As - Thor 5-speed. My latest mystery

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3-speeder

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 26, 2017
229
353
Lansing, MI, United States
#1
Hi everybody. Got this bike last weekend but didn't get any photos until today. I've seen a chainguard posted on the CABE that looked similar but could find no info on an As-Thor bicycle. The seller bought the bike while touring Belguim. I'm wondering if anyone would know when it was made or where it was made. I'm thinking that the Shimano Lark dérailleur might be a replacement. The shifter lever is a Huret and that seems more appropriate for the dérailleur as well. What do you think? I'm kind of in love with it. Never seen one like it.
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juvela

Finally riding a big boys bike
Aug 2, 2014
367
439
Playa del Rey, United States
#3
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Hello 3-speeder,

Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful find!

Great job on the photos as well.

As Thor cycles were produced in Torhout, Belgium; do not know years of operation.

It is likely built to BSC/ISO standard with regard to tubing & threading. Some Belgian machines were also built to french/metric standard.

This one looks like it might be near to 1954. Best dating aid seen is the cycle's Huret shift lever which entered service in the early 1950's. It is possible the bicycle left the factory as a derailleur three or four speed and was later converted to 5V. What make is the gear block?

Is chainset Acier Diamant?

Wheel rims look like they might be Alesa.

Looks to be mostly original. Non-original fittings include rear mech, saddle, wheel reflectors, pedals, brake levers, second rear reflector & saddle pillar.

Mechanicing tip - saddle pillar has been replaced with one too small. Note shimming. Seat binder ears of seat lug have been crushed down. I'd want to remove the pillar and check the true size. Would expect something like 26.2 or 26.4mm. You can open up those binder ears, gently. Then locate a correct sized pillar for the bike.

Here are some images I saved of an earlier example, probably from the 1940's:

As Thor bicycle a) .JPG
As Thor bicycle b) .jpg
As Thor bicycle c) .jpg


Thank you again for sharing this wonderful find!

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3-speeder

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 26, 2017
229
353
Lansing, MI, United States
#5
Thanks @juvela. I went out yesterday to take some as-found photos and ended up with about 40 images. Photography has always been a passion of mine. When I got the bike home the first thing that I did was work on the seat post. The seller had it shimmed with a beer can. :p I gently worked the ears back out and was able to find the right size post and bolt in my seat post bin. I'll check the chainset and rims. The lugset really caught my eye and I'm posting the pics I have. Check out the crown paint on the fork. Neat detail work. I did find out that "Deposee", from the headbadge, is like the French word for Trade Mark. Thanks for the information that you shared. I appreciate it.
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juvela

Finally riding a big boys bike
Aug 2, 2014
367
439
Playa del Rey, United States
#6
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Hello again 3-speeder,

Excellent to read pillar well squared away.

Thanks very much for the additional imagery.

Machine's headset may be WF brand, an indigenous belgian product.

Suspect original pedals were likely rubber. Perhaps WECO may have been fitted...

In earlier photos was wondering if fork crown Vagner model nr. 12. IIRC other makers offered a similar pattern as well.

vagner fork crowns.jpg


The new lug closeups are helpful.

Ekla offered other lug patterns. Company produced crowns and shells as well.

Ekla lugs .jpg
Ekla fork crowns .jpg


Ekla Continental lug pattern, Rattray .gif


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juvela

Finally riding a big boys bike
Aug 2, 2014
367
439
Playa del Rey, United States
#7
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Interesting to see the St Christopher motif on the machine's Ardex chainguard.

Ardex chainguard on As Thor .jpg



It was evidently a fairly common sight on belgian cycles at one time. Here it is seen on a Garage Indesteege badged cycle made by Royal Nord of Hasselt, Belgium. Bicycle looks to be roughly contemporaneous to this one.

Garage Indesteege St. Christopher transfer a) .jpg


Garage Indesteege St Christopher transfer b) .jpg


Garage Indesteege, Royal Nord bicycle .jpg


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Appears crank arms may be without marking. Will be interested to learn if you discover any markings on the cycle's bottom bracket fittings. The spindle end has markings but am unable to make them out. Spindle appears it may be hollow; is that correct?

Bicycle's original cable casing was from EJAC of France.

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3-speeder

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 26, 2017
229
353
Lansing, MI, United States
#8
I love that chainguard image. Neat to see similar image used on another bike. Checked out a few things and have more pictures.
The rear rim is Alesa 717 alloy. Front rim is unmarked and looks different, appears to have reinforcement around the nipples. See photos.
Rear hub has Maillard name on it, can't make out front hub stamping.
Chainring is unmarked save for the number 50 stamped on it. Tooth number I'm thinking.
Crank arm is stamped Luxe 60.
Gear block is stamped Regina Extra-BX Made In Italy/85
Spindle has an opening at the end but doesn't go through it. See photo for stamping around it
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juvela

Finally riding a big boys bike
Aug 2, 2014
367
439
Playa del Rey, United States
#9
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Thank you for the additional information and imagery! :smile:

The 04 88 on the Maillard hub is a date. The image of the stylized eagle over a stamping press on the other hub is one belonging to Gnutti of Italy, maker of hubs, chainsets and headsets.

Gnutti hub barrel marking .jpeg


Gnutti-Hub barrel marking b) .jpg


Gnutti cottered bb .jpeg


Gnutti headset .jpeg


The 85 on the gear block is a date.

"HF" (shown as a digraph) is a brand of cranks and chainwheels from either Belgium or Netherlands. Have yet to learn the meaning of the letters.

Drive train question -

Is the bicycle's drive chain and chainwheel made for 3/32" or is it 1/8"? Some of the older derailleur three and four speed machines (and even 5V(!)) employed 1/8" chainwheels, chains and cogs. Gear block manufacturers produced multispeed blocks in 1/8".

ALESA is a brand name belonging to Weinmann. Well, I got one right. :wink:

Front wheel rim appears to be Weinmann nr. 210-700 C:

Weinmann rim advert .jpg




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Gnutti Logo .jpg
 
Last edited:

3-speeder

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 26, 2017
229
353
Lansing, MI, United States
#10
-----

Thank you for the additional information and imagery! :smile:

The 04 88 on the Maillard hub is a date. The image of the stylized eagle over a stamping press on the other hub is one belonging to Gnutti of Italy, maker of hubs, chainsets and headsets.

View attachment 745104

View attachment 745105

View attachment 745106

View attachment 745107

The 85 on the gear block is a date.

"HF" (shown as a digraph) is a brand of cranks and chainwheels from either Belgium or Netherlands. Have yet to learn the meaning of the letters.

Drive train question -

Is the bicycle's drive chain and chainwheel made for 3/32" or is it 1/8"? Some of the older derailleur three and four speed machines (and even 5V(!)) employed 1/8" chainwheels, chains and cogs. Gear block manufacturers produced multispeed blocks in 1/8".

ALESA is a brand name belonging to Weinmann. Well, I got one right. :wink:

Front wheel rim appears to be Weinmann nr. 210-700 C:

View attachment 745114



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View attachment 745108
Man that is awesome! Thanks so much for all the information and the pictures. I love that Gnutti logo! Anything with a bird on it has got to be cool, especially an eagle. What would be the best way to find out about the drive chain and chainwheel? Is there a good place to measure that? What would you suggest.
 

juvela

Finally riding a big boys bike
Aug 2, 2014
367
439
Playa del Rey, United States
#12
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Most fun Gnutti item is not one of their products but rather their promotional truck...

gnutti_truck_team car, 1950s.jpg


here is a link to a pdf of their product catalogue for 1953 , right close to the time of your bicycle -

http://veterancycleclublibrary.org.uk/ncl/pics/Gnutti catalogue 1953 (V-CC Library).pdf

wrt drive train -

you could try laying a drive chain from another derailleur geared bike on the chainwheel teeth. if the teeth are for 1/8", which it looks like they may be, the chain will not be able to sit down on the teeth. your drive chain is a brand called ACHO which I have not encountered previously.

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3-speeder

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 26, 2017
229
353
Lansing, MI, United States
#14
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Most fun Gnutti item is not one of their products but rather their promotional truck...

View attachment 745183

here is a link to a pdf of their product catalogue for 1953 , right close to the time of your bicycle -

http://veterancycleclublibrary.org.uk/ncl/pics/Gnutti catalogue 1953 (V-CC Library).pdf

wrt drive train -

you could try laying a drive chain from another derailleur geared bike on the chainwheel teeth. if the teeth are for 1/8", which it looks like they may be, the chain will not be able to sit down on the teeth. your drive chain is a brand called ACHO which I have not encountered previously.

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I want that truck! Looks like it'd be fun to drive. I was just on veteran cycle club library yesterday looking for info on this bike. Great place with lots of info. I'll check that chainwheel size and post it soon. Thanks again for all the help
 

3-speeder

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 26, 2017
229
353
Lansing, MI, United States
#15
It looks like a very comfortable bike, and I really like those bars. Both sweep and hand position pretty much duplicates the Ahearne Map bars I used on my '92 Viner CX frame.
(all it needs are thumb shifters)
View attachment 745189
Once I adjusted the seat and raised the stem up it was better. Could use a nice Brooks saddle like yours on it. Those are so comfy. The metal grips aren't so great in the cold weather. I'm keeping them though, mostly because i don't know how I would take them off. Haha
 

juvela

Finally riding a big boys bike
Aug 2, 2014
367
439
Playa del Rey, United States
#16
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Good day 3-speeder,

Thank you for this most excellent photo of the crank arm marking.

"HF" crank arm marking .jpg


Have been able to learn from cycling friends in the low countries that the HF digraph belongs to a Belgian maker of cranks, chainwheels and bottom brackets called Hermesse. Do not know their years of operation. One friend suggests that the number 60 may be a date. If this turns out to be correct I will be slightly surprised because of the cycle's bottom bracket shell with the dual pinch bolts. Would have thought use of this design would have been discontinued by that date. My understanding is that the Luxe term here refers to a model or series of products.

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juvela

Finally riding a big boys bike
Aug 2, 2014
367
439
Playa del Rey, United States
#17
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Minor update on the Hermesse chainset -

Have received more communication from my friends in the low countries. Both seem to think the number 60 a date. They state company operated in or around the city of Liege. Their educated guess is that the letter F may stand for Freres (brothers in french). For example, the full/proper name for the firm which makes Huret gears is Freres Huret.

The name Hermesse is difficult to search on as one gets so many hits related to the french fashion house of Hermes.

Would not have guessed cycle to be quite this late...

3-speeder,

Will be interested to read if you discover any markings on the bottom bracket cups and/or the centre section of the bottom bracket spindle.

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juvela

Finally riding a big boys bike
Aug 2, 2014
367
439
Playa del Rey, United States
#19
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thank you bulldog1935,

date of Lark rear mech would seem moot as it is an obvious replacement. cycle's Huret shift lever earlier than Lark by a number of years. note also the presence of the distinctive small diameter textured silver cable casing at the bottom bracket which is unique to Huret. these two bits would seem to tell us that the machine's original gear ensemble was from Freres Huret.

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