Bernard Carre frame - What specification am I working to?

NGR

Retro Newbie
Hi gents.

Many thanks. Feedback much appreciated.

I confess to not seeing any 531 markings on the steerer tube, and I did not see the frame after it was taken back to bare metal, so for now, it's a 531. Next time I have the forks out, I'll have a closer look.

One thing I did find in the build was that "plug" in the forks at the bottom-end of the steerer tube, (image BC-8.jpg further up). Turns out it was a wooden plug with a hole through it where the front brake bolt went. In all my years of messing around with bikes, I have never seen that before.

In the end, this Bernard Carre frame is still there and it's still alive as a nice bike. I think it is great that we keep these older ones going!

Thanks again gents.

Guy
 

keithglos

Senior Retro Guru
Normal French practice to stick a bit of wood at the bottom of the fork crown with the brake bolt also holding it.. They didn't trust their fork columns.
A fracture above the fork crown is the one place that instantly shoves your face into the road. This piece of wood gives you a warning and hopefully time to stop.
When racing in France in the 1960s they could not believe we trusted our 531 fork columns.
Keith
 

NGR

Retro Newbie
Hi Keith. Thanks for that. Blimey, I would never have guessed that! I actually took it out as I had no idea of its purpose, but I still have it, so will pop it back in.

Thanks again,

Guy
 

NGR

Retro Newbie
Zerogravitas,

Many thanks for that. Again, very much appreciated feedback. I have to be honest, I just love this one. Done a few builds of my own, but this one is just great. Can't wait for a weekend ride!!

Thanks again,

Guy
 

torqueless

Senior Retro Guru
but I still have it, so will pop it back in.
You should probably seek confirmation from a Frenchman about this- but if you can literally "pop it back in", it probably means that the wood has shrunk and the plug is not going to perform it's intended function. My understanding is that these plugs should be made of hardwood- as hard as you can find- and are rammed tightly into the steerer tube. Furthermore, a Reynolds, (or Vitus) steerer tube is butted, so the plug is perhaps not strictly cylindrical, it may have needed shaping into a subtly conical shape that matches the internal dimensions of the steerer tube. This leads me to think that the correct way to install these plugs is from the top of the steerer, where the internal diameter is larger, rather than the butted bottom, where it is smaller.
Nice 'colour', btw.. I like a grey bike.
 
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