To the Wall!

Some weeks ago I thought I could rescue a bike from a scrap yard where it must have reposed in the open for decades. The bike is/was a Torpedo from Frankfurt. There was no connection between them and Fichtel and Sachs who produced the famous Torpedo hubs. Lately, Apple Germany has taken a childrens´ café to court over an apple screen printed onto their mugs – there seems to have been no problem about the two Torpedos, due perhaps to a little more sanity in those times.

The frame and mudguards had been refinished, my guess is in the sixties, after having been made in the early fifties. The bike was in such a state that the tyres had become gluey-soft and the rubber could be pulled off the wires by hand. Spokes would snap when bent only slightly. I thought the frame could possibly be saved, but even the bottom bracket shell thread had rusted away and some stays were bent.

So, what to do with the thing? I had for some time had the idea that hanging a bare, sandblasted frameset on my study wall would be great. One is able to see all the places where it has been brazed, and I find the grey surface of a sandblasted frame appealing. Only, you wouldn´t do something like this to a frame you would later want to use for anything else, of course.

Now I was stuck with this frame which had once been quite nice, but was no earthly use to anyone anymore – unless used as an ornament. So I had the thing blasted, and here is the result:

TFull  There is a number of interesting and typical details on the frame, like the indented forkblades, chain- and seatstays, which were supposed to strengthen the stays and which were all the rage in Germany in the fifties:



TforkcrI must admit, I like those pronounced ribs on the chainstays.


TfrontdotopHere´s one of the beautiful cast or drop forged dropout ends. It´s clearly visible where it was inserted into the fork blade. The rear is not quite the same:

TreardoThe three holes in the dropout are there to rivet a Fichtel & Sachs derailleur into place, and the serrations will fit the F&S three speed torque washer´s serrations perfectly. This frame was equipped with a single speed Torpedo coaster brake, so none of the special features of the dropout were needed; indeed, the serrations were damaged over the years by nuts being tightened hard.




TlwrheadlOld fashioned keyhole lugs show varying degrees of braze penetration. The hole in the lug pictured immediately above is for the port of the internal wiring. There was a little screw and nut assembly which cleanly and easily disconnected the internal from the external wiring.

TpumppegHere´s a a pump peg of the classical type…

Tchainguardbo… a tab used to fasten the chain guard…

Tbrakebr… and a somewhat disfigured brake bridge. The damage must have been done while building the frame; the l/h side seat stay is about the only straight tube now.

TforkcrbottomThe fork crown shows a lot of bronze underneath. Was it perhaps dip brazed?

TbbThe b/b shell is nicely thinned.

TheadbLastly, here´s a view of the steering head with its two badges. Strictly speaking, they and the alloy mudguard mascot were the only pieces which could be reused on the whole bike.


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