Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A real find

A very enjoyable part of my trip west was getting to visit my brother, sister-in-law and my cute as a button nephew.
Just before I visited, my brother's next door neighbor threw out two bikes that the previous owner of the house had abandoned, and he scooped them up from the alley.
One frame just needed new tires and cables and he fixed it up for his wife as a cruiser around town.  It has a really cool bell.

The other he wasn't sure what to do with.  He already has a mountain bike, a road bike and a round town fixie that he commutes on (I guess bike geekiness runs in families)  and he doesn't really need a 40 pound no- name 1970's Japanese touring bike.

As soon as I saw the rack with its two light fixture "eyes"  I began to salivate, then to beg.  He was generous enough to let me have them.

I didn't get great pictures, but the rack has chromed rings which support a bakelite "eggcup" with contacts in it for a bulb.  One of the lenses and the cool threaded aluminum retention ring is missing, so I'll have to do some searching for  something that I can use as a replacement.  
They were powered by a bottle generator.  So I could try to find replacement bulbs that will work, or retrofit something (LED?) into the existing cups.

The fork had threaded rack specific eyelets (separate from the fender eyelets),  and the rotational stability was provided with an anchor through the front fender.  It will take some fabrication to get it to work on my bike, but I can't wait to see it in place.


  1. that vintage rack looks like a great find! it appears to be a copy of the classic french constructeur racks, hand made by the frame builder for the bikes he built. the mounting scheme also copies the french, with center fender mount. this not only stabilizes the fender from wobbling and rattling, but provides the rotational stability as you mention. this rack will look fantastic on any nice vintage bike. score!!

  2. You are entirely forgiven for being a lazy two planker and elevated to "Goddess" status. If you should decide that front rack doesn't work for you, I think I can help. No sucking up from here. Regardless, you made a MAJOR score there!

  3. Um, wow! Are you taking either of these home then?

  4. hey steve- two plankers rule by the way!!!

    very cool rack and lights, can't wait to hear more about how you use them!

  5. Great photographs. A friend of mine had a similar experience, finding a gem in her parents garage!

  6. Is that green bicycle a Takara? The stem-mounted bell and shifter setup looks exactly like mine. If so, that's a great daily rider and grocery-getter - I've been riding mine almost daily for a couple of years now. Comfortable and reliable.

  7. Velouria-Not taking the bikes home, but the rack is sitting on my living room coffee table (perhaps not the best permanent home for it)

    StepThrough-I think it might have been a Takara, although I don't remember much about it- I was too addled with delight over the rack score. I did think that the bell was great. My sister-in law has always said that she was more of a bicycling for transportation person than a bicycling for recreation person. They live in a great walkable/ bikeable neighborhood and I hope she'll get a lot out of it.