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BAGGI 1936(?)
#1
An old French racing bike that I believe to be around 1936-38. More photos to follow.

   

Take care,
Jesper
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#2
More photos:
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#3
oh I had missed this one. beautiful, this has to be a rare piece! an early Celeste Green bike frame. what is your plan here and have you identified the components? crankset looks devil-ish

is this French but made in Italy?
  Reply
#4
(06-18-2020, 09:50 AM)Papa Dom Wrote:  oh I had missed this one. beautiful, this has to be a rare piece! an early Celeste Green bike frame. what is your plan here and have you identified the components? crankset looks devil-ish

is this French but made in Italy?

It is a French made bike, I think the marque was from pre-WW1, at one time was joined with Samyn (different than the Samyn bikes from Belgium in the 60s &70s) as BAGGI-SAMYN, I believe from documents that that partnership was dissolved circa 1932. Famous poster by Faria showing Ottavio Pratesi from 1923 (he rode in 5 Tour de France races as an "isolati", no team) when he won his category, repeated in '24 leading the entire race in his category (again "isolati"), same year Ottavio Bottecchia won the general category as the first Italian victor; who also led for the entire race! A rare thing nowadays to see any rider at that level above the rest of the field; doping or not!
Hard to pinpoint year since I believe (as do others) that it may have undergone some component changes, but I believe that the brakes (GLORIA "Tour de France"), derailleur (Simplex), bar (no marks), and stem (marked "CAMPIONE", not necessarily the make) are original to the bike. The crankset is possibly Mercier (someone in Europe estimated 40s-50s), but 48 teeth, seems small for a racing ring. Pedals are Lyotard model 36 so still could be original for the 30s. Saddle is a nice Brooks Pro, but definitely not OE, has '70s date code. Rims Rigida "DECO =C=", but may be replacements, I have not been able to determine the hierarchy for the "DECO" models (A, B, C, or STD). Chain is VITA, an old French manufacturer in Flanders region. Freewheel (3 speed) is marked as "Speciale". Hubs are early MAXI. I do not believe that it is post WW2; and Simplex stopped making the "Osgear" style derailleurs pre WW2; plus that style derailleur became rather obsolete quickly after their introduction in the early 30s; pretty much stopped being used by Pros pre WW2, especially by '48 with the Simplex "Tour de France" model being introduced.
I have ordered a set of racing rims for tubs from CB Italia, wooden and stained to approximately the color of the frame. I am only cleaning the frame, not changing its looks, and I will try to use all the parts on it, even the chain ring (still would like to find a larger period one to fit that bolt pattern). The tension arm for the derailleur assembly is missing its spring so might have to fabricate another to make it functional; otherwise it is in very decent functional shape as is regarding the bearings top to bottom. I found that the derailleur is valued nearly what I paid for the entire bike and it wasn't one of my cheap buys ($1000 or so, whew!), but I couldn't pass it up. Also have the OE fenders and some "NOS" alloy fender stays from some European hinterland. It might not end up as an "original" build, but it will retain all of its period charm and features.
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#5
Great pics. And it sounds like you have plans for good stewardship for the patina (and history) othis wonderful find.

Where did you find it?

/Users/donaldvidger/Desktop/IMG_0708.jpeg

I recently got a 1940-1950's Automoto randonneur bike. Unfortunately only the brakes, frame and fork were original.
  Reply
#6
(06-22-2020, 08:01 PM)donv Wrote:  Great pics. And it sounds like you have plans for good stewardship for the patina (and history) of this wonderful find.
Where did you find it?
/Users/donaldvidger/Desktop/IMG_0708.jpeg
I recently got a 1940-1950's Automoto randonneur bike. Unfortunately only the brakes, frame and fork were original.

Hi donv,

I have a friend in Colorado who ran a bike shop, but is retired and was cleaning "stuff" out. He had gotten this awhile back from his friend in Chicago whose parents had bought it for him in 1936 (this has now been confirmed). My friend never rode it, and needed to clear out from his shop so he had it on ebay, but let me know about it also. I jumped at it, and saved a fair amount due to our relationship (the parts alone are worth one and a half times my cost for it). I have bought many vintage items from him over the past few years as I've been "ramping up" my building of older bikes since my frame supply is fairly large and I need to clear out some stuff myself; so why not add another, right! This will certainly be a keeper. At present he is contacting his friend to see if we can locate the missing spring, and verify which parts (if any) have not been changed. There are no parts that could be later than the '40s regardless (in my opinion, and through research I have done). I'm getting older and slower, so it's a nice addition to the fleet. I just wish if there was an "Eroica" ride out my way; I might have to try and organize one myself, as I would love to see what folks have hidden away and are afraid to ride in a more "aggressive' event. I just finished an old Swedish Crescent Pepita shown on this sight, but I think that this frame will still be a fairly fast bike in the end, I just know I'll be pedaling a lot faster than my norm with that 48T chainring.

Take care ,
Jesper
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#7
Continuing with research and parts gathering for this bike.
I have found that the parts are original except saddle, seat post and post binder bolt.
I have received my new wooden rims for this build which l will lace to some 70s Campagnolo hubs since l can only locate one early 50s Gran Sport hub at the moment. I will rebuild the original wheels, but will use the new rims for riding once laced and conditioned. I still need to get spokes and a 3 speed freewheel set-up.
The chain ring is said to be a Mercier product, but l have been unable to confirm/verify this anecdotally or from any historical documents.

   





Take care,
Jesper
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply


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