Monthly Archives: June 2015

Nissan Classic Revival by Oldvelos

On Sunday September 13th 2015, Brendan Hennessy from Ireland will stage the Oldvelos Vintage International Classic.

OldvElliott Event 2013

This event seems to be very a promising and tasty affair, not least because Brendan is one of those thoroughbred classic bike guys. He´s been involved in cycling ever since he was a kid, and remembers making his own SKIL peaked cap at age 11 – that´s something. It more or less goes without saying that he used to work as a cycle mechanic. As such he has the ability to get involved with prestige projects like rebuilding Steven Roche´s TI Raleigh – for a friend, who will hopefully use the bike in the event in September, Brendan says. He himself will be seen on the 1983 Bianchi Super Leggera that he raced as a teenager.

Oldv2013-09-15 09.00.35

He explains that the club “Oldvelos” organizes a number of events each year, and that write ups of those are available on the club´s website. However, this September´s Vintage International Classic will be special in that it´s planned as a Nissan Classic revival. Participants are requested to bring any memorabilia of this race which they might have in their collections.

There should be a number of these as Brendan thinks that the Nissan Classic was a focal point of cycling in Ireland, bringing back many of Ireland´s greats to show their prowess to folks at home. Namesdropping includes Roche, Early, Kimmage, McCormick, and of course Kelly.

Brendan makes possible participants´ mouths water by mentioning the event course: Among others, the Kerry mountains will be on the route sheet, from Killarney through the iconic ‘Gap of Dunloe’,


a winding valley road in the Kerry mountains and on over country roads to some more tough climbing over the legendary Bealach Béime (13% all the way!) Carragh lake will be another salient point in the 75 mile run. I wish I had the time to attend.

The Oldvelos Vintage International Classic takes place in Killarney, Co. Kerry on Sunday September 13th 2015.  Killarney is one hour from Cork Airport and three hours from Dublin.

Photos courtesy Brendan Hennessy

NSU by Two

To make things completely clear: This is not about the NSU we´ve been hearing about so much of late in Germany, the terrorists which have committed so many atrocious crimes. This is about two bikes that were made by NSU works in Neckarsulm, the history of which brand is well documented on the net, e.g. by the NSU Motorenwerke entry on German wikepedia.


Anyway, here they are:

XNLfullXNHfullThe 1963, 28 inch wheel size gent´s bike is mine, bought cheaply off a cycle dealer earlier this year because he didn´t have the coaster brake spare required to make it ridable. I repaired it in a few minutes´ time (I have a number of 515 hubs I have been breaking for spares over the years), the internals being very simple. It has given some good service already, on some outings as well as serving as a spare bike for visitors. The 26 inch wheel size lady´s I saw by chance on the road.

XNHlandsch1 XNHlandschickerb

One might think that the bikes are quite similar, but there is about 5 to 8 years difference between them. The lady´s is the older one, still equipped with its original Model 55 stepped shell three speed, the blue trigger of which is quite sought after nowadays. This one even has the plastic coat on the lever still intact.


XNLrearhubMy later gent´s model is equipped with the three speed after this, the red trigger, straight shell Model 515.


Sadly, the lady´s bike seems to spend most of its time outside in the rain.

There´s the typical one piece pressed steel headstock on both – no lugs, just a pressing.

XNLheadThe long lugs betray the fact that there are no mitred tubes inside – the lugs are that hefty because they have to hold the frame together as the tubes inside them probably do not touch. Cheap and rugged.


The lady´s, however, still has the old style brazed in drop forged dropouts…


Slight bend in seatstay found often on coaster brake equipped 50s sports bikes

… while the later gent´s already has the far less refined, much cheaper flash welded stamped steel ends.


Also the b/b shells on both bikes aren´t very special at all.


The general design is quite similar on both bikes:


No lining on the gent´s though – money seems to have been somewhat less of an issue in the late fifties than in the early sixties

XNHheadbXNHseattransfXNLheadbMy gent´s has a useless, but nice branded spoke lock…

XNHspokelock… and a slightly more useful chainguard.

XNHchaingAlso all the rubber strips are still on the carrier rack – quite nice.

XNHbaggdrHowever, the original chainset as well as the front hub are quite cheap items – I wonder how they have held up that long. The brake spares mentioned earlier usually last forever, so the bike must have seen a lot of use. The white pedals, which might be original too, also show signs of great wear.


XNHbbXNHfronthubBoth bikes have aluminium plated mudguards – nice to look at at the beginning, but rust prone and there´s no way you can either stop or repair rust on these.

XNHmudgdesignTo finish off this post, here´s a view on the typical 1950s NSU mudguard mascot:


Chance Encounter: Van Herwerden Route 531

Some of you might have read the post on the Whitsun cycle jumble in Rommerskirchen. I was sadly not able to attend the run on Saturday, but the Sunday morning was dedicated to visiting the jumble and scouring the offers – see the report two posts below this one.

I was able to buy a frame off a friend who I have met several times on rides in the Netherlands, and so it was no big surprise that the frame has  Dutch name.




The tower shown in the head transfer is also a part of the Voorburg coat of arms.

VH1898On the van H. website it says that the shop is about 100 years old, so might this be the  year it was founded?

And yes, it´s the same van H. as mentioned in my post on cycling around Rotterdam last year:

The shop is still active, offering a range of handmade steel framed bikes, very interesting. However, on the site it says nowhere how proud the shop is that these frames are made by themselves – which makes me wonder.

This what my van H. Route looks like:

VHfullIt has been a general problem with my blog recently that I have too much to write about (meets, bikes I got) and too little time to accomplish it, so I´ll re-take this horrible snap when I can find the opportunity. I hope the details are better.

While the van H. frame is made of a full set of Reynolds 531,

VH531it still is easily visible that it was made on a budget. Van H. being importers of Chesini at the time (see my post on my own Arena model), they had a top of the line bike, and my guess is that their house brand would be used to make a good, solid, middle price point effort. The 600 headset might be an indicator for this, too.

VHtoplugNo filing visible here, and this cable eye

VHbrakecbleyehas either had a knock to create the dented tube just about visible, or it was brazed on in a hurry. Also look at the paintwork finish which is not overly smooth.

That said, the frame is not horrible at all. There´s lots of chrome



and the tang on the inside of the fork legs is a thing of beauty.

VHseatclThe semi-wrapover chainstay also adds a nice touch, even if it has not been executed with the last drop of care.

VHbb VHbbunderThe b/b shell also is nice and rugged. I like the cable tunnels – not too long to make threading in of the inners a tricky business.

So my guess is that this frame is one a rider can get a lot of satisfaction out of and fun with without having had to pay an undue amount of money to acquire it.

As I said in my post on the Motobécane (, I have come to like these things.

Williamson – Happy Ending thanks to m-gineering

Remember last year when I wrote the post on the seeming end of the way of the 1940s Williamson I had so looked forward to to riding?

Exciting news: Marten Gerritsen of m-gineering has actually managed to repair the frame.

This is what it looks like now:

WRfullBefore looking at the headbearings I had had the frame at another friend´s place to get a hole in the chainstay fixed which had been worn into it by a wobbly chainwheel:

WRholeI then discovered the catastrophe of the more than worn headset, see old post for pics.

So what Marten did was that he machined down the fork crown ever so slightly to get rid of the ridge worn into it by the loose race,

WRforkcrstrengthened the fork column by fitting a tube inside its lower end,

WRtubeand here we were, back again on the way to full recovery. I have since managed to fit a b/b bearing and the headset, but so many parts are missing or u/s that I think I´ll use my boxes for replacements. Or can anyone help out with, for instance, a 1930s BSA chainset? See.

Speaking of boxes: The rear hub which came with the bike is a three speed Cyclo, and I found a (hopefully) correct rear derailleur in my box. So things are looking up, it seems.

Stay tuned for more pics as work progresses, but first a huge thank you to Marten.

Rommerskirchen Cycle Jumble

First time I went – and a good thing it was, too. I liked the atmosphere,


met a number of people, and also found two interesting items, one at a very reasonable price, about which I´ll write another post later.

In general, however, I´m afraid my opinion about any sort of cycle jumble/swap meet has not changed. While there certainly were a number of great bicycles, both for sale and to look at, as well as other material of good quality,


however, there definitively were other, less easily described items, too.

Like this here bike:

XRfakecolnheadThe three yard test is OK, but then what a disappointment:


And, would you believe it, the painter actually seemed to be proud of this falsification as he had stuck a large sticker with his firm´s name on onto the left hand side chainstay.

Also there was a great number of cheapo bits for sale. I honestly wonder if there were any of these sold, but then who knows.

XRceapoderbox XRchainsetsXRlevers


One cheapo bike was unusual at least.

XRGoldbrakecal XRgoldchainsXRRRThe bag alone is worth buying here, I guess. To finish off the short post, some more general impressions.

XRclothes XRClassic?XRbelg