This Champion track bike from the 1950s is somewhat of an enigma.
The frame and the cranks direct us into the German bicycle manufacture scene of the 1950s. The bearings, the wheels and the French flag banderoles, the chainring and the fork however, are suggesting that this bike is french. Some of the parts are extremely rare as the crankset, the bottom bracket and the pedals for example, which will rarely pop up anywhere else.
Since we do not know anything about the former owner(s) we have to speculate here. It might have been a bike that a French soldier had made for himself while being based in Germany. Or it just got some extra French banderoles because several parts of the bike were French, which was not untypical for German bike producers to make their products look more 'exotic. Or it is a genuinly French bike that has just been sold to a German customer
The frame itself is a very filigree built. Just look at these seatstays. It is made from one of the most popular tubings for high end bikes in the 1950s: The butted Libellula tubes. The lugs are outlined and the paint has a 'beam' pattern which you find often on bikes from the 1940s and 1950s.
The chromed double-bridge fork has been prepared to take a brake. In the 1950s it was quite popular to train with a track bike on normal roads. You just needed to put a brake on your bike and switch the track sprocket for a narrow freewheel - voilà.
The bottom bracket is really remarkable because it is one of the earlier exemplars where you can adjust the chainline with two lockrings on both sides.
Those steel cranks are elegant and thin with an extra groove and a cutout on the top. And the pedals are particularly well made. These Union pedals have an Oiler hole and clamp. And the smoothness of their bearings puts every Campagnolo Record pedal to shame.
As for the wheels they are the classic combination of top class parts, from the thin spokes to the FB hubs and lovely Weinmann rims.
This is certainly a bike for classy rides or a free spot at somebody's wall where it can be admired in the way it deserves.
Used. The bike is in very good condition. The frame has no dents, no cracks and is not bent. Paintwork and decals are original. All parts are working excellent.