Burgers Bike info..

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piercer_99

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Dec 27, 2015
2,462
60
Sanger, TX
'Dutch' bicycle, if the BSA hub is original, no newer than the mid 50's, they stopped making the hub in 1954.

The names on the seat tube are for Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont was Queen consort of the Netherlands and Grand Duchess

Leopold II was the longest reigning King of Belgium, or King of the Belgians.

Burgers ENR (this means Eerste Nederlandsche Rijwielfabriek, First Dutch Bicycle factory) started building boneshakers in 1869. The factory was based in Deventer until closure in 1961.
 

piercer_99

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Dec 27, 2015
2,462
60
Sanger, TX
from the way it looks, it wouldn't take much to have it is great riding shape and for the investment, the return would be a very dependable machine that will last for year.

If you like 3 speed middle weights, you can't go wrong.

Cleaned up, serviced and with good tires, it would be worth between 150 and 200. (depending on how close to a university you are)
You won't get rich on it, but you can have a reliable bike that will last.
 

fat tire trader

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Oct 29, 2010
3,895
San Quentin, California
www.fattiretrading.com
I'm shocked, last Sunday I picked up 4 bikes at a thrift store. 2 Schwinns and a bike with a repainted blue bike with a BSA hub. When I got back to my shop, I compared the blue bike to my BSAs and derermined it is not a BSA, so I grabbed my can of Graffiti remover and started cleaning off the blue paint, revealing that it is a Burgers. It's the same color as the one you have.

One of my favorite parts of the bike collecting hobby is finding old bikes that I don't know anything about and learning their story.

I know nothing about Dutch bikes. Very few were exported to California. But now I am learning about them.

Burgers is a very old company. Founded in 1869, here is their website

Here is a wiki on Burgers

The BSA hubs were not made after 1955, so I think our bikes are from the early 50s. What is your serial number?

Your bike is in a lot better condition than mine. Mine is missing the front fender, the chain guard, and the lights. If I had yours, I would clean it up, grease all the bearings and put it up for sale. I'm contemplating the same with mine, but with the overpaint and the missing parts, I put it in the basement for now.
 
Last edited:

non-fixie

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jun 5, 2011
111
Yurp
Nice find! Burgers is the oldest Dutch brand, and were known for making excellent bicycles at reasonable prices. You have got a good bike.

The reference to the late Prince Hendrik is interesting and kind of funny. I'm not sure he ever rode a bike, but he was known to fraternize with the sports community and liked to share a drink (or two) with the sportsmen.

One story says his life was once saved by a couple of speed skaters at the 1928 winter Olympics when he fell down, got stuck in the snow and was too drunk to get out by himself.

More interesting story from a cycling point of view is that of the 1925 World Championships. For some reason someone had thought it to be a good idea to organize this race in Holland, even though road racing had been prohibited there since 1905. They even chose the Veluwe area for the race, which is a predominantly orthodox protestant area.

So, no racing, no shorts.

This is what they did. They made sure there was no race by having control points, where policemen would put a stamp on the riders' race numbers. The race was stopped for lunch. Prince Hendrik asked the riders to "not ride too fast, please".

There actually is some footage of that "race". Even more surprisingly, there was a "winner".

World Road Race Championship 1925
 
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dirtman

On Training Wheels
May 21, 2020
7
60
NJ
I found this site searching for info on a Burgers E.N.R. I just found.
Mine is black, and very similar to yours.
My chain guard is slightly different, in that its missing the fine line across the top edge and is smoothly rounded on top, my fork crown is a full chrome cap over a cast crown similar to yours, and my rear hub is a Sturmey Archer dated 3-59.
The rims look the same, and in about the same shape. My top tube has a lot of wear and surface rust though and the fork is bent.
Both the right fork blade and the steer tube is bent. It took heat to finesse the stem out of the curved steer tube.
Mine also has a brass head badge, but the rest of the decals look the same. My rear fender has the white lower portion. My rear reflector, on the fender, is the old pomegranate glass style. My saddle is similar but two town black and white.
The bike is rough but if I can find or fix this fork, its got a chance. I have a set of very similar rims I can lace up if needed as well if these prove too rusty to make presentable. The fork and a good set of tires are all that's between me and putting mine back together.

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Kombicol

Finally riding a big boys bike
Sep 5, 2008
297
Houston, United States
.
 

dirtman

On Training Wheels
May 21, 2020
7
60
NJ
I hadn't really thought about just swapping out the steer tube, but I suppose it may be an option.
I was able to straighten the tube though but the forks are also bent sideways about an inch. I can make the needed adjustments to re-align the blades but it appears that the crown is also bent or shifted. I can make it function, but the crown will never be level again. I think that trying to un-bend the crown itself will likely break the casting.
What amazes me is that the frame has no damage. usually when a bike takes a hit hard enough to bend the forks this bad the tt and dt also end up bent.
Both crank arms also turned out to be bent, both were bent inward about 1/2", it wasn't as noticable on the right side but the left side had been hitting the rear stay for a long time.
The forks were likely like that for a long time, there's a wear mark on the tube above the bearing from where the cup collar was rubbing the tube for a long time.
I'm also trying to figure out whether or not the handle bar stem belongs with this bike, its a zero clearance fit with the steer tube, meaning it takes force to install and remove it, even after I ran a reamer down the tube to clean up any rust or high spots. I'll have to take about .005" off the inside of the steer tube to make the stem fit properly. My bars and stem do look the same as those on the burgundy bike shown above.

Part of what's going on with the stem is that the top not is rounded and when it's tightened down, it sort of crimps the top of the steer tube a bit.
There was also a bulge in the steer tube from over tightening the stem bolt but I was able to work that out with some minor heat and a hammer using a steel insert.

I did find a suitable replacement fork, a black fork off a Robin Hood Sports with a correct steer tube length, it looks the part but I still haven't given up on the original one yet.

I have a fork gauge, frame and fork straitening jigs, and just about all the dies to rethread forks from back in the day when I worked in a bike shop.
I've brazed frames but never unbrazed and replaced a steer tube, I guess the thought just never crossed my mind.
I considered heating up the forks as a whole, then trying to press the crown back into shape, then after all repairs, re-annealing the forks. Its not a bike I plan to sell, so anything I experiment with is for me. I would never sell something like this without it first having a lot of riding time on it after the repair to re-prove its strength.

I'm a big guy, usually if a bike can survive under my 350lbs it'll likely work just fine for most everyone else.

I cleaned the wheels yesterday too, it took a lot of wheel acid to strip away the rust. The wheels are straight, but the chrome is badly pitted and missing in a lot of places.
I pulled the rear hub apart and gave it a good cleaning and relube, and cleaned and repacked the front axle as well. Even the dry rotted old tires are holding air. I could have sworn we tried to pump up the tires on this thing when we moved it and neither tube would pump up and hold air for more than a few seconds, now they're holding air just fine.
The few minor bumps in the rims were fixable with a small clamp.

I will have to get out my air brush and touch up the frame, the bottom of the top tube looked pretty scary but after sanding it, the rust sort of fell away and really didn't show any pitting. I'm thinking that something had to be laying on the top tube at some point that rusted to it, maybe an old chain or something.
I should be able to dust in the missing paint and make it look decent without a full repaint, I don't want to lose the decals. It'll never be new again but I'm seeing that it can at least become an occasional rider again rather than a parts bike.
The rear hub is mint, if it were 40h, I think I may have just taken it for another project of mine.
The decision now is whether to go with the english fork or to keep trying to fix the one on the bike, and whether or not to lace up a pair of new rims. I have a pair of nearly identical rims here that are new old stock but their made in Italy. No clue what they were for but they're the exact profile and shape. I see no markings at all on the Burger's original rims.

The original rims didn't respond at all to the Evapo-Rust from Harbor Freight. I needed to resort to a pretty strong mix of acids to get the rust off. Its a mix of hydroflouric. sulfuric, and phosphoric acids mixed with a light detergent so it don't evaporate to quickly. It eats rust fast but if left on too long it'll do damage.

I'm not sure why I'm doing all this, I suppose because its an oddity of a bike here. The bike doesn't really fit me, but I really want to see how it rides. I don't think I've had a bike from Holland before. It also really doesn't have many parts to donate to any of my other projects.

May I ask what brakes are on your bike? Mine has an Altenburger alloy caliper in the rear and a Raleigh caliper in the front. Since the rear lever and cable don't match the rest of the bike, I'm guessing the rear caliper was swapped over from something else at some point. it seems odd that it would have a Raleigh made front caliper too, but I find it odd that someone would change both calipers.
My fork doesn't look like yours either, my take is that your bike is a bit older having the BSA rear hub, so that may well mean they changed forks in the 5 or 6 years between the two bikes. The lack of an actual headbadge on yours is interesting as well.

In reality, I really have no idea what is original to this bike or not. The forks and stem don't seem to belong together, the damage to the fork didn't make it so much smaller than it needs machining to work with the stem. The stem and bars look the same as your bike though, making the fork the odd part out. My headset is also different from yours, its a mix style wise of an American Wald headset with a spanner type top nut common on so many Dutch and German youth bikes I've seen.
The fact that all the threading on this thing is American or English, with most of the hardware being American threaded with square nuts but with completely odd hex sizes also makes me wonder. For example, the seat and stem clamp nuts are not 13 or 14 mm. The nuts which are in nice shape measure .540", which doesn't correlate to any wrench size. (Including Whitworth). I have a 1/4W wrench, which measures about .525', and all sort of vintage bike tools but nothing fits anything on this bike.
Nearly all fasteners are backed up with a lock nut, thus things like the fenders are screwed onto threaded braze ons or inserts, then backed up with a square lock nut. The fenders, chainguard, and cable clamps are done this way. The stem and handle bars are also of their own measurements being slightly larger than what's used on the more common British bikes.
The front hub has no markings, its chrome plated and made up of several stampings and uses basically looks like a higher quality Wald type axle and cones. As if they just super chrome plated a cheap Wald type hub to make it match the much nicer SA rear hub.
The grips had to be cut off, they were literally melted to the bars. one had some pretty bad road rash so I didn't lose much and both were US made Tru Grip branded replacements from long ago. The shifter is also non original and marked 'Japan' on the back. I'm thinking it may just get a vintage twist grip set up which will solve the shifter and grip issue at the same time and make use of a clean used grip shift set I've had taking up space on the shelf for 20 or so years.

The frame has a rattle in the top tube, further inspection shows that both the headtube and seat tube lugs have only a 1/4" opening into the tube, just enough to get a borescope into the tube. There's what appears to be a dime laying in the tube. The dime sizes coin has a large '10' with a crown above it. its too large to be removed without damaging the frame. It had to be tossed in there before the tubes were assembled. The tubing is also quite crudely seamed and welded when viewed from the inside. They no doubt were rolling their own tubing when they made these bikes, much the way Raleigh did with the bikes built in Nottingham.



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dirtman

On Training Wheels
May 21, 2020
7
60
NJ
I spent some more time on the fork, on top of the tube being bent and both blades being off to the right, I found a downsizing shim stuck in the bottom of the tube, likely what caused the bulge when someone likely hammered the stem in last time.
After fighting with a rather thick shim that had rusted in place for an hour it finally broke free and came out.
I honed the inside of the tube till it was smooth again and the stem fits as it should.
The forks fit and turn in the frame great now.
Onto one of the other many issues now.

I did strip and start touching up the top tube, I soaked the frame in a Evapo-Rust and got the top tube clean, it left maybe 5% of the original paint intact on the top tube. Between marks from someone wrapping a chain around it for years and who only knows what clamped to it, the top tube will need paint. The goal is to make it look original, I don't plan to do the whole frame, just fix the top tube for preservation purposes. I was really expecting it to be pitted nearly to the point of rust through but the rust was all on the surface with no pitting, but the paint was gone. I feather masked the adjacent lugs and sanded the top tube smooth and primed it with some filler primer, once that was smooth I started putting on light coats of black lacquer to match the rest of the paint. I'll do a few wet sandings and then a polish to match the finish on the rest of the frame. The bad is that the bike was originally pinstriped all over in an overlapping pattern, more than half the original pinstriping is worn off or faded away on the rest of the frame and there was only a tiny corner left on the top tube. The original striping was very thin, as in hair thin. I'm not sure I can duplicate that without finding some sort of paint pen that size. (I'm guessing that these were likely hand pinstriped with a paint pen and stencil or pattern like Raleigh bikes were).

As you can see in the pic, this frame as a lot of fork rake, even more than on a Raleigh Roadster.
The top tube here has the first coat of color that's been wet sanded lightly.

Does anyone know how these bikes got to the USA?
I don't find much on them in English and this and one other post were the only posts on the web anywhere about one of these.
The short hand stamped serial number sort of makes me think these weren't made in great numbers, or at least they certainly weren't brought to the states in any sort of quantity.
In my 60 years around bikes I've never ran across one before with this brand. I've seen a few other brands from the Netherlands but not a Burgers. It makes me think that maybe the few that are here may have just been examples that came here with their owners back in the day?
The guy I got this bike from acquired it from an auction on Long Island.

1199962
 
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fat tire trader

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Oct 29, 2010
3,895
San Quentin, California
www.fattiretrading.com

dirtman

On Training Wheels
May 21, 2020
7
60
NJ
I didn't realize your link and mine were the same, I had glanced at it quick before but gave up due to the language. I found the translated link through another bike site with a link to a back page of the Dutch site.

I don't think its all that much work, its just what's needed to revive an old bike. If it were closer to my size, I'd likely be doing a complete tear down giving it brand new rims and fresh paint all over and looking to deal with either saving the decals or working around them and then re-pinstriping the frame to original spec.
For right now, I just want to make it ridable again to see if its something work doing right.

The big question next will be whether or not to dig up some nicer calipers for this and a pair of matching levers. Right now its got one aluminum Altenberger rear caliper and one Raleigh front caliper and lever. The shifter is made in Japan but the cable is likely original to the bike. I was going to swap over a set of early twist grip shifters but they won't fit these bars, so I'll be digging up a period correct SA shifter for it. I seem to remember having saved a set of non-Raleigh chrome calipers years ago off another bike that may look correct on this. More so than just hanging two Raleigh stamped calipers on it.

The original saddle also either needs a recover job or to be replaced, for now it'll get a cheap suitable replacement. The original saddle cover is shrunk up about 1 1/2" and torn away from the rear edge so it won't even provide a pattern to copy. The padding was horse hair and is still intact.

for now I won't even change the tires, they both hold air so they'll be fine for a test ride. I actually like how much wider the older 26x1 3/8" tires are then the modern replacements. These old tires are closer to 1 1/2" tires than what they sell today that don't even measure 1 1/4" wide.

Its hard to judge how this bike will ride, even though its got a fairly small frame, the seat post and stem are super long compared to that of an English build bike.
 
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dirtman

On Training Wheels
May 21, 2020
7
60
NJ
May I ask how your rear brake caliper is attached? On mine it uses a top/bottom bolt and an adapter to fit an Altenburger caliper.
The rear brake bridge is not drilled for a normal caliper bolt.
At this point, yours is the only other three speed I've found on the web. I did see one with a coaster brake rear hub and no brake calipers, that one had a Perry rear hub.
Neither of my calipers seem to belong on this bike. I'm wondering now if it started life as a three speed or not.
The sum of the suspect parts to that effect are the Japanese replacement shifter, the road bike rear caliper and adapter, and the lack of a drilled or suitable break bridge.
If I were to drill the existing break bridge, a standard length chrome steel caliper like the Raleigh one up front would be too long.
I got lucky and found a new old stock Messinger saddle that very much resembles the one on yours, once I figure out my brakes, shifter, and grips, I'll decide if its going on this bike or something else. For now the original seat is going back on.

Its part way back together, here's a few pics.

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I did some airbrush work here and there to fix the really rusty spots but left most of the patina. A good bit of the top tube had to be refinished for preservation purposes.

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The fenders are just sitting on it, I finished truing up the wheels and found a used tire to match the one on the front, I had to get rid of that gumwall it had on the back.

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The old paint buffed up nicely, the decals and pinstriping are tough as nails. I used three levels of compound on it expecting to possible compromise the decals in a few places
but they brightened right up along with the paint. It looks better in the pics than in person, but its a far cry from what it was a few weeks ago already.
I was able to take it for a ride the way it is with just a pair of old pedals hand threaded in it and it fixed in high gear. It rides smooth and straight. Its a very different feel from a Raleigh sports, much more laid back and a bit less nimble. It puts more weight on the rear wheel than does a Raleigh, it more compares to an early Norman from England which has a very similar front end rake.
 
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