MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

PEUGEOT SPORT - INTRO

FINDING THE SPORT

BUILDING THE SPORT

RIDING THE SPORT

 

BICYCLES OF CANADA

 

  

BUILDING THE PEUGEOT SPORT

Once again, I did not really do much to build the Peugeot Sport.  The little used bicycle was pretty much immaculate "as found" condition and needed almost nothing in the way of repair or rebuild.

I did take the bicycle apart, inspecting each component, as I did so.  The Weinmann brakes were in perfect condition and showed almost no wear on the brake pads.  As was pretty much common practice for Peugeot, the Weinmann callipers carried the Peugeot sticker, adding a bit of class, perhaps, to this near entry level steed.  The brakes are clean and show no evidence of damage of any kind.  The dual position levers are in equally good condition, something somewhat rare for brake levers which are very prone to getting scuffed upl both while in use and during storage periods.

The dual position levers are decent enough to use, only if they are adjusted properly.  And, properly means that the wheels must be dead true, so that the brake pads can be set up really close to the rims.  Too much clearance, between the pads and the rims, will render the dual position brake, almost useless, creating a dangerous situation.  And, the need to keep the pad to rim clearance down to a minimum is a problem.  Peugeot saw fit to include no quick release assembly for the brakes.  With no QR mechanism, the tires must be deflated, before removing the wheel from the bicycle.  And, they cannot be installed when inflated.  Though the brake cable guide does provide for cable adjustment, it is hardly adequate when compared to other similar and more "user friendly" components of the day.

Though not really part of the brake system, the Rigida "Superchromix" 27 x 1 1/4" wheel rims, none the less, play an important part in slowing a bicycle down.  The brake pads rub on the rims, to achieve this end.  However, I really do not want to hear this happening.  Whenever the Peugeot Sport's brakes were applied, an angry buzzing sound would be part of the result.  The rims are dimpled, on the braking surface.  This was supposed to improve braking, but in my opinion, it does not work all that well.  Does the bicycle really slow down any faster?  I doubt it!

The control center is made up of steel drop bars, mounted on a Peugeot pantographed alloy stem.  The set-up is certainly comfortable enough, but I cannot help but question the choice of the steel handlebar.  Once again, probably a cost cutting decision, on the company's part, but did it really save that much money?  Again, the jury is out, since I will never really know the rational behind the decision to not use an alloy bar on such a bicycle.

The Sport's bars were wrapped in the cheapest tape know to the vintage bicycle, a very thin plastic tape with a slightly dimpled surface.  Though this stuff looks sort of OK, it offers little in the way of comfort or improved grip.  Sold primarily in a choice of two colors, black or white, it found its way onto, a great many, entry level bicycles, of the late seventies and early eighties.  Prior to that, handlebar tape was primarily of the cotton variety, or even the exotic leather wraps, found on some of the finer bicycles, of the day.

The original Peugeot saddle was a plastic covered, plastic based, affair which was comfortable enough, for short around town rides.  However, my experience with plastic covered saddles, suggests that any serious time spent riding, would see body heat reflected back into the body.  This heat reflection does lead to discomfort, as the ride lengthens.  With this in mind, my bet is that the Peugeot's saddle would not be to my liking in the long run (pardon the pun).

There was a very interesting feature included with the Peugeot's saddle.  A "Hide-A-Fender".  I unrolled this thing, from underneath the saddle, and tried to figure out how to get it to work.  No luck.  As far as I was concerned, it was a stupid accessory.  I did later see a picture of this unusual accessory in action.  As the bike is being ridden, the "Hide-A-Fender" flows in the breeze and stops the water or debris from being sprayed up and onto one's back.  I never did get a chance to try this out to see if it actually worked.

I hate, and love, the chosen transmission on most Peugeots.  Hate because the front derailleur often fails utterly, breaking in half as it does so, and then feeding itself into the crank sprocket.  Love because the darn things are so nice to shift.  The Peugeot Sport's transmission was in great shape "as found" and worked like a charm.  Shifting was smooth, precise and I rarely felt the need to trim the shifters to hit the sweet spot.

The Simplex shifters work well enough but they are anything but attractive, in my opinion.  I do not like the looks or feel of plastic anything on a vintage road bicycle.  Once again I have to wonder what the designers at Simplex were thinking about when they built these entry lever levers.  Was the plastic lever supposed to be lighter?  Better?  Or simply less expensive to manufacture?  I honestly cannot come up with the answer.  These entry lever shift levers are not to my liking.  But their superior siblings, the all alloy and ornately embossed ones are hard to beat, both in function and appearance.

The crank sprockets offered, the ever popular, 52/42 tooth counts, while the five speed, rear cog set, provided a decent range, spanning 14-26 teeth.  This gearing range allowed for easy pedalling, in most situations, in the area that I live in, and I did not have to come out of the saddle, even one time, to make a hill.  The pedals were anything but sophisticated, however; they are just great, for running in town errands.  Nothing to clip into or out of.  No top and bottom to seek, when starting off.  Just hop on the bike and step on the pedal.  Of course, with no way to secure one's foot to the pedal, optimal performance is out of the question.

Though it must seem that I am running Peugeot's entry level offering down, it is still a pretty decent bicycle, in many respects.  I can only assume, that all of the apparent component choices helped to keep the overall cost of the bicycle down.  And, because of that, the Peugeot Sport did capture its share of the market.  Of all the Peugeots I find, the Sport is the most common.  And, not a bad bicycle to ride when you get right down to it.

NEXT - RIDING THE PEUGEOT SPORT

 

 

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