Royce Union “Gas Pipe Rando”

Written by on April 25, 2012 in The Machines - 1 Comment

My friend Cory pulled this Royce Union out of a family garage. We’re going to clean it up and get it rolling.

Jorn Ake on Flickr nailed it when he called this a “Gas-pipe steel … randonneur.”

Weighs an effing ton, but it’s outfitted for the long haul. Japanese build, as far as I can tell. Royce Union was a department store brand during the Mid-70s bike boom. This one is still in surprisingly good mechanical shape. Shifts through all the gears, and the old tires even hold air.

My friend just wants to use it as a city bike with the occasional Saturday ride on the greenways. For that, it should work. We’re going to clean it up and give it new tires, tubes, brake pads, brake & shifter cables, bar wrap, and maaaaybe an Interloc Racing Design freewheel with a wider range of cogs — I like the 6-speed 14-17-20-24-28-32 option. That should help this behemoth get up and over the few hills that do exist around DC.

I personally dig the thorn catcher that skims the front tire to knock off burrs and other sharpities, the Atari-joy-stick-like shifters, and the “Tokyo Brake” levers, which are a pretty blatant Mafac knock-offs.

  • Bill

    Oh… My… God. I’m just about certain that was once my bike. I used it from my teens in the late 60′s up until I sold it at a garage sale in Roswell, GA a lot of years ago (early 90′s?) because we were moving. It was pretty old then and in about the shape seen in the photo. Good luck with it. That was a sweet riding bike (although pretty heavy by today’s standards.