Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Liberia

This is a very rare and relatively unknown brand of bike manufactured not in Liberia, but in Grenoble, France.  Like many other French builders, Liberia built bikes spanning from low-level pedestrian "gas-pipe" models all the way to pro-level frames.  I think this one is at or near the top of what Liberia built in those days.

My father-in-law purchased this bike in the mid 1970's and it came equipped with a Simplex SLJ group, Mafac brakes, Stronglight cranks, headset and bottom bracket, and Belleri gold anodized stem and handlebar.  The rims were Arc-en-ciel gold anodized.  Saddle was an Ideale 2002.  I remember first seeing the bike at my wife's home in the early 1980's - it was stunning.

It bounced around in the family for many years and finally landed in my hands.  It has obviously gotten trashed over the years and needs to be restored.  The decals are unobtainable, so,  I will need to get some made.  Some of the paint work looks to be done by hand, like the separation bands between painted areas and chrome, the seat stay caps, and lug lining.

I always knew it was a Reynolds 531 frame and a really light-weight bike.  I finally got it stripped down and threw it on the scale.  I was astounded at the weight of the frame - 1,680 grams!!!

Most bike frames of this era weigh in the 1900 to 2200 gram range, with Reynolds generally a tad heavier than Columbus.  I don't know how some frames, like this one, can be so much lighter than others.












1 comment:

  1. Hello there from Zagreb Croatia!

    Recently i brought beautiful old/used Liberia
    race bike for 110usd. Seller said it was used by famus croatian rider during 70's!! By the bike state, it could br the truth. I am in love with the bike and would try to identify which model is about?

    Please check the pic and if you could help me would appreciate!!??

    http://s1015.photobucket.com/albums/af272/multiracionalnakompanija/bikes/singlespeed%20project/

    Its 3 tubes 531, chrome fork, vitus dropouts, mafac racer bakes/levers, belleri BF stem, bar, Simplex super comp, front dr, sach huret rear dr, stronglight TS bis crankset.

    Thanxx in advance!!

    Darko

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