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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In 1972, I purchased a newly restored and painted, what was thought to be a,
Falcon San Remo true-10 speed from Bicycleville in Santa Monica; it was an
abandoned child: the owner had placed a $155 deposit (in 1972 dollars); and,
he never returned.
The Bicycleville shoppe owner said that for $80 (in 1972 dollars) the newly
restored and bright red painted Falcon would be mine. And, it was/is.
I have contacted Falcon Cycles in England seeking the year the bike was
manufactured and any other data they may have on it. The serial # appears
to be: K24263.
The down side is that the Falcon Cycles company may have been sold a few times
since 1978 when I once had meetings with Ernie Clements who owned Falcon Cycles
at the time.
In 1985, I had the bike again restored and repainted (blue).
I understand that Falcon manufactured Eddie M.'s bikes he road in the TdF
and throughout Europe.
Today, Falcon may only manufacture more recreationally-friendly cycles.
Any ideas on how I may find my Falcon's real mama and papa and
their mama's and papa's.
 

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I understand that Falcon manufactured Eddie M.'s bikes he road in the TdF
and throughout Europe.
You might be going down a wrong path in your quest. As far as I know, Eddy Merckx never rode a Falcon bike in competition. For a short time before he started his own factory, Eddy Merckx had his name put on relatively cheap, entry-level "sport" bikes made by Falcon. From 20 feet away, they did look like one of Eddy's competiton bike, but these Falcon-Merckx bikes were never more than decent bikes to knock around the neighborhood on.

Google "Coventry Eagle". I think that brand became part of Falcon, so a google search on that brand may determine if Coventry Eagle was Falcon's papa or not.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That makes more sense

wim said:
You might be going down a wrong path in your quest: Eddy Merckx never rode a Falcon bike in competition. For a short time before he started his own factory, Eddy Merckx had his name put on relatively cheap, entry-level "sport" bikes made by Falcon. From 20 feet away, they did look like one Eddy's competiton bike, but these Falcon-Merckx bikes were never more than decent bikes to knock around the neighborhood on.
Maybe in small print at the bottom of the ad it inferred:
"Celebrity Voice Impersonated."
Merckx probably did license Falcon to use his name, only.
Who did build Eddy's machines?
Thanks...
 

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I have a Falcon-Merckx from the early 70's. It seems to be quite a bit above what I think of when I think "neighborhood bike". Nice lugs, cool fork crown, etc. It had some Campy stuff on it, Gran Sport I think. Admittedly not nearly as cool as a Merckx 'nago or whatever, but still pretty sweet. Oh yeah, it's Molteni orange!
 

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It seems to be quite a bit above what I think of when I think "neighborhood bike"
Yes, perhaps "neighborhood" was a poor choice of words. I live in the country and my "neighborhood" is the entire county, so I was thinking more of a bike for daily 20 - 30 mile rides and longer rides on the week-end, as opposed to a pure competiton bike.

I rode a Falcon-Merckx for about a year - also Molteni orange. Perhaps they all came in that color? I bought the bike in a yard sale for very little money. Although the paint was fading and there was some rust, the picture of Eddy on the head tube looked like new. I gave the Falcon-Merckx to some poor soul who was going to attempt a MS 150 ride and didn't have a bike. Last I heard he made the ride, but gave up cycling shortly thereafter.

BTW, I remembered another builder of Eddy's competition bikes: Faliero Masi. How could I have forgotten Masi? :D
 

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Unfortunately, Falcon is decidedly not what they used to be.

While Eddy Merckx never rode a frame made by Falcon (he just licensed his name), up until the late 80's, Falcon made some nice frames, including those rode by the "second tier" Euro pro team Banana-Falcon.

In 1989, I stumbled across a Falcon frameset in a small shop in L.A. that specialized in high-end Euro gear, including DeRosa, Colnago, etc. The owner wanted a "production" bike to broaden his customer base and he refused to "turn Japanese." He brought in Falcon just as road bikes were going down the tubes and everybody wanted mountain bikes.

I had just broken a Bob Jackson 753 and was looking for a replacement frame to which I could shift my almost new DuraAce group. They sold me the frame and fork for $200. It is Reynolds 531P, a rare tubeset as most high-end Reynolds frames were 531C or 753. The 531P shares the same wall thicknesses as 753 in the main tubes minus the exotic alloy and heat treatment. The lug work is as good as anything I've seen from any quality steel builder - not fancy but certainly workmanlike.

It has classic stage race geometry, i.e., low bottom bracket, fairly slack seat tube angle (72.8 as near as I can measure) and a short front-center. It turned out to be my favorite bike as it fit me like a custom, handled and descended like a demon, and is incredibly comfortable for long distances.

I had it repainted by Medici in 1992 in British racing green (British paint sucks and I live near the Pacific Ocean).

Last year I decided to "upgrade." I replaced everything but the frame, going with Campagnolo Centaur 10-speed, a bevy of Bontrager components (Race X Lite wheels, X Lite Carbon compact crank, XXX Lite carbon seat post, a carbon threadless fork, etc. - I work for a Trek dealer). I dropped it from 21 lbs. to 18 lbs. with pedals.

I have owned aluminum and carbon frames, as well as a number of quality steel frames (English, Italian, and Japanese) over damn near 40 years. To this day, this Falcon is my favorite.

Unfortunately, Falcon now makes low-end (or should I say "imports) mass-market bikes. I'm not sure they have retained any manufacturing capacity.

P.S.

I'd kill for OEM Reynolds 531P frame decals - the lettering is red rather than the green.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Richard said:
Unfortunately, Falcon is decidedly not what they used to be.

While Eddy Merckx never rode a frame made by Falcon (he just licensed his name), up until the late 80's, Falcon made some nice frames, including those rode by the "second tier" Euro pro team Banana-Falcon.

In 1989, I stumbled across a Falcon frameset in a small shop in L.A. that specialized in high-end Euro gear, including DeRosa, Colnago, etc. The owner wanted a "production" bike to broaden his customer base and he refused to "turn Japanese." He brought in Falcon just as road bikes were going down the tubes and everybody wanted mountain bikes.

I had just broken a Bob Jackson 753 and was looking for a replacement frame to which I could shift my almost new DuraAce group. They sold me the frame and fork for $200. It is Reynolds 531P, a rare tubeset as most high-end Reynolds frames were 531C or 753. The 531P shares the same wall thicknesses as 753 in the main tubes minus the exotic alloy and heat treatment. The lug work is as good as anything I've seen from any quality steel builder - not fancy but certainly workmanlike.

It has classic stage race geometry, i.e., low bottom bracket, fairly slack seat tube angle (72.8 as near as I can measure) and a short front-center. It turned out to be my favorite bike as it fit me like a custom, handled and descended like a demon, and is incredibly comfortable for long distances.

I had it repainted by Medici in 1992 in British racing green (British paint sucks and I live near the Pacific Ocean).

Last year I decided to "upgrade." I replaced everything but the frame, going with Campagnolo Centaur 10-speed, a bevy of Bontrager components (Race X Lite wheels, X Lite Carbon compact crank, XXX Lite carbon seat post, a carbon threadless fork, etc. - I work for a Trek dealer). I dropped it from 21 lbs. to 18 lbs. with pedals.

I have owned aluminum and carbon frames, as well as a number of quality steel frames (English, Italian, and Japanese) over damn near 40 years. To this day, this Falcon is my favorite.

Unfortunately, Falcon now makes low-end (or should I say "imports) mass-market bikes. I'm not sure they have retained any manufacturing capacity.

P.S.

I'd kill for OEM Reynolds 531P frame decals - the lettering is red rather than the green.
My Falcon has SunTour, Campy, Forge and Reynolds 531 components; as you say, I, too, may be the fortunate recepient of "up-grades" thanks to the previous owner who had left the bike at Bicycleville shoppe never to return. Here's a conspiracy notion: no he never returned no he never returned and his fate is...Draft notice while bike was in shoppe and he saw Viet Nam or Canada before returning to settle with the lbs? It was 1972.
If you go to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair...it was the dawning of aquarius...
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
And furthermore, take this...

Museum of Zero Tolerance said:
My Falcon has SunTour, Campy, Forge and Reynolds 531 components; as you say, I, too, may be the fortunate recepient of "up-grades" thanks to the previous owner who had left the bike at Bicycleville shoppe never to return. Here's a conspiracy notion: no he never returned no he never returned and his fate is...Draft notice while bike was in shoppe and he saw Viet Nam or Canada before returning to settle with the lbs? It was 1972.
If you go to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair...it was the dawning of the age of aquarius...
I, too, have found my orphaned/adopted Falcon to be reliable. In the 34 years I have clothed, fed, and educated it/her (I named her "Gracie Allen"), I have completed
several Rosarita Beach to Ensenada rides, The Tour of Five Cities (San Diego),
The Tour de Palm Springs, and the Hemet Double Century with "Gracie Allen."
Dependable: She may be the A-10 Warthog of bicycles of her vintage. Memories.
I did another 35 miles on her yesterday in 107 temp in Palm Springs. No Sweat.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Old school (continued)

Museum of Zero Tolerance said:
I, too, have found my orphaned/adopted Falcon to be reliable. In the 34 years I have clothed, fed, and educated it/her (I named her "Gracie Allen"), I have completed
several Rosarita Beach to Ensenada rides, The Tour of Five Cities (San Diego),
The Tour de Palm Springs, and the Hemet Double Century with "Gracie Allen."
Dependable: She may be the A-10 Warthog of bicycles of her vintage. Memories.
I did another 35 miles on her yesterday in 107 temp in Palm Springs. No Sweat.
I have the Falcon which I bought used in 1972; I have a Cannondale R2000 which I bought used in 1990; and to carry these beauties around in style, I still have the
1972 ChevyVan 10 which I bought new for $2,792 total (out the door) from
Bahr Chevrolet in Northridge, CA. When I am not herding the bicycles around in
the ChevyVan, I still have an '81 Camaro which I bought new at Sunrise Chevrolet
in Indio, CA for $9,349 total (out the door)--think Rockford Files Firebird (same car,
same color except on the day it rolled out of Detroit (or where-ever) GM put Camaro
branding on it rather than Firebird.
And, I can never have enough Louis (don't call me Louie) Armstrong 78s.
 

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Gunny sack pull of out parts?

Museum of Zero Tolerance said:
In 1972, I purchased a newly restored and painted, what was thought to be a,
Falcon San Remo true-10 speed from Bicycleville in Santa Monica; it was an
abandoned child: the owner had placed a $155 deposit (in 1972 dollars); and,
he never returned.
The Bicycleville shoppe owner said that for $80 (in 1972 dollars) the newly
restored and bright red painted Falcon would be mine. And, it was/is.
I have contacted Falcon Cycles in England seeking the year the bike was
manufactured and any other data they may have on it. The serial # appears
to be: K24263.
The down side is that the Falcon Cycles company may have been sold a few times
since 1978 when I once had meetings with Ernie Clements who owned Falcon Cycles
at the time.
In 1985, I had the bike again restored and repainted (blue).
I understand that Falcon manufactured Eddie M.'s bikes he road in the TdF
and throughout Europe.
Today, Falcon may only manufacture more recreationally-friendly cycles.
Any ideas on how I may find my Falcon's real mama and papa and
their mama's and papa's.
On the subject of old Falcon San Remos....is there a graveyard somewhere of old
Falcon name-plates and artwork that once adorned the front of a Falcon bicycle?
Somewhere in mothballs in the desert?
 

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A Falcon isn't a Falcon isn't a Falcon.

Here's a scan of a 1974 advertisement. There were several Falcon-Merckx models with a wide range of components, and I stand corrected. The one I owned briefly and based my description on had cottered cranks and clinchers, so it must have been the "Supporter." You could get them all in "Merckx orange," according to this 1974 ad.

http://www.bikebrothers.co.uk/falconeddy.htm
 

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I bought a Falcon Team Pro in about '72-74. It was 531db, all Campy record with record side-pull brakes, Cinelli bars & stem, Brooks seat, tubular tires. It was dark purple. Wish I still had it. It was one of my favorite bikes I've ever owned. I sold it to a friend so that I could buy a custom frame. Big mistake.
 

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Most bugs in my teeth

Mr. Versatile said:
I bought a Falcon Team Pro in about '72-74. It was 531db, all Campy record with record side-pull brakes, Cinelli bars & stem, Brooks seat, tubular tires. It was dark purple. Wish I still had it. It was one of my favorite bikes I've ever owned. I sold it to a friend so that I could buy a custom frame. Big mistake.
I haven't made that big mistake. I still get more fun and smiles out of riding my
Falcon (San Remo?) after 36 years than I get from riding any other bike.
She is a great friend.
 

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Bill Mendell said:
I haven't made that big mistake. I still get more fun and smiles out of riding my
Falcon (San Remo?) after 36 years than I get from riding any other bike.
She is a great friend.
I'm jealous.:cryin:
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Carbon-dating

Museum of Zero Tolerance said:
In 1972, I purchased a newly restored and painted, what was thought to be a,
Falcon San Remo true-10 speed from Bicycleville in Santa Monica; it was an
abandoned child: the owner had placed a $155 deposit (in 1972 dollars); and,
he never returned.
The Bicycleville shoppe owner said that for $80 (in 1972 dollars) the newly
restored and bright red painted Falcon would be mine. And, it was/is.
I have contacted Falcon Cycles in England seeking the year the bike was
manufactured and any other data they may have on it. The serial # appears
to be: K24263.
The down side is that the Falcon Cycles company may have been sold a few times
since 1978 when I once had meetings with Ernie Clements who owned Falcon Cycles
at the time.
In 1985, I had the bike again restored and repainted (blue).
I understand that Falcon manufactured Eddie M.'s bikes he road in the TdF
and throughout Europe.
Today, Falcon may only manufacture more recreationally-friendly cycles.
Any ideas on how I may find my Falcon's real mama and papa and
their mama's and papa's.
Ed Smith of Falcon Cycles UK has responded to my e-mail inquiry concerning the above.
He says that Falcon Cycles UK's records do not go back "that far." Thus, he is unable to "carbon-date" my Falcon. He recommended that I research retrorendezvous.com
and go from there. Input?
 
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