Help i.d. this frame, plz


This ad disappears when logged in

Wildralph

Look Ma, No Hands!
Jul 15, 2018
40
11
47
New York
#1
Hi all, i have a real enigma here...got it off CL 2 years ago for $50. It is has seamed aero tubes, lugged frame, and the most unique feature is the brazed?/tigged? Fastback seat stays that attach below the seat lug. Cant find anything like it anywhere, except modern all tigged bikes. None of the parts are original to the frame, except maybe the simplex DT shifters. I have switced most all parts, and those that came on it were not original, it did have late '70's-'80's simplex front and rear derailers, and levers. No manufacturer info. Anywhere, just the 4 digit serial on bottom of BB. A previous owner had adorned it with bootleg "Cinelli" decals. It weighs around 25 Lbs. The boys on "Bike Forums" were stumped when i posted pics there 2 years ago. Figured i would tap into the Cabe's vast knowledge and see if anyone has any ideas. Thanks for any help.

20180927_212827.jpg


20180927_212353.jpg


20180927_212436.jpg


20180927_212503.jpg


20180927_213050.jpg
 

GTs58

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Sep 2, 2012
8,647
6,284
Central Arizona
#5
Posting in the Lightweight section may help. I'll ring up @juvela in the mean time, doubt he looks in this section.
 

Wildralph

Look Ma, No Hands!
Jul 15, 2018
40
11
47
New York
#6
Thanks GTs58, for pointing me in the right direction. i will inquire if moderators can move this there.
 

juvela

Finally riding a big boys bike
Aug 2, 2014
334
411
Playa del Rey, United States
#7
-----

Thanks for the undeserved vote of confidence. :blush:

Have no ideas as to maker.

Suspect we are in the anglophone world here.

At first glance the work looks nice, then as one examines more closely there are irregularities.

The most glaring is the asymmetricality of fastback junction. Also, if one is going to do a fastback there should be some provision for it such as found with the Brampton Victor seat lug as seen on Raleigh Professionals of the 1970's.

Others include uneven brazing at the lugs, file marks on the crown and an absence of filling on the seat binder ears.

"Usually" when a builder is this ambitious in terms of fashion they will do something a bit more elegant with the seat binder arrangement.

If they are going to use stock stamped ears as we have here they will "fill" them a bit with brass to beef them up so as to resist deformation when the binder is tightened.

Use of the Campag Nr. 621 housing stop on the bottom bracket as a cable guide suggests the builder did not have ready access to the many purpose made fittings for this application.

Note that the numerals placed into the bottom bracket shell were put in after painting. They may be the work of a licensing agency. It is highly unlikely that the person who created this frame made over one thousand previous to it.

I suspect we are looking at a hobbyist project rather than something from a full-time frame builder.

As such it is unlikely you will ever learn the identity of the maker.

BTW - shift levers are Triplex (Spain) rather than Simplex (France).

Should an identification be possible member @MauriceMoss is the right person or the job. ;)

-----
 
Last edited:

Wildralph

Look Ma, No Hands!
Jul 15, 2018
40
11
47
New York
#8
Thanks Juvela, i agree, some things make you think, decent bike, it is rather light, and fast, aero tubing, and the campy dropouts, etc... but then the seamed tubing, inferior finish work, And the krazy fastback stays seems like a serious design flaw, from a strength perspective. Yes, i do remember now the triplex (not simplex), sorry, shift levers, and it also had a Triplex F.D. (i just checked parts drawer). I know it had a Shimano mega-drive - 5(?) speed freewheel attached to new "looking" Mavic MA 2 rear wheel. i believe, it had an Altus R.D., pretty certain the wheels, mega-drive, and R.D. were not original. Would the Triplex F.D. and levers give any help/clues, manufact./dating? Even as a lesser bike, i dont think they made very many, the seat cluster is very unusual.
 

juvela

Finally riding a big boys bike
Aug 2, 2014
334
411
Playa del Rey, United States
#10
-----

For a date of manufacture am thinking late '70's to early 80's. However, in that window one would expect 6V rather than 5V. For my date estimate to be correct one would expect 126mm rear spacing, although it is not unusual for owners to change rear spacing.

You do not mention your location. The new forum format does not show poster's loci.

In north america where I am located Triplex brand parts are fairly rare. Do you know or guess in what nation the frame was made?

From what can be seen of the fittings in the images of the frame most appear to date from the mid to late 1970's.

-----
 

Wildralph

Look Ma, No Hands!
Jul 15, 2018
40
11
47
New York
#11
I am near Rochester, NY. Yes, the rear spacing is 126 mm. I also thought year of manufacture could range anywhere between 1975 and 1988, more likely '77 - '82, for no particular reason, just gut instinct, intuition, and certain features seem to suggest that era. Unclear what you meant exactly by "fittings"? Lugs/Dropouts/bolts/derailuers? All of the above? Lol. I suspected a custom one-off attempt/expirement by a small builder in England, but could very easily have been Spain, Sweden, even (stretching) Italy. But the low quality, mass production characteristics, could include Asia. That is not a blanket statement about asian bikes by the way. Just the cheap labor lent itself to high volume, low quality, entry level bikes, especially those wanting to follow trends, like the aero rage of the late 70's/80's.
 

Wildralph

Look Ma, No Hands!
Jul 15, 2018
40
11
47
New York
#12
How about a lower quality, but light, durable, frame, or tubing, made in taiwan/japan, during the late '70's/80's aero trend, shipped to Europe (Spain?), and finished off with some lower end European components. Imported to USA. Who made Seamed aero tubing? Tange aero was allegedly pressed into shape, from round? If one was to press seamed tubing, better have a lot of faith in your welds.
 

Wildralph

Look Ma, No Hands!
Jul 15, 2018
40
11
47
New York
#13
Campy dropouts on a low end asian bike...? Don't discount Falk tubing. For a while, i was convinced it had falk tubing, which further suggests a european origin. Who knows...krazy things went on during the bike boom... every kid with a brazing torch was melting something together! Lol
 

juvela

Finally riding a big boys bike
Aug 2, 2014
334
411
Playa del Rey, United States
#14
-----

Regarding Triplex --

Have precious little hands on experience of this manufacturer. My holdings of their products are limited to three or four pieces which have been snoozing in me parts drawers for at least thrity-five to forty years.

The Disraeligears web site has a history of the company and their manufactures. It also has a page of Triplex documents. Unfortunately for us, in his reviews of products he covers only rear mechs and does not cover front mechs or shift levers. However, the documents section contains all manner of manufacturer materials so there is information there, in some cases, on front mechs and shift levers. The company is still going today. Here are the resources if you would like to explore -

http://www.disraeligears.co.uk/Site/Triplex_derailleurs.html

http://www.disraeligears.co.uk/Site/Documents_from_Spain.html (scroll down for Triplex on this one)

http://www.triplex.es/es/

Here is the VB listing for your front mech. The lip on the front of the cage tells us it was made to be CPSC compliant which is a dating aid.

http://velobase.com/ViewComponent.aspx?i.d.=B2B98F08-6940-434C-8232-43D82643E34B&Enum=113&AbsPos=385

In case you are curious, other models of Triplex front mech are covered on this VB page -

http://velobase.com/ListComponents.aspx?Category=113

---

Regarding kitting -

The assemblage is such a dog's breakfast of bits wihout rhyme or reason that one suspects bicycle assembled by someone who has a workshop and was able to build it into a complete machine with what they had to hand.

"fittings" refers to all of the bicycle's bits exclusive of the frame.

---

Extremely unlikely you will ever encounter another frame/cycle remotely similar. Seems quite clear it is a "one off" hobbyist effort. There were framebuilding classes in operation in the U.S. at this era. Two I can recall are Paterek and Bruce Gordon. In these classes the student builds themself a frameset.

Frame was not made in a foreign country and shipped to the U.S. In case you wish to search on Falck tubing at some point remember to include the C in the name. The Falck family was Italy's largest steel fabricator - Italy's counterpart to the United States Steel Co. They supplied the blanks from which tubing from the A.L. Columbo ("Columbus") company was drawn. Its heirs were forever getting into the tabloids with their embarrassing exploits.

-----
 
Last edited:

Wildralph

Look Ma, No Hands!
Jul 15, 2018
40
11
47
New York
#15
Great info.! Thanks! One last thing, i am not certain, but i suspect the forks may be seamed as well. Have you ever heard/seen that before? It could be that every tube on the bike is seamed, and the seat stays are very small diameter. I will try to get a some pics soon.
 

juvela

Finally riding a big boys bike
Aug 2, 2014
334
411
Playa del Rey, United States
#16
------

Probably 98% (my wylde estimate :D ) of the bicycles in the field with tubular blades have seamed tubing blades.

Even fairly nice frames with three tubes Reynolds or Columbus will have seamed blades and stays.

This is largely a non-issue.

There are fairly good quality tube sets with all tubes seamed such as Durifort from Ateliers de La Rive.

---

Tip -

Given the roughness of the frame I would definitely wish to check its alignment before doing anything with it. The frame can be checked simply and easily without resort to special tools. All that is needed is a length of string, a straightedge and a ruler.

Forks are a bit more complicated and really need to be done in a purpose built jig.

Good alignment instructions are available free at the Sheldon Brown site:

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/frames.html
---

Triplex note -

Here is an image of a NOS complete Triplex gear ensemble from the early 1970's. Your two Triplex pieces appear to hail from the late 1970's.

2h2mmbr.jpg


-----
 

Wildralph

Look Ma, No Hands!
Jul 15, 2018
40
11
47
New York
#17
Wow, never would have suspected that...i saw seamed forks and said, "Yikes!" To your point about the frame alignment, I put the bike together (bars, cranks, cables, changed freewheel) and rode it quite a bit last summer, it rides like a dream, smooth and fast. Helps that it fits me perfectly. However, i recently pulled the front fork to look for manufact. Info on the steerer tube, and noticed some strange rub marks. Upon further inspection, the steerer tube looks to be approximately 4 or 5 degrees out of square to the forks. Like a botched alignment/braze job. Not from a forward collision, but on the side to side axis. The fork tubes are well made and appear to have good alignment, and there is no evidence of an impact. Here is the weird part, the rubbing is down low on the first few inches of the steerer tube, but with the bearings and large gap between the steerer tube and head tube, there should be nothing to rub on, especially that low. The out of square steerer tube would make it rub at the top of the steerer tube not the bottom. Perhaps the race cup itself? Maybe, will have to investigate more. Prolly no way to repair the out of squareness, without a re-braze and re-paint. Additionally, never noticed any rubbing, resistance, or friction, in the bars, nor did anything in the front end feel out of alignment.
 

juvela

Finally riding a big boys bike
Aug 2, 2014
334
411
Playa del Rey, United States
#18
-----

One simple thing you could have done, just to eliminate it as a possibility for problems, is to face the head tube and mill the fork crown race seat.

With those to procedures accomplished it at least eliminates them as contributors to wonkyness.

Rub marks may be due to a situation that existed in the past which is no longer present - just a possibility...

------
 

Wildralph

Look Ma, No Hands!
Jul 15, 2018
40
11
47
New York
#19
What is "Face" the head tube? Is that like "blueprinting" a rifle action (squaring it up to the barrel)? Also, i was looking at the "Asymetricality" of the seat cluster/stays...i think the lighting and camera angle in first pic. I posted exagerated it a bit, peruse these comparison pics.

20180927_212503.jpg


20181001_212155.jpg
 

This ad disappears when logged in
Most Recent BUY IT NOW Items Listed on eBay
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture