nice shop bike

nice shop bike
Boulder Bicycle Lugged

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Terrible News - Ernest Csuka has passed away

No snazzy photos or graphics here, just a glum feeling. As most folks know, Ernest Cusuka was the last of the great bicycle builders from the 20th century. There is no doubt that bicycles bearing the Alex Singer name have been among the finest riding machines ever produced. Be it genius, tradition, or trial and error (and most likely a combination of all of these), the bicycles leaving their shop were exceptional.

For myself, I found that Alex Singer Bicycles were most likely, among all makes of bicycles, to provide a perfect combination of lively ride and great handling. If one was to hand me a bicycle from any maker from the 1960's through 1980's, and ask me which one I'd probably like the best (including those of another famous french maker), I'd say that to be safest, I'd select the Alex Singer.

But more than a bicycle, a geometry, or a wonderful logo, the Alex Singer shop was always known for its warmth and kindness. Alex Singer himself was known as a gentleman of gentleman, and Ernest Cusuka carried on that tradition to the end of his life. I was lucky enough to be introduced to Ernest Csuka a few years back, and his energetic glow permeated the hallowed ground that is the Alex Singer shop.

The world feels a bit empty right now - may Ernest Csuka rest in peace.

M Kone in Boulder CO USA

1 comment:

  1. I first visited the Singer shop on a trip to Paris several years ago and met Ernest and Olivier.As I entered the shop I was stupefied by the number of beautiful bicycles that surrounded me,I knew that the rest of my afternoon would be spent there.When Ernest came out from the workshop he greeted me warmly.He soon saw that I was a foreigner,a cyclist and a lover of beautiful bicycles.He invited me to stay and have a look.I was allowed to walk around the entire shop,the beautiful showroom and the workshop.We had met not ten minutes before and Ernest was treating me like family.When Olivier walked in that afternoon, after having worked all day,he also greeted me with the same warmth.This apple did not fall far from the tree.Over the next few years I visited the shop several times.Ernest and Olivier showed me Roland's work bench and other interesting details,I could see how Ernest still missed his brother.Olivier showed me his father's famous tandem,as Ernest smiled behind us.The last time I was there they invited me to a Pastis after they closed the shop, it is and will be a chesished memory.Ernest Csuka is an important figure in the development of what is the lightweight multispeed bicycle but he was also a warm, friendly and engaging person.I will visit the shop again, since I do go to Paris for work and for pleasure,it will be sad not to see Ernest's smiling face greet me. Carlos Ballester, Miami, Florida

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