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Royal Nord Logo

Let’s talk about my bicycle.

Some say I’m crazy wishing to ride this old piece of steel trough central Asia. But I believe that pre-war handcrafting has never been matched in more recent times.

I want to know your opinion.

This is the President, a belgian frame from Royal Nord, I think early ’30s.
Royal Nord is an historical brand from Hasselt, better known for motorcycles and mopeds; very few information are available on the web about their bicycles.
The company was set up in 1927 by Jean Hufkens and his brothers as a bicycle factory, that turned into mopeds crafting in 1931. That’s all. I’m trying to get in touch with Hufkens family, I’ll write a future post about that.


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Sturmey Archer Dynohub

Sturmey Archer Dynohub

But I want to talk about my projects for this bicycle in this post.This was given to me by Willem Scholte from Kwikfiets, and it’s actual condition are the same as I got it. It features a Sturmey Archer Dynohub, I think is a GH12 but I’m not sure yet.
This is the dynamo I want to use to power the automatic landscape sampling device, I’m studying on that.

The back wheel mounts a Torpedo 3-speed + coaster brake (picture 4 and 6 of the top slide show), driven by a very rare shifter (picture 5). This is the part I’m gonna rebuilt.


Sachs 3x7 hub

Sachs 3×7 hub

I’ve got this beautiful Sachs 3×7, and I want to try to fit this into the president back wheel.This is a so-called DualDrive system, which means that 3 internal gears are paired with an external 7-speed cassette, giving you 21 speeds just in the back chain wheels, allowing you to use a thicker chain.
This hubs where produced in germany from 1994 to 2000.
More info can be found on this link to the amazing Sheldon Brown’s site

Unfortunately the back fork is to narrow and needs to be bended about 1,5cm; some say it’s possible, some say “don’t do that!” so I’m looking for more opinions and for somebody that will do that.

Down here an overview of the other parts i got that are are gonna be part of the President 2.0!


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5 Responses

  1. steven

    Ah-mazing!
    I think this is one of those pre-war Belgian manufacturing companies like Minerva that went bankrupt ‘cos nobody ever came back for a second set of wheels; built-in obsolescence was not yet invented back then!

    Reply
  2. Syke

    The brake calipers are CLB Racers. I saw them quite often on French bike boom bikes, used as an alternative to Mavic Racers. They’re quite decent, stop almost as well as the Mavic’s, can use the same brake shoe/pad assemblies. If anything, my biggest complaint about them is that they can’t be polished as nicely as the Mavic’s. And they are a touch heavier. Used on Roger Riviere $100 ten-speeds at the time. Brake levers definitely not matching to the calipers. They look Japanese, late 70’s or 80’s.

    Reply
  3. Brian McClain

    I think it’s a great idea to ride your Royal Nord across Asia, but maybe you should make as much of the the equipment you take match the 1930’s period as well — clothing, headgear, eyewear, canteen, packs, tools, etc. Also, could you please email me or publish a better close up picture of the Cycles Royal Nord Marquee Posee President emblem on your bike. I would really like to see it in good detail. Thanks and good luck!

    Reply
    • Cycloscope

      I’m already touring, and i thought about your idea, but is too expansive to get all this vintage gear… and anyway i like the steampunk feel of my set 🙂 For the close-up picture i will upload it as soon as i can

      Reply
  4. Jorg

    Hi! I’ve some questions about the bike gears. How did you manage with the rear rack? Is the frame designed for that?
    Same for the wheels which seem pretty large: Do they fit perfectly on that frame? Some old bikes doesn’t allow large tires.
    Thanks!

    Reply

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