I have no idea where to start with this one. The French giant of Peugeot is somewhat of a mystery to me. I’m looking through website after website trying to track down and translate brochures and literature to find the exact model of this bike. From the small amounts of research I have done, the one thing I can say is it’s not going to be easy. Peugeot seem to have used their own specific sizing for threading and tubes and duplicated very similar transfer patterns between models. I’ve found many a page showing frustration at trying to track down the correct seat post or bottom bracket. Wonderful.
Anywho. Here it is.
The price I paid? 99p. I saw it listed on eBay and expected it to go for much more but on the morning of the auction ending it still had no bids. I took a chance and won it. The seller had described how the fixed cup was, well, fixed but apart from that it was ok. It looked in good condition and I’d spotted the Simplex dropouts so I figured it was worth the money.
Date wise I expected it to be a 1970’s model and after trawling through a few web pages I’ve managed to narrow it down to between ’75 and ’79. That’s all down to the head badge. The original listing stated the seller had removed the badge to sell separately. He did actually offer me the badge when I went to pick up the frame but I turned it down, only to buy it off him a week later after seeing it on a listing. It’s a nice two piece design. Luckily this is one of the things that actually helped out with the research as this is the only raised head badge Peugeot seems to have used.
The frame didn’t come with the handlebars or stem. Those, again, were additional buys off the same gent I got the frame off. It was only after I started researching that I realised the French frames used odd sizes. Off the top of my head, they use a 22mm stem instead of the British 22.2mm. You’d think the .2mm wouldn’t make much of a difference but it does! When I saw the listing for the Atax stem and bars from the same seller (stating they were from the Peugeout) I thought it would be best to buy them! That’s £12.50 into the bike so far.
This is where I started to look into the models a bit more. One of my Instagram followers saw my post and suggested it could be a PX10, the rare and pricey top model. I’m not so sure and think it could be a slightly lower PR10 but with the amount of cross contamination between model lines it’s quite difficult to pinpoint. I think this catalogue HERE shows the differences the best (and why I think it is the PR10). The frame only has chrome dipped forks, rather than the chrome dipped forks AND rear dropouts of the PX10. It has Reynolds tubing but the badge doesn’t seem to quite match the Reynolds badges in the catalogues I have found. The higher spec’d models also seem to have been given the wrap around vertical banding on the tubes, over the horizontal lines.
That being said, if it is the PR10, and I’m 95% sure it is I have found the specific component list I need.
Brakes: Mafac S Centre Pull w/ Mafac Levers
Crankset: Stronglight TS 52/42 – 170mm – Cotterless
Derailleurs & Shifters: Simplex LJA302 / SX810T
Pedals: Lyotard 136 Race w/ Reflectors & Christophe Straps
Freewheel: Maillard 14/17/19/21/24
Hubs: Normandy High Flange Q/R W/Simplex skewers
Rims: Mavic Module E tubular.
To me, that seems like a rather expensive list. Fortunately I’ve found most of the parts already and it seems like buying direct from France is the best bet! Unfortunately I’m slightly out of cash at the moment so those specific parts will have to wait. In the mean time I did find this bargain. I saw them listed as “Vintage Mavic Monthlery Route Wheels”. Looking closer I saw they were tubular and had a set of Normandy high flange hubs. They seemed perfect for this build so I stuck them on my watch list and expected them to shoot up in price. In fact, they didn’t move in price at all and I got them for £25. I might need to replace the spokes and the rims definitely need a good polish but I couldn’t be more happy with them.
Total build spend so far £37.50
More to come soon hopefully.
This bike hasn’t exactly been my best buy. My last post regarding this “build” was months ago, probably well over a year ago, and nothing has really happened since. It cost me a grand total of £11 and was one of those buys that occurred because I just thought I’d chance it. Unfortunately that chance paid off and I had to drive all the way to Huddersfield to collect it… around £50 in fuel!
I was hoping I could make it into a nice road bike for the following summer but after picking it up and starting the work I realised it was in pretty bad shape. The Reynolds CR-MO frame had several “repairs” to the paint job, the stem was stuck firm and eventually snapped off (destroying the forks too), the seat post wasn’t completely seized but didn’t come out unscathed and the cranks really took some work to remove. I’m now just left with the frame and a bottom bracket that has brittle plastic cups. Plastic cups that round off whenever a C spanner is used.
So the question is, can I save it?
Well I’ve started to look back over the bike. Sanding back parts of the “repaired” frame reveal some quite nice tubing underneath. There is one area of damage on the top tube, a pretty nasty dent, but I think it should be ok. The fact that it has Reynolds tubing is a bonus, even if it is the less desirable CR-MO tubing. Having said that, I’ve done some research into “CR-MO” and it brought about a possible date. According to this forum post, Reynolds started giving their CR-MO tubing numbers in 1991, so it is suggested (by looking at the sticker) the bike was produced in the late 80’s. Unfortunately I can’t find a catalogue to back this up and the parts I did have are long gone so a more precise date will remain a mystery (although looking at the old gear seems to suggest early 90’s?).
Either way I do want to try and make something out of this frame but first I need to get the bottom bracket off! Right now it seems the only way I’ll be able to do that is with some careful grinding and cutting – the plastic BB cups are beyond help!
Today I took the frame in to work and had a play in my lunch break. There was absolutely no way the BB was coming out simply by undoing the cups so I had to take some heavy handed action – the kind of action that could have trashed the frame. First I grabbed a big screwdriver and a hammer and began to chisel off the tops of the plastic cups. They didn’t put up much of a fight and underneath it revealed another layer – a dust cap. I popped that off and underneath that I pulled out a bearing retainer and evaluated the situation. What I was left with was what looked like a tightly packed shell. A layer of plastic was on the outside, bound to the threads of the shell while internally sat a metal shell holding the bearings and axle.
I took a chance and began to hit one side of the axle in an attempt to knock it through. It moved popped out the other side after a couple of hits and soon after I had the internal cartridge out. That just left the remains of the plastic cups stuck to the shell. My gut instinct was to grab a hacksaw blade and carefully cut through each cup in two places so I could gently prise the shell out. This was the point I could have really damaged the threads. If I cut too deep I’d go straight through them and if I used too much force levering the sections out I’d probably squash the threads. Regardless of the risk, the method worked and the frame was finally free of a bottom bracket.
The old bottom bracket cups had the Axis stamp on them as well as the country of origin, Italy. It would have been a bit strange to have Italian threading on an English bike but luckily the threads turned out to be 1.37″ x 24 TPI – the standard English / ISO thread. That only left the question of – have I damaged the threads?
Of course I haven’t 🙂 At home I had the old external bearing BB from my Holdsworth lying around so I used that as a trial. The drive side went in without any sort of trouble but the non drive side decided not to thread. Instead I grabbed a spare steel cup and trialed that. Fortunately that went straight in so I’m happy to say, the frame can be saved!
Hiding in the back of the garage I also have this 700C Mavic wheelset that I was given last year. The rear rim has a bit of damage and the rear hub is missing the bearings but I think I should be able to use them on this build. I’ll scout around on eBay for some components and see what turns up. I’m thinking a nicely resprayed frame, some carbon forks, alloy bars and seat post, along with a modern STi brake/gear combo. Finished off with some mudguards and I should have a winter commuter.