Barralumin Laterale Randonneuse c.1948

I’ve just completed this spectacular Barralumin aluminium bicycle made by Nicola Barra.

When I bought it there were a just a few parts missing including the wheels, and it has taken some time to find exactly the right period parts. No ‘restoration’ as such was carried out, just very careful cleaning and light hand polishing only… which took about 50 hours! It was very important not to damage the full set of original transfers. Being a large 62cm frame (c to c) Barra presumably added the extra lateral tubes for additional rigidity. All main tubes are in Barra’s extraordinary tubing which transitions from vertical oval at the head, to round, to horizontal oval at the BB.  The quality of workmanship is amongst the best I have ever seen on any bicycle and is a testament to Barra’s great skills as an innovative aluminium welder and frame builder.

Interesting features include the rear derailleur spring being INSIDE the chainstay. The spring is anchored inside the BB and a cable attached to the other end exits just in front of the RD. The handlebar stem is made by Barra and even has hand made aluminium nuts and bolts. Front changer is a Le Chat with a beautiful Barra-made sliding changer and lever. His own cantilever brakes are fitted and these have adjustable toe-in!

Barra custom parts: Front and rear racks, handlebar stem and bolts, Cyclo gear hanger, cantilever brakes with adjustable toe-in, duralumin brake wire hangers with adjustable rods (made from bicycle spokes), steel front and rear brake cable hangers (rear incorporating seat pin clamp), front changer mechanism and rod, internal rear derailleur spring. Internal dynamo wiring.

Other parts: Stronglight chainset with Cyclo Rosa alloy rings, Stronglight alloy BB, Lyotard pedals with Lapize duralumin toe clips, Cyclo alloy 4 speed rear derailleur, Le Chat front derailleur, AVA handlebars, GB end plugs, Mafac Guidonnet levers, Mavic 650B rims, MaxiCAR hubs (blue seals), Trois Etoiles spokes, Bell wingnuts, Grand Bois tyres, Ideale 57 saddle, Soubitez dynamo and lamps.

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Porteur Bicycle 1946

According to the previous owner, this bicycle was made for his Father in Paris in 1946. Unfortunately the maker is unknown, but it is clearly of some quality. It is hand built using nice lugs and is fitted with good quality kit. Particularly nice features are the very slim seat stays and a little braze on mount for the rear light. Internal cabling for dynamo. Torpedo coaster brake, alloy 650B rims with heavy duty spokes, Maxicar front hub, Bell wingnuts. Lefol ‘Le Martele’ mudguards, Duprat chainset, original fabric chainguard. Jos front light, Radios dynamo. Ideale 63 saddle. AVA stem, alloy bars, Mafac inverted lever. LAM ‘1/2 Ballon Dural’ front brake.

Alex March e-mailed me to point out that the multi-coloured lining on this bike is very similar to that on a Dujardin that he has. Dujardin was based in Paris where the bike came from, so that seems like a reasonable possibility.

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