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Old Mertens pista ('40s-'50s?)
#1
Figured I would throw in the mystery bike before I hit the road. I know it is a Mertens, assume it's a Dutch brand (rijwielen, Dutch for bicycles); but not sure if Mertens built the frame since I have found no information on that company. I have no idea as to its age, and it was repainted before I obtained it. The parts are essentially '50s or earlier. Skiptooth cogs, Bayliss Wiley hubs and bottom bracket, Weinmann Alloy/wooden tubular rims, Titan alloy seat post, Ideale saddle (replaced leather), Lyotard Marcel Berthet pedals (replacing Lyotard track with a bent axle), integrated bar and stem (unbranded). Should have it assembled after new year's day, and I might put it up for sale if I can't get riding time on it (velodrome isn't cheap!) this coming season.

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
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#2
(12-25-2021, 05:56 AM)Jake1 Wrote:  Figured I would throw in the mystery bike before I hit the road. I know it is a Mertens, assume it's a Dutch brand (rijwielen, Dutch for bicycles); but not sure if Mertens built the frame since I have found no information on that company. I have no idea as to its age, and it was repainted before I obtained it. The parts are essentially '50s or earlier. Skiptooth cogs, Bayliss Wiley hubs and bottom bracket, Weinmann Alloy/wooden tubular rims, Titan alloy seat post, Ideale saddle (replaced leather), Lyotard Marcel Berthet pedals (replacing Lyotard track with a bent axle), integrated bar and stem (unbranded). Should have it assembled after new year's day, and I might put it up for sale if I can't get riding time on it (velodrome isn't cheap!) this coming season.

That is an interesting frame and parts. The rims are model Scherens #270 with the wood insert. I'm not sure when they were introduced, but were certainly available in the 50s. The Berthet pedals were made in a couple variants after the early original design. Since they were made for decades you would not be wrong to use them as early replacements. I would be curious to see the original Lyotards you have since they might help date the bike. Also, you could probably find a replacement spindle for the damaged one; they made loads of pedals that were quite similar and shared parts. Berthet pedals are a nice design for earlier bikes anyways so they would look right at home on your frame. Bayliss Wiley parts are top notch, most prevalent in the 50s and earlier. If you have the original saddle leather you may also be able to use it for dating purposes.

I would have to research the lug patterns, but I would think they are at the latest from the 60s and more than likely of earlier vintage.

It should certainly make for an interesting ride if you take it to a velodrome. I doubt that you'll see many vintage steel frame bikes on the track nowadays. Our Florida velodrome costs $160-$360 for 3 hours so not cheap, but considering it is the only one available it could be worse. There are two tracks (333.33m & 200m), not sure how time is allotted for use on them.e
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
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#3
Thanks @Jesper for the info.
I do not have the original leather piece for the saddle, but the clamp on the the seat post is Ideale if that helps any. The Northeast velodrome is about an hour away and costs $300-$500 for season membership from May through Oct.

Here are the pedals that came with the bike:

   
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#4
Here is a BSA ring that matches the general design (w/o the BSA insignia). Notes: "Ubiqutious chainring found on many track bikes and 6 day racers." Yours has a little bit more robust construction. It is possible that BSA produced rings for other brands and didn't use their branding on those rings. Years of production per velobase: 1920s-1950s. What is the BCD of your ring? Velobase entry provides no BCD for the BSA ring so it won't help much unless someone else has a similar ring and knows that dimension. Just trying to help a little.

Photo credit: VeloBase User bikeville

   
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
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#5
Thanks for doing that research. It does look very similar. I'll use that as a reference when searching for other rings of like design. The time frame also fits perfectly, I doubt my frame or ring is from the 20s or 30s, but who knows.
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#6
I just saw your Colnago; but this track frame is on a completely different spectrum. I would post it on one of the European sites (Tonton-velo for one). You may get some info from them that might identify frame builder and year.
Ride Fast, Be Safe!
Howard
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#7
Here are some more possibilities for your chainwheel. Again, both are similar designs.

R.F.G.
   

Le Comete
   

Photo credits: velo retrocourse.proboards
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
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#8
@Jesper , I greatly appreciate the effort you have given to my bike. A lot more work on research than I have done. I like these last 2 options better than the BSA (aside from the skip tooth design) since they are continental brands and would more than likely to have been used by the bike brand as a more readily available and perhaps more economical option to outfit the bike since I think the bike/frame itself is of Belgian origin.

Thanks,
Jake
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