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3.  AGAINST THE BACK WALL

3.1 Can you buy a floor model?

No, according to Jan Heine of "Vintage Bicycle Quarterly" , who acts as an agent for Alex Singer. Many of the bikes are 50 years old, just new paint and parts on them. Ernest says if he sold one, he'd just have to build another for the floor, and so it makes more sense simply to build a custom bike for whomever wants one. He'll make you one "just like it," more or less.

3.2  Green touring bike

Green touring head tube

Figure 23. A green touring bike

One of the first things that Beatrice did was to bring out some bikes for me to photograph.  This yellow-green bike was near the back of the shop, and is probably used regularly by a friend or relative. 

Catherine' name on green touring bike

Figure 24.  Inscribing your name on the bike

This bike belonged to "Catherine", and most of the bikes in the back area were inscribed with customer and family names.

Alex Singer downtube logo

Figure 25.  A closeup of the Singer Marquee

The singer marquee is on the downtube of all the bikes.  This one is showing some wear.

Bottom bracket of green touring bike

Figure 26.    Bottom bracket of green touring bike.

This is the bottom bracket area of the green touring bike.  Nice and clean, its sports a TA Cyclotourist crankset.

Seat Lug of green touring bike

Figure 27.   Seat cluster of green touring bike.

This is one of the few Reynolds 753 bikes that I found in the shop.  There were no Reynolds 853 bikes.  Also, I do not understand how they could chrome the head lugs of the Reynolds 753 bike, supposedly Reynolds does not sanction this process, according to Waterford Cycles.  Perhaps they masked the tubing in the chroming baths.  I love the aesthetics of this seat lug area.



3.3 Tangerine Racer

Tangerine Racer

Figure 28.  Tangerine Racer, on the back wall

Against the back wall of the shop was a very unusual bike I'll call the "Tangerine Racer".  This bike is just barely visible in our first picture of the shop window.  This to me was the best looking bicycle in the shop.

Orange Racer Head Tube

Figure 29.  Tangerine Racer Head Tube

This bike sported modern internal routing of the cables, and Shimano STI Dura-Ace derailleurs mated to an old-world TA Cyclotourist crankset.

Tangerine Racer Seat Cluster

Figure 30.  Tangerine Racer Seat Cluster

I had never seen a SIMPLEX binder bolt. Here is my first. The pump peg on this seat cluster would guarantee that a traditional ZEFAL pump would stay on the bike.

Tangerine Racer Seat Cluster Backside

Figure 31.  Tangerine Racer Seat Cluster Backside

Singer even does the outlining where it will not show, including on the backside of the lug.

Tangerine Racer Rear Dropout

Figure 32.  Tangerine Racer Dropout Detail

The rear dropout was a nice piece of work, and I especially liked the dropout adjuster, that would put a regular Campagnolo adjuster to shame! As you can see, however, the execution of the brazing between dropout and chainstay is not as clean as on a Bruce Gordon cycle.

Chain Whip Solution

Figure 33.  Chain whip solution

I asked Ernest Csuka what was the wire, brazed to the right rear chainstay.  Apparently, on bikes without chromed dropouts, this is the Singer solution to keep "Chain whip" from damaging the paint on the chainstays.


3.4  Csuka Personal Tandem

Csuka Tandem Headtube
Figure 34.  Csuka Personal Tandem.

Against the back wall is Ernest's 1950's personal tandem, now owned by his son. Figure 34 shows the head tube and the trademark cable hanger of Alex Singer.

Pushme-Pullyou Rear Shifter
Figure 35.  Pushme-Pullyou Rear Gearshift

The tandem sports a twin-cable shifter which has two stops built into the shifter.

Pushme-Pullyou Shifter

Figure 36.  Pushme-Pullyou Rear Derailleur

The cable connects to what I think this is a Nivex derailleur but I was not sure.

Front Derailleur

Figure 37.  Front Derailleur

The front derailleur is a handmade piece of art.  I was unable to photograph the full height of it, but basically, like a Cambio Corsa, there is a metal lever on a pivot (too high to see in the picture) and at the bottom of the lever is a shaft that goes through the tube, near 12 o'clock in this picture.  The tube holds a shaft that holds the derailleur cage.  The cage of this derailleur is very much a home-brazed Outline-Only affair.  Because the captain must shift the derailleur, this derailleur is on the Captain's crankset, and the captain's crank connects directly to the rear freewheel!  Anyway, this piece of mechanical art just goes to show that Shimano, Campagnolo, and SRAM are not really necessary - we can still homebrew our own derailleurs if we need to!!!

Trademark Huge Hubs

Figure 38.  Trademark Enormous hubs

The tandem sports enormous "Alex Singer Grandes Flasques" Maxicar hubs..  The next picture shows closeup detail of these hubs.

Front Hub Closeup

Figure 39.  Front hub Closeup

Tandem Cantilevers

Figure 40.   How to stop a massive tandem

The tandem sported the most interesting spring-loaded cantilevers that I had ever seen.  I am still somewhat unsure just how these are supposed to work.  It could simply be that the spring was mounted differently (perhaps for easy access) on these brakes, compared to a normal cantilever.

To be be continued with ... Alex Singer Build Kit!!!!

- Don Gillies
San Diego, CA

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