Since the winter is drawing in, I decided to have a look for a new project.
At first, I scrolled past this Flandria bike for sale. There are lots of old Flandrias knocking about in Belgium, and the D-lock and the horrible saddle made me think this was one of
their low end 'stationsfiets' types.
However, I later noticed that it had cantilever brakes. Blimey, could it be a real Flandria cyclocross?
Turns out it is, so I had to have it! One long trip to East Flanders on a grim, rainy October evening and the bike was mine.
The previous owner told me his grandad used to work for Flandria, and learned that via the morning news on the radio that his employer was going bankrupt. PO told me his grandad acquired the bike when the factory shut down. I'm not sure if he meant 'acquired' in the Liverpool sense, though.
Anyway, I've only got the PO's photo so far.
The bike does look in better condition in the photos than it really is. There's quite a bit of paint off the top tube and some surface rust, but I think the structure is sound. I guess with the missing paint it will probably get a respray.
The frame has few identifying marks, just a '72' on the seat tube lug (I suppose this is the tubing angle) and a '14' under the BB shell (maybe a batch number)?
I'm pretty sure this is a fairly serious cyclocross machine in any case. It has Ishiwata tubing, as Flandria seemed to use for their better bikes. It also has bazed on cable guides on the head tube. There're no bottle bosses.
Oddly, there are mudguard eyelets on the rear drop outs but none on the front, but the rear brake bridge has no attachment for a mudguard, while the fork crown is drilled out for a mudguard. Weird. Maybe the front drilling is just to allow a cable catcher for if the cantilever cable comes loose (I had it happen to me once, messy and very embarassing when you suddenly fly over your handlebars for no apparent reason).
The kit is also nice, Shimano drivetrain, and some interesting shimano cantilever brakes.
Front hub is a campagnolo record high flange (yes!) and the rear is a shimano high flange, which I've never seen. Crankset is Nervar. Maybe that will go.
Unfortunately, it has downtube shifters rather than barends. Maybe I'll leave those though: some cyclcocrossers used downtubes, particularly the ones who crossed over from road riding, like Roger de Vlaeminck.
Oh, and that saddle is really really horrible. Like riding around on a mattress, but a dirty old mattress with pee stains and broken springs.
In short, although there's a bit of work on this bike, it's got a nice little story behind it and I'm looking forward to getting it sorted and riding it.
Thanks for looking.
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