Let's take a closer look at some of these bicycles, specifically,
#2, #3, and #5 from the left of the picture. I did not
photograph the others in detail (esp. the chrome bike) because
reflections made the photos unintelligible.
2.1 Ultegra Racing Bike (#2 from left)
The first bike is the
Ultegra racing bike, second from the left, depicted in Figure 8.
Figure 8. Seat Lug Detail of Ultegra Racing Bike
This bike had a pretty cool seat lug, so i photographed the
detail. I was surprised by a cutout and a fastback connection in
the same place. This was the only bicycle in the shop that was
not made from Reynolds 531 / 531c / 753 tubing. I had not heard
of the "Ares" frame material, so I took Figure 9. Other than
these details, the bicycle was not significantly different than the
other bikes, covered later. As it was a modern bike made of
ShiamNO, I moved to look at the other bicycles.
Figure 9. Frame material on Ultegra Racing Bike
2.2 Black Beauty Randonneur (#3 from left)
One of my favorites was a bicycle I call "Black Beauty", outfitted with
Sachs gears and (I think) Centaur Cranks. This bike is depicted
in Figure 10.
Figure 10. Black Beauty Closeup.
I took more pictures of this bicycle than any other. It
had great pinstriping all the way down the bicycle, like an early
1960's Schwinn Paramount, and an old-style "Alex Singer" logo, and the
classic shellacked handlebars.
Figure 11. Black Beauty Alex Singer Stem.
The stem is a custom design produced at the Alex Singer shop.
Note the special headset spacer, made at the singer shop I believe,
which includes a centerpull cable hanger. Almost all of the
bicycles, including this one, had Phillipe Professional
Handlebars. In france it used to be required by law that the
owner of a bicycle be identified on the bike; Cheap bikes attached a
plaque stamped by a locksmith, expensive ones engraved the stem or
stem cap. The bikes on the floor of the Alex Singer shop are owned by
Ernest Csuka, therefore, his name is etched into the top of the
stem. (Thanx to Jan Heine of Seattle for helping to clarify this
fact.) A representative picture of a Singer stem shown in Figure
Figure 12. Black Beauty stem top
The bicycle had the classic all-chrome head tube, including integrated
lugs. As discussed before on the classic rendezvous web site,
these head tubes are built as a single unit, and then brazed into the
down tube. The pinstriping and outlining on this head tube was
Figure 13. Black Beauty downtube lug detail
The cool thing about a randonneur bicycle is that there is generator
wiring integrated throughout the bicycle for generators, etc.
This wiring, and the outlining of the fork crown, is depicted in figure
14. It is quite difficult to notice, unless you are looking
closely at the bicycle.
Figure 14. Black Beauty fork detail
The seat lug was particularly nice, and I enjoyed wrapover stays
with outlining atop the seatstay caps. This look is captured in
Figure 15. Black Beauty Seat Cluster, left side
One of the trademarks of Alex Singer bicycles is the special hangers
that they make for MAFAC centerpull brakes. This hanger consists
of a metal tube that extends down from the seat bolt area, ending in a
cable stop. This detail is captured (partially) in Figure
16. And don't forget to note the clean appearance of the seatpost
binder bolt !!! It's so clean it's not there (Another Singer
trademark : Internal expander seatposts!)
Figure 16. Black Beauty Seat Cluster, MAFAC centerpull hanger
Probably the coolest part of this bicycle was the gold outlining of the
bottom bracket area, which appears in Figure 17.
Figure 17. Black Beauty bottom bracket area
The aluminum fenders of this road bicycle included very cool
reinforcements at the juncture between the fenders and the
bridges. This is captured in figure 18.
Figure 18. Black Beauty fender detail
I tried taking some of the bikes out to photograph, but the lighting
was just not good in the shop for this purpose, and so I do not have a
good photograph of this entire bicycle. However, I believe that
Dirk Feeken has purchased a similar bicycle, with chromed lugs (not a
chromed head tube), and a description of his bicycle is contained here.
2.3 All Chrome With Red Details (#4 from left)
chrome bike was a real eye-catcher, but the reflections off the bike
were so high that I could not take many photos. I believe this
was a Sachs bike with TA Cyclotourist cranks. All these bikes
had Brooks saddles, and the saddle on the left, like many in the shop,
had an unusual inscription in french that said, basically
"Pre-Softened" but I could not grok the translation, even with my
pocket french dictionary handy by my side.
Figure 19. All Chrome for you!
2.4 The Blue Beast (#5 from left)
Figure 20. The Blue Beast
The Blue Beast is a Centaur bicycle with details that are very similar
to "Black Beauty". Note the cool blue pinstriping that has been
added to the fenders. This bike had a normal 3TTT stem, unlike
many of the others, and "Franco American" handlebars. I have
recently become enamored with collecting handlebars with interesting
logos, and this one will be on my watch list from now onwards.
Figure 21. Chromed lugs on the Blue Beast.
I am a big sucker for chromed lugs, and you will get your fill of this
at the Alex Singer shop! In fact, I think i saw only one or two
bicycles that did not have chromed lugs in the entire shop.
2.5 Black Bagged bike (#6 from left)
The bike on the far right was fairly plain, with TA Cyclotourist
cranks (still being made, in fact), TA professional pedals ($100+,
wow!), Campy Hubs, and no chrome (*sniff*). It had a nice retro
canvas handlebar bag. I photographed the Nitto handlebars (on a
french ATAX stem) to validate them for the iBOB people. Thus, figure
22 establishes a divine blessing for the Nitto handlebar brand.