MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

PEUGEOT COURSE - INTRO

PEUGEOT COURSE - FINDING

PEUGEOT COURSE - BUILD

PEUGEOT COURSE - RIDING

 

BICYCLES OF CANADA

  

BUILDING MY PEUGEOT COURSE

"As found", my Peugeot Course was, my size, incredibly original and in very good condition.  In fact, the bicycle was so original that the Mafac tool pouch, and tool kit, was still attached, to the saddle.  The Peugeot bar end plugs were still blemish free.  The handlebar tape was the original cotton issue offering, faded from its original black, to a dull grey, but still mostly in good condition.  The, early issue, Weinmann brake hoods were unmarked, without a single rip or tare, but the material had hardened over the years.  Though still intact, great care will have to be taken when taping the handlebars.

Neither Weinmann lever was damaged, in any way.  The alloy was a bit tarnished, but not badly and a simple hand polishing, should produce some very good results.  And, while on the subject of tarnish, almost all of the alloy components were in need of a good polishing.  The Atax stem, and Philippe handlebars, had seen cleaner days, but a bit of work will bring out their original lustre.

The Weinmann 605 brake callipers were in excellent condition.  Even the little, rubber like, grommets that are supposed to fit on the bottom, of the quick release adjustment mechanism, are still present, front and back.  The original brake pads showed little wear, a testament to how little this old road bicycle was used.  The wheel guides still bore their original, black plastic, covers and they too were unmarked.  The brakes didn't even have to be adjusted!  All I had to do, to the brakes, was sand the pads, to ensure that no hard grit was imbedded, in the surface.

Turning my attention to the wheels, I was equally impressed with their state of preservation.  Though a bit tarnished, they were still true and turned very freely.  The cadmium plated spokes had a bit of oxidation but, once again, nothing that a bit of elbow grease could not take care of.

Sadly, and to be expected, the original tires were tired, to say the least.  Time had taken its toll, and the tires were on the verge of being completely rotten.  They were the only thing to be swapped out, in preparation for using the Peugeot, on a regular basis.  I might add, that a new set of tires are waiting for me, at a local bike shop, at the time of this writing.  I plan to pick them up this week, as a gift to myself, for completing MY "TEN SPEEDS".

The Peugeot's wheel set consisted of Maillard low flange alloy quick release hubs, laced to 700c Rigida red label rims.  Though everything looked good, and turned freely, I did take the hubs apart for lubrication purposes.  And, what did I discover, when I tool the hubs apart?

The cups, cones and bearings were perfect!  Nothing had to be replaced.  With the hubs cleaned, greased and adjusted, I set each wheel up, in my homemade truing stand, only to discover that the wheels did not need any attention at all.  I checked the dish and still no worries.  Other than the rotten and cracked tires, the wheels, "as found" were near perfect.

Though I am not a fan of Simplex transmissions, the one mounted on the Peugeot Course is in great shape, and works flawlessly.  I was very pleased to see that the front derailleur was the all metal model.  Many Simplex front derailleurs are a combination, of metal and plastic, and the plastic portion is prone to failure.  It is not the least bit uncommon for a Simplex plastic front derailleur to crack, rendering the component useless.  This problem applies to other Simplex front derailleurs that are made of Dupont Delrin plastic.  And, because of this one glaring flaw, my opinion of the Simplex product is very poor, even though they are nice transmissions to use.

It really is too bad that this single, but gigantic flaw, was allowed to become part of the Simplex product history.  The fact is, the transmissions do work well, when they are not busted in half.  I have owned many bicycles, fitted with these Old School transmissions, and all have worked very well.  In fact, I will go so far as to say, the the best friction shift transmission, I ever used, was a Simplex one.  That tranny was mounted on my 1984 Peugeot, that I rode for over 4,000 miles one season.  That lovely old, found at the Dump in NOS condition, was nearly identical to this Super Sport, that I hardly rode at all.

Another thing, that I do like, about the Peugeot Course transmission, is the Simplex shifter set.  These shifters are comfortable to use, work very smoothly and are very attractive.  I speak now of the metal shifters, not the more common plastic ones.  The ornate presentation on the metal shifter works for me, and suggests that the person who designed them, at least cared a bit about a bicycle's aesthetic qualities.

A 52/42 Stronglight crank, delivers power to a six speed, non-indexed freewheel cog set, that boasts a medium 14-24 spread.  The Peugeot Course drive is a perfectly functioning system and, in my opinion, very attractive.  I have long been a fan of the Stronglight crank sets and the Peugeot company frequently ensured that Peugeot's name was pantographed into the crank arms.  The crank arms on the "Course" are no exception to this practice but they are not the truly attractive deeply pantographed ones found on some lesser Peugeots.  The deeply pantographed offerings are by far the most attractive in my mind.

So, what exactly did I do, to build up this nice old early eighties Peugeot.  I installed a couple of used tires, that would not blow up in my face.  I ensured that the bearings in the bottom bracket, head set and wheel hubs were properly lubricated and adjusted.  I lubricated the chain.  And, I tweaked, a thing or two, to satisfy myself, that the bicycle was well tuned up.  Other than that the Peugeot Course remains pretty much as I found it, and it is a nice bicycle to take out for a spin.

NEXT - RIDING THE PEUGEOT COURSE

 

 

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