The headline is a little misleading, so let me explain: The two bikes are really one – this is part two of a remarkable before and after affair. We began this story with the gift of a crusty mystery frame. With the exception of the rear derailleur, I was able to determine with pretty fair certainty that the remaining components date from early- to mid-70’s.
A crusty frame, yes. And a toasty looking Brooks – also yes. But I plan to coax a bit more life from the leather with saddle soap.
The RGF bottom bracket is one of the few things I find before stripping the paint that yields any real clues. These were made in France and – maybe – were imported to England and the States by Ron Kitching.
And here’s where things began to get interesting. As I stripped the paint, the lugs began to reveal a few more details.
Perhaps this frame really is custom made after all. The crappy paint was poorly applied; under that rather pedestrian coating, and layers of crud, a much nicer frame begins to emerge. My original assessment was that the frame was, perhaps, a midrange production model, but the bare metal reveals a much more intriguing machine.
And lookee here! I certainly wasn’t expecting to discover Campagnolo dropouts under the old paint.
Taking a break from the frame stripping, I began to clean up the parts. The rear derailleur may function fine, but seems a bit lower end than the frame deserves. The Stronglight Model 99 (new style) triple crank set is a little different story though, and I plan to keep it in place.
For now, I’ll leave you with this teaser: the primer coated frame and fork.