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

 

  

RIDING THE PEUGEOT COURSE

When I first started collecting and riding vintage road bicycles, I had to have the best of the best, to satisfy my interests.  Campagnolo everything, mounted on double butted, chrome moly tube sets, ending in brand name forged drops.  So strong was my belief, in the need for the best, that I blew over $600.00, building up a very nice Francesco Moser road bicycle, that I never even took out for a single ride.

Such, is no longer the case, and I am glad that I have managed to see the hype light.  A bicycle does not have to be made, of the most exotic materials, to offer a pleasing visage and a great ride.  In fact, some of the nicest looking and best riding bikes, that I have owned, had neither.  And the Peugeot Course falls comfortably into the "I like the looks and ride" category.  So, incidentally, do many other Canadian made Peugeots.

My Peugeot Course is a smooth riding bicycle.  When I say smooth, it is really the only word that I can use to describe the ride feel.  I believe that this characteristic is a result of the tube set, coupled, of course, with the frame's geometry.  I find myself marvelling, from time to time, at how good the Peugeot, and many of its siblings for that matter, feels on the road.  Even the lowly Peugeot UO6 is a nice riding bicycle, though quite heavy, when compared to the Course, and an anchor, when matched against my Miele LTD.

The Course is very stable and can be ridden, hands off, at a whim.  However, that stability does not impact the bicycle's ability to demonstrate agility, when handling becomes the issue.  The bicycle leans itself into the corner, never asking that I interrupt pedal action.  The cracks is the road are not telegraphed, to my poor butt and hands, as harshly as on some of my other, more sophisticated mounts.  Braking is not as precise as I find on higher end rides, but the feel of the brake levers is comfortable.  Almost everything on this old road bike works well for me and I usually do not give the feel of the bike much thought when riding it.  To me, that is a sign of a good bicycle, and of bicycle/rider compatibility.  However, there is one issue...

I plan to change the saddle, to protect it from breaking in half.  My pastel yellow Peugeot Trophy, suffered such a catastrophe one day, while out for a ride.  When riding to greet my youngest grandson, as he got out of school for the day, the saddle split right down the middle.  The leather covered, plastic base, cracked right where my sit bones were resting.  I almost crashed the bicycle.  For that reason, I have decided to change the saddle on the Course, before the thirty year old, or so, original one is destroyed.  The original one will forever be protected from damage and so will my butt.

There is a second reason for changing the saddle.  Now that I have put enough miles on the bike, I can honestly say that the original Peugeot saddle is not for me.  I have ridden several other styles of Peugeot issued saddles and with no real discomfort.  My Peugeot Challenger had a saddle that proved OK for short rides.  And, the same held true for the saddles mounted on my Peugeot UO7-LS, UO6-Sport, and UO8-Super Sport.  All of these saddles were plastic based and covered issues, but at least they had enough padding to allow for short ride comfort.  The saddle mounted on my Course has little padding, if any at all.  True, padding does not equate with long ride comfort, but it will work just fine for a ten mile jaunt.  The original saddle on my Dump found Peugeot Course will have me squirming with-in a couple of miles, from home.

Though I have little faith in the Simplex transmission, I can honestly say that they do have a good feel to them, and they shift really well.  The levers are comfortable and positive to use.  The chain seems to find its own sweet spot without a need to trim.  Had Simplex never started using their stupid plastic issue derailleurs, I might well consider the Simplex transmissions to be among the best that any vintage road bicycle had to offer.  That said, the Simplex Dupont Delrin plastic derailleurs are not dependable, and the part plastic assembly looks cheap, which is hardly a selling feature, in my mind.

Fortunately, my worries with the Peugeot Course tranny are few.  The bike does shift like a dream and the front derailleur, the one that usually fails completely, is made from metal.  I doubt that this derailleur will ever feed itself, into the crank rings, as I have seen happen on other bikes with the Simplex plastic chain jumpers.

The Peugeot has not been completely rebuilt, at the time of this writing.  I do plan to go completely through the bicycle, one day, changing only a few things such as the handlebar tape.  The saddle will be changed out, long before any major rebuild.  My guess, at the time of this writing, is that I will never sit the Peugeot Course's original saddle again.  I have a nice Brooks BSN unit that looks as if it just might belong between me and my lovely old Canadian made Peugeot Course.

 

 

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