Charles Terryn Competition late seventies

First things first, who was Charles (Karel) Terryn?

Charles Terryn was a former Belgian professional cyclist who raced form 1943 to 1960, after which he took over his father’s cycle shop.
In 1960, he became mechanic for the Carpano team, with Rik Van Looy. After that he moved on to Faema, GBC, Solo and finally Willem II. He had a close association with Belgian cycling legend Eddy Merckx.

Eddy Merckx and Charles Terryn
Charles Terryn making some adjustments to Merckx’ bike. Picture from https://greenjersey.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/charles-terryn/

Stats:

  • Born in Anderlecht, Belgium in 1921, died in 2003
  • Professional cyclist from 1943 – 1960 (18 years)
  • Won … well, a better mechanic than racer

Terryn could be found in Anderlecht (near Brussels). Charles was the mechanic for Eddy Merckx. Merckx was a customer at Terryn cycles during his childhood, he even met his wife 250 meters away from the bike shop at a cafe from his (soon to be) wife’s dad. Next to Plum (not to be confused with Plume from Ghent) Terryn was THE bike shop in the late 60’s and 70’s in Brussels and surrounding areas. We have been told that the shop later on moved to Sint-Pieters-Leeuw, where it still exists and is owned by the son. (to be confirmed). Unfortunately the authentic character got lost somewhere along the line.

Charles never built his own frames.

For that, he relied on master frame builders like Weymans (Mechelen) and Roger Dereycke (Brussels, also built frames for Plum)
Charles was possessed by Reynolds 531 tubing and Campagnolo parts. Getting something else from him was nearly impossible. If you asked for Universal brakes he’d throw a look at you of “Are you joking”? If you were low on cash, he he would occasionally throw in Zeus brakes to fit the budget for example. He never went for 753 tubing since he found it lacked stiffness.

read more history about Charles in this link. (French)

So back to the frame

I personally think this is one of the most beautiful frames we own. I do see a lot of references from or to other top brands in this frame. For example:

  • The rear pad is not exactly centered, exactly like top-of-the-bill Kessels frames (to provide more clearance for the freewheel and chain)
  • The tiny hole in the seatlug (early colnago’s), and the seatstays are nearly identical to Vaneenooghe (top of the line belgian framebuilder, now commonly known as “Jaegher”).
  • The chrome is of superb quality as is the air-thin professional paintwork as we know it from the early Merckx Professional frames. You don’t see those paintjobs that often these days
  • The frame has been passionately filed to get all details exactly as the maker wanted them to be. The stripes from filing are visible through the micrometer paintwork.

Specs

  • Built by Mr. Weymans in Mechelen (Belgium)
  • Tubing: Reynolds 531
  • Frame height / Seat tube length: 59,5cm ct
  • Top tube length: 56 ct
  • Wheelbase: 98cm cc
  • Weight: coming soon
  • Year of production: 1973 – 1979 (estimation)

Conclusion: I am totally in love with this one!

Judging by the frame’s specs and the headset that came with it I would estimate the build was built between ’73-’79. The headset spacer was introduced in ’78 but by the end of the 70’s not too many bicycle frame builders were still using these long campagnolo dropouts. We have another frame (Ferdinand Kessels) from 1978 wich has exactly the same charasterictics: metallic paint, seatstay caps, long dropouts, flat fork crown, cablerouting etc. (will be posted soon)

All that’s left to do now is produce a new set of decals and build it!

UPDATE

So here it is!

I was thinking about making it into the ultimate weightweenie bike.. but right now it is still kinda heavy… Clincher rims, a lot of steel parts,  overweight steering combo and brakes… It drives great however and that’s what it is all about so I am not considering to take it on a diet yet.

One more thing I would like to change, are the pedals; A pair of TA pedals would fit very nice! And it will get a pair of new decals soon.

Build specs:

Campagnolo:

  • record hubs
  • bottom bracket bearings
  • seatpost

TA spécialités

  • crankset
  • bottom bracket (axle and cups)
  • headset
  • pedals (soon)
  • water bottle cage
  • water bottle (period correct one will be fitted once found)

MAVIC

  • the first generation high pressure clincher rims

Brooks

  • professional saddle (NOS)

Hutchinson

  • the tyres obviously, they are used but with a bit of soap they cleaned up very well

Sedis

  • nos 6speed chain (anodised blue)

Huret

  • NOS jubilee derailleurset and shifters

MAFAC

  • competition brakeset

3ttt

  • record stem
  • NOS record handlebars

 

 

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