Even Bryan Hollingsworth of Royal H Cycles admits this was a BIG PROJECT. For any framebuilder, attempting to replicate the work of masters such as Alex Singer and René Herse entails a dedication and perseverance that instills a deep respect for their craft.
For his customer, Tom, Bryan built an interpretation of a constructeur-style frame which, combined with a complete suite of vintage components, results in a sensational juxtaposition of old and new. Like the bikes of the Herse and Singer, this Royal H will age just as gracefully over the next 50 years — at least.
Tom sourced the complements, including Mafac cantilever brakes, TA cranks, a Huret drivetrain with Simplex shifters, a Zefal pump and an Ideale saddle with aluminium rails. The frame has all the refined touches: such as internal wiring for the dynamo lighting and bi-lam joints at the head tube.
There’s items that were custom machined, like the yolk pulleys on the rear brakes and binder bolts. Bryan doesn’t mind admitting that if he were a true constructeur, he would have made them himself, but “we live in a modern world, and this is as close to a constructeur as i want to get”.