The story on Charles Terryn bicycles

Who was Charles (Karel) Terryn?

Charles Terryn was a former Belgian professional cyclist who raced form 1943 to 1960. After his career, Charles took over his father’s cycle shop.

In 1960 Charles Terryn became a 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 the Belgian cycling legend Eddy Merckx. Apparently Charles was the absolute master in changing a rear wheel and pushing the cyclist back into the race, nobody could do that as fast as he did. He was a good salesman. Nevertheless, his shop was mostly run by his cousin.

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

Facts:

  • Born in Anderlecht, Belgium in 1921, died on 9/10/ 2003
  • Professional cyclist from 1943 – 1960 (18 years)
  • Won … well, a better mechanic than racer

Terryn was settled in Anderlecht (near Brussels). Charles was the mechanic for the Belgian pro cyclist Eddy Merckx who was a customer at Terryn cycles during his childhood. Story goes that Eddy met his wife 250 meters away from the Terryn bike shop at a cafe from his future 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.

To build professional race frames, Charles Terryn relied on master frame builders like Weymans (Mechelen) and Roger Dereycke (Brussels, also built frames for Plum).
Charles was obsessed with Reynolds 531 tubing and Campagnolo parts. Getting something else from him was nearly impossible. If you asked for Universal brakes he’d look at you with the expression of: “Are you joking”? If you were low on cash, he would occasionally throw in Zeus brakes to fit your budget. He never went for 753 tubing since he believed it lacked stiffness.

read more history about Charles in this link. (French) unfortunately, this site is down

Charles and Gazelle.

Charles was involved in the Gazelle racing division in the 60’s and that’s about all what we know for sure to be honest… He trained the workers in the Gazelle factory the finesse of setting up racebikes.

Afbeelding kan het volgende bevatten: tekst

source: book: “pijn is genot” from Jan Siebelink  buy here::pijn is genot

extra link (dutch): https://wielersport.slogblog.nl/post/1/5749

Charles and Merckx

The Workshop of Charles Terryn, Brussels 1969. Eddy Merckx visits to inspect the FAEMA team bikes. Terryn was the team mechanic for FAEMA and Molteni. Eddy Merckx is on record that in 1969 his bikes were made by a Belgian builder, “Marcel van der Este”. If so, he may have worked for Terryn. these pictures came from the website above that was removed unfortunately

Charles and Ugo De Rosa

I’ve seen 2 De Rosa frames with Terryn decals and I find it hard to believe it is a coincidence. One De Rosa track frame that was ridden by Eddy Merckx, probably repainted by Charles or a contractor and then resold. I will write a separate blog post on that particular bike soon.

The second frame (below) was ordered directly from the Terryn shop in Anderlecht. A closer look shows that it is a rather customized early 70’s (73?) De Rosa.

This frame has had some modifications: The Belgian flag on the seat tube was added later by the owner. The first owner was a great Belgian racer of which we have no info at all haha. The seat stay caps are different from regular De Rosa frames.

our (ex) Terryn frames

Terryn 1970s

 

Charles Terryn Competition late seventies

 

As for the next one i didn’t make a separate post as it wasn’t intended to be built (to small)

This pretty little red thing is rather special, it has special formed chain stays, no dents on them but a very clean flat spot in the tube running over most of the length. According to Jan this one was ordered with the seat stay tubes attached to the seat lug, he doesn’t seem to like this type of construction but customer was (is) king so they made what they wanted.

48cc seat tube (50ct)
52cc top tube
Reynolds 531 tube set
repainted

Other Terryn frames

sorry for not all the so great pictures, most are ‘stolen’ from Facebook

Model Prestige

kinda weird but this one has Columbus SL tubing according to the decals. Built by Weymans

http://www.vossi.nl/terryn

 

Features a Cinelli bottom bracket, a Libertas-like  pantographed fork crown and 531 tubing, built by Weymans

Built by roger Dereycke

a very nice one

ebay link

campagnolo drop-outs, one of the later models. 531 tubing, again a bit different than the rest, see cut-outs at the bottom bracket and inner chain stays

others

note, this one has reproduction decals from Ian da Costa (and might not be 100% the right ones for this bike)

This is a rather special one, there are several Molteni team Terryn bikes and this might be one of them, unfortunately the fork seems to have been replaced and no other pictures available (forgot who sent it to me as i actually intended to buy it, the downside of that flood of Facebook messages…)

and as last (for now) another random bottom bracket that I’ve found in my pictures but no idea where it came from to be honest, should be a familiar face by now…

Pantographed parts!

a fun topic even if I say so myself

here is a collection of photo’s we’ve found so far

on the left a 70s stem, right a late 60s one

if you have any questions or remarks please leave a comment or write message (in case we made a really embarrassing mistake)

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One Comment

  1. Mannerie Jacques
    June 16, 2019
    Reply

    Mes frères et moi (Jean-pierre ,Charly ,Jacques Mannerie) étions évidemment des fans d’Eddy Merckx mais aussi de son premier mécano Charles Terrijn qui était même devenu un ami de notre famille. Nos vélos étaient toujours fignolés par celui-ci.
    Nous étions tous les 3 atteints par le virus de la bicyclette et avons ,très modestement,
    participé à de nombreuses courses d’anciennes gloires du sport dont Jacky Ickx .
    En ce qui me concerne j’ai gravi ,avec mon frère Jean-Pierre, plusieurs fois le Ventoux.

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