MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

SITE INDEX   FINDING   BICYCLES   WORK SHOP   TRADING   WHAT'S NEW?

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

P-TOWNSEND  -  INTRO

FINDING THE P-TOWNSEND

BUILDING THE P-TOWNSEND

RIDING THE P-TOWNSEND

 

BICYCLES OF CANADA

  

FINDING THE PROCTOR-TOWNSEND

While perusing Kijiji (Google it - I get lots of bikes through this vehicle) one day, I stumbled across an add for a 200? Pinarello, with a damaged frame set.  The advertized price was $650.00.

I always investigate any advertisement, for an older road bicycle, and off to view the Pinarello, I went.  Part of the hope was that, since I really could not afford to spend $650.00 on a broken bicycle (or any bicycle for that matter), I might at least be granted the opportunity to make an offer, that I could afford.  Perhaps, I would even have a chance, to buy a lesser bicycle, that had gone out of favour, at some earlier point in time.  Or, the seller might know of a friend, who has an old "Ten Speed", that is available.  This sort of thing does happen, to me, from time to time.

As it turned out Gene, the fellow selling the Pinarello, was an old acquaintance, from my motorcycle days.  We reminisced, for a few minutes ,and then Gene disappeared into a 12 x 12 shed, emerging with a gorgeous, pearl white and blue, 54cm Pinarello resting on his shoulder.  He set the bike down on the deck, and proceeded to show me the reason for condemning the frame set.  The frame was cracked, at the seat tube attachment points of all four stays, and pretty much guaranteed to snap, in two, soon after being put back on the road.  But the full Campagnolo Veloce, nine speed grouppo was nearly mint, needing only a set of new tires, to make the set useable, just the way it was.

I told Gene that I felt $650.00 was quite a bit too much, for the bike, but did so in my humblest tone.  He tended to agree, informing me that he, really, had no idea, at all, of the bike's value.  He was selling it to help a friend out.  To make this boring part of the story short, we agreed on a price, that was less than half of what he had originally asked.

After paying him, for the bike, and moving its resting place, to my shoulder, I asked Gene if he happened to have any other old road bikes, that he would be in interested in selling.  Rubbing his chin, he sort of mumbled something about an old Proctor-Townsend.

Proctor!  I could not believe my ears.  What luck!  I told Gene that I would be very interested in having a look at the bicycle.  At that time, I thought the bicycle to be a Proctor and the model to be Townsend.  I was about to learn a bit of Proctor and Proctor-Townsend history, which, basically, boiled do to the fact that there were two, different, bicycles of good repute, made in Edmonton back in eighties, and perhaps earlier.

With that brief history lesson out of the way, he told me that he had damaged the Proctor-Townsend, in a crash.  Pointing, here and there, to different parts of the down tube, he quickly went on to say that the bicycle frame set had been sent to Marinoni, a highly respected bike builder in Quebec, to be professionally repaired.  The professional repair, a complete replacement of the down tube and realignment of the frame set, had been very well done.  Gene apologized for the cosmetic issues, going on to say that the bicycle was in pretty good working order.  He added that the bicycle still rode perfectly, however; he did disclose that the left, Shimano 105 Total Integration, shifter was not working.  To all of that, I repeated that I was still interested in at least having a look.

Again, Gene negotiated the ice covered path, to his shed, this time beckoning me to follow, but to be very careful, in doing so.  It was early Spring, and the thawing and freezing had produced a path of glass, from the deck to the shed.  As a long time resident of Thunder Bay, I know all about walking on ice.  And, after being married for over forty years, I have become pretty good a walking on eggs also, frozen or not.  Anyway...

Upon entering the wooden shed, two old road bikes came quickly into view.  A bright red Bianchi, something or other, fitted with Shimano 600 Golden Arrow components and, hanging one peg behind it, the lacklustre Proctor-Townsend.  I do admit that the P-T was not all that impressive, upon first glance.  My opinion was about to change.

Gene shouldered the P-T, carrying it into the sunlight and placed it on his deck.  The bike did have a host of cosmetic issues, but nothing that I could not live with.  Yep, there was indeed crystal clear evidence of down tube replacement.  The metallic grey, fading into metallic blue, paint was all but gone, with just a trace, here and there, left to offer a clue about the bike's original cosmetics.  However, once the down tube had been replaced, the repair was primered over, and left that way to this day.  And, the original front forks are no more.  At the time the bike was damaged, the fork set had been destroyed.  A new set of alloy forks had been installed, to replace the original busted set.  And the new forks looked to be pretty nice.

The P-T had been issued with full chrome forks, originally, but I have no idea what they looked like.  The original chrome forks would probably  have been similar, if not identical, to those fitted an earlier Proctor and would have been a great match to the Proctor-Townsend's beautiful chrome plated stays.  Unfortunately, the stay's chrome plating had a blotchy appearance which, though not horrible to view, does detract from the cosmetics of the bicycle.  But I did not care at that point in time.  I was beginning to see a really cool all weather ride.

As I started to, more carefully, look the bike over, the first thing that really caught my eye was the Shimano 105 grouppo, complete with 8 speed Total Integration shifters.  I had been considering building up a bicycle, for myself, that would be fitted with just such a more "user friendly" shifting arrangement.  In fact, it just so happened, that I had recently completed assembling a near complete 105 grouppo, that I was hoping to find an appropriate frame set for.  Providence at work?  Perhaps.

As it turned out, the 105 grouppo was not all that I could have hoped for.  The left Total Integration brake/shifter lever would not shift.  I could shift up but shifting down was impossible.  No problem as far as I was concerned since I had a spare.  And the callipers, once again Shimano 105 were early examples of the stoppers and were cosmetically challenged to boot.

At any rate, further inspection revealed that the 105 grouppo was incomplete.  The front derailleur was a no-name, after market, piece of junk.  The wheel hubs were not 105, nor did they match.  Same for the rims, which were both Mavic, but different models, and vintages.  The tires, however, were all but brand new.  The left Total Integration shifter was pooched.  However and as mentioned, it just so happened that I had recently purchased a set of 8 speed Total Integration 105 shifters off of Ebay.  I also had the correct front derailleur, as well as a NOS rear one, though there was no need to change out the rear derailleur, that came with the bicycle.  I even had a Mavic wheel rim, to help match the wheel set up.  Sadly, no 105 8 speed hub set could be found.

Needless to say, I decided that I wanted to buy the Proctor-Townsend, and asked Gene how much he would like for the bike.  Again, the chin rubbing started, and he quickly indicated that he would sell me the bike for $150.00.  A lesser price, but not much less, was agreed on and I literally emptied my pockets, not counting the clinky stuff, to meet the price.  Literally!  By this time I was elated...

The Proctor-Townsend was a find, all by itself, however; I also managed to get a complete Campy grouppo that should bolt right on.  At least that is what I thought at first glance.  I was soon to discover that the front derailleur clamp was much too large for the P-T's seat tube diameter.  Which, I realize now, turned out to be a good thing. 

I did want to try the P-T out and, with no Campy front derailleur, it seemed reasonable to just go with the 105 stuff.  After all, I had everything I needed to complete the group with the exception of the correct hubs.  The Shimano 105 grouppo looks good, works like a charm and is already mounted.  Why not just go with the 105 stuff and save the Campy grouppo for another day.  This option would be reinforced a week later, when I finally acquire an early Proctor.

Since my options had suddenly become limited to one, I started the build, focusing on the use of the 105 components.  After all, I could always swap over to the Campy Veloce grouppo, later, if a proper front derailleur, were to come my way.

NEXT - BUILDING THE PROCTOR-TOWNSEND

 

 

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