Alex Singer Cycles 53 rue Victor Hugo, 92300 LEVALLOIS-PERRET, France
By Bruce Robbins EMAIL
These pictures were taken on a family holiday in Paris in the summer of 2005. My older son and I made the journey by Metro half-way across the city just to spend an hour at the famous Singer shop in Levallois. Framebuilder Ernest Csuka was very helpful and understanding and we got the impression that he was well-used to these visits.
His English and my French were on a similar level, i.e., we spoke virtually not a word of the other's language. My son, Cameron, acted as interpreter using his schoolboy French to good effect. One word that Mr Csuka responded to was "magnifique", the only word to describe his frames.
He was quite happy to allow us to watch him working in his back shop.
At the time, he was building a 650B touring frame for a Japanese customer. The drawing below is well-worth a look, showing what a superb machine this lucky guy was getting.
There was one frame that I especially liked. It had a bit of French urban chic about it although it was by no means the fanciest. I asked Mr Csuka if it was for sale but it turned out to be his personal transport. Looks like I have good taste! Here's a close-up of it:
You'll spot this bike in one or two other pictures of Mr Csuka's back shop.
The shop itself is pretty unprepossessing and is in a busy street that could really be in any major city.
The line-up of bikes in the window is mouthwatering, though. There's quite a range on display from an old tandem to high-tech racing bikes. The entrance to the workshop is through a doorway without a door:
On the way there, you pass an old-fashioned cog board, the likes of which you very rarely see nowadays-at least in the UK:
But that's enough of the tour. Just enjoy the photographs below!