Bike of the Month – April 2024

A Fine Pair !

This is a really interesting pair of rare Imholz bikes, restored to a high standard and currently in Portugal. For those of you not familiar with this marque, Imholz bikes were built in Switzerland in a factory started by Alois Imholz. The factory built a range of bikes from unicycles to high-end racing bikes, apparently they also built bikes for the Swiss ‘Artistic Cycling’ team !

Bicycle Make:           Imholz
Date of Manufacture:   1960’s / 1980’s

Equipment: Campagnolo / Shimano

Here is what the owner has to say about them:

‘I have a beautiful matching pair of Imholz steel road bikes, one a man’s frame, built in the 1960s. The other is a lady’s frame built in the 1970s. The man’s frame is kitted out with a Campagnolo group set and the lady’s frame with Shimano arabesque 600, all good quality new old stock (apart from the gummies on the lady’s bike which strangely melted!). They have been sympathetically restored without loosing their character. I don’t know much about equipment other than what I have already stated as these were my husband’s projects and I just had the pleasure of riding the lady’s bike occasionally!

Other information:     

I don’t know why, but both bikes were already in Portugal, owned and sold by different people and we could only surmise that they were brought back from people working in Switzerland (a lot of Portuguese did migrate there and returned when they retired). I also know that Imholz gained the Olympic status for a strange ‘gymnastic’ (artistic?) style of riding and was probably viewed in much the same way as synchronised swimming regardless of the skill involved in both instances.

The man’s frame is 52cm from seat post to crank centre and 52cm from seat post to front bar. The lady’s frame is 55cm from seat post to crank centre and 53cm from seat post to front bar (you know, the bit where the handlebars attach…technical term…).

The person responsible for these tasteful restorations unfortunately passed away but his wife recently found an interesting note (from him) regarding the restoration:-

Rare and even more rare!

As most of you know I have a rare Swiss Imholz bike, for those that don’t here is a pic… There are only two of these road bikes on the entire web and the other one is from 1937!
Well if my bike is rare then my latest find must be rarer still…
You have to assume they made fewer ladies frame bikes it has the same double crown track forks, the headset is Dura Ace not Campagnolo and the dropouts are Shimano not Campagnolo.
Now I have three frame numbers:  3 101 (the 1937 bike and our bikes: 17 386  18 132
It has not been possible to find a real clue as to the meaning of these numbers, this latest bike is newer than mine, possibly late seventies?
As part of the restoration  I have started to make up the artwork for the decals as I have mine intact to work from, I will then need to learn some pin striping skills ( although as Mrs T is also an artist I might get her to do it)
The plan is to  build it up to ‘match’ my bike for Mrs T to ride, I have no real knowledge of mid to late 70’s Shimano group sets, I was thinking Shimano 600 arabesque as it resembles the ornate nature of Campagnolo but I’m really looking for some expert guidance here…’

– Howard Aldridge (Team47b)

(These bikes are for sale, if you are interested please contact us)

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