I purchased this bike last year (2014) from Pacific Coast Cycles in Oceanside California. This shop has a surprising number of older bikes in various conditions which are available for purchase. Lygie was a marque that I was not familiar with but this was a quality bike crying out to be loved so I took it home. This one was in original condition and mostly complete when I bought it but it was not rideable. It came with Campagnolo Record drive-train and hubs, 27 inch clinchers and Weinmann brakes and levers. The paint was also original but the down-tube decals had mostly flaked off. Still, with a little bit of love……..

Lygie01

 

This post is preliminary and subject to frequent edit

Chrome lugs, Campy drop-outs and Italian manufacture on a little known bike brand were enough to get me on board. Since very little is really known about Lygie I felt that I could do pretty much anything that I wanted with this build. there is no standard of what components this bike should have. I have quite a few “period correct” bikes that are wonderful to look at but are sometimes less wonderful to ride. Tall gearing and narrow handlebars and less than responsive shifting are among the things that I have a harder time accepting as I get older. I still want to ride these old bikes to wonderful places so comfort and proper gearing for my legs are more important now than original equipment.

 

IMG_0729Lygie Bicycles are a bit of a mystery. They are an Italian brand but with an interesting French connection and even a little Spanish influence. On the head badge is the name of  St. Etienne, a city which lies in southern France. Also on the head badge is the name, Cicles Lygie. When Google translate is used the word Cicles comes up as Catalan in language, not French or Italian, so now we have a bit of Spanish influence as well. Additional lettering on the head badge, “marque depose” simply means registered trademark in French. These bikes were imported to the USA it seems mainly to the southern California market. They do not seem to be particularly well regarded even though Italian built with chromed lugs and Campagnolo dropouts. The quality of construction of this model at least seems very nice with just an average paint finish. Very early Lygie models were said to have French a component spec.

Of course, disassembly and cleaning are the start of any project and this one begins the same. There are some interesting original parts on this bike to take note of. Campy high flange hubs are among my favorite and these are nice. Also, the Campy Record front and rear derailleurs are in excellent shape. Interestingly the rear derailleur seems to be a chrome plated bronze version with some steel parts as well. The crank-set appears to be a 54/46 Nuovo Record unit produced for only two years, in 1967-68, and the rear free-wheel was a 14-22. Brakes and levers were Weinmann center-pulls and appeared to be original as well and the wheels were 27 inch which were targeting the US market.

My Lygie Record Professional

My plans for the bike included some updates but not all the way to modern. I chose the following component spec in part based on what surplus parts I had on hand but also to meet a performance standard. By the way, Velo Orange is a great source for many of the components that I needed for this build.

  • Super Record derailleurs with Soma extended cage
  • Soma stem mount shifters
  • VO Drillium crank-set, 48/34
  • Phil Wood hubs
  • VO Raid rims, 700c
  • DT spokes with brass nips
  • 7 speed Shimano freewheel, 13/30
  • Campy Record seat post (original)
  • VO stem
  • No name bars, 42 mm width
  • TRP brake levers
  • Dia Compe center pull brakes
  • VO mini front rack
  • Cardiff leather saddle (B-17 knock off)
  • Shimano SPD pedals

Lygie04

That’s kind of an odd list of parts but the goal was to achieve a versatile bike with a wide gear range, modern stopping power, comfort for a larger American rider (me) and the ability to use more modern replacement parts. In other words, a performance vintage bicycle which is meant to be ridden on modern events.

Lygie02

Black and chrome is a good look on a bicycle and one that I had not considered before, but was totally obvious for this bike. Well, you know you must start with what you have and then make the best of it. In this case, I felt I had a good starting point!

Lygie07Lygie06.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The decals shown on this bike are a mix of new and original. The Lygie decal on the downtube is a replacement from Velocals. The original decal had almost completely flaked off and was unsalvageable. The small chrome Record Professional decal on the upper downtube is original indicating the model. On the seat tube near the BB is a “made in Italy” decal which is not original but appropriate for this bike. Also, on the top tube is an original “Campagnolo Prodotti” near the head tube. Other than the frame number which is stamped on the side of the seat tube this frame is very understated. The paint is original and only of mediocre quality but is good enough to leave as is.

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More information on Lygie

To offer somewhat of a resource for Lygie owners I will offer link to a page with Lygie images gathered from wherever I can find them. Most will be without additional information unless I know the specifics, and they will not be in any particular order. Contributions to this page will be gratefully accepted……….Take me to the Lygie Barn.

Classic Rendezvous has a couple of photo sets on Lygie bikes with a little limited information on the marque. I won’t copy it but I will offer the link here……….  CR Lygie page.

Lygie has a racing legacy dating back to 1909, much older than most well known brands. It lasted well until the mid 60’s when they suddenly faded from the scene. They are not know to have sponsored any riders after 1964. Here is more info on Lygie history and racing

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