One Careful Owner

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Here´s a bike which I was able to buy (for a very moderate sum) last Sunday. It is special in its equipment, the frame however and especially its preservation leave something to be desired. I have decided to take the photos of the uncleaned, unrestored “dans son jus” bike because of its history.

The bike was bought new in the summer of 1957 by the man I got it from, and he used it extensively for about 40 years, until it was left in a damp shed, where it received its corrosion damage. The best thing is that the former owner has promised to try and find the bill of sale which he thinks is still somewhere among his papers. Keep your fingers crossed.

Göricke is a rather famous Bielefeld brand which was known for a pretty good balance of quality and price. The bikes were nowhere near as good as Miele or Dürkopp, but then these two stood head and shoulders above the other Bielefeld makers.

Here are two full views.

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The bike is the 28 inch wheel version which was rare in the late fifties when 26 in was all the rage. It was the most expensive bike in the provincial Bersenbrück, North Germany shop at the time, according to the first owner, and he remembers drawing a crowd when first turning up on it in the center of that small town.

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The bell still gives the name of the shop, long defunct.

Let´s have a look at the frame which betrays a lot of price point and saving thought, 1957 being at the beginning of the motorization boom with commuting bicycles having been replaced by mopeds for some years already and small cars beginning to come into reach of middle income households.

GsteeringheadAFAIK the lugs are Série Légère from the Nervex catalogue. The wording on the headbadge says “Göricke Works, Bielefeld” and underneath it gives the name of the works owners and founders, Nippel & Co, “Nippel” having the same funny double meaning both in English (nipple) and in German.

Greardo

The rear dropout ends are stamped sheet metal and obviously meant for both pencil stays and wider seat stays, giving them a rough and ready appearance in a pencil stay. Remember the beautiful drop forged ends on the Miele Sports? the next post will be on a early fifties Torpedo sports frame which also shows the nicer dropout ends. The front ends on the Göricke show the same treatment.

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Also the b/b shell is rather simple. There is the de rigueur oiler on top of it, but that´s it.

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It looks as if the seatlug ends were long enough to allow the use of unmitered tube ends. Also the seat stay top is just a heavily indented and rounded tube end. No braze in top is used as in Miele frames.

GcableeyeThere are three cable eyes under the top tube, they are just open wire rings. They needed to be open as some derailleur and hub gear cable setups would be easier to fit if there was no need for a clean end to thread through a closed eye.

GPumppegThe punp pegs are stamped sheet metal; there would have been no need to drill a hole in the tube to accomodate the usual pegs (see following post).

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Here´s the front end with the special Göricke fork crown which looks curiously inverted: the sharper end points towards the front. The front fork isn´t cheaply made at all.

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Now a few looks at the numerous transfers, mascots and other ornaments.

GBIcoatarmsThis is the Bielefeld coat of arms.

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GcrankGCranks.

GdowntmedaltransfDown tube.

GforktransfFront fork.

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GrearmudgRear mudguard.

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GTopttransferThis one is on the top tube and used to say “Warranted for best quality workmanship”.

At a time when people wouldn´t spend serious money on a mere push bike, and if they did, a three speed hub with coaster brake would be the order of the day, it must have been quite unusual to buy this:

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This is not a standard French Simplex; it was made under licence by PWB, Präzision-Werke Bielefeld, under the Durex-brand. Look out for the little “D” as the giveaway.

This was what the box would have looked like when you decided to fit an aftermarket derailleur:

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I found this box more than 20 years ago on the rubbish heap of a bike shop being shut down.

GboxAusfuhrThe nearly cut off words say “Ausfuhr nicht erlaubt“, “Not for Export”. The licence seems to have been valid only in Western Germany.

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Now for some more equipment details. First there is a lock which doesn´t really deserve the name. If you have the key (which I don´t) you can push the lock a few centimetres towards the spokes, so that the bike can´t be pushed or ridden away. It can, however, be carried away without a problem, and the rear wheel can also be stolen as it will not be secured to the frame. This lock really is an example for the fact that there were cheap, useless bicycle components even in the good old times. There were versions of these which were bolted on the frame, but this one can´t even be removed.

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GrimbadgeRims are rather simple Weinmanns.

GrearhubGfronthub

The hubs are real atention getters, but their quality isn´t overly special. Wing nuts were definitively on the way out on quality bikes in the late fifties.

GbrakehangtagBoth brakes still have their little hang tags. At first I thought that the former owner must have taken the bike on a foreign tour with the tags being customs seals, but it says “Weinmann” on them.

GLampholderThe lamp holder has two holes with rubber grommets to accomodate the brake cables – clever idea.

GRearbrakeThis is something you really would expect on a French bike.

GrackThe rack is fixed to the frame with braze on tabs – unusual for the late fifties and perhaps a sign that the bike had retained a few quality details after all.

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