The President: a ’30s Jewel Ready for a Second Youth
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Let’s talk about my bicycle.
Some say I’m crazy wishing to ride this old piece of steel through 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 the early ’30s.
Royal Nord is a historical brand from Hasselt, better known for motorcycles and mopeds; very little information is 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 the Hufkens family, I’ll write a future post about that.
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 its actual condition is the same as I got it. It features a Sturmey Archer Dynohub, which 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 that. The back wheel mounts a Torpedo 3-speed + coaster brake (pictures 4 and 6 of the top slide show), driven by a very rare shifter (picture 5). This is the part I’m gonna rebuilt.
I’ve got this beautiful Sachs 3×7, and I want to try to fit this into the president’s 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.
These hubs were 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 too narrow and needs to be bent 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 is an overview of the other parts I got that are gonna be part of President 2.0!
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