Re: [CR]Mike Cone RH announcement

(Example: Component Manufacturers:Campagnolo)

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Date: Sun, 17 Jun 2007 12:12:53 -0700
From: "joel metz" <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Mike Cone RH announcement

two different responses follow, scroll on down...

oh, definitely - theres room for many different approaches, and its certainly transparent that these mark-mike rene herses are not rene herse bicycles from the rene herse shop. everyone knows whats going on, and i fully support mark and mike doing this - i think its going to result in some wonderful bikes, and some very happy customers.

im just saying that for me, personally, the appeal of a nobillete herse escapes me - just as it does with the repro (licensed or not!) hetchins, bates, or anything else - to me, a rene herse will always mean a bicycle built in the herse shop, by rene herse or those who he directly passed the torch to while alive to pass the spirit of his knowledge along with it.

At 14:06 -0400 06.17.2007, Harvey Sachs wrote:
>Fortunately, it's a big world, with lots of options. There are
>still a few (15 - 20?) Hetchins made today under license; and a few
>Bates as well. Their owners presumably know they are buying, and
>presumably are happy. Some very well-known builders have done work
>both under their own names and "factory" brands like Rivendell; this
>is a business, not just the pursuit of virtue. :-)
>And I do remember seeing at Cirque some years ago a tremendous
>effort to unmask a fake something-or-other-British-classic, on which
>humongous effort had been taken. Someone, please bring that yarn
>back to us...
>I think Joel is saying that he prefers the "Toei" approach to
>recreating great touring bikes. I just think that there's room for
>many different approaches, and I like what Mike has said about this
>effort: limited, faithful, and with blessings and feedback from the
>but, I really liked the over-the-topness of the Bilenky "Magnum
>Bogus" at this year's Cirque, and its prominent BB display of the
>model name. A fantastic baroque (art deco?) put-on, even if not my
>personal taste.

a good point is brought up here - surely with makers such as colnago or masi or others brought up, not everyone building was directly trained by ernesto or faliero...

but herse was, at least in perception, a one-man shop, with no pretensions at going into production on a scale that colnago or masi reached - at some point, ernesto and faliero became as much (or even more) overseers as they were framebuilders. at productions that large, we cannot expect the builders to all have been hand-trained by the masters - the standard then becomes having them be trained under the indirect guidance of the masters. (again, were talking purely about my own perceptions and opinions here).

and surely there must be something near-mystically different about learning directly from the master at work, as compared to learning from scientific deconstruction and reverse engineering of his methods... we get into nebulous territory there, and certainly theres no "real" difference, is there? but despite any absence of empirical evidence, i cannot help but beleive that there is something qualitatively different in learning from the hand of the master.

in the hetchins and guerciotti examples - while the name may not have derived from the person actually building the frame, i think the principle stands - the overall guidance, in the end, came from the person whose name was on the frame. but yes, its a slippery slope, and im thinking this out as i go along.

rebadged bikes, in the sense of the landshark/huffy/whatever example, are a completely different matter to me, and i havent really thought out the logic of that - but oddly enough, a yoshi konno-built specialized allez, or a serotta-built murray, is a separate issue to me. im not *incredibly* interested in either, but theyre an interesting tack on this issue.

and yes - agreed, completely - i fully trust mark and mike to live up to the herse legacy, and i hardly discourage anyone from buying - i heartily encourage anyone whos interested to fully support their venture! no issues there at all... but yes, as harvey mentioned, im probably the type who, given the inability to find a herse in my size, would go for a herse-inspired toei over a nobillete-built rene herse. its an odd distinction to make, and reflects no disdain for either builder...


At 11:37 -0700 06.17.2007, Thomas Adams wrote:
>I can see both sides, but two things push towards "legitimate Herse"
>for me. 1st, one of the driving factors here is a Herse family
>member blessing the venture and wanting the name to continue.
>Certainly such a worthy sentiment should be encouraged, and we
>certainly shouldn't discourage anyone from buying a new
>Herse. Although there's no direct handing down of the knowledge
>from the original Herse builders, the family connection is there.
>Second, if a Herse isn't a Herse if not built by a Herse or by
>someone trained by a Herse, how many Colnagos are legitimate? At
>least Faliero came to California to oversee the Cali Masi shop, but
>how many Guerciotti's were built by Paolo? Bob Jacksons by Bob?
>Cinellis by Cino? Hetchins by Mr. H? Indeed, I understand the
>Cino, Hetchins and Paolo were never builders at all. So the
>"trained by" standard is shaky too, if that's our criteria for
>legitimacy in a marque.
>The fact that Mark Nobilette wasn't taught to build by a Herse would
>only be significant if his "uneducated" work would be inferior to an
>original Herse. If someone studies a Herse, and reverse engineer
>all the building techniques, and then build one just exactly like it
>and just as good, how is that any different from Msr. Herse showing
>them how? There might be an emotional difference, but no "real"
>Yes this is a different way of doing business from the original
>Herse company, but it is an overwhelming common model among our most
>beloved marques where the name on the downtube had little or nothing
>to do with the skill and name of the fellow brazing up the frame,
>and is in no way an illegitimate way to build bikes. To quote Steve
>Maasland, when I ventured to say that Andy Hampsten won the Giro on
>a Slawta Landshark, he gently corrected me by saying "No, he won on
>a Huffy. It said so on the down tube". (Or was it a Murray?
>Caloi?) And I can't think of anyone more trustworthy to safeguard
>the Herse name than Mike and Mark, with Ms. Herse's blessing. Good
>luck, fellows.

>Joel Metz wrote:
>i think this highlights my "issue" with the idea...
>theres a *direct* lineage of framebuilding
>knowledge being passed on from alex singer, to
>ernest csuka, to his son olivier.
>even with the blessing of lyli herse and her
>husband, the last person to build under the herse
>name, who was trained under rene himself (and
>whose name i am regrettably forgetting this
>morning), there is a disconnect here. nobillete,
>regardless of his own immense talent, and
>regardless of mike kones knowledge of the herse
>bicycles, has no direct connection to the herse
>framebuilding legacy.
>as i was typing in a response to another post on
>this thread, which i now include here:
>with all due respect myself to the knowledge,
>experience, capabilities and intentions of mike
>and mark, i have to say im a bit befuddled by
>this, just as i am with any resurrection of a
>framebuilders name when theres no direct lineage
>(ie apprentice taking over the shop/name etc etc)
>does for me - theres a disconnect which blanks
>out the meaning of the name for me, regardless of
>the capabilities of the person building the bike.
>is there anything that could possibly be added to
>the near-mythic reputation of the herse name?
>i could see myself (if i had the money!) wanting
>a nobillete-built bike built in the tradition and
>style of a rene herse, even an exact, or a
>near-exact copy! but as soon as the name "rene
>herse" is pasted on the downtube instead of the
>name of the actual builder, my interest drops to
>zero. that may be just me and my own picky
>(double? :) ) standards, but id rather have a
>nobillete original rather than a herse copy - and
>i daresay that to me, ill always see a herse copy
>in this situation before i see a nobillete
>original, which is a shame, but a reality.
>i wish mike and mark the absolute best with this
>venture, and from reaction on the list (and
>knowing the talents theyre bringing to the
>table!), it looks like theyre off to a great
>start, but i remain befuddled.

joel metz : :
bike messengers worldwide : ifbma :
magpie messenger collective
portland, oregon
i know what innocence looks like - and it wasn't there,
after she got that bicycle...