, especially considered what others were doing in this regard at the time.

So, who can say definitively what this was? Lowly sports or the real fullblood road bike frame?

A day later: Theo Ernst has written to say that it is the real thing, he remembers having sold them in the day. Wonderful.


One Comment

  1. Billy Ketchum
    Posted September 7, 2013 at 10:21 am | Permalink | Reply

    Hi Toni. Nice save. A very lovely frame. Who knows where it might have ended up. Kind of like a thoroughbred being used as a draft horse. But you can’t hide those lines. Thanks for the post.

2 Trackbacks

  1. By Failed « starostneradost on February 9, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    […] headbadge which was used in the thirties. For the post-WWII headbadge see my other Dürkopp post, […]

  2. By The Dürkopp Contrast « starostneradost on February 19, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    […] the other two Dürkopps I have are ( and Look out for differences in the fork crowns, the chainsets and of course the braze ons – in […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.