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1930s Automoto
#1
A bike I snatched from a local friend who didn't find it particularly comfortable (nor would I if riding on the original saddle such as he did).
Made by Automoto of Tour de France fame, but I believe it was built as a contract frame for another French company since it shows no headbadge rivet holes which would have been present on an Automoto badged frame of like vintage. Figured I'd post a shot of it before any changes were made. I'll post it as a separate thread in the "Classic and Vintage" forum with more
before and after details.

           
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#2
Very interesting; would like to see more of it. What are the brakes?
Ride Fast, Be Safe!
Howard
  Reply
#3
(01-25-2022, 02:07 PM)Criminal Wrote:  Very interesting; would like to see more of it. What are the brakes?

The brakes are "bowden" style calipers; mismatched set. The front is of French make and says "Frein depose" (French for: brake registered/patented); the rear says Sublime, but I'm not familiar with the name and have no idea what country made it.
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#4
(01-26-2022, 02:26 AM)Jesper Wrote:  
(01-25-2022, 02:07 PM)Criminal Wrote:  Very interesting; would like to see more of it. What are the brakes?

The brakes are "bowden" style calipers; mismatched set. The front is of French make and says "Frein depose" (French for: brake registered/patented); the rear says Sublime, but I'm not familiar with the name and have no idea what country made it.

So what are Bowden brakes? Most of this early stuff I have not heard of before.
Ride Fast, Be Safe!
Howard
  Reply
#5
(01-27-2022, 09:01 PM)Criminal Wrote:  
(01-26-2022, 02:26 AM)Jesper Wrote:  
(01-25-2022, 02:07 PM)Criminal Wrote:  Very interesting; would like to see more of it. What are the brakes?

The brakes are "bowden" style calipers; mismatched set. The front is of French make and says "Frein depose" (French for: brake registered/patented); the rear says Sublime, but I'm not familiar with the name and have no idea what country made it.

So what are Bowden brakes? Most of this early stuff I have not heard of before.

I actually would have to call these brakes something of an off-shoot of the Bowden type brakes (at least the original styles from early 1900s-1920s). Bowden brakes had a single stirrup that pulled the brake pads up onto the inner circumference of the rim just like rod/roller brakes, except Bowden used a cable. Later models were more of an early single pivot caliper which is essentially what I have on my bike. The springs (2 per brake) for the pad return are mounted separately to the frame/fork and pull the pads away from the rim, unlike more modern calipers were one spring is mounted to the caliper arms pushing them outward instead of pulling them outward.
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#6
I managed to find a head badge for this bike. Not the one in photo, but similar design; waiting for arrival. Badge is circa 1920s-1930s. Also found a crankset, but ebay auction (0 bids, starting at $12). Another shipping scam from France though at $43 just to send a crankset. I suppose if the bid price doesn't move up it would be worth it as a total of $55, but I really don't want to go any higher ; $60 max total. I get entire frames and parts included for about the same cost. Last delivery was 2 frames for $60 total from Italy!

   
Photo Credit: VeloBase User jjbbo
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#7
(02-02-2022, 02:40 AM)Jesper Wrote:  I managed to find a head badge for this bike. Not the one in photo, but similar design; waiting for arrival. Badge is circa 1920s-1930s. Also found a crankset, but ebay auction (0 bids, starting at $12). Another shipping scam from France though at $43 just to send a crankset. I suppose if the bid price doesn't move up it would be worth it as a total of $55, but I really don't want to go any higher ; $60 max total. I get entire frames and parts included for about the same cost. Last delivery was 2 frames for $60 total from Italy!


Photo Credit: VeloBase User jjbbo

That will be a nice addition to that frame. If no rivet holes to mount it; are you going to drill some or mount it in another fashion?

Too bad on the crankset costs. Same issue in the UK; super high shipping for very small items. I have spoken with a seller over there letting him know I would purchase a part if the shipping was less, but he said that ebay automatically sets the cost. That is BS, since the seller can always modify the purchase or shipping costs.
Ride Fast, Be Safe!
Howard
  Reply
#8
I will not be drilling the head tube to install the badge. Will use adhesive caulking and place brass rivets in the badge holes (if applicable), but cut off flush with the inside of the badge for appearances only.

I did a minimum bid on the crankset; I won't go any higher so about $55 is all I'll pay if I prevail. There is a killer crankset (although not period correct), but $300 and (as you stated!) a ridiculous $80 to ship from the UK. I really don't know how they get away with it and furthermore who would pay that cost. I have had a complete bike shipped for $90 about 3 years ago, and even now I can get a bike sent from Europe for about $150-$170. Must be a "Brexit" thing.
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#9
Actual head badge for my bike.

   
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#10
I managed a rare thing on ebay, getting a seller to reduce their shipping cost! Thus, I ended up getting the Automoto crankset for less than expected, and it is now on its way. Overall, it is in very good condition for a near 100yr old part; very little wear on the teeth, and minimal rust. I can remove the nickel plating and replate, or paint to match the end color scheme when I decide on it (green and cream at this point).

   
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#11
This is an interesting progression of parts you are obtaining. I have noticed that the spoke of the Automoto chainwheel matches the spoke of the Mosca chainwheel where there is no letter, Did you notice that, and did you intentionally buy the Automoto chainwheel because of that feature?

Also, a bit off topic here, but I notice you provide a starting photo for many of your frames, yet we do not get to see many of the finished products. I know you have a bunch of finished bikes (was it 2 dozen or more?) since I have been privileged enough to view them, but I still do not see you posting them online. I know you are somewhat finicky about what you want to put on a bike, and try to take your time (years!) "getting it right" as exemplified in the ride I got from you. Just curious! I think the crowd here would love to see more of your collection if you feel inclined to show some more.
Ride Fast, Be Safe!
Howard
  Reply
#12
[quote='Criminal' pid='43169' dateline='1644657868']
This is an interesting progression of parts you are obtaining. I have noticed that the spoke of the Automoto chainwheel matches the spoke of the Mosca chainwheel where there is no letter, Did you notice that, and did you intentionally buy the Automoto chainwheel because of that feature? [quote]

That is good observation since I did not notice that the features matched; thanks for pointing that out to me! That might be a good indication that both chainwheels were manufactured by the same company and some were custom made for other brands. Automoto made a large majority of their parts and so it would stand to reason that they had adequate facilities to manufacture on a large enough scale to supply other brands.


[quote]Also, a bit off topic here, but I notice you provide a starting photo for many of your frames, yet we do not get to see many of the finished products. I know you have a bunch of finished bikes (was it 2 dozen or more?) since I have been privileged enough to view them, but I still do not see you posting them online. I know you are somewhat finicky about what you want to put on a bike, and try to take your time (years!) "getting it right" as exemplified in the ride I got from you. Just curious! I think the crowd here would love to see more of your collection if you feel inclined to show some more.[/quote]

There are multiple reasons why you may not see all of my inventory (about 30 complete cycles, 50 or more frames, and 1000s of parts) displayed online.
My photos of bikes, frames, and parts that I post online are for reference purposes for others to compare and help them identify what they have and also help me to gain knowledge from others that will aid in the identification of what I display and am still lacking knowledge of. Most photos (posted online or not) that I take are for my own reference as photographic documentation for initial condition, comparison, and research; as well as for insurance purposes. I do post more photos when selling a bike, frame, and/or parts. Also, I will post photos if a particularly obscure item that I believe has not been seen before, or one that is being misrepresented by the general populace, and can be clarified as to its proper identification to avoid further conflicting information being spread then I feel the need to show it so everyone can gain the knowledge (again, including myself; I make mistakes regularly!) and correct the record. You got to see many (not all) of my bikes due to your purchase and desire to trade. I am not running a museum, but more of a conservatory in order to preserve history in the cycling community in general in my own miniscule way. I presently have bikes/frames that even their own makers and/or shop brands do not have an example of (one is being donated to the European shop that originally sold it for shop display, and stipulated future donation to their local cycling museum should they eventually close. I like to find people such as yourself who enjoy not just the activity of cycling, but can also appreciate some of its nuances and history.
Another reason that you don't see photos of completed bikes is that once finished they are for riding and I don't carry around phones and cameras while riding; just tools, tubes/tires, and nourishment. My reason for cycling was, and still is, to get away from it all. A little bit of freedom is what I want; probably why I really don't enjoy commuting on a bike. If photos are shown of my bikes and myself it is generally because it is on a rare occasion that I was actually out cycling with a friend since I cycle solo 99.9% of the time which allows me the freedom to go when and where I want to go, stop when and if I want, and travel at my own desired pace; again, freedom!
Lastly, I have done professional photography and pretty much abhor using a phone camera, or cheap digital snapshot camera. While I still have all of my 35mm equipment, it is expensive to get film developed and printed so I don't use it very much. I have yet to purchase a proper digital camera where I can take proper photos be they snapshots or composed shots with the degree of quality I desire. I am sure many folks would want to see the multitude of bikes, frames, and parts I have; but I desire to provide quality photos regarding proper focus, depth of field, exposure, etc.

The reasons for showing this Automoto bike and parts are primarily due to its obscurity in today's cycling culture especially given its unique appearance and features; as well as its company's history should anyone care to research how it was established, its racing palmarès, etc. I would be happy to provide the aforementioned info, but it is readily available online in detail, whereas photos of the actual bikes themselves are not. Due to its rarity, I plan on providing as much information as possible that I learn, and also more photos during phases of obtaining parts and ongoing restoration to show what is was, and what it should be in the end. You have already provided some observational information due to my posting of the bike and parts so thus far things are working as intended.
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#13
I got my Automoto hubs in last week and trying to match with the butterfly nuts I had planned on using. I didn't know what the hub axle threading would be, but I knew I had some French nuts hoping they would fit. I have no metric thread pitch gauge to verify actual threads.

Both hubs are the same diameter which surprised me, and the rear is smaller than I would have thought if they were the same, I figured that the front would match a larger rear diameter spindle and not the other way around.

The nuts I have are cast with "95" and nothing else.
I am assuming (probably incorrectly) the "95" is .95mm thread pitch, and "9" is .9mm thread pitch.

Edit: measured hub axles and they are 9.45mm so the "95 on the nut represents a 9.5mm axle diameter. The "9" stamped nuts fit a 9mm Italian front hub axle.

I am not familiar with the "OXO" brand from that time period ( presumably pre-50s).

Upper set fits Automoto front and rear hubs; lower set fits Italian front track hubs.
   

Automoto hubs; I believe they are nickel plated.
   
Take care,
Jesper

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


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