Crescent "Pepita" racer - model 92320

Crescent Pepita 1968
This well-kept 92320 from 1968 was owned by Stig Blom, well-known Swedish bicycle racer. The bar-end shifters were a popular option among racers at that time.


Before and after the second world war Crescent and Monark, the orange and the blue teams, were hot competitors in Swedish bicycle racing. They both built light-weight racing models with straight-gauge non-lugged brazed frames. This is an examle of Crescent 1941. When Crescent and Monark joined forces in 1960 the time was ripe for a common race model along continental lines. In 1963 the 320 and 319 models were introduced. A Reynolds 531 tube-set along with lugs from Nervex (later Dubois), Agrati (early ones had Nervex) bottom bracket and fork ends from Campagnolo formed the basis of the new racer. This model was built virtually unchanged until 1980 when designer Nils Welin modified the frame angles. In 1981 the lugs were changed to Bocama and the tube-set to Reynold 531 SL. Almost all frames were soldered by Sven Gustafsson and later Lasse Berg. Around 1000 frames were made each year up to the beginning of the 80s when demand trailed off.


The naming of the different models are somewhat confusing. 92320 was called, at least in later brochures, Super Continental och 92319 Continental. Otherwise the name 320 Pepita Special was used. In the USA all models with Nervex lugs were evidently called Crescent Pepita. (Professional De Luxe 320, Professional Competition 318 (also with Vitus tube-set), Professional Extra 317 och Professional 316.)

The elusive "Stainless" model was probably the brain-child of the American importer. Called Mark XX, IX and XI it can be seen on,  The frame was welded with Sandviken stainless tubes and the Nervex lugs were sawn i halves, brazed together on top of the frame and then painted to match the tubes. Quite a lot were made but many reportedly ended up in the scrap binge.

Crescent Mark XX
A Crescent stainless with Zzipper fairing parked against what is probably a type 305 Crescent with welded frame. Note the period helmets in this mid-80s picture.

Complaints about the frame construction has been seen on some American sites. This concerns mostly the toe-clip owerlapping the front wheel. I belive this design is a result of the slack seat tube angle used. You have to place the front wheel so as to bring the weight evenly on both wheels.The resulting problem concerns mainly the neophyte cyclist. As to the build quality and finish of the frames they indeed vary but so do the French and Italian frames of the same period. They are made for cycling not as exhibition pieces.

 During the 60s and 70s the orange-colored Crescent accounted for around half of the sale while blue Monark made up the other half. At the beginning there were some differences i.e. in fork construction but leter they were identical apart from color and decalling. As indicated above the frames were, however, used for several models with various components. At the beginning the top model 92320 had Campagnolo Record and/or Gran Sport components and later Nuovo Record exept the Mafac Racer brakes. Nouvo Record brakes could be had as and option when they became available and in later years they were standard. The sister model 92319 usually had Simplex components early on but was later equipped with Shimano Dura Ace. It is important to remember that bikes sold in Sweden rarely had a standard specification. They were marketed through the shop of the Fåglums (undisputed kings of bicycle racing in Sweden) and the customer could specify a broad range of equipment including special Crescent frames made-to-measure in Italy.

In 1981 the 320 model was completely redesigned and much better finished. Cyclist Monthly in 1984 called it "A racing mount of highest quality".Later models had Super Record chainwheels (the crank arms are the same as on NR) och Campagnolo brakes. Only the Crescent brand was used and they were even blue. 1985 was the last year with a "Swedish" 92320  (see picture below).

Crescent 320 1984

From 1986 model 320 had frames from Eddy Merckx. They were made in a modern factory in Belgium started with the assistance of Ugo De Rosa. On the outside the changes from the "old" 92320 were quite subtle apart from the color scheme.The change from 531SL to Columbus tubes ment in fact an increase in frame weight from 1,7 to 2,05 kg but the total weight of the bike remained the same at 9,5 kg. The Merckx models were sold in Sweden by Fåglums Racer-Depå in Vårgårda as before. Before the contract with Merckx was signed they also supplied frames from Rossin and Somec with Crescent decals. Picture evidence.

In 1988 the 92320 was specified with SLX tube-set and Super Record gruppo. In 1990 it had the Croce D ´aune gruppo and in 1991 Chorus.



2320 1989

2320 1996

2319 1996

The last year with Merckx frame was 1996 with Columbus Max and Athena component group.The sister model 2319 was in fact a Basso GAP with Mirage components.

> the continued story of 92320

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