Our two…er three weeks of International old 10-speeds is finally coming to a close. Just like that semester in college that you “studied a broad”, we got all liquored up in France and never made it to all the destinations we had planned. Aside from the hangover, I’m pretty happy with our trip and I hope you are too. Before we go though, I thought a quick swing through the cradle of bicycle racing, Belgium, was in order. Robert J., a long time OTS’r and friend of the gallery sent in some pics from a recent visit his local scrap yard. This visit turned into a rescue mission, and the result is a rehabilitated, Belgian produced OTS for your enjoyment. Bob sent in a series of emails during this endeavor, so in the interest of clarity, I have posted this correspondence below in reverse chronological order.
This is a follow-up on my junkyard find from last week. I got the American Arrow cleaned and running, and I’m very happy. A few years ago I took a test ride on a 1980’s French bike, and this Belgian bike feels very similar–light, stiff, quick and responsive. (It seems to weigh in at about 26 lbs.) This is a 1970’s vintage bike with cottered crank, but it came with alloy rims and bar. It has a serious lack of bling, right down to the tacky, plastic Simplex derailleur. So to keep it from being a bling-free zone, I wrapped the bars with some gawdy Cinelli multi-colored wrap. I am clueless about the story of this bike, so if anyone knows more about Superia of Belgium or American Arrow, I certainly would like to hear. Thanks again.
I just sent the photos from the junkyard, and here’s the one I selected: an American Arrow by Superia of Belgium. I’ve searched the net and can find almost no information about it. It seems a peculiar combination of components: alloy rims and bars, steel cottered crank, plastic Simplex derailleur, no pie plate, and a relatively light bike. Stickers indicate it was last licensed in 1974, and “RC Tubes.” If anyone knows a little more about this bike, I’d certainly appreciate the information. I’ll send some photos when it’s cleaned up, tuned up.
I always enjoy OTSG, and have submitted some of my previous finds. Thought you might like to see what was in our local junkyard today (Friday of Memorial Day weekend, when people are cleaning out their garages): most of a Panasonic Traveller, a Takara mixte, a Firenze 15-speed, a very interesting, old BSA 3-speed, and a heap of Huffy’s. There was also a very beat-up Itow, which I couldn’t photograph. My find was an American Arrow 10-speed, made by Superia in Belgium. I’ve sent those photos separately.