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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:47 pm 
Old School Hero

Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 5:41 pm
Posts: 173
I first heard of this shop from an excellent pictorial book called the Golden Age of Handbuilt Cycles. An excellent coffee table book, for the retro roadbike fan.

I have been working in Paris recently, and getting around by Velib ( their Boris bikes )
Imagine my surprise to cycle past the Alex Singer shop which is 10 mins by bike from our office.

The shop was closed, but the view from the window was amazing, and took me back to looking in French bike shop windows as a kid on holiday in the early 80's. Defo where I got the bug from.

The pictures I took were very poor, so I will not reproduce them here.

See below for link to site. Overview of the bikes they make on the left tabs.
http://www.cycles-alex-singer.fr/


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:54 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:46 pm
Posts: 962
Location: Montpellier, France
Alex Singer has a very good reputation in French cycling - I read a write-up recently of a German girl who rode Paris-Brest-Paris with two friends, all on Alex Singers. They thought the bikes were great.

Surprisingly there don't seem to be many French frame builders around, certainly not with the pedigree Alex Singer has. Le Vacon make some great titanium frames, and Francois Kerautret (FKC) makes an amazing steel road bike with zero rake and 650 wheels.

I can't remember their websites but Google will find both of those for anyone who's interested.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:41 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2007 10:43 pm
Posts: 270
Rich34 wrote:
Surprisingly there don't seem to be many French frame builders around, certainly not with the pedigree Alex Singer has. . . . . . .

.......

I've a French bike - a Geliano.

The frame is Columbus SL, although the two split-seat tubes are in a French tube called CAMUS. The framebuilder was called Francis Quillon.

It is a cracking bike to ride and I'm very pleased with it.
Although nearly 30 years old, the design looks very modern.


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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 10:59 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 3:10 pm
Posts: 1813
Location: Froggie
went to the shop with a cousin of mine who is looking for a road bike

lovely machines inside

nice chap to discuss the project

did not exactly agree with him when he said that hardly any progress was made between the 50's and now ! and I am thinking steel bikes and their comtemporary parts ( not taking into account the latest tin and plastic changes ! which I am not sure we can call progress :mrgreen: )

don't think there is one carbon chunk ( or hardly) in the shop - I agree with that :lol:

hard part was when he came to the budget !

5 to 6000 euros for the complete bike and not even with some dura ace parts but with ultegra ones :shock:
I asked him about the frame - and it is half of that at 2500 ( without any chrome )

I am sorry to say , that they live in another world than mine

dunno if they must ask these prices as they have a limited number of customers ( would rather think so) as it does not seem to me to be economically justified for a frame in 631 or 725 reynolds ( they don't use columbus at all)

but nice voyage in time ( lovely cyclotourism TA crankset on most machines hich has not changed since 50 years or more! and generally nice parts )


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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 1:11 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:46 pm
Posts: 962
Location: Montpellier, France
Any discussion about price is subjective - if a hand built custom sized Alex Singer costs 2500 for the frame when an off the peg 2013 Colnago Master costs only a couple of hundred less, which one is better value? And then you remember that a new Mercian costs half of both of them...! I'd love a new Alex Singer but can't justify that price. I presume using Ultegra instead of Dura Ace is intended to keep the price down, even if it's higher than most of us can afford in the first place.

There was a good piece on a French news channel not long ago about Alex Singer - they explained to the journalist that they make a limited number of bikes not because demand is low but because making any more would involve hiring more staff, and French labour laws make this prohibitive if the increase in profit is not significant.


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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 3:49 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 2:04 pm
Posts: 3364
Location: Completely in the dark, thanks to me good mate Terry....
Good to see a traditional French marque still going strong, especially with Follis having disappeared a few years ago (I think the owner retired with no-one to take the business on).

David


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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 8:51 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 3:10 pm
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Location: Froggie
Rich34 wrote:
Any discussion about price is subjective - if a hand built custom sized Alex Singer costs 2500 for the frame when an off the peg 2013 Colnago Master costs only a couple of hundred less, which one is better value? And then you remember that a new Mercian costs half of both of them...! I'd love a new Alex Singer but can't justify that price. I presume using Ultegra instead of Dura Ace is intended to keep the price down, even if it's higher than most of us can afford in the first place.

There was a good piece on a French news channel not long ago about Alex Singer - they explained to the journalist that they make a limited number of bikes not because demand is low but because making any more would involve hiring more staff, and French labour laws make this prohibitive if the increase in profit is not significant.


I agree that price is subjective - but I just thought that at this level he cannot be competitive in pricing against other french tailormade framebuilders
"vagabonde" another frame builder has frames at about 1200/1500 naked ( he is more on the "long voyage" bike segment )
and a tailormade rohloff equiped bike at 3500 !
I can understand that the name and reputation generates a premium on price - it seems to me that this premium is stretched :?


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 8:58 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:46 pm
Posts: 962
Location: Montpellier, France
I would think it's more accurate to say that Vagabonde aren't competing against Alex Singer. You're right that Alex Singer trades heavily on the name and heritage, and I agree that the premium is a bit steep, but then again why not...? Alex Singer seem to have enough well-heeled clients to keep production going - personally if I decided to go for a new handbuilt steel bike I'd probably go for a Vagabonde myself as the cost is more affordable and they're a young dynamic company. And the Drome is closer to home than Paris...

And besides, I've got a 1975 Alex Singer 650B that I still haven't got round to restoring... :oops:


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:18 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:06 pm
Posts: 11
Location: South London UK
I lived and worked in Paris for a couple of years around 2002/03 and had an apartment in Levallois, not far from the Alex Singer showroom.

My only ride at the time was my mountain bike and I used to regularly stop and gaze longingly in the windows of the shop at week ends. Even things like the Alex Singer badge has a beautiful art-deco feel to it.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:50 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:01 pm
Posts: 839
Location: Saarfend on sea
Rich34 wrote:
I would think it's more accurate to say that Vagabonde aren't competing against Alex Singer. You're right that Alex Singer trades heavily on the name and heritage, and I agree that the premium is a bit steep, but then again why not...? Alex Singer seem to have enough well-heeled clients to keep production going - personally if I decided to go for a new handbuilt steel bike I'd probably go for a Vagabonde myself as the cost is more affordable and they're a young dynamic company. And the Drome is closer to home than Paris...

And besides, I've got a 1975 Alex Singer 650B that I still haven't got round to restoring... :oops:


Still looking forward to this one Rich! Hope you are well...


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