MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

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PEUGEOT PB12 - INTRO

FINDING THE PEUGEOT PB12

BUILDING THE PEUGEOT PB12

RIDNING THE PEUGEOT PB12

 

BICYCLES OF CANADA

  

BUILDING THE PEUGEOT COURSE PB12

Needless to say, I did not have to build anything on this, incredibly well kept, old road bicycle.  A thorough inspection is mandatory, before I get on a bicycle.  For safety reasons, both mine and the bicycle's, I check a bicycle completely over, to ensure that it is not going to buck me off, first time out of the gate.  About all needed, to road ready the Peugeot, was oil the chain, pump up the tires and set the saddle position.

The bicycle was too big  for me, that was obvious.  I do, however, have a soft spot for Canadian Made Peugeots and, I wanted to try the bike out, for a short ride, at the very least.

The build, if that's how the effort is to be described, was pretty straight forward.  I did not plan to fully go through the bicycle.  I would pull bearings out, only if they felt rough or dry.  With that in mind, I dropped the chain off of the crank ring and felt the bearing status.  The Stronglight bottom bracket rotated, without a snag, and there was no appreciable play - perfect for my purpose.  The second bearing condition test is applied to the head set.  With the front wheel removed, I simply feel the head set for catches and play.  Once again, the Peugeot's Hatta head set offered nothing to draw out my concern.

The wheel bearing "feel" is examined, in much the same manner, testing for both roughness and play.  If either of these unwanted characteristics do present themselves, I find out why, and fix it.  But, there were no bearing issues with the Peugeot's Maillard low flange hubs.  Everything, that was supposed to go round and round, was doing so smoothly.

With everything spinning as it should, my attention turned to the wheels.  Were they in need of truing?  I pressurized the tires, and in turn gave each wheel a spin.  I suppose I could have gone to the trouble of removing tires, and carefully checking each wheel's state of trueness, in my home-made truing stand, but their lack of wobble looked so good in the frame, that I let it go.  The wheels were just fine "as found".  Even the tires, though old and perhaps unsafe to use, looked very good.  I decided to run them, as they were - assuming that they would hold their pressure.

With both wheels, in an acceptable state of tune, my attention fell on the brakes.  There is little sense in trying to check and/or adjust brakes, if the wheel rim is hopping or wobbling around.  Assured that the wheel integrity was what it should be, I checked the brake set-up.

The Peugeot's brakes, incidentally, are one of my favourites.  The Weinmann 605 callipers are cleanly presented and very effective stoppers.  To this, add the very well designed and executed, Weinmann lever, with its built in quick release mechanism.  These old levers are very comfortable and fit me well.  They are certainly attractive and blend in nicely, on just about any old road bike, from the late seventies, to the mid eighties.  As it turned out, I did have to adjust the brakes, to my liking and, in doing so, noticed that the pads were still supple and showed very little wear.  Another little clue about the Peugeot's history.

I have to admit that I could not see the need for two quick releases.  The 605 callipers have a built in quick release and so do the levers.  Perhaps this was an oversight, on Peugeot's part.  Perhaps just an attempt to use up an abundance of levers.  Perhaps sloppy assembly.  Perhaps the reasoning will never be known, but things like this detract from a bicycle's quality level, in my mind.

The Peugeot's transmission, as one would expect, is full Simplex.  The derailleurs were in great shape, requiring only cleaning.  Both the front and rear derailleurs, "as found", were coated with a light patina of oil.  Oil that served, not only to preserve rolling elements, but also protect surfaces from oxidation.  I might add that there was no apparent oxidation anywhere on the bicycle.

One of the things that I like, and hate, about these old Peugeots, is the Simplex transmission.  When not broken in half, these old derailleurs work all but perfectly.  The problem is, they often arrive at The Old Shed as broken units.  The Delrin plastic, used in Simplex derailleur construction, is not strong enough to stand up to the forces placed on it.  The front derailleur frequently fails completely!  There was a time when I thought this problem was characteristic on the Old School straight push model only.  Not so.  I have run across newer styles broken in half also.  Too bad, and a real point looser for Peugeot, in my opinion.

Though the older Simplex gear changers were less than perfect, the newer and higher end units were very nice to use.  And the PB12's" tranny was no different.  Shifting was a non-eventful pleasure and, the need to trim, rarely presented itself.  The friction shifters held their positions, every time, and looked just great, in their wonderfully ornate presentation.

The beautiful drilled 52/42 rings were mounted on a Stronglight crank set.  The set was pantographed with the Peugeot name.  The assembly deliver power to the six speed, 14-24 spread cog set.  This gearing is, pretty much, what I go with these days.  With that range, I find that I rarely have to come out of the saddle, to make most of the climbs in my area.  Of course, there are a few that do present a challenge, these days, even with the wider gearing.

The PB12's control center consisted of set of Philippe handlebars and steering stem, the later bearing the Peugeot name.  The saddle, that came with the bicycle, was too wide and too soft - sounds like part of a Goldilocks story - but I did not change it out.  Though I did not like the saddle, it was adequate for my purposes, at the time.  However, I never did test the saddle's comfort over a generous stretch of time.  Most saddles feel OK at first.  For me, the saddle's true comfort test begins after four hours on it.  That's when a saddle proves its final worth, in my book.

The seat post, an indexed one, is an SP-KC, whatever that means, and is gradated in design.  The gradations are intended to make is easier to determine saddle height.  Unfortunately, this feature looks awful, in my opinion.  Additionally, the milled out grooves are too long, allowing the groove to enter the seat tube cavity.  This situation permits the collection of water, and debris, in the seat post and bottom bracket cavities, both of which will contribute, eventually, to a seized seat post and/or damaged bottom bracket bearings.  Seized seat posts, at best, are a pain in the butt (pardon this horribly obvious pun).  At worst, the post will have to be cut out of the frame, and that is a time consuming task.  Naturally, if the post is cut out, you will have to replace it with, what might be, a costly item.

As mentioned, there was little to do to get the Peugeot ready for the road.  Once satisfied that all was well, I installed a set of my clip-in pedals and took off for, what was, supposed to be, a short ride.  Just to see what this gorgeous old bicycle had to offer.  I spent an entire, and unannounced afternoon riding the PB12, interrupted only by a single cell phone call from my wife.  After breaking my neck, while riding in 2002, my wife now insists that I carry a cell phone with me, when I am out any of my bikes.  And, having the phone is a really good idea, since I often find myself down one of the many lonely, and scenic, secondary highways, that crisscross the hills, and valleys, of North-western Ontario.

NEXT - RIDING THE PEUGEOT COURSE PB12

 

 

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