(Below is nice
overview of why Rene Herse bicycles have acquired such a following among
"Here are just a few personal reasons I love these bikes:
1) Quality of paintwork, lining, chrome... The paint has a deep lustre,
colour combinations of frame colour/lining are generally beautiful, never
garish, the RH hand lettering is so much nicer than decals on other bikes.
2) Quality of workmanship on the frame... The filing down of the lug
points, the clean flowing lines of the lugs and all the braze-ons on the
best bikes are simply remarkable.
3) Proprietary parts. What other maker had his own cranks and chain rings?
Herse cantilever brakes are better in terms of beauty and efficiency than
any other constructeur cantilevers, Charrel excepted (in actual fact few
other makers made their own brakes : Barra, Narcisse, Singer, Marcadier
are others).But Herse also made proprietary stems, front changer, modified
bottom brackets, modified Cyclo RD, modified large flange hubs, RH dynamo
and derailleur levers, modified front light mount, internal light wiring
system, mudguard reinforcements, carriers, front bag decaleur etc etc.
Non-proprietary parts were the best and most expensive, if of course the
buyer could afford them.
4) Ride quality. The palmares of RH in PBP Chanteloup etc and concours in
unbelievable. Their reputation for speed, sturdiness, and comfort was
never contested. The bikes
are both beautiful and highly practical.
5) Variety of models : the bikes are all so different. In a French touring
collection it would be nice to have a Charrel or two, 4/5 Singers, 2/3
Daudons etc, but 20/30/40
Herses would be quite possible if rather unreasonable (unless you were a
museum), without having any repeats or similar models. Tandems, triplets,
racers, touring bikes, folding bikes, concours bikes, track bikes, early
models, 50s, chrome, paint, etc, it just goes on and on.
6) Something the Japanese call "wa", something to do with general harmony,
of the lines when looking at the bike from a distance, then of the
details. Difficult to explain,
but Herse lovers will understand what I mean."
Alexander March, Bordeaux, France