Re: [CR] Rene Herse serial number question


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Hello,

The 109 series Herse bikes are not completely understood (at least by me an yway).  Until around 1948 (or was it 1949, I should know) some He rse bikes had 109 and a second number as the serial number.   The problem is that these are not consecutive - so a low number or a high number associated with 109 doesn't place it by year.  Eventually by late 1940's, Herse bikes typically had two digit dates and a second num ber which was the serial number for the year.

Then going forward, a number of Herse bikes are 109 bikes that are clearly from much later periods (into the 1950's and 1960's).  It appears that many of the 109 bikes were "redone" - updated with different dropouts perh aps and other fittings.  The number after the "109" correspo nds to a work order that the Herse shop kept in its records, and every year the numbering started again.  And it is posible that earlier 109 bike s had serial numbers that were tied to work order numbers. 

That said, some of the 109 bikes really appear to be "outside" frames, perh aps bikes made by other makers that had work done to them and were  "Hersified" so to speak.  The Herse family today firmly c laims that no frames made by other makers were brought in and labled as Her se.  But that doesn't mean that didn't leave the Herse facility h aving been modified (but without the Herse name applied).

So the mystery remains.  There has been quite a bit of discussion about the 109 bikes.  I have one that I just can't figure out, a nd since I now own the company, that shows either how confusing this is  or how unreasourcefull I've been.  But given the folks who hav e pondered the mystery, without conclusive outcome, I don't feel too bad.   Now I may not have all the details on this totally correct, but I th ink it is all rather close.

But rest assured, some of the very top tier Herse bikes do have 109 numbers .  But some questionable ones do as well.

Sorry to have left this as clear as mud.

If I can see images of a specific bike with close detail shots, I can probably shed more light on dating issues.

Mike Kone, Boulder CO

President, Rene Herse Bicycles Inc.Â


----- Original Message -----
From: "jay hartman"
To: Classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Sent: Wednesday, February 11, 2009 7:56:22 PM GMT -07:00 US/Canada Mountain
Subject: [CR] Rene Herse serial number question


Does anyone here know how the Rene Herse serial numbering system worked?
>From what I have been able to figure out the early ones had a two or three

digit serial number. Then around 1950 it was switched to a two digit date followe d by two or three digit number. My bike, however, has a serial number that begins with 109, which doesn't

fit in with this system. Were these bikes made during the transition from one system to the other?

Or possibly sub-contracted? I would rather not get into whether these bikes are worth the hype, since that has been covered here before, but any information I could get on my bike would be appreciated.

Jay Hartman Montclair NJ US

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